Organizing Lore to Understand Lore

  • Edwin McRae

You think you understand your game world?

Try explaining it to someone.

Try explaining it to a busy someone who has other pressing priorities (like an update to push out by Friday) and who only has this meeting in which to grok your world concepts.

When teaching narrative and game design, I've talked a lot about "boiling it down".

Express your concept in 300 words.

Boil it down to 100 words.

Simmer it to 50 words.

Reduce to 15 words.

Serve with parsley.

But with a game world the size of Wraelcast or Rathe, how do you even begin to summarize such a conceptual behemoth in 300 words or less?

My 'short answer' is this.

Organize your lore.

Through the process of making your lore presentable and searchable, you will...

1. Remind yourself of important and interesting details

2. Make new connections between existing lore elements

3. Spot holes and inconsistencies

4. Identify areas for lore expansion

5. Train your brain to hold ever larger and more detailed concepts

Weeding your garden allows the veges and flowers to flourish. Organizing your lore library allows your story concepts to shine.

For advice on exactly how to organize your lore, see my Laying Down the Lore chapter in my Narrative Worldbuilding book.


About Edwin McRae

Edwin is a narrative consultant and mentor for the games industry.

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