Know your limits. My next step was going to be the setting, ie the locations that I was going to use for my characters to wander around in. So, off I went to research procedurally generated maps. As it turns out, there is some great stuff out there, and one approach has even been used to generate a fantasy world atlas/travel guide for NaNoGenMo 2015. I duly downloaded the code, but of course it didn’t work because of unresolved dependencies. I looked further, and found other nice examples, and then realised I’ve gone down a rabbit hole. My main priority currently is to get something together that works, and procedurally generated maps with realistic climate models are not what I need to achieve that. Instead, I’m currently using a very simple map borrowed from a multi-player version of the 80s computer game Lords of Midnight. The system is flexible enough that it just needs a basic ASCII version of a map, so if I later get a procedurally generated one in the right format, it should work fine. A routine picks out points of interest, like villages etc, and assigns them names.
Names are another rabbit hole, so for now I use a prefab list that I created using some on-line name generators. I have a list of more names than I need, and just pick some randomly off there. Name generation is a sideshow for later.
And, November is finished now. I don’t actually have much to show, but have done a lot of reading and thinking about what I want to do. I will quietly continue chipping away at it, and perhaps will have something working by NaNoGenMo next year. So, more like NaNoGenYear!