Last week in the Worldbuilding Summer Camp 2022 Homework Club, we talked about setting goals for Summer Camp, to make sure the challenge is working for you! This week, we’re talking about ACHIEVING these goals!

Making the Summer Camp 2022 themes work for you

Last year, we introduced themes to the prompts. Your feedback was that you loved them! This year, we’ve chosen themes we feel are universal to all settings, and can help you create dynamic and exciting spaces in your worlds.

Remember, these themes are intended to give inspiration and help you create linked-up spaces in your world. You can interpret them in any way you like! Not every prompt directly relates to a theme, but they can all be tied together, helping you create more joined-up worldbuilding. And most importantly, remember YOUR goal for Summer Camp! Consider how the themes might fit into what you’re planning and, if necessary, how you can twist them to fit YOUR purposes!

Expanse (Copper theme)

An expanse, by definition, is a wide continuous area of… something. If you’re writing an earth-like world, that might be a vast desert like the Sahara, rolling grasslands like the Savannah, jungle like the Amazon Rainforest, swamp like Louisiana, or Arctic tundra. It could be an expanse of water, like a sea or ocean, or of ice, like Antarctica. Or it could be the expansive sky above your world, or expansive tunnels and caverns beneath.

Fantasy worlds can delve even deeper here, into pocket dimensions, or another plane of existence, like fluid space in Star Tek, or the Plane of Fire in Forgotten Realms.

For more futuristic worlds, you might create an urban expanse like a cyberpunk mega-city, a vast sewer system, a Fallout wasteland, or a city-planet like Coruscant in Starwars. Or if you’re in space, how about a nebula, asteroid field, or even an “empty” expanse of space.

Leadership (Silver theme)

Whether you’re writing fantasy, scifi or alt-historical, leadership guides the peoples of our world setting and forms their cultures. And leadership can take many forms – political and military, of course, but also consider religious, cultural, industrial, humanitarian, environmental and educational leadership. We’ll be asking you about people, places and traditions that typify leadership in your world setting, either from the past or the present.

The Leadership theme might relate to the expanse you’ve written about before, or it might not!

Discovery (Gold Theme)

Settings thrive on change, and discovery – whether research, exploration, or investigation – is often the catalyst for that change! What wonders, mysteries, species, technologies and civilizations are lost in your world setting, awaiting discovery? Which parts of the world have already been discovered and which implications did this have over the setting?

The Discovery theme might relate to the expanse you wrote about before. Or perhaps the discovery was led by a great leader in your world.

Monstrous (Diamond Theme)

Almost all stories require conflict. And if your setting has no conflict, it’s often hard to get your stories, novels, or campaigns moving! In this band of worldbuilding prompts, we’ll be digging into things in your world considered villainous, cruel, unlucky, unnatural or just “wrong”.

Perhaps the monstrous things in your world are newly discovered, and tied to the discovery theme, or perhaps they crawled, hopped or few from the expanse you wrote about. Perhaps the leaders in your world are the monstrous and villainous ones (looking at you, Star Wars!). Remember, you don’t need to tie all the themes together, but there are myriad ways to do so!

Summer Camp 2022 Homework Assignment 2

Since last week, you should have a clear idea of what your goals are for this year’s Summer Camp! Now it’s time to figure out how these themes can help you focus your goals further.

  • Open your Summer Camp Pledge from last week and re-read your goals and motivations.
  • Now it’s time to think about how the themes might fit into what you’re creating. This might expand on these themes in your world, and may even link to pre-existing articles in your world you can reference when you get to this point, to help you spawn new ideas!
    • If you’re building in a preexisting setting, read through your meta and your previous work.
    • If you’re building a new setting, I recommend filling out the meta to guide your worldbuidling!
  • Now, add a short paragraph to your Summer Camp Pledge about how these themes might connect to your world setting and your goals.
  • Post your updated pledge Summer Camp Pledge article in the comments to this blog!

Are you part of the Homework Club?

One of the highlights of Summer Camp is the community, which comes together to pour their creativity on World Anvil and our community channels! If you want to be part of the Homework Club, tune in to the Homework Club streams every Sunday in June and July! We’ll be live on our Twitch channel at 7pm UK/11am Pacific.

If you want to show off your participation to Summer Camp, we have some graphics you can use in your World Anvil world or in social media:

Summer Camp Pledge Document cover

Summer Camp participation Twitter banner

Download all participation graphics and the community streaming pack! You’ll find logos, stickers, bannersโ€”anything your heart desires!

Summer Camp 2022 is sponsored by GacuCon, Norse Foundry, and Kobold Press

Big shout out to our amazing sponsors, GACUCon, Norse Foundry, and Kobold Press! They make it possible to offer so many prizes to celebrate your awesome creativity! Check them out and give them some love!