View Full Version : [WIP] Empire of Humankind Companion Book

05-01-2010, 06:03 PM
I have invented a new method of suicide. It's called Suicide by Workload. This is my proof-of-concept...

Okay, so, my original intention with my space chart map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9594-WIP-Empire-of-Humankind) was to put little template boxes with relevant information next to each planet . But as my ambitions grew, along with the complexity of my map, I could see that wasn't going to be an option. So I decided to put all that text into a separate document, with an entry for every one of the featured planets.
In similar fashion, the scope of this reference book expanded, after I realized that if I wanted to keep the details on each planet coherent, I'd have to place them in a pervasive universe. So, I now intend to make a companion book to go along with the map, with a fairly fleshed-out history of humankind, a detailed entry for every planet, and an insane amount of other hopefully interesting stuff.

As you can see by the (relative) lack of content, this is a work in progress (which it will probably stay forever), so I've only got about a third of the background story down, only a couple of planets detailed and some legend explained. More will hopefully come in the near future.

What I'd like people to do, if they are so inclined, is tell me if this is at all worth reading or if its just absolute drivel , as I will be more than happy to put this puppy out of its misery before it grows too big to handle, and also to point out any spelling mistakes, syntax errors and/or long-winded, barely readable sentence atrocities (which are a favorite of mine) that I might have committed. <- This being an example of one such.

Alright, I'm gonna go to bed now. Here it is:

05-01-2010, 07:57 PM
Wow. Having tried to do things like this in the past, I must say that this looks like a big awful amount of work :-)

I read superficially the story, sorry (it's late here too), so I can't give a truthful opinion on it. Anyway, my VERY humble opinion about this is that it's well written, but it lacks focus. It's like you're telling me a lot of things, but I don't know about what story. You're making a great effort in building a setting, but I'd be more interested in the story that motivated it. The setting is important and must be well built, but without a story, it's not alive.

This is not really about cartography, so feel free to continue by private message. Please, notice that I'm trying not to discourage you, just to help. You remind me a lot to myself, building worlds for stories that never are told because they got lost among the work for the setting. I've been there a lot of times. I even created some languages. By the looks of it, you could be doing that soon, too :-)

So, to finish, my point is that you seem that you already have a very clear idea of what the setting is. Now you should be writing your story, and the setting will reveal itself.

Sorry for the rant :-)

05-02-2010, 12:31 AM
This has given me inspiration to work on my own future history again. I love the directions you're going, and of course you KNOW I'm interested in reading more.

05-02-2010, 05:24 AM

Well, the work is intended as a proto-RPG setting, so I think the lack of an actual story is natural. The book and map is more like a frame from which you could make your own storyline. I'm aiming for something along the lines of this (http://issuu.com/mordheim/docs/calixis_sector), which is for the Dark Heresy RPG, set in the Warhammer 40K universe. But, I'm not an industry professional, and believe it or not, I've never played an RPG in my life (other than as video games, of which I have played A LOT! :P), so I'm just giving it my best shot, cause I like being creative, in the most nerdy way possible. :D
I did have aspirations of becoming an author, once, and I have a million stories, some more novel-worthy than others, bouncing around in my head, but you see, reality is a cruel mistress, so now I'm just doing this as a hobby, because it gives me the opportunity to vent my creative impulses on fellow nerds like you. And believe me, its a lot easier to make settings and maps like these, than it is to write a book!
But I will take your critique to heart, be sure of that, and I shall try to use it's awesome power only for the cause of good.


Good to know! :D

05-02-2010, 02:03 PM
A very cool and ambitious project! Are the planets made with the Lunarcell plugin? I've been doing something similar with my own project for the last 18 months and from personal experience it become a real headache to keep your facts straight and not have contradictory information, and by the looks of it you haven't had any problems there at all. I think the 'story' for lack of a better term will develop itself as you flesh it out.

05-02-2010, 04:31 PM
No, like I mention in the map thread, the planets are all done in Photoshop, simply by using the the Sphererize filter and some shading on a whole heck of textures that I get from different places. Some I've done myself, some are borrowed with permission from other people from the guild and some are... from the net.
As for the "facts", well I'm not that interested in listing arbitrary data for every planet, so if a certain characteristic, like atmospheric composition, has an effect on the planets inhabitant, I will explain that, but in prose, not in cookie-cutter templates. Now, keeping things coherent, that's the real challenge. :D

05-02-2010, 05:02 PM
Actually... some mental hospitals will allow you computer access.. so it may be your best bet for finishing this and many other great projects.. you won't even have to work! Great plan, I think you should go for it.. (0:

05-02-2010, 05:34 PM
So, you're saying I should have myself committed to the loony bin, just so I can be left alone and be free to work on this? What an awesome idea! I'll go expose myself to random people on the street right away... See ya!

05-02-2010, 05:57 PM
Good job on this project so far. I like the scope of it. Massive! Sounds like a good verse for some role-playing :)

05-03-2010, 02:15 AM
On second thought Daelin.. i give lousy advice... just make time to work on it.. (0:

05-18-2010, 08:31 AM
Another "print" of the book...

I seem to be having some problems with the images in the pdf. They look all distorted and ugly.
I use Microsoft Word to write the book, and insert the images, and then use CutePDF Writer to convert into .pdf. It converts the text just fine, but the images become distorted. Do any of you have any suggestions? How do you write pdf files?

05-18-2010, 10:46 AM
I use InDesign for all my dtp work - and that makes pdf's AND is the greatest program in the world ;) ... I only use word for simple letters, just not enough options in there. But if I didn't use InDesign I would use Acrobat Professional for pdf creation - but that costs money too...

07-27-2010, 07:46 PM
I plan on doing something like this, but with only one world. Like you I don't play the RPGs for which something like this is usually done, but I find world building to be very entertaining. Good work man, interesting read.

07-28-2010, 08:12 AM
@Daelin, Try Open Office. I think it is way better than word and has a feature to directly export as PDF. And it's free.

07-28-2010, 10:36 AM
I found this to be a very interesting read. Ambitious project, to be sure. But even if it's never finished, as long as you have fun working on it, go for it. You're doing quality work here.

07-31-2010, 03:31 PM
I second checking out OpenOffice, it's got a nice PDF exporter and lots of options. I haven't tried to use it for anything this fancy yet but it won't cost you anything but some time to attempt it.

08-05-2010, 08:39 PM
The new Microsoft Office 2010 has some really nice features in it...I don't know if that's what you have, but I absolutly love it...