Terra Fabula is an online game in which the players themselves fill in the story and world through writing. The base of that world is ‘an alternate version of the Dutch Golden Age, in which legends are reality and mythical creatures lurk in hidden places’. Each player invents one or more characters and, together with other players, writes about the meetings and adventures of their characters. Writing an adventure is rewarded with points, which can be used to create new characters and locations, which in turn offer new opportunities for adventures. Because of the open nature of the adventures, new players can jump in at any moment. The game is currently not active any more, but can still be found on my forums, Wereldwevers. The game itself is located here. It is, however, entirely in Dutch.
The game was my graduation project for Design for Virtual Theatre and Games in 2012. I had been interested for some time in the so called play-by-post role playing games on various internet forums, and the way in which participants write a story together. However, I hadn’t seen many games in which not just the characters, but also the world and storyline could be filled in by the players. I knew by experience that it wouldn’t work to let players start from scratch without any rules or handholds, so I wanted to invent a game system. My final presentation consisted not only of that system, but also of the results of more than two months of continuous playtesting.
An impression of my graduation exposition, with explanations of the game rules and a timeline and map of the adventures and places created by the players.
Because of the playtesters’ enthusiasm, I continued the game after my graduation with some improvements to both rules and usability. Terra Fabula has run successfully for years, albeit at a slower pace than during my graduation period. It is currently not being played any more, but the stories it has sprouted will remain with both me and the players for a long time to come.
14-7-2015 - New short story