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Worldbuilding with Playsets

Banes at 12:00AM, July 4, 2019

While rambling through youtube I saw some reviews of these playsets that caught my eye. They were for the old classic The Muppet Show.

I'm not sure how well known this show is these days; it's been a LONG time since it was popular (of course, I know it because my grandparents were big fans!)

Some of the figures they manufactured were really nice, sculpted to look exactly like the classic characters.

Anyway, what really surprised me were some of the playsets they made of the various sets on the show. If you're not paying attention, you don't know what's out there, I guess.

Of course, playsets exist for many popular series. The Simpsons did quite a few, I think. And I remember the Death Star and Millennium Falcon toys from way back.

They looked pretty phenomenal, with lots of care put into them, and some of these things are worth a fortune now. More importantly, looking at these playsets took me back to the show in a different way than just rewatching the episodes would have.

Since I've been working (slowly) on a series, I started thinking about what kind of playsets I would want to see. I started imagining what playsets would be made for MY world -

“oh! There could be a playset of the infirmary, with a table that straps a patient down, and with a wall that can be broken away when a dangerous threat busts through it…”

“how about a library with a bookshelf that slides over to reveal the secret laboratory inside…”

“This…special car that has this feature so my main character can…do this (avoiding spoilers for my future series)”

The point is, my imagining what these playsets would be actually gave me ideas for scenes, and scenarios, and problems for the characters to face. It started creating a world for this series. Some of the ideas would be ridiculously expensive and impractical - but luckily I don't actually have to produce them. This has been really fun, though, and helpful in solidifying my world and some of the things that are going to happen.

Other ways creators can do this kind of thing is drawing maps, and blueprints for important settings, and stuff like that.

But designing imaginary playsets is a fun, different idea for worldbuilding and scene building. We'll see what ideas it leads to!

What kind of toys and playsets would you make for your series?


(p.s. if you're looking for Christmas gift ideas, you could grab this for me. I saw it for sale for about 1200 bucks)



Ozoneocean at 1:28AM, July 6, 2019

Hahaha, for some reason I find that thinking of my scenes in 3D space is really stressful! It's like ypu've already got the fictional person developed and floating around in your head, with their backstory , emotions, style of thinking etc. Now you enlarge that creation to have an environment to exist in and the details multiply exponentially! All the history and logic behind things and the supporting characters needed to maintain it... Nightmare!!!

ShaRose49 at 1:51PM, July 4, 2019

Idk—The Secret Police HA would maybe make a good playset, when I get a chance to show more of it and redraw some of the previous rooms. Otherwise, currently this story is set in a fictional Canadian city on the coast. So maybe just a standard city playset would do it

usedbooks at 3:57AM, July 4, 2019

Used Books is set in a fictional city and has a number of recurring locales. Some are tied to characters and are designed to reflect those characters' personalities -- like Jack's yacht, Raidon's manor, Fudo's cabin, Mike's apartment, the castle. Others are more standalone like the University, Twilight Inn, Susie's Cafe, the police station, the bookstore (the star of the series!). Using a WordPress add-on at my paid site, I can tag location on each page, which helps me organize, reference, and keep my settings consistent.

usedbooks at 3:50AM, July 4, 2019

Recurring settings are like characters. They need to have personality, mood, consistency, history, and details. I draw sketches, maps, and blueprints for my settings. (I have also built a few of them in The Sims 3, which is like playsets except the dog can't chew on them.)

bravo1102 at 3:35AM, July 4, 2019

Accessorize your world. Sure you got a character but what stuff does he have? What would Batman be without his utility belt and underground lair and crime lab?

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