Suppose the worldbuilding itself is an artistic creative effort, rather than just a means to write a good novel. People have asked about software for organizing information before. But I'm raising the question where the method in question is the publication mechanism as well.

There are indeed wiki sites for various popular franchises including Star Trek and Harry Potter. I'm thinking what I want would be classified as a "wiki", but with specific features.

It starts off with the author making the content. Others would not edit that, but I want people to be able to attach comments to specific points, not just to the bottom of the page as a whole. Think about reviewing tools in documents.

Eventually, when it (or some area) is finished, it can be released under a creative commons type licence and open those pages to editing by anyone. I expect it to have version history.

It should allow for formatting the content with bold and italic etc. but not limited to only that: a created style might need a custom font or color for example.

Any wiki allows for embedding pictures in some way, but what about navigating map content with pan and zoom? How do you post and edit such maps? Vector content in general, so CAD drawings can be exported to a vector format for posting, not huge or low-res bitmaps.

  • $\begingroup$ I've dabbled a bit with MediaWiki (wikipedia, wikia) a few years ago. IIRC, it allows you to do all that minus the vector edit thing. If you want to be able to navigate a map Google Map-style, there must be an API for that, but that would probably be an external link. Otherwise you can zoom on a vector image to your heart's content and navigate with the scrollbars. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 9:24
  • $\begingroup$ I thought mediawiki doesn't have comments attached to specific spots in the text. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ Talk pages are pages, so you can add subsections to them, you could for instance match the structure of the actual page. I don't know how automatizable it is though, and it'd be on a different page technically, but you can definitely organize them. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 10:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @AmiralPatate Open street map engine works with any tiles you may generate, although for some reason I had to write small server script for that(do not remember atm and I had to rush that time), but probably it could be done better. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 14:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As a web developer, I like this idea and would be interested in working on this project if it doesn't already exist. $\endgroup$
    – ckersch
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


Fractal Federation

While this website might not offer all of your mentioned features, it is at least a website that is designed to create worlds. It offers mainly Wiki-style pages that are categorized by universes, but can also be tagged with metadata.

Maybe ask the site maintainer whether they want to include any mechanism for display of maps and models?


World Pages

Each world could have its own wiki-like page, which would be under control of the world author. This page would have a display view and an edits/history view. In the display view, there would be no comments or history shown, while the edits view could contain suggested edits/comments to the page.

There would be no automatic inclusion mechanism for edits. Instead, the author of the world would be responsible for choosing whether or not to incorporate these edits. This would give the author the final word over their own world. Alternately, for a collaborative project, a main author could choose to give editing privileges to other worldbuilders, after which they could include edits into the page or make their own additions to the content.

Not all worlds would be in a 'published' state, however. In order to maintain a high level of quality in terms of world visible to the general public, a curation process would exist in which members would vote on whether a proposed world was sufficiently detailed to warrant its publishing. A 'no' vote could be required to have an explanation as to what would need to be added to a world for its publication. In order to facilitate the publication of worlds from more prolific authors, a reputation system, similar to what exists on stack exchange, could be implemented, for which a user with sufficiently high reputation could more easily publish worlds, either of their own design or submitted by someone else.


For web-based mapping, it would probably be best if the site included not only a way to import worlds created externally, but also to author new maps. A basic svg-based map making system could be used for authoring, the final version of which would be converted to SVG. The map making system could include layering and alternate views. This would allow an author, for instance, to create both physical and political maps of their world, and would allow a user the ability to toggle features like roads and environments on and off.

Further extending the mapping functionality, a mapping toolbox of web applications assisting in generating worlds (such as a fractal-based map generator) could be incorporated. These tools would allow a user to more easily generate maps for their worlds.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ the author of the world would be responsible for choosing whether or not to incorporate these edits. like a git pull request. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 17:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .