How to make a world
Table of Contents:
-Part 1: Home Sweet Home: The basics of you world
-Part 2: Into the Garden of Madness: The Human Psyche
INTRODUCTION! read this!</b>
This is meant to be a general guide on how you can make your own planet/world and what patterns it would input onto its denizens. As well as how you can alter your world history as it goes on. PLEASE NOTE! This guide is going under the assumption that you are making an Earth/Human-like planet, if you're going to do something drastically different DON'T BE ALARMED, many pieces of this guide will still apply but just know where your world would differ from the "standard" set.
Remember, when you know the rules, you will also know how to break them. The point of this guide is not to copy the world history of our own lives but to create a new history unique to the setting which you create BASED on the trends our own species has experienced.
PART 1: Home Sweet Home, The Basics of Your World
This part of the guide will give you the most basic info on creating a world by its geography, flora, and fauna. With general explanations of the effects of all of them.
The first major factor which has shaped our own world history is how the contients are set up. This is to be meant as what ever is the longest distance running through the continent (a.k.a., axe), north-south, west-east, southeast-northwest, etc. Continents that have a west-east/east-west axe (which would be our Eurasia) tend to be more successful than continents with an axe of any other kind. Why?
The reason is based in latitude and climate. As one goes up or down in degrees of latitude, the climate of the area will also change accordingly, usually growing colder as one moves away from the equator (equator= 0 latitude). This is important because PEOPLE DON'T LIKE CHANGE! When someone has lived all their life in one type of climate, moving to another is incredibly uncomfortable and thus it is rarely done. Continents with a north-south axe will experience little movement among the populations as the continual change in climate will prove as a major and constant obstacle. Continents with a east-west axe do not have this problem as most travel will be done in the same plane of latitude, a.k.a. the same type of climate, so travel will be comfortable for the most part.
Travel and contact is vastly important for civilizations as it allows populations to interact, exchange ideas, and trade. Without this contact, positive or negative, societies tend to remain stagnant along the lines of new technologies and innovations and thus tend to be crushed by civilizations that have long experienced contact.
Trade and technology will be explained further in a later chapter.
With the basic shapes and playing field you're going to put you civilizations in it comes time to spice it up a bit by bringing your 2-D blob of a continent into a 3-D space of mountains, plains, and etc. This part will go over basic land types, their general affects on civilization, and how they may change over time.
Plains- Basic flat land, usually covered with grasses. These can be spots for towns (if a nearby river or irrigation is available to supply water), or maybe just a simple passage way between point A to point B. Plains can become a forest in a few decades without human interference, or a desert if climate begins to become dry.
Forest ("regular")- Populated with a variety of plants and animals, these pose a small challenge to your peoples as they are more difficult to pass through than just a straight walk through grass, and need to be cleared in order to make a town which takes considerable effort. Most likely they will be trade routes until the technology/desire to clear them becomes easier to attain. Forests will continue to grow until they are eliminated in some way, man-made or natural.
Forest (Jungle/Tropic)- Like a super forest, even more animals, plants, and a HELL of a lot more annoying. Jungles are thick, travel is substantially more difficult as is clearing out hordes of life to lay a town. They'll be used for travel until an even more advanced technology or intense desire to be rid of these forests is attained. Thankfully, these tend to only exist in humid climates.
Desert- DO NOTE! Deserts do NOT have to hot, deserts are DRY AREAS, temperature has nothing to do with being a desert. Due to lack of water, deserts have inhospitable soil (which is what we call, sand) and are an overall hostile enviroment to most life-forms that do not have adept ways of storing and/or transporting water. Not to say that deserts are just miles of sand and nothing else, but the population density of life is notably lower compared to most other terrains. Deserts are used only as transportation routes. Deserts grow as weather patterns move water away, shrink as water returns, though this may take place over thousands of years at a time.
Oasis- These exist in the few areas in a desert where rainfall is current (water happens to come ONLY by this place regularly). These should have a good amount of life and are often built up as rest-stops or even towns in their own right when found. Oasis can potentially disappear as weather patterns change over long periods of time, hundreds of years at least, thousands at most.
