World Building Lesson 1

[animated gif] hello world typed into console


Welcome to your first lesson on World Building Theory.

This module’s scratch project will have you building out a room builder in Scratch.

Before diving into the mechanics of Scratch, let’s take a moment to study up on the basics of worldbuilding.

  • define worldbuilding
  • look at different kinds of worldbuilding
  • develop a brainstorming process

What is Worldbuilding?

Worldbuilding is the imaginative procedure of developing worlds.

Examples of worldbuilding in media are everywhere from sci fi to business. Yes the worlds you build can even be as boring as the business world!

Pop quiz: What is the correct way to go about building your first world?

animated bubble that says "pop quiz"

Q: What is the correct way to go about building your first world?

A: Any way you want!

Hard Worldbuilding vs. Soft Worldbuilding

Seasoned worldbuilders may debate over opposing types of worldbuilding, for instance whether you implement a soft or hard worldbuilding mechanic.

Hard Worldbuilding

conjures up the thought of methodically planned out universes, the likes of Star Trek, Lord Of the Rings, Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series. These are worlds with fleshed-out core elements, politics, language, and technology.

Soft world building while not devoid of the thoughtfulness of hardworld building’s structures, is more focused on generating a world that conveys an emotion, in some cases these feelings can only be expressed by creating an entire universe.

So, why do we build worlds?

To create!

The most basic of urges to build worlds is probably due to our desire for creative output. While not only therapeutic, activating our imagination can develop our cognitive abilities and strengthen our mental faculties. Simply put, worldbuilding is good for your brain

To escape!

While escapism is sometimes frowned upon, worldbuilding can also provide a solid source of relief from the toxicity of reality.

To innovate!

By transporting yourself and others to your newly built worlds you may be able to innovate and rethink existing structures in our own world.


Brainstorming is easy for some and it’s where most of the process happens. So get out a pen and paper and begin drawing out your ideas.
Start with the big questions and then focus in on the specifics.

For this module, us the Room Building Project template as a guide.

What sort of archetecture exists in your world. Are buildings boring rectangular prisms that reflect the pain and suffering of your world’s inhabitants, are the geodesic domes naturally lit by bioluminescent fauna. What sort of props or objects will make it into your world. Is this a technological civilization, or are they experiencing a dark age. One of the objects in the room builder will be a door. What sort of doorways are your inhabitants known for using, automatic space age gateways that open at the users command, or do they perhaps use teleportation pods, an old rickety wooden door. Another object in the room is a bed. do your inhabitants sleep in beds or do they even sleep at all, perhaps your inhabitants generate energy through another means, photosynthesis?

Real quickly you start to see that one question leads to another, leads to another, and this brainstorming process is largely about following a series mental paths, and having the willingness to let your imagination take the wheel. For instance, our original question about the sort of beds our inhabitants use lead us down the mental path of imagining a world who’s beings generate energy through photosynthesis.