Furry Writers' Guild Forum

How to Make Collaborative Worlds?

Note: I edited the topic. I’m not asking if anyone here is interested in doing a collaborative world, I’m trying to get advice in general.

I wasn’t sure what to look for this under, but I’m sure something like this must have been discussed before. What advice is there for starting (and maintaining) a collaborative world? This can be just a written world (like Metamor Keep), or also one where art and programming gets involved.

In full disclosure, I have always liked the Witch World books by Andre Norton (which later allowed some other writers in) and the Neopets website. I’d love to create a world for other people to join in and have fun (I have two scenarios in mind, one would be much more like Neopets another would be something I’ve been working on and off for years), but I’m not sure how to go about such a thing.

  1. Is it even feasible?

Sometimes something seems like a great idea but it’s really not. This can easily be one of those things. Is it just not a good idea to try and start something like this? Or if I do what should I limit myself to? Obviously something like the Neopets site is going to be a problem because beyond stories it would involve art and programming and - not being rich - I’m not exactly in a position to hire anyone. A world based on stories alone could work better (even starting a wiki would do), but it still might not work. Laying the groundwork is always the hardest part, but it might be better not to start if there’s a huge sinkhole under where it’s going.

  1. How to get people interested and how to keep them interested?

An open universe can be fun, but not if you’re the only one interested in doing it. Similarly, people have lives (jobs, families, etc) outside of the place as well as other distractions. It can either get off to a roaring stop or die a slow, sad death as fewer and fewer people participate. While nothing lasts forever, nothing is quite as disheartening as something that shows great potential only to fizzle a week later.

  1. How much control is too much control?

In both MK and WW there have been continuity issues as people joined in. Neopets does not have this problem, but that’s because while fans are free (and encouraged) to write about anything related to the site none of their stories are officially cannon - only those stories the Neopets staff itself creates are officially cannon events. I find myself doing this a lot when I try to collaborate with friends. I end up wanting to be in charge, even though that may not always be the best thing. I can’t (and shouldn’t) have things all my own way (otherwise, what’s the point of having other people involved?) at the same time, if anyone can write anything then it’s not so much a collaborative world as an anthology.

  1. Other?

I’m not sure what else to add, exactly, but I’m sure there’s a lot more I’m not thinking of, so anything else would be appreciated.

I don’t know much about it, aside from being a long-term Witch World fan as well. I did stumble onto a huge furry shared world site a few weeks back called Spontoon Island. They’ve been running for quite awhile, and might be a good place to poke around and get ideas on what to do and what not to do etc

Here’s the link if it helps at all: http://spontoon.rootoon.com/SPwHome1.html

Thanks a lot! I’ll look through that as soon as I can! If you ever want to discuss Witch World, feel free!