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Tracker
03-04-2014, 10:29 AM
Hello:
I am currently in the middle of a World Building Project. The world is 1.4 times the size of earth. The mapping challenge alone is daunting at times. Several years ago I would keep important to trivial information about a town, city, region, world, etc. in a txt file or a word processor file. Ok, so this is going back 30 years. I still have some of those files that have been imported over from the Commodore computer to a windows and a unix box. I am a database person and not a spread sheet person per say. However since I do not have the time to create a word building database that work for my needs, I have been using a spreadsheet to keep track of information on the world I am working on. Place names, ruler names, a time line of geological events, world events, etc. I was wondering what if any system, program, note book, etc that the rest of the members use to keep track of world data. I am also always looking for a better solution. This is why I have gone from txt files to a spreadsheet.

Tracker

Midgardsormr
03-04-2014, 02:00 PM
I used Microsoft Binder for a while to organize my documents. It was a little unwieldy since each item was actually a discrete Word doc. Johnn Four at Roleplayingtips likes Milenix MyInfo. I have Microsoft OneNote, which I keep meaning to explore, but I haven't gotten around to it.

There are also quite a few people who use a wiki for that kind of thing. Obsidian Portal is a popular choice for worldbuilding and roleplaying games.

Raptori
03-04-2014, 03:01 PM
I tend to use a combination of .txt files and spreadsheets arranged in a ridiculous number of folders. I'm tempted to start a private wiki though, the current situation is a bit of a nightmare sometimes...

Andrew Coen
03-04-2014, 07:27 PM
I used Microsoft Binder for a while to organize my documents. It was a little unwieldy since each item was actually a discrete Word doc. Johnn Four at Roleplayingtips likes Milenix MyInfo. I have Microsoft OneNote, which I keep meaning to explore, but I haven't gotten around to it.

There are also quite a few people who use a wiki for that kind of thing. Obsidian Portal is a popular choice for worldbuilding and roleplaying games.

OneNote is an excellent tool for this sort of thing. My current world building projects are handed on a a shared OneNote. We use word docs and make our notes there and drag finalized stuff directly in. Plus I can just drag images in and run with it. I've been heavily tempted to actually buy a Windows tablet so I can access them and work on them from anywhere in the house

Tracker
03-06-2014, 09:09 PM
Hello:
Thank you for your input. It has helped.

Tracker

vorropohaiah
03-08-2014, 12:41 AM
its generally google drive for me now, though I keep various backups. I love google drive because i can access it from any device and can edit things online. all changes are instantly saved and become immediately available on any other devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, pc). this is something i find invaluable.

Other than that i have a gigantic hyperlinked .doc file (600,000+ words) that's indexed and alphabetised like an encyclopaedia. Every thing new i add to the world i include here.

of course things like notes, ideas and things that aret polished go in their own documents generally divided in things like 'place ideas', 'object ideas', character ides', 'history ideas', 'map ideas', etc. and those are the things that go into the google drive.


I tend to use a combination of .txt files and spreadsheets arranged in a ridiculous number of folders. I'm tempted to start a private wiki though, the current situation is a bit of a nightmare sometimes...
I've thought of that for my own world but the amount of hyperlinking involvd and the sheer amount of individual entries i have at the moment is really putting me off.

Raptori
03-08-2014, 01:40 AM
For high level concepts (i.e. rough initial notes for stuff like how civilisations work) I'm going to try Free Mind (http://freemind.sourceforge.net/), which is supposed to be quite good for mind maps. The text/word docs I've got are basically a load of bullet points - this program should make it easy to organise those in a hierarchy (which can be collapsed/expanded at will). It'll be interesting to see how well it works :)


its generally google drive for me now, though I keep various backups. I love google drive because i can access it from any device and can edit things online. all changes are instantly saved and become immediately available on any other devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, pc). this is something i find invaluable.

Other than that i have a gigantic hyperlinked .doc file (600,000+ words) that's indexed and alphabetised like an encyclopaedia. Every thing new i add to the world i include here.

of course things like notes, ideas and things that aret polished go in their own documents generally divided in things like 'place ideas', 'object ideas', character ides', 'history ideas', 'map ideas', etc. and those are the things that go into the google drive.


I've thought of that for my own world but the amount of hyperlinking involvd and the sheer amount of individual entries i have at the moment is really putting me off.

For the wiki, what we really need is something similar but more appropriate. The key would be an internal link system more sophisticated than manual hyperlinks. The way I'd want it to work is:

• You type (or paste) your info into a text input.
• Whenever there's a link you want to insert, click the "link" button (similar to the hyperlink insertion system on forums like this one).
• The resulting popup would have at least two options: internal link and hyperlink (which you'd only use for external files and pages). Another possible option could be internally hosted files that you might want to link to (such as maps).
• Selecting the internal link option would show multiple levels of filtering, allowing you to select whichever page you want to link to (Category > Subcategory > Page kind of thing, for example Locations > Countries > Korachan).
• Once you're done selecting the right page (which would probably take seconds due to the nice organisation), it'd insert a token similar to bbcode.

• Key to this would be the ability to add new, empty categories, subcategories and pages as you do this. That means you wouldn't be limited to linking to pages that already exist, and would create pages which would then be ready and waiting for you to complete later on.
• If you don't specify text for the link, it'd show a special short name for that page (which would be defined within the options for that page rather than stored in the text you're currently writing, "Korachan" for example); this would mean any changes to names would be reflected across the system after being made in the one file that refers to that name. You'd only specify text if you want to say something like "information on Vorropohaiah's country of birth can be found here" instead of interrupting the flow with the name.
• You could use find & replace to replace every instance of a name in a long piece of text with the token to save time.