Mountain- The higher you go up, the colder it gets with a lower oxygen count to boot. Mountains are very difficult to travel through and will more often then not be avoided if any other route is available. Life is sparse and people tend to die from illness or tragic accidents way up there. Mountains tend to act as natural barriers from war though sometimes the opposite can be true (I.E. Fertile Crescent) as invaders may live in the mountains and periodically attack. Mountains change over millions of years so they are going to be there to stay.
Artic- Similar to desert if land is under the ice, if it's ice floating above water then is rather dangerous during the summer as most of it will melt into the ocean for a few months of the year. Humans have little to do with this terrain and is mostly used for science research or as the grave for the occassional adventurer who thinks he can sail through during the summer but then gets crushed by an iceberg. Artic territory grows during ice ages and shrinks as global climate warms up.
Rivers (in general)- The hubs for most civilization. Rivers provide water neccessary for life in general but also for intense farming that is required to feed many people. If you find a river, there will most likely be a settlement nearby. All rivers originate in mountains and flow with gravity until they reach an ocean or dead-end. Dead end bodies of water tend to have incredibly high salt content that is undrinkable until it is de-salinated. Intensive irrigation can change the flow of a river dramatically (give it a faster way down-hill and away from your village which will now starve unless they all move) or increase the salt content to make it useless. Rivers do naturally change over time from a loopy path to a straight way down as water erodes at the harder rock preventing its passage. These changes can happen over any period of time really, though rarely is it ever an immediate path change even with human interference. If a river is big enough, then it is possible to travel through it as well.
Oceans/Seas and Lakes- Rivers over a large region dump their water into these large collections of the stuff. Oceans tend to still have a pretty high salt-content though and will not be used for farming, as their edges will just be sandy beaches. Lakes have a pouring of water through it so the salt drains out, allowing for farming. In both cases they are mainly used for travel between towns seperated by the water, using boats and other navel technology. If the water is predictable enough, not too violent, and not too large as to require an isane amount of storage to keep a crew alive before they reach their destination, then it will used as a constant transport network that interlinks many different peoples. Oceans will mostly seperate your continents and keep them seperate until better navel technology is invented, a land connection is available, or there are many islands/rest-stops between them that would allow crews to restock and continue onward. These features are there to stay for a loooong time, though they can be altered somewhat with enough human activity or drained IF the technology to do so is available.
!NOTE! "Animals" refers to anything that can grow to 100lb or more!
Animals are mostly used for a variety of things, though some may be more suited to one area than other. These tasks are:
Commodity Source (animal produces something useful/valuable)
Now, there are many kinds of animals above 100lb., yet most of these animals can only be TAMED, NOT DOMESTICATED! A tamed animal is benevolent to humans only for its specific life time (or less) and it may take considerable effort to tame an animal. Though there have been armed forces and use of tamed animals in our history (Indian war-elephants, circus/colleseum animals).
Domesticated animals are ones that are tamed since BIRTH and will CONTINUE to be for generations onward. In a sense it is biologically programming animals to have a positive look towards their masters from day 1, as natural as breathing. Though there is a set list of requirements for an animal to be domesticated or at least for there to be a DESIRE to domesticate an animal species.
Diet: If an animal has a very picky/expensive diet then it is useless as a domesticated animal. If it costs more money to make the dang thing then it isn't worth it. (I.E. Pandas)
Growth: If an animal doesn't reach maturity in a short amount of time (a few years) than it is also deemed useless as they take too long to grow and eat too much material to be cost effective. (I.E. Elephants)
Breeding: If the animal has specific breeding rituals that require expansive distance, results in one being killed, or just simply won't mate while captive then it cannot be domesticated. (I.E. Cheetahs)
Violent Tendency: You can't keep bears if they can't seem to stop killing Little Timmy...Seriously, this should be an obvious rule. (I.E. Lions, Tigers, and Bears~)
Panic: If the animal is so nervous that it dies from shock or will do whatever it can to escape than it can't be domesticated as it would probably die of shock first before anything even happens. (I.E. Gazelles)
Social Structure: Territorial and (most) solo animals cannot be domesticated. Domestication means to raise many at once for supplies and/or profit, if they'll kill each other at any point while they are all together than they are useless. Also they should be able to have a social structure where a human can be leader (I.E. Dogs, any sort of pack animal) THIS IS ONE RULE THAT IS NOT ALWAYS A CONSTANT (Exception, I.E. Cats)
Small animals pretty much follow the same rules that are already mentioned, however their usefulness is rather limited due to their size. Probably can't carry large loads, give a large amount of food/meat per animal, or be used in warfare. Most of these animals are domesticated to be pets, commodity animals (I.E. Silkworms, Bees), or food IF they have exceptionally short growing time (I.E. chickens).
