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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« on: March 10, 2023, 05:41:44 PM »

Hi folks! I thought it might be fun to do a game where we each get a realistic fictional country on a continent on Earth, where we can then react to current events, both in real life and in each others' countries. Considering it a collective worldbuilding excercise.

We did a game like this on AAD back in the day called AADworld, which was quite fun. Hopefully with a smaller canvas it should be even more enjoyable and dynamic.

Would y'all be interested in this? If so, let me know if there are particular regions of the world where you'd suggest situating the continent and I can mock up the map.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2023, 07:40:26 PM »

This sounds fun. Would the continent be a real continent like Africa or Europe or a fantasy continent like a landmass in the middle of the Indian Ocean or a complete fantasy continent like Middle Earth or Westeros?

The second one!

I think the specific location depends a lot on whether people want, for lack of a better term, "new world" or "old world" countries--i.e. places which were historically settler colonies or not. What do you all want?

Either way, I'll start drafting up a map.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2023, 07:43:30 PM »

This sounds fun. Would the continent be a real continent like Africa or Europe or a fantasy continent like a landmass in the middle of the Indian Ocean or a complete fantasy continent like Middle Earth or Westeros?

The second one!

I think the specific location depends a lot on whether people want, for lack of a better term, "new world" or "old world" countries--i.e. places which were historically settler colonies or not. What do you all want?

Either way, I'll start drafting up a map.
Do your best!
I'm interested in seeing what you come up with.

Haha temper your expectation--I'm not a great mapmaker!
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2023, 12:01:43 PM »

Here is the continent!

Here's a rough topographical map and a climate map, for reference as you're claiming countries. (Sorry for the low quality).



The west coast mountains are high, like the Rockies or Andes, and are the result of subduction. (Much of the west coast has a lower coast range and and higher inland range, like California or the PNW). The southeast mountains are low and ancient mountains like the Urals or Appalachians.


Blue=tropical forest or savannah
Red=Desert
Orange=Semiarid
Yellow=Mediterranean
Dark Green=Oceanic
Light Green=Subtropical (think SE China or Southern USA)
Purple=Continental
Teal=Taiga
White=Tundra
Gray=Highlands

Location-wise, the continent is in the south Atlantic, and runs from the equator to roughly the 56th parallel, roughly equidistant between Africa and South America. It was historically settled by Native Americans who crossed over between NW Brazil and the top of the continent during the Ice Age, and it has a similar history to the Americas--so in making your countries you should be taking cues from there.

And here are the borders (I have a version with rivers if you need it).



This is irl + a real continent, not an althist--so try to make sure your country is both realistic and doesn't interrupt actual history.

Have at it!
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2023, 01:41:29 PM »
« Edited: March 19, 2023, 02:25:02 PM by Sol »

Here's my country, aka 18.

Name: The People's Republic of Isallo
Capitol: Zoen Wala
Largest City: Wijnrood
Official Languages: Dutch, Isallish (indigenous language), Moegpoelpeloe (indigenous language)
Population: 66,278,544
Ethnic Groups: European (50%), Mixed-race (20%), Indigenous (30%)
Overview: Isallo is a mid-sized economy located in the far southwest of the Atlas continent. It's a presidential democracy.

Isallo is notable for its highly fragmented and heterogeneous political scene--a bit like Argentina if it had Israel's political system. It's similar to the Southern cone countries as well in terms of human development. Major industries include technology, logging, hydropower, and light industry. Economic development has long been hampered by ill-thought out regulation.

Geopolitically, although it was never officially a Communist state, Isallo had a long flirtation with the USSR's side during the cold war, as well as a long history of meddling in the politics of neighboring states.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2023, 03:52:01 PM »


Would you be interested in having some border disputes?
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2023, 09:17:33 PM »
« Edited: March 19, 2023, 02:38:52 PM by Sol »

A note on Isallo politics:

Isallo has several major political parties. The largest are:

