Difference between revisions of "User:Donnamaw/Sandbox"

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(The World Is Lost)
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# Residential housing
# Residential housing
## The Flannery ✓
## The Flannery ✓
## Skald
## Skald
## Sydskald
## Mena
## Mena
## Tockleby
## Tockleby
Line 115: Line 116:
# ''"Wow I can't believe I'm really back"''
# ''"Wow I can't believe I'm really back"''
# Believe I'm really back
# Believe I'm really back
# Fix main arteries; parallel ways, better junctions & clean curves - remove unnecessary infrastructure
# Los Murallos
# Degridify some areas; break up north-south & east-west monopoly
# Tamarindian Rainforest
# Río Tamarin Basin
# Port Diarmid conversion to Barciña
## The Tamarindian Venice-on-Amazon
## Fix main arteries; parallel ways, better junctions & clean curves - remove unnecessary infrastructure
## Degridify some areas; break up north-south & east-west monopoly
## Railway lines
## Marocena - gateway to the north
# Ensenanza Branch Line Project
# Misión
# ...etc
= Deeper In: Sandbox Links =
= Deeper In: Sandbox Links =
[[User:Donnamaw/Sandbox/Skelling Diaspora|In-Character Sandbox - Skelling Diaspora]]
[[User:Donnamaw/Sandbox/Skelling Diaspora|In-Character Sandbox - Skelling Diaspora]]

Revision as of 12:26, 14 July 2019

IC-OOC: An article by User:Donnamaw

This is a work in progress. Well, I just started it, actually.

Welcome to my sandbox. I'd like to start with some thoughts on sandboxing. Well, it's more than that really, because I want to argue that the OGF world is lost. But we should not despair.

In this article I will look at the changes within OGF over time, the impossibility and therefore futility of attempting a whole-world history (read: role play) and the need to define the objectives of OGF if the initial plan to map a coherent world has gone to the dogs. Don't worry though, I will conclude that OGF is a wonderful place that deserves our love and constant attention, and can make every map-geek a happy map-geek.

The World Is Lost

How can it be otherwise?

The Commonians have won, despite our best efforts... there, anarchy rules, everyone gets to do what they want. It's a mad cornucopia of world-building visions (I quite like it, don't get me wrong - imagine being a Cortez, a Livingstone, an Amundsen or a Shackleton in that insane country...) But that's the nature of the whole site, right? Someone signs up tomorrow, they have their own agenda, their own ideas and plans, their own little (or stupendously big) country they want to build. The really creative ones may even discover OGF with a fictional country already mapped and storied, in their head, on paper, on the internet somewhere else. Every day then, there is a cacophony of individual world-building intentions hitting the map. Some will want to work together, yes; some won't; everyone wants their individual ideas mapped and, in the case of the wiki, written. It is open geofiction: all ideas are welcome. In theory.

The real world is also a patchwork of interconnected nation states and histories, but of course the timeline is the same for everyone. The newest countries - South Sudan, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Timor-Leste - didn't materialise out of nowhere. They already have a map, infrastructure, and history. They know (approximately) what they were a century ago, a millenia ago.

OGF cannot replicate this because it would need a fixed community to write and - crucially - protect the history, the backstory, of the world. Assuming this had been done at some point, it would then need every other user who comes along to fit in neatly with that backstory, and to hell with their own fancy pre-OGF ideas. That is a moot point anyway because it was never done. By luck or design there are some great early nations (in OGF's real time line of creation) that also serve as solid influencers of languages and histories in the OGF fictional timeline - but everyone is free to ignore any of that, and many do. Now, it would be impossible to change that without a radical overhaul, in which many users, nations, and stories would be decimated for what would have to be a totalitarian backstory creation process. Probably, almost certainly, couldn't be done.

So the world is lost. History is patchy and contradictory at best; downright non-existent or at least completely unbelievable at worst. Verisimilitude breaks down the further you zoom out, metaphorically speaking.

But I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Actually that's all perfectly fine, unless you are OGF's equivalent of a one world, one history sort of person. Then it's going to be tough on you.

"Wait, I'm confused. Is this article saying OGF is all gone to sh*t and can't be fixed, in which case what is the point of the article? Or is this article saying everything is mad and wonderful and doesn't need fixing, in which case what is the point of the article?"

Well, actually what I want to propose is a system of organisation that tackles both ends of that spectrum, the light and the dark. Nothing is terminally ruined, everything can be improved. Here's my idea...

