To the team at Funcom tasked with fashioning The Secret World's... world, this isn't a hypothetical question, but a practical one. In a new developer blog post, Lead Content Designer Joel Bylos returns to share a behind-the-scenes view of how a game world is made.
Bylos says that there are four aspects to world-building: identifying purpose, research, building flow, and prototyping and production. Because The Secret World takes place on our planet in the here-and-now, the team has a reference point to begin, but layers a "secret history" on top of it. Bylos explains by saying, "This is the history of an area as only a member of The Secret World can experience it; the footprints of the secret societies and their past conflicts; the truth behind the local myths and legends; the echoes of ancient magic and forgotten rituals."
Of course, it's one thing to design something what you think is interesting and fun -- it's another to see if it works out in practice. All of this planning on paper is just the first stage of getting it in the game, which Bylos promises will come in an upcoming post.