How did you come up with and design your magic system? It feels very unique even for progression fantasy and Chinese cultivation systems.
I could go on about magic systems forever so okay I'm gonna do a little bit of a tangent here. So this is a tangent, what it's like to interact with me on a personal level, like if you and I just sort of hung out, right, like this is what, if you ask me a question like this you would be like buckling your seat belt. Buckle up because I am about to go on a rant for 15 minutes and I've had two of my friends independently mention this about me this week and they both- again these two people have never met each other and they both called them Will rants and I was like yeah that happens. Every once in a while, you get a thing in a story or something that just sets me off and i just have to talk about it forever. And magic system rules are one of them. I'm very passionate about it, I have a lot of thoughts.
So how did you design the magic system.. I can't, we don't have enough time for that I don't have like a whole- I could go on about it forever. This is this is my tea like Rebecca has Jane Austen and for me it's like magic systems and what else... uh Terraria. And Subnautica.
So, uh, how did you design your magic- okay here's the mistake I see a lot of people make when they design magic systems. They've heard that restrictions are what make your magic systems unique and that is very true. So that statement is completely correct, but because they've heard that they then design the restrictions of their magic system first before designing anything about what the people can do. So they've got this big long list of what magic systems can't do and what their resources they require and what things are forbidden and what doesn't work and what rules and we don't have anything that they can do. So as a result they end up with a magic system that doesn't seem fun to use. So it seems like you've got to keep a bunch of rules in mind or it's like okay well you know you've told me all the things you can't do now what can it do? It doesn't seem like- who are they? What do they do? So i find that that's a common mistake people have when designing magic systems.
So what I like to do is start with the archetype that I want. In this case, it was, I'm going for cultivation novels right so magical martial arts. Anime style big feats, big things you do. Swords that shoot lasers and lasers that shoot swords, right. That's the kind of idea and then I went, okay so then now we obviously we're doing an inner energy cultivation type system. So I went moved with that and I started with the things that I knew I could pin down with the system. And then I started refining it to go now what can the system not do, what are the things that that it can't do, what are the things that people think it can't do, how do they understand this, how do they define the different levels? And then after I did the restriction so I do what kind of magic do you want to use? What abilities do you want them to have? Then restrictions and and requirements and then I do how it practically, like in the real world, how does this work? How does this feel like, what does this look like? To the senses, in a real person experiencing this, what is it like? And then I kind of do that loop a few times until i figure it out.
So that's it, that's the basic, that's the general gist without going into it for 20 years.