-The Party for Liberalism and Agriculture (PvL-B) (Dutch: Partij voor het Liberalisme en de Boer; Isallish: Diberalisimaga ol'Orakoraga pki Parete) is the traditional governing party, ostensibly center-leftist with a taste for Marxism. Structurally though, it's better to think of them as something similar to the PRI in Mexico or Fianna Fail in Ireland--a party which is a bit of a weather-vane and with deep institutional ties to power. Its base is three-fold: first, with city dwellers--PvV-B's status as the more cosmopolitan party and the party of power means that all socioeconomic strata prefer them in the country's large NW cities. Secondly, they traditionally dominate among whites in the periphery, i.e. east of the mountains and in the far south, due to their historical support of large-scale infrastructure projects and of land theft from native nations. Finally, they do very well with Catholics. As the second component might suggest, the PvV-B has never done well with native peoples, though it should be noted that this does not extend to mixed-race or Samisara people [1], with whom they've done quite well.

-The Party for the Fatherland (PvV)  (Dutch: Partij voor het Vaderland, Isallish: Wateralanoga pki Parete) is the traditional right-wing party, with it's roots in the Conservative movement of the late 19th century. Although they once were a mighty rival of PvV-B, with much of the 19th and early 20th century being in civil war between the two groups, they have weakened in prominence due to secularization and immigration. The PvV is deeply tied to the Isallo Reformed Church and dominates in its heartland: the rural Northwest/West of the country. It has a very high floor--around 25-30%--but a ceiling which is about that high.

-People for Jan Dijkstra (MvJD) (Dutch: Mensen voor Jan Dijkstra, Isallish: Bkaga Jan Dijkstra) is a personalist, centrist outfit centered around Jan Dijkstra, an eccentric mogul turned politician based in the small city of Rolloos in the far east. Isallo has a lot of these sorts of parties--organizations built around a charismatic leader, which attain great popularity and then fizzle out when he turns out to be like all the other ones.

-The Movement for Liberation (BvB) (Dutch: De Beweging voor Bevrijding, Isallish: Luponaga pki Pkemere) and the Maoist Movement for Liberation (MBvB) (Dutch: De Mao´stische Beweging voor Bevrijding, Isallish: Mawonaga Luponaga pki Pkemere) are the country's far-left parties, traditionally enemies though since the end of the Soviet Union they have reluctantly collaborated, running a common presidential candidate and working on similar legislation. Though apparently the parties still hate each other. The general platforms are pretty similar; strong advocates of social redistribution and harshly critical of US/EU foreign policy. Think Evo Morales. Both parties have similar bases--the urban poor and native peoples.

-The Wijnrood Agreement (Dutch: Wijnrood Akkoord, Isallish: Luponaga pki Mapenog) is a right-populist party. A pretty gross group with origins in anti-government paramilitaries in the 70s; the name comes from a covenant of militias based in suburban Wijnrood who vowed to overthrow the then-Liberal government. It lobbies very aggressively for the eviction of native groups in areas for resource extraction and loves to lob culture war bombs around race relations. Has close relations to similar movements elsewhere, including with Bolsonaro, Putin, and Steve Bannon.

-The Green Party (Dutch: Groene Partij, Isallish: Naturala pki Parete) is a center-left party focused on environmental preservation. It has seen most of its success in recent years among indigenous people actually, as the party which is most critical of resource extraction in eastern areas.

-Cyber-Partij (Dutch: Cyber-partij, Isallish: Saiberaparete) is a centrish party. It has its origins as a personalist vehicle around tech activist Huub Gucwa from the early 2000s. Gucwa is cleverer than most of these types though, and he's kept the party relevant by focusing on issues which appeal to a specific niche of society: pro-phosphate mine development in the Pwamatgoenieuw Desert in the late 2000s and now advocating for fisherman and whalers in the southwest.

These and several more parties are elected to the National Assembly, which is bicameral. The Lower House is the Chamber of Deputies, which has 125 members elected by FPTP, and the Upper House is the Senate, which has 200 members elected by nationwide PR, (D'Hondt Method) with a threshold of 2%. Paradoxically, as a result of constitutional reforms in the mid-20th which made the Senate use PR, it has increasingly become seen as closer to the people, and has become a larger and more powerful body.

Finally, the President is elected nationwide. A quirk of the Isallish political order is that Presidential elections are non-partisan; political parties coalesce behind the scenes to select their preferred candidates, often making odd bedfellows in the process. This is a relic from an earlier time, where the role of the president was more ceremonial.

