Monthly Archives: February 2017

Details, Details

I’ve been trying to prepare for my studies at BYU-Idaho online, now that I’ve been admitted. I have transcript evaluations for four of the five schools I have attended, so I have an idea of what I need to take. Unfortunately, fewer than I would like of my credits transfer to courses that are both offered online and apply to majors I am interested in completing. I have worked about halfway through a new student checklist, but I don’t get to register for another month yet.


For the Knowledge base, I have made significant progress in working the histories of Egypt, Persia, and Turkey back into prehistory and antiquity. This gives me better access to Middle Eastern peoples.


I’ve been thinking of using history as inspiration for fiction writing, with real places populated by entirely fictional peoples, I’m dabbling at creating fictional tribes set in appropriate places, and starting from prehistoric times and working forward. Some of this
may branch into alternate history.
I find verisimilitude highly important in a story, so I’ve been trying my hand at creating maps to go along with them. Rather than drawing them freehand or with a graphics editor, I’ve been using Campaign Cartographer 3+ from ProFantasy. I’ve been wrestling trying to learn the tools and I’m making progress. One of my ideas has been to use images from Google Earth, and then trace and place various terrain features.
One of the recurring places is Africa, where humankind is thought to originate. I’ve tried several times to pick a location, but my choices have been more or less arbitrary. My latest attempt is around lake Caddabassa, on the Awash river in Ethiopia. There are several factors yet to consider, which I may discuss in a future post.


One of the techniques I have been thinking of for some time for world generation is to begin with a rid of semi-randomly determined elevations. A hex grid seems to work best. I pick an origin, and determine the elevation (or depth) of neighboring grids, and work outward from there. The next thing is to begin developing a drainage and contour map, starting from the highest points, and working toward lower ones. Once I have found the water flow, I can then place vegetation, then animals, then communities.

Once a gamer

I mentioned here that I was applying to BYU-Idaho for their on-line degree program.
I got an e-mail notice that I have been admitted, for Spring semester. I don’t get to register until March, but I made it in.


While I was in high school, I used to watch friends playing wargames during lunch hour and after school: “Alexander” was one, “Wooden Ships and Iron Men” and “Panzerblitz” was another. I didn’t own any of them family couldn’t afford it, and I wasn’t good enough friends with any of the players, but I enjoyed watching. Afterwards, the family had a few;
“Outdoor survival”, and “Squad leader”, and I had “Air Force”.
Later, when I was at BYU, one of my distractions was a group that went down to a table in the Wilkinson Center (BYU’s student Union” and played “Dungeons and Dragons”. Later, after AD&D came out, I tryed my hand at worldbuilding and studied the manuals, although I didn’t have anyone to play with. A few years after that, Traveller had come out.

So, I like the challenge of worldbuilding. I’ve been taking advantage of PDF reprints of those games, as well as GURPS, and I have been doing more worldbuilding again. There is a tie to the knowledge base, since I have been playing with constructing simulations of the societies I have been studying. I’ve been looking at fiction reprinted in “Dragon” magazine, and thought “I can do better than that”. Or so I imagine.

So, as I go about worldbuilding, I’m also going about constructing stories for my fictional characters. I may have to do some aggressive filing off of the serial numbers, but I think I can do this.


For the Knowledge base, I have Iran worked back into antiquity. This is allowing me to take the Middle East in general along with it, which will fill in some important gaps in early history.