While working on the characters for a story you can’t just give a list of attributes like you would in, say, a DnD character sheet where each person is just a string of eye color, hair color, race, class, alignment, etc. But what does the brown eyed, green haired, half dwarf, chaotic neutral bard do on the weekends when he isn’t out killing kobolds? What do his other half-dwarf friends like to listen to at the local pub? What stuff is popular for the characters at the given point in time that will also have an affect on their personality?
There is more to made up characters than a laundry list of titles and personality traits. When you grew up you were subjected to different sports, music, and fads just like anyone else in history. For my story, being set in the future, I have to come up with not just new governments and politics but hobbies and pop culture as well. Similar to world building in a high fantasy setting, but just not as intricate, creating a culture involves making up hobbies for your characters to be into.
Hobby 1 – Cars
There have always been folks interested in modifying cars so this one was an easy thing to choose. However being it’s in the future the cars don’t run on gas as per government regulations. Farms and businesses can apply for a license to run gas powered machinery for remote locations as well as vintage car owners given they don’t daily drive the thing. So with electric cars you can’t have turbo builds and custom gear tuning etc. Or can you? Remember that electric motors can be swapped out for faster ones, bigger batteries, and something I made up where an analog shifting controller is installed in a vintage ex-gas car to mimic the act of manual transmission in a gearless vehicle. For fun.
Hobby 2 – Skates
Now, realistically it would be something like electric bikes or mopeds but I felt it would be a little too much like Akria to have guys on little fancy techno motorcycles driving through the city. I also felt that it was time to bring inline skates back into picture and give them fun light up wheels or some kind of cool new mechanic to roll on. Who knows, but instead of having them slip over to work on those little kids’ scooter things wasn’t going to be an option in my story. Techno rollerblades will be a thing in the story but probably not have an entire scene about them, it will be as simple as ordering a new set of bearings or wheels or something minor. No scenes from Hackers where they’re chased around town on heavy skates that can’t be quickly removed.
Hobby 3 – Rfid Card Games
This could be done now but it would be too expensive and the cards would be too easy to clone and ruin the rarity of them. However, in the future they’ll have better systems for encryption and such that can make something like this work better and be affordable for people to collect and play. One of the key things in this time is how online loot boxes aren’t allowed, to get around this companies offer physical cards with the data on them for use in the game. Maybe it’s also a plot to keep paper companies in business. Who knows. Luckily its fiction and I can just make up some way for this to work.
That’s it for this week, I figured it would be cool to share some world building bits as I get other things finalized with the first chapter. You’ll notice music wasn’t talked about in the hobbies etc for this post, it will have it’s own in next weeks edition. Feel free to leave comments or questions if I didn’t explain something well enough.