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World Building and Transmedial Narrative

Prof. Garrison LeMasters

IMS 229B | fall 2020


This course explores the mechanical, procedural, political, and aesthetic principles of world-building — the practice of fashioning rich, engaging, and persistent worlds that scale over a range of media.

Class meetings will alternate between lectures and workshops. Surveys will include afrofuturism, the Codex Seraphinianus, Moebius, and the Dunes of Herbert, Lynch, Jodorowsky, and Villeneuve. Workshops will cover cartography and map-making, game mechanics and pervasive games, speculative evolution, architecture & infrastructure, costumes, the procedural imagination, palimpsests and conlangs, and user-generated content [UGC].


Students will collaborate to curate and catalog world-fragments across diverse media. During the second half of the semester, students are invited to work independently or collaboratively toward completing a more fully-realized world-model.

The course will make use of various tools for creative collaboration and documentation. Most course materials available in both English and High Valyrian.