Plans and Resolutions for 2023

I am hoping that 2023 is the year when I am ready to consider publishing my first bits of the World of Cartyrion. But before that can happen, I need to take care of a few things. The most obvious is to complete the publications themselves, but more on that in a bit.

The other major thing I need to focus on is to get my world landing page cleaned up so that new visitors arriving there are enticed to explore further, while at the same time, repeat visitors can navigate to detailed information quickly and confidently. In order to get some ideas on what this should look like, I decided to use this Challenge to investigate world landing pages of other worldbuilders. Most, but not all are of Sage level, hence likely to be interested in some form of monetization (as I am).

Worlds and Authors to Check Out

I am going to try and focus on finding good examples of world homepages, primers, and introductions. I need to work on these areas of my own world, so seeing how others tackle these things will be informative. I have selected 10 worlds and their authors that grabbed my attention when I dropped onto their world home page. The selection process was random, driven by use of the Discover | Worlds option (top, left), then picking genres similar to my own (specifically High-Magic Fantasy, Low-Magic Fantasy, and Dark Fantasy)

My selected worlds and authors are:
The homepage contains a very brief intro/primer, but it generates a lot of questions, and there don't seem to be answers available. This may be a very new world, as there are not a lot of articles in it. (Lesson: be prepared to provide answers to obvious questions!)
There is a good introduction on the world landing page, and an even better (slightly more detailed) Introduction article easily available from the Codex. Very similar concepts to Cartyrtion! Where questions are triggered, links usually provided for answers.
Tales of Veltrona
This world also has a good introduction and landing page - and a well organized codex. It appears to be a world built for storytelling, not RPG, so there's no "player primer", but what's there is great for its purpose.
A good introduction right on the world page obliquely but obviously suggests that this is a campaign setting world for 5E. But it's also the basis for a whole raft of short stories! Unfortunately, there was no independent introduction or primer (and hence no place to leave a comment!) Otherwise, the homepage was clean and crisp, though.
World of Stendaaris
This is another RPG world. It provides some player primer-type information right on the world homepage, but doesn't provide a broad enough introduction to get me interested. Visually, the homepage is concise and well laid out, though. It needs a "grabber"... and more of a primer... and more of an introduction.
The Savage Woods
I'm not sure whether it's for RPG or writing. The landing page is rather minimalist; it's got a nice, grabby "elevator pitch", but no primer or introductory overview article to expand on it (or to leave a comment on!). There are lots of clickies for info on critters, locations, etc., but no guidance on where to get started. Overall, it's very crisp and clean, but a bit too minimalist for me.
This world is definitely for RPG, and is also definitely a work-in-progress. There's a nice elevator pitch to hook interested players, but the linked player information doesn't provide a lot of answers. After piquing my interest, I'm not given enough information to decide whether to pursue that interest or not.
This world is defiintely for creative writing. It's another world with a great elevator pitch on a clean, concise landing page, but no clear direction on where to go next for more info on the world. There's a level of detail missing between the landing page overview and the categorized detail information linked on the homepage.
Erlyse (Wayward Saga)
This landing page suffers from almost exactly the opposite problem of several prior worlds. The information on the landing page would be a great "read this intro for more information" article... but when landing on the homepage, I see a wall of text, and there's nothing there to tell me why I would want to read it! Even after reading it, I still don't know a lot about the world. Is it medieval? modern? future? There's "magic"... I think... or is it science/energy?
I know it's for an RPG immediately. I know it's medieval and has magic immediately. The "grabby" elevator pitch is pretty good. From there, I can explore either Player information, or more encyclopedic world information - also good! Digging deeper reveals some gaps, but the organization and approach are excellent.

Lessons Learned from Other Worlds

After this tour, I realize that - at least for me - the ideal landing page experience consists of a homepage with a good visuals, and a short, grabby "elevator pitch" to pique my interest. But then, there needs to be an obvious place to go for the next level of detail - maybe even one or two place to go (e.g. player information; world information) The bottom half of the landing page needs to be carefully curated as well - the default jumble of ToC, timelines, maps, recent articles, etc. can get really messy and detract from appearance without this curation.

As I redesign the landing page for Cartyrion, it is this desired experience that I will make every attempt to provide for folks that come to visit my world.

Plans for 2023

My main objectives for the upcoming year are to get the Feywood Bestiary and Campaign Setting material completed. These materials will ultimately live in two formats: the "Wikipedia" format that World Anvil lends itself to, and a ready-for-print format for publication as ebooks or "real" books. But the first step is to get all the words written and organized!

Also, in light of recent developments and concerns regarding the future ability to license products for the most popular rulesets in our RPG pursuits, I have decided to abandon formal compatibility with those rulesets. Cartyrion will continue to be a setting usable by Gamemasters in any game setting they wish, but I won't be providing the statblocks anymore. I will, however, be developing a ruleset and providing statblocks that the Old School Renaissance (OSR) movement will find useful!. Conversion and cleanup of the world will be a major task this year.

Simultaneously, I need to start growing an audience, and that requires an attractive and catchy world home page. I've been fighting with this for over a year now, and am still far from happy with its current state. It needs to be cleaned up and made to function as an attraction - soon!

Personal Resolutions

A few resolutions related to work habits...
  1. I will make an effort to keep up the #Dungeon23 Challenge by creating a dungeon room description every day. Whether or not they're posted into WorldAnvil daily or not, they will all eventually make their way to The Forgotten Academy.

  2. I will better organize my work time and play time schedules. I will work towards getting myself onto a closer to "full time" schedule for creative work. This is my chosen job now... I need to treat it as such.


Please Login in order to comment!
Jan 17, 2023 17:30 by TJ Trewin

Really exciting goals! I hope you have an excellent and inspiring year of worldbuilding :D

Journals of Yesteryear

Jan 18, 2023 13:26 by Bob O'Brien

Thanks! It's going to be an.... interesting... year for me, and for the rest of us in the TTRPG hobby space. Best of luck to you as well!

Check out my latest efforts:
Laurels & Loot is a new, lightweight TTRPG rules system that hearkens back to the early days.
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