And speaking of building new worlds...I've been a regular reader of Rob Conley's Bat In the Attic blog for a while now. He's a dedicated gamer with an extensive knowledge of several types of games. He (and gaming co-hort, and publisher extraordinaire of The Manor) Tim Shorts are generous enough to allow me (and Jason) to sit in on their role playing games, when they make the trip into Erie. Anyway, I'm kind of biased, but I think his recent blog postings on world building are absolutely phenomenal.
While I prefer to build my worlds, by starting in one location, and working my way out, Rob's single sheet checklist is great for those who like to start big and work their way down. He's so detail oriented here, he even gives you the amount of time you should spend on each facet, just so you know what you are getting yourself into. He also has a great series of related articles that spring board into bite-sized nuggets of further information, (which are easily divided into clear and concise suggestions). I'm still making my way through the series, but they are really helpful in taking the insurmountable task of building a new world and breaking it down into simple, easy to follow steps. I strongly recommend them to anyone interested in designing a well-thought out imaginary world. Even if you do not use his blue print, you should read them over, just to help you to remember what important details to include...It's quite extensive, without being heavy handed.
I don't want to keep ranting and raving about it, because I'll end up blabbing on and on here, when you should just pop over there and check it out. Plus, unlike me, he's very good about answering questions, posting regular updates, and responding to comments (where as I'm more into the whole journal aspect of blogging, as in, "I'll get to it when I get the time").
Oh, and if you are hip to his vibe, I also encourage you to check out his mini product line of role playing games, set in the Majestic Wilderlands. I saw a photo of his new retro-clone minded game, and it looks pretty cool. And, while I'm thinking about it, pick up Tim Short's mini game series, The Manor. It's a mini-zine that regularly features three or four micro games, each one designed for a different rule set / game (plus some groovy art work from Jason). I warned you - I'm kind off biased here, but I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.