[1] This is a borrowing from Isallish; it's been used in exchange for older terms which were considered derogatory.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2023, 09:01:29 AM »

Claimed countries:

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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2023, 09:46:14 AM »

I hope this game is not dying as soon as it was started... anyway I'm going to add some details about Azurela (I don't like to retroactively edit old posts for this).

Side effects of Azurela's origins as an only semi-official smallholder colony which functioned as a haven for new settlers and traders of all kinds include a distrust of most authority, a strong but peculiar democratic culture and a high level of tolerance and openness, but also a certain state weakness which has led to organized crime problems and tense relations with power-projecting countries like Isallo. The fairly individualist ethos this brought is still tempered by the confederal communitarian Kana influence.

In the immediate aftermath of official independence the country was configured as an unstable directorial system, which was changed into one where the legislature elected a single head of government after the war which brought Kana highlands fully under Azurelan control in exchange for roughly equal rights. The constitution has since been changed multiple times; currently Azurela is a semi-presidential quasi-parliamentary republic modeled after Portugal. This system was created after the end of the period known as the Ember Years, an authoritarian interlude in the 1960s and 1970s.

The country is often compared and contrasted with Secoterra, which has similarities in terms of background, demographics and resources but is also very different in many ways. In other continents it has been compared to Peru and Uruguay.

Azurela has a close but sometimes complicated relationship with its southwestern neighbour of Fraser, which is a major trading partner but is significantly wealthier (even compared to the regions directly neighbouring in the southern plains, which are already richer than the rest of Azurela despite their recent development). Emigration to there exists in small but sizable levels.

The current Prime Minister Attala Tinku (Carnation Movement) leads a centre-left coalition, whereas President of the Republic Lourenšo Albuquerque is a moderate conservative.
Azurela feels like a less "organized" version of Secoterra. I imagine Azurela being a tourist destination for many Secoterrans.

I thought Secoterra is a bit less wealthy (and of course it's tropical) so probably the reverse is more common, but that makes sense.

On a related note, I calculated from Sol's description of the map that Azurela extends from approximately the 34th to the 47th parallel south. I imagine the south coast is relatively warm for its latitude but it's hard to make comparisons because nowhere in the actual Southern Hemisphere has a Continental climate. Maybe the summer of Hobart and the winter of Coyhaique?
In any case, the examples you put forth sound like kind of a decent analogue. If the population of Isallo is as high as it is, it probably implies a more warm climate I guess?

Yeah to my mind maybe the best analogue is northeast Asia maybe, on account of being on the east coast and probably a bit dry. So maybe southern Azurela and the area around Port Currie is like Harbin or Pyongyang, with something like Dwa in the Koppen classifications, while Birch Bay is more like Vladivostok with something like Dwb. Probably all of them will have extremely bitterly cold and dry winters but will be quite nice and well-watered in the summertime, enough to support large populations. More mountainous areas will be much colder ofc; I doubt too many people live in the highlands.

On the other hand, the southern coast of 17 and of Isallo (and probably the far South of the Fraser Republic) will be much colder, like Northeastern Siberia, with the southernmost and most mountainous parts being extremely harsh.

(I don't have a deep climate knowledge, so this could be easily off base.)

Isallo has the large population it does because the population is very concentrated in the North, especially the northwest, which has a fairly pleasant climate.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2023, 01:27:29 PM »

I'm not an expert in climate either, but the places with the most similar situations to the west side of the bay are east coast areas in the northern hemisphere--so Quebec and Northern China/Korea.

Pyongyang doesn't seem like a bad analogue for southern Azurela actually, but I'd imagine the winters to be pretty harsh nevertheless. There aren't any nice warm currents to heat things up and it's very continental.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2023, 02:31:50 PM »

I'm not an expert in climate either, but the places with the most similar situations to the west side of the bay are east coast areas in the northern hemisphere--so Quebec and Northern China/Korea.

Pyongyang doesn't seem like a bad analogue for southern Azurela actually, but I'd imagine the winters to be pretty harsh nevertheless. There aren't any nice warm currents to heat things up and it's very continental.
I can work around that.

My apologies! It certainly won't be uninