Starting a shared world is definitely a challenge, might be daunting, and is hopefully rewarding. Depending on your goals, launching a world can be a relatively minor affair or involve months of preparation. [please read ‘What is a Shared Story World?‘ before continuing!]
Regardless of the nature of the world, reviewing the following considerations before getting too far down the road may save you time and money, as well as spark new ideas for your world. Bear in mind, however, these considerations are a starting place, not a final destination. Not every consideration will apply, and each world has its unique aspects.
And this is not a one-time exercise. If you map out these considerations at the beginning, it’s highly unlikely your original plan will ultimately be the one you implement over the long run. Like any project, your world will have its share of surprises – both good and bad – requiring adjustments along the way, if not outright improvisation.
But then, that’s one of the key differentiators of a Shared Story World, right?
The following considerations presume that you will be launching a world that exists primarily online and that you want to have a commercial element to it (e.g., you hope the world will provide revenue):
- Genre-specific properties
- Target v. Potential Audience(s)
- Scope of participation (characters, stories, geographies, mediums, etc.)
- Technology (services/apps/platforms)
- Submissions Criteria/Guidelines
- Submissions Process
- Editing Process
- Legal (copyright, trademarking, rev share, remix, terms, medium-specific terms, etc.)
- Commercial (IP, merchandising, etc.)
- World Bible/Wiki
- Community (communication, interaction, roles)
- Marketing (pre-launch)
- Marketing (post-launch)
- Piracy Policies
- World Stewardship
I’ll explore these considerations in more detail in future posts, but this list gives you a lot of items to consider before you launch a Shared Story World or are looking for ideas about where to take your existing Shared Story World.