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Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

How's the interest for a Worldbuilding site?

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I would like to propose a Worldbuilding Q&A site. This site would be similar to Worldbuilding SE and would be ideal for anyone creating a world, including: writers, game designers, and anyone else looking to fact-check the plausibility of their creations.

The website is primarily geared around:

  • Checking to see if a given scenario is realistic/plausible
  • Asking what would realistically happen in a given scientific scenario (based on supplied/known/theoretical science, not pure speculation).
  • Asking how a desired effect/scenario can be achieved scientifically, with a given level of technology/biology

I for one used Worldbuilding extensively in the days before 'the incident', and I would love to have an alternative where I can pose my ideas and see if they are realistic before I include them in my writings.

Note: Worldbuilding by its nature blurs two lines: one is between what belongs on worldbuilding and what belongs on writing. The other is between questions that help others and questions which apply only to you. If we create this site, special attention should be given to the guidelines section in these two areas.

Since I'm no longer on SE, I don't have a group, but I'm sure others would be interested in this, specifically creative writers, game designers, and people interested in scientific application to theoretical scenarios.

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10 comments

You might be interested in this Speculative Science proposal, which is from other (ex-)WB members, but aims for a smaller scope (more scientific = less subjective posts AFAICT). It also looks like the proposal being able to launch quite soon, so you might be interested in watching this post. luap42 😷‭ about 1 year ago

@luap42 Thanks for the link. I went over by the proposal. 'Speculative Science' isn't exactly what I'd look for when looking for a worldbuilding Q&A. Thomas Myron‭ about 1 year ago

@Thomas it started out as "WB, but without the magic complications". I see you've found that proposal now and I'm very interested in your input in shaping it. I think it does much of what you're looking for, though maybe not the "plotting" questions ("what would happen" can run quite a gamut). Monica Cellio‭ about 1 year ago

@MonicaCellio Yes the plotting questions can be difficult. It's the difference between asking what could happen and what will happen, based purely on science/logic. I'll clarify that. Thomas Myron‭ about 1 year ago

I think "what could happen, based purely on science/logic", fits Speculative Science. We're in the process of importing data there now, after which we'll write some custom scope help and meta posts and stuff (reflecting the discussions here). I think it will meet your needs -- and if not, please use that site's meta to raise issues so we can all work together to clarify or adjust. I hope we'll see you there! Monica Cellio‭ about 1 year ago

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3 answers

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Our existing Scientific Speculation mostly covers what would be on-topic at Worldbuilding stack exchange etc. The site can also do with more attention. So rather than to launch a new community, I would strongly recommend to go over to that site's meta and raise discussion there.

If you can find a case for a "worldbuilding" question that somehow would be off-topic, then perhaps that site could do with an additional category for more subjective questions? It already has a Rigorous Science category which is supposedly the one that you should use when you don't want subjective answers but answers backed with sources and evidence. So the default already ought to be "subjective questions tolerated".

For questions about "storybuilding", creating fiction, fantasy worlds and similar, there's https://writing.codidact.com/ where such questions are likely to be well-received.

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1 comment

The Rigorous Science divide on Scientific Speculation is not so much subjective allowed vs disallowed, as the level of rigor wanted in answers. One could perhaps imagine a subjective question about, say, psychology, where answers are backed by scientific refs. Of course, a poorly written question is more likely to be subjective as written, and if you're asking of others to spend a lot of effort to provide proper refs but don't do the corresponding work yourself, that might make people downvote. Canina‭ about 1 month ago

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Please use this post to indicate your interest in helping to build this community. You can either edit this post (if you have the edit ability on Meta) or comment and someone else will edit it into the post.

Please indicate if you expect to be a casual or more active participant. If you anticipate primarily asking or primarily answering questions, please indicate that. If you have particular expertise, either in the topic as a whole or specific areas, please say so. We're asking these questions so we can get a sense of the community being built and whether there are important gaps.

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3 comments

I am active on WB.SE, and would expect to be similarly active here. I'd like to see more detail on the proposal though. For example, what is "realistic" and what is "plausible" here in the real world may be entirely different from what are "realistic" and "plausible" in an invented world. Likewise, a "scientific scenario" may be quite different in a different kind of world. So, what are the focus & the limitations here? What is our scope of practice? (Good to see you again Monica!) elemtilas‭ about 1 month ago

Hi @elemtilas‭ - good to see you here. Scientific Speculation (which is narrower than Worldbuilding) launched after this proposal was made (I think), but yes, there's WB scope that wouldn't fit there. Anybody is welcome to help build out the scope for a community proposal or an existing community. If you want to discuss SciSpec's scope I'd suggest their meta; if you want to help refine this proposal you could post an answer here. Monica Cellio‭ about 1 month ago

While I'd probably peek in at SciSpec, I suspect I'd be more interested in the content here. Will give this some thought and post a separate response. elemtilas‭ about 1 month ago

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The Other Side of the Moebium
It looks to me like Speculative Science codidact forum is going to claim the scientific side of the geopoetical coin. This is good (though I really don't get the name -- speculative science speaks to me of what the future has in store for real world science). I'd like to propose that Whatever This Forum Is Going To Be Called take up the artistic side of the same coin.

WB.SE seems to focus a lot on general science and I notice that a lot of queries get comments essentially along the lines of "your scenario is implausible, because that's not reality works". Well, duh. Querent isn't asking about reality -- she's asking about a fictional world! That forum also seems to slightly downplay art and to more than slightly downplay creativity. Which is really kind of counterintuitive!

There is currently some beginnings of a discussion on storybuilding as a legitimate part of worldbuilding (I don't mean character development or plot determination, but rather, how the fictional world and the developed character interact to form the plot). And there has long been discussion and some tension on what constitutes "opinion based" queries.

I think we could distinguish this forum from both WB.SE and from SS.CD by embracing and treating seriously the fanciful, the opinion based, the artistic, the intuitive, perhaps even the literary. If SS.CD is taking science in worldbuilding seriously, then why not take art in worldbuilding as seriously?

Lots of questions at WB.SE seem to be really "basic", if you take my meaning. Like "can I have a unicorn cavalry in a Civil War setting". I'd like for this forum to bring that up a few notches. Explore the hows and whys, the wherefores and hownows. Consider the choices made as matters of art: what are the underlying meanings and significations? How do these choices mesh and create a deeper world? Where do we touch the transcendentals of goodness, truth and the beauty through geopoetical arts?

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2 comments

This is an interesting idea; a creative community could build a different kind of Q&A community, with other types of content being first-class elements alongside it. When you have a chance, could you maybe add a few sample questions that you envision this community hosting? Subjective isn't automatically bad; a community just needs to work out how to manage it. Some examples would help in thinking about that. Thanks. Monica Cellio‭ about 1 month ago

Indeed not! Subjective is what I've been trying to gently promote over on WB.SE and I think with some success, given the fairly rigid Q&A model they use. elemtilas‭ about 1 month ago

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