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Subject: How to create a universe: The HMU Method rss

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Published at BoardGameNews is my essay on how to create an expanded universe, or "HMU" as I've labeled it.

What is an HMU? A hybrid media universe, defined as a collection of media – both narrative (written fiction, comic books, animation, TV and film) and interactive (board and card games, video games) – that exists with a shared setting.

I defined this process to start development of the Blak Universe and will use it for a steampunk setting called Rat Theory. It may be useful to other writers. YMMV.

Feel free to read and comment on the essay!: http://www.boardgamenews.com/index.php/boardgamenews/comment...
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James Hutchings
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If you create (eg) a game, then a short story, you have the opportunity to change the world of the game to better fit the story. Doing it your way it seems like you don't.
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I remember that the old RPG Traveller (Classic) (or Traveller II) to have simple rules for the creation of a whole galaxy with all kind of planets. I liked those rules.

But the only thing you got were quite lifeless galaxies but I would prefer to fill them with life myself than to rely on the work of others.
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apeloverage wrote:
If you create (eg) a game, then a short story, you have the opportunity to change the world of the game to better fit the story. Doing it your way it seems like you don't.


I've got to get to sleep, but just a note to say that maybe a writer can at least think about how the games and fiction relate. You are right, moving from a game to a story is a huge issue. That's why I recommended just being vague about some elements of how the history related to the game occurred before going into the time of the story.

This is meant as only a basic framework of how to balance narrative and interactive elements. So many times a movie is based on a video game and it just blows, because no one was ever thinking of how a movie based on that game could be fit in properly.

This process I have written down for people who fully intend on providing both games and fiction together. I will listen to any and all feedback and continue to develop the process and theory.
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James Hutchings
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Del_Esau wrote:
So many times a movie is based on a video game and it just blows, because no one was ever thinking of how a movie based on that game could be fit in properly.


That's not necessarily the only explanation for why a movie of that kind might be bad though.

If the game's content defined the movie, then the Dungeons & Dragons movie would have been as good as Conan and the Lord of the Rings series put together.

It seems at least as likely to me that many 'bad' video game movies actually succeed in their own aims: ie they have explosions, boobs and zombies, on time and in-budget.
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Matthew Kloth
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That's what I do. I have like 15 different universes. That seems like a large number but I've actually condensed everything I've made into those 15 universes. I only need one high fantasy world with orcs and elves. I only need one post apocalyptic world with zombies.

Each world has a timeline. The timeline is really fuzzy and is mostly about how the "technology" progresses. technology is in quotes because most of the worlds are kind of deviations from real history. The steampunk world starts very much like our own industrial revolution, and then advances into a more fantastical steampunky future.

I like that when something is made in a world it's not easy to change. I find I'm much more creative when I have restrictions. If I can do anything I tend to just daydream and keep changing stuff. When I have to make something fit my mind is focused on creating the best thing I can within those limitations.

I have a particular hate on for "plot magic", so this method is suited for me. I also really like internal consistency. Flying around the sun backwards doesn't send you back in time, that's just stupid. Why wouldn't everyone do that then.
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