ANOTHER DANG NOTE! You're getting tired of these in this section aren't you? Well before anyone has a misconception, ANIMALS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR CIVILIZATION. They are OPTIONAL, albeit a DAMN GOOD OPTION. There have been powerful empires without horses, cows, or anything of that nature. Usually though, they'll face their demise at a civilization WITH animals soon enough.
Now this one can get kind of tricky, only because it is heavily based in the biology of the species you intend to populate your world with. Some things which we humans may consider useful and needed may not be so for another species. Biology will not be covered here so use this as a GUIDE rather than absolute rules if you're doing something non-human.
Similar to animals, only plants that are USEFUL to people are the ones that get domesticated. People like plants that have a lot of carbs (energy), protein (growth), fiber ("cleans the system"), have oily seeds (fat/energy), are sweet tasting, or have some other kind of nutrient output.
As plants are domesticated the following changes usually occur:
Bigger fruit/edible parts
The ability to spread seeds upon maturing is breeded out (a.k.a, loss of fruit)
Asexual plants are more popular
Breeding out toxins
All in all, just making the crop better and better, for us at least.
Note that while plants may be widely availble in many parts of the world, someone has to still domesticate them first, and that usually isn't done until there is a need to do so. So when person 1 domesticates a plant because he/she is hungry, person 2 gets the idea to do the same after seeing person 1 do it, even if person 2 doesn't REALLY need to do it but it'd be nice to. Thus the idea spreads out and the plant is domesticated world-wide. This is a basic idea of diffusion which will be gone over in a later part.
Part 2: Into the Garden of Madness, The Human Psyche
This part will detour just a bit from actual history per se. However the very mental processes and reasoning of the human mind, as well as our genetics, all play a part in the course of history. With everyone's actions having some sort of base to work upon, all actions, simple or historically defining, stem from the sub-conscious.
This is pretty much the core of it all, the will to survive. Whether we are aware of it or not THIS is where nearly every action and thought stems from, "How can I live longer/happier?"
Now as for staying alive, such a thing is obvious for everyone as people will hunt, kill, steal, or even eat each other if it means staying alive and healthy if the situation calls for it. At least as how one's mind would perceive the situation, those who would dramatically react to a problem and say, eat the person next to them after they disagreed on something; Or on the other hand one may seem to have a dulled/non-existent reaction and they would possibly allow themselves to be brutally killed with no resistance whatsoever or take their own lives in a non-dire situation. Such people are typically labeled as psychotic and would be ostracized from society as being "abnormal" for their reactions to certain scenarios.
Onto this thing we call "happiness" plays a big role with survival as well, as essentially happiness and contentment are the feeling of safety, the sense that one is doing well with survival. Sadness and frustration come about when one is faced with challenges that disturb the sense of safety. So one must ask what "safety" really is and it is, in the simplest forms: Good health, an ample food and water supply, allies who would protect you and vice-verse (we call them 'friends' in daily life), and distractions, the most unique of these.
Distraction from the problems that surround one's life and moving into a sense of safety that maybe should not truly be there is a very common choice. Usually when a problem seems too large to solve or too strenuous. The internet, video-games, television, and much more since humanity's beginnings are all ways people have distracted themselves from the problems in their lives. So comes the Roman saying "Circuses and Bread", to distract the citizens and keep them fed so that they become content and submissive. Distraction may be a correct choice of action as some problems do work themselves out or simply aren't worth dealing with, but distraction is also an often exploited portion of the mind that leads one into greater danger.