Another big issue I have with wikis is that they look hideous. Definitely would have to do something about that too :P

If I didn't already have multiple big projects on I'd consider making it... It'd be an incredibly useful web app.

vorropohaiah
03-08-2014, 03:07 AM
that would be great and i agree with the general layout and adverts of normal wikias - i had actually started one a few years ago, though it never got far - just a handful of entries, and i got discouraged by the manual tediousness of hyperlinking each entry so i gave up.

Raptori
03-08-2014, 03:53 AM
Thinking about it, it wouldn't even be that difficult to make... once I've finished making my current tech project I might make it as my next one. I'm really enjoying having two very different big personal projects (worldbuilding/writing as well as an online game) to work on in my spare time - whenever I'm not in the mood for one I'm generally in the mood for the other. I've literally done nothing but work either on those two or my "real" job for about two weeks now without losing enthusiasm for anything :)

Note to self: must stop hijacking threads... D:

Redrobes
03-08-2014, 05:27 AM
I'll take this opportunity to plug my app which is linked in my sig. I built ViewingDale for exactly this kind of purpose where it can embed and link up sets of maps in a zoom browser way. You can also attach links to the map for text files, video, pictures, music etc as well. So the idea is that you organize your information around the map. I.e. you zoom down to a village then to a house and attach a text file to that to describe it. You can also use the same link for multiple places so that you can link every single horse in the world to the text file containing horse movement rates and carrying capacities etc. Then next time you add a horse into the map you will get the link on it as well.

I have a video of that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qELcbKXdRm8) (alt link to same video (http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/Temp/CG/VD_Demo8/ViewingDale_x264.avi)) where you can zoom down and get a piccy of a person linked from the map.

Failing that I would recommend a wiki as the next best option but personally I think its a big gap between the usability of having the information directly attached to the map to one where you have to separately navigate to the wiki entry as well.

Raptori
03-08-2014, 07:43 PM
I tried out Free Mind - it's a really nice solution for creating mind maps, but it's not really appropriate when you have blocks of text. Shame really, it'd have been a familiar way to organise. For now I'm going to just adapt a mini website I made for work this week, shouldn't take long - I'll post some screenshots when I'm done, happy to provide the code (though the requirements of understanding html and having a server somewhere might be a bit of a barrier!) :)


I'll take this opportunity to plug my app which is linked in my sig. I built ViewingDale for exactly this kind of purpose where it can embed and link up sets of maps in a zoom browser way. You can also attach links to the map for text files, video, pictures, music etc as well. So the idea is that you organize your information around the map. I.e. you zoom down to a village then to a house and attach a text file to that to describe it. You can also use the same link for multiple places so that you can link every single horse in the world to the text file containing horse movement rates and carrying capacities etc. Then next time you add a horse into the map you will get the link on it as well.

I have a video of that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qELcbKXdRm8) (alt link to same video (http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/Temp/CG/VD_Demo8/ViewingDale_x264.avi)) where you can zoom down and get a piccy of a person linked from the map.

Failing that I would recommend a wiki as the next best option but personally I think its a big gap between the usability of having the information directly attached to the map to one where you have to separately navigate to the wiki entry as well.

Watched the vid and read a bit of the site, and I feel a bit ambivalent about it. It looks like it's got great performance and really smooth zooming, and I get the distinct impression it's a very well made piece of software. However, to me it looks more suited to rping itself than worldbuilding (though that could very easily be a false impression); there are a few things that appear to be missing from a worldbuilding point of view.

For example:
• How does it work with distortion due to map projections, and can you project the map onto a 3D globe instead of a flat rectangle?
• Can you use it to measure distances and areas?
• What happens if you rename linked files outside the program?
• Can you link between different text files?
• What about categorisation for ease of editing?

Obviously different people build worlds in completely different ways, so that list of issues is probably irrelevant to most people. I definitely agree with you that it makes a lot of sense to use an interactive map as the central hub for worldbuilding, just wondered how feasible it is. Currently, I have Google Earth for the 3D globe providing distance/area measurements (and G.Projector for exporting projected maps), and a load of disorganised crap for the text information - which I plan to organise asap. It's not ideal that they're separated from each other, but since I can open Google Earth on one screen to fly around the world at speed, and open my textual info on the other screen, it's hard to see a big efficiency gain from switching to ViewingDale.

Raptori
03-08-2014, 10:18 PM
That went pretty nicely :)

It's fully responsive (meaning it resizes and rearranges itself to work on whatever screen size you're viewing it on), and has a couple of buttons to make life easier: two to decrease/increase the size of text and one to invert the colours. The menu slides in and out on smaller screen sizes and is permanently visible on larger ones, and the items within the menu are collapsible.

I'm only linking to things in the menu on the left, which is one file that is inserted for all pages (i.e. no links within the text of each page itself). The text for each page is a .txt file containing html within a subfolder. It's simple and, for now, it works! If and when I develop it further I'll convert it to a database driven app, which would make it a lot more flexible and easy to manage, plus all the titles and the menu would be generated automatically.

Screenshots:

Large Screen (desktop)
Light / Dark
6217062171

Medium Screen (tablet)
Closed / Opened
6217262173

Small Screen (phone)
Closed / Opened
6217562174

vorropohaiah
03-09-2014, 01:01 AM
that looks pretty cool