I do not know if anyone else on Storium has attempted this, but I am opening up a way for creative people to come together to make a new, DETAILED and SELF-CONSISTENT world that can be used for Storium games, long before the actual playing of the game, as well make a world that can used for any other creative endeavor. This has been done previously in the world of fiction book writers with the shared universe concept, leading to long series of novels and story collections, such as Thieves’ World and 1632. Many of the great IPs have used multiple writers to expand their universe, such as Star Wars, Babylon 5, Forgotten Realms, and the Cthulhu Mythos. This project is different in that those who want to use it will not have to pay the traditional license fees. If this goes very well, this co-created world will lead to fan-fiction on individual websites, published stories and novels, and perhaps greater projects.
One major drawback to having multiple writers is that the canon can be decimated by conflicting versions of the setting and elements, which is frustrating to all. Just look at all of the reboots of the DC comic universe, or even the recent multiple reboots just in the Spider-Man movie franchise. That is why an overall editor is needed. I humbly nominate myself—my project, my sensibilities will the final arbiter, though I hope that it will be considered a light touch, and I will make every attempt to be fair and gentle. I also submit for free the PROCESS to anyone else who wants to create their own world—take a look at the following, and see if you would like to join in this experiment and/or create your own for other genres.
We will create a world with detail, which means there will be some give and take on ideas, as we mash various ideas over and over, in order to fit all concepts together logically. A team player mentality is necessary. We also need originality, so, though this may be inspired by many previous IPs (intellectual properties) such as Deadlands, the driving elements must be new. For example, magic is part of this world, but we will not be taking the fear mechanic from Deadlands that morphs the environment when the Reckoners have put enough fright into the local populace. That story element belongs to Pinnacle Entertainment, originated by their writers, and bless them for creating it for their universe. This will be an original world, created with original ideas, and must be different from what has been done before.
Before going further, I will give the legal foundation, which explains the way in which this is different than most other collaborative creative activities, then delve into the beginning of the story elements.
Contributors, and creators of derivative works, by the act of participation, are agreeing to the following terms.
Contributors release the intellectual property claims to anyone who uses their contributions regarding invented technology, gadgets, timeline, history, events, and organizations. There will be a list of specifically released world important characters, otherwise, characters remain the property of their creator, except in a use of mere reference. No one may use someone else’s created characters unless it has been specified as a released character, except as in a minor reference. No one may recreate someone else’s stories, nor use their created dialogue.
Anyone may propose to create their own stories from this setting, using the above released elements for their own use, and release for free or profit from their own story creations in any medium, including, but not restricted to: posting on the internet; Storium games; printed and electronic role playing games; providing a story to a print or electronic magazine; publishing an electronic or printed book of a story of any length; contributing a story or stories to an anthology of fiction; create a collection of stories; radio shows; podcasts; television series or movies; a script for a motion picture.
Some of the conditions to creating works in this universe are those found on the website run by John M. Portley, the instigator of this project, who holds the copyrights to this universe. At this moment, his website regarding this project is:
Permission to participate in creating works in this universe begins by communicating with John M. Portley regarding the medium to be used, the title and branding to be used, and whether payment will be made or value exchanged in the publishing and/or performance of the work. Notification of any payment is to communicated to John M. Portley within one month of payment. If compensation continues to be given to the author for the creative work, then updates of the on-going compensation must occur every three months.
Swearing is not to be present within any works of this universe, nor acts of a sexual nature. Titles and branding must be changed if the copyright holder deems it an infringement of another’s on-going or proposed title or branding, or if it considered in bad taste by the copyright holder, John M. Portley, or his legal representatives.
If an individual or collective profits from a creation that is set in this collaborative world, then ten percent of the revenue of that creation will be given to a legal charity, of the author’s choice, and proof of the income and gift to charity must be provided to John M. Portley, or his legal representatives within one month of that charity payment.
The charity payment must be made once annually, at the least.
Failure to the stated conditions is surrendering the right to publish anything within this created world, any and all profits from using this setting are to be forfeited to John M. Portley, and will subject transgressors to legal prosecution for infringement, defamation, and court fees.
META-STORY—STEAMPUNK WEIRD WEST
Though I want to keep this open to most ideas, and encourage all to think outside of the box, I do have a couple of caveats upfront. I do not enjoy stories that take away a character’s free will. I really do not see the point. So, in the desire to have consistency, the first guideline of this world is that mind control is something that will not be possible more than it is in our present world, and, by association, reading of minds. Time travel is not possible by any method in this universe. Aside from that, please generate ideas, even the crazy ones, and let’s see what will work well together.
What marvels of transportation and manufacturing occurred? What technology or alternative science developed?
What mythological elements or elements of magic are true in this setting?
Because of the above alternative history, what organizations and conflicts have developed?
Because of the above, what set of events occurred, and what were the repercussions?
Who are the important individuals in this world—the movers and shakers? Let’s create a list of people important on this world stage that others can use.
With each suggestion, let’s work together to flesh out the idea, and see what works well together.
If this world is built up by numerous contributors, then I will create a wiki website at a timely junction to collect the elements into an encyclopedia of this world.
Please put questions to the Narrator in the Commentary section. Please suggest new ideas or tweaks to previous ideas in the Scene area. Just start a character with some references for yourself, such as country and a brief background of time wasters such as your various jobs in your life and what particular entertainments that you enjoy (yes, I will require to know something about the individuals with which I will be sharing a world). Let’s see how many characters a Storium game can take!
Hosted and narrated by:
John Portley (Soulvector)
Scenes played: 8
License: Community License
image source: Blackmoon979 | Dreamstime.com - Mechanical Blue Banner Photo