ALRIGHT! Gonna' break off into another part for now. Everything in this section can be traced back to this one topic but if I did that then this thing would never seem to end. Just remember that just about every decision finds its way back to this part of the mind one way or another.
Sex, sex, sex, let's talk about sex. (I am TOTALLY abusing my privileges) Second to individual survival is that of one's species. While someone who hasn't been touched for over a year is likely to be rather violent and unpredictable, this section actually is more concerned with the passing of generations, the product is what is most important.
The gains of one's lifetime will usually be passed onto the child, the preservation of these gains and existence of an heir is second to the individual's life in attaining these gains in the first place. Of course it will also be in the interest of the children to acquire these gains, advantages to their own survival whether they be land, riches, or some other possession. Sibling rivalry and the preservation of a "pure" bloodline are more human instincts that inevitably affect the course of history. It should be obvious how sibling rivalry to attain a parent's inheritance affects history. From causing family tension on a small scale to full scale civil war. Preserving a "blood line" however is a bit more complex.
Usually, this involves the constriction of the the "weaker" gender from being able to mate with whoever it pleases. Veiling, foot-binding, seclusion, and more are ways this is done, so that only the "dominant" gender may decide who will be heirs to the family inheritance. For if a child is produced by either one of the genders the child will still be eligible to inheritance, usually splitting the inheritance into smaller pieces. Or, conversely with children of adulterous relationships, they will be labeled as 'illegitimate' and receive no inheritance at all. Usually causing feelings of hatred in the child.
This also leads to relationships between various social classes, with higher classes refraining from mixing with those considered "lower", again with maintaining a "bloodline". This derives from higher classes having more to actually pass on to children, while lower usually have little. These divisions can easily cause hatred and resentment between the classes over a period of time if they are not dealt with as the rich get richer and poor get poorer.
Finally, an heir can of course screw everything up by wasting away the inheritance, thus starting a "bloodline" from point 1 all over again. Or if an heir does not exist, then the inheritance will go to the closest relative or the government.
7: Necessity Versus Desire
Beyond simply knowing what one needs and wants is actually acting on it. However the bridge from the mental realm to the physical is a process in of itself. Unless something is truly needed, and not a mere desire, usually one would not act on it. It would be nice to be the ruler of the country, however if you already have a stable source of income and feel generally happy, why should you really change that? It's more work than it is really worth, people usually do not move towards it even if it is linked with essential survival and pro-creation. The easier path will always be the one most traveled while the most difficult, say being the ruler of a nation, will be less traveled. Those who travel the more difficult path will probably be different in how they perceive survival, procreation, and all of that other stuff. For whatever reason, being a simple average Joe will not be enough to keep them secure.
This also has deep connections to technological, scientific, and advancement in general. For example, it would be perfectly possible for the steam engine to have been invented in Rome 2000 years ago and have the Industrial Revolution occur then at around 100 A.D. instead of 1850 A.D. The reason this did not happen is because the Romans had no reason to have steam engines, they had other, albeit primitive compared to the 1800s, methods and sources of power that they could tap into. Whereas the British of the 1800s had little other choice if they wished to not be defeated by their neighbors. Of course one will always have those seemingly strange "advances" such as the "Pet Rock" or Snuggie blankets, which seem to have no real importance what-so-ever. For an individual however, it may have appeared necessary to have such items and others merely copied what they saw someone else doing, for whatever reason. Much of this second paragraph will repeat itself later when this tutorial reaches technology, however it helps to explain this important part of the subconscious as well. Remember, there is a line between necessity and desire which makes it far more difficult to attain that which is desired by someone. As such, people will take the easier path more often rather than the difficult, usually it all depends on what is considered truly needed.
Part 3: Adam, Eve, and the other 5 million people: The first societies
Human organizing obviously begins with the family, but the first category to be close to a "society" would be the tribal groups of hunters and gatherers, then sedentary agricultural settlements (farming towns/city-states), and finally a basic empire. This section will explain the qualities and effects of early societal organizations from nomads to the first empires.
