6 Essential Websites for Fantasy and Sci-fi Worldbuilding, Part 2

Yesterday we covered three of the six--here are their companions to round out your worldbuilding toolkit.

You've built your world, planned your story, created your characters, drawn maps, built your timeline and opened up a treasure trove of beautiful photos with which to beautify it all.

Now for the parts that, while they may not be strictly necessary, they're certainly fun, and can give your readers visual aids with which to help your story come to life.

For Creating Coats of Arms, Banners and Seals: Worldspinner

Royal and noble houses in particular need coats of arms and sigils to display on their banners, seals and livery--how else is one supposed to know whose army marches on theirs or in whose domain one treads?

Worldspinner is a simple tool for creating these coats of arms. You can let the gods decide fate and generate them randomly, or create them from scratch following just four simple steps to include (or not include) shield shape, field colors and charge, division and ordinary.

The charge is your sigil and how many times it shows on the shield; division indicates how the field is divided up and into how many sections; the ordinary is the additional shape, such as a stripe or chevron, that you may or may not choose to include.

Each step is 100% self-explanatory, and the selection of colors and sigil designs is large. Shape, division and ordinary design choices are traditional and authentic, and you can toggle between displaying only historically traditional colors (white, black, indigo, blue, green, yellow and red) or including more modern choices (which adds metallics and additional shades of both colors and neutrals).

Your designs are downloadable as .png files, and you are free to use your designs commercially or non-commercially with attribution--all this needs to be is a non-intrusive acknowledgment somewhere on your site or product of where the images were created and including a link or citing the Worldspinner.com URL.

Worldspinner, as you may have guessed form the name, is also a complete worldbuilding resource. I have not used the worldbuilding features on the site, but taking a quick look around, it seems pretty comprehensive. I would recommend checking it out.

For Creating Family Trees: Canva

Canva can be a great alternative to FamilyGTG if you wish to create a more elaborately or uniquely designed family tree. It offers a number of formats to work with so you can make your design look exactly the way you want it to look.

Canva is used to create a number of things such as logos, infographics and flyers. From the home screen, search "family tree" and it'll take you right where you need to go, rather than sifting through all the available options (though if you do have social media posts, brochures, posters, or any other type of visual presentation to design, check out the rest of the site--options are limitless).

Your design menu, as well as examples of each option and your upload thumbnails, are all located to the left. Click on any image in the presentation to bring up an image options menu.

You are free to publish your designs, but be sure to check out the TOS--some images provided by Canva and its community require certain licenses to distribute. I get around this by only using images I've obtained from Pixabay (or created using Worldspinner, as in the example above).

For Drawing Floor Plans of Key Locations: Planner 5D

This is a just-for-fun one.

Planner 5D is primarily for designing real homes, but I use it for plotting my palaces.

Features are a bit limited with a free account (premium plans range from $9.99 to $49.99), but I've gotten by just fine with mine. What you see above was created without spending a dime: full color, a wide range of textures and patterns to choose from, and the ability to draw any shape room and view in 2D or 3D. Zoom in or out and click and drag to view and navigate.

You can add any number of floors to a project, and the amount of total floor space provided for each is huge. My sprawling castles fit within it with ample room to spare... okay, that's not entirely true, but that's my own fault.

So that's it! Click here, here, or here to see what else I recommend for your worldbuilding arsenal, check some of these apps and websites out and let me know how you like them!

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