Cards On The Table

Tamarindia, version 1.0

Yes, I was here before, when the world was younger (but by no means in it's infancy) and I was keen to contribute to world history. Did you know Tamarindia won two football world cups, was the founding nation of the Sixth International, had several equivalents of nobel prize winners, sponsored people's revolutions and funded left-wing states all over the world as a model of socialist success, was basically a vast force for good and tremendously important? No? Well of course, all that rubbish has been quite rightly erased from history; it was simply propaganda put up by the Ministry for Overwikification. What I'm saying is, in the section that follows, where I make criticism of the impossibility of a coherent world, I put my cards on the table: I contributed with some enthusiasm to the incoherency. After a long break, upon return and seeing new Tamarindians vying every day for global supremacy and a universal coherency, I can see that I was wrong, in my own opinion. But it's ok to change your mind.


What is real, what is not, and why.


Templates for a Reorganised Future

...and other tentative ideas.

Firstly, I have published two versions of a wiki article on Skellingshaven, a small city which I am very pleased with, using each of the two voices: in-character and out of character. Hopefully they speak for themselves.

  1. OOC Skellingshaven : what on OGF-earth was I thinking?
  2. IC Skellingshaven : a nation forged by dwarves with impossibilium hammers and nourished by raven droppings. (Not really, but even so...)

I would propose this model for a reconfigured OGF wiki - where the surface level is a technical record of the fictional map - how users made their maps: what they were aiming for; mapping highlights; general principles and a summary of the philosophy behind it; technical challenges overcome; points of interest - from a mappers point of view. Thus creating a wiki that becomes much more of a guidebook of technique for new mappers. Underneath that, within user's sandboxes, any level of in-character information on their nation, which sits almost independently of the mapping and of others' world views. Free to either collaborate on a widely-agreed world timeline, or simply to imagine a different world in which their one nation has the definitive history of nations: almost a multiverse of alternative histories. Because this sits in the sandbox region of the wiki, it does not represent a global view which can only, as stated above, be unified in the objective to map well, to map creatively, and to map realistically upon an Earth-like world.

I might go further...

In Conclusion

The TL;DR section

Technical terms:

  1. IC, or in-character, is the fictional world factbook information on a fictional nation
  2. OOC, or out of character, is the factual information provided by users to explain how a nation was mapped

Summary of argument:

  1. We will never be able to create a unified world history or persistent world view (IC creation)
  2. Actually, we came here to map, first and foremost
  3. The only unity of purpose we can achieve is to map well (OOC creation)
  4. The wiki should reflect OOC as the priority
  5. Lots of good OOC articles will create a helpful guide to new mappers on how to think as a cartographer
  6. The diaries should have done this but, meh
  7. Most everyone loves to write IC but abilities, interests and cooperative skills are variable
  8. ...so everyone should be free to write what they want IC'ly, because it's fun
  9. ...but let's keep this in the sandboxes where it is less representative of the purpose of OGF
  10. And some other conclusions once I've finished

Other Articles

...links will go here...

My Great Big Impossible To Do List

This is for me, not you.


  1. Residential housing
    1. The Flannery ✓
    2. Skald ✓
    3. Sydskald
    4. Mena
    5. Tockleby
    6. Spit
    7. Coffin Wharf (Coffinby)
  2. Wharf Canal ✓
  3. Skelling Brewery ✓
  4. Food Production Park
  5. Street designations - living streets, pedestrianisation, one way systems
  6. Finessing curves
  7. Scale in docks & industrial areas
  8. Public baths & toilet facilities
  9. Bus stops & routes
  10. Audit & correction of labels


  1. Martenoya topography & coastal detail
  2. Additional labelling throughout


  1. Do a To Do List


  1. "Wow I can't believe I'm really back"
  2. Believe I'm really back
  3. Los Murallos
  4. Tamarindian Rainforest
  5. Río Tamarin Basin
  6. Port Diarmid conversion to Barciña
    1. The Tamarindian Venice-on-Amazon
    2. Fix main arteries; parallel ways, better junctions & clean curves - remove unnecessary infrastructure
    3. Degridify some areas; break up north-south & east-west monopoly
    4. Railway lines
    5. Marocena - gateway to the north
  7. Ensenanza Branch Line Project
  8. Misión
  9. ...etc

Deeper In: Sandbox Links

In-Character Sandbox - Skelling Diaspora