4: Huntering-Gathering to Farmering
Most peoples will remain as hunter-gatherers until the populations of animals and plants to hunt shrink and the peoples have begun to domesticate gathered plants. Then they will turn to farming as a source of food.
The reason is that farming is technically more strenuous than simply hunting and gathering, but does have better benefits in the end as history as told.
5: Farmering to Civilization
Farmers provide much more food than do the hunter-gatherers so thus not every member in the society must hunt, instead they can become a specilalist. (politician, soldier, artisan, etc.) These are the first steps in which civilization gets higher levels technology and more dangerous germs and diseases.
Germs always initially spread from extended contact between animals and humans. High population areas allow humans to spread disease from one person to another. As this
spread increases people of that civilization will gradually build an immunity and thus when they contact other peoples, there is the chance the other population may be wiped out simply by not having an immunity to the disease.
7: Hunters in new worlds
When already somewhat developed peoples enter new areas the animal diversity (big animals) will drop drastically as those animals do not know how to cope with human beings.
For a society to develop writing it must first have farming (to feed scribes) and a more or less complex society to demand the need for writing. Inventing writing itself from scratch is incredibly difficult and will take hundreds to thousands of years to do so.
There are 3 kinds of writing formats:
Alphabet- individual letters that stand for individual sounds of a language and mean different things when put together, English speakers have an alphabetic language. (If you don't know an alphabet then you can't read this obviously)
Syllables- symbols that stand for main sounds of a language for example if in English we write 'BEE' instead of 'B'
Word Symbols- Characters that act alone as words such as the Japanese and Chinese languages
Alphabet is the easiest and most common writing type however that does not rule out word symbols and syllables (medium-hard to learn). Effective writing systems contain 100
characters or (much) less, and they must not be artisically demanding to write. Most civilizations will copy already made writing systems by dropping or adding
letters and symbols to fit their own language and culture. Of course other societies will see the idea of writing and then develop it themselves from scratch, not knowing what the symbols they saw meant and thus create their own. Both of these require the people to have already seen writing and thus be influenced by it.
Writing arises independently in society when it is completely isolated from others and is eventually invented, or just drop the first requirement simply because writing hasn't been invented yet by anyone. Peasants, artisans, and other classes of society below the scribes and politicians may not know how to write because it is too complex, non-expressive, or because the government is keeping it from them, in fear that they could secretly organize a rebellion. Writing allows detailed and lengthy messeges with better detail than could be given orally through a messenger.
There are five levels of society, the first two can be achieved normally while the 3rd and 4th ones are normally achieved when one of the first two levels are threatened and
see no other solution than to band together.
Band- Band societies are typically hunter-gatherer groups that have a population in a few dozen where everyone is related to each other, they are nomadic, and everyone is generally equal to each other. In these societies murder is the most common cause of death because of the fact that everyone knows one another, a single kill, for whatever reason, will result in a string of murder and counter-murder until other members of the band put a stop to it.
Tribal- Tribes have populations of many dozens to a few hundred and everyone is still related but only through marriage. Tribes usually have one or more settlements
and the adults usually gather to discuss issues. Again power is equal though there tends to be one person in the meetings that has the power to sway decisions and
split up resources. Tribes usually have small scale farming though they can be 100% hunter-gatherers if the area has enough resources.
Chiefdom- Population goes from many hundreds to a few tens of thousands, society is organized as commoners, the chief, and a few other leader and specialist ranks.
Many of the people in a chiefdom are unrelated so family ties can no longer prevent conflict. Instead, police, judges, and possibly religion, allow people to avoid
conflict or in the case of religion, to have something in common. Chiefdoms must have a more intense level of farming to feed the population. Trade is now more complex.
State- Population range is usually 50,000+ with complex trade, greatly centralized government, law, police, greatly intensified farming, people of different
nationalities may co-exist, this is the majority of governments today.
Empire- empire is acheieved when a state goes out to conquer other lands and greatly expands itself and the population, there will be many more ranks, MUCH higher
population, and many other effects which you should be able to know by looking at the patterns all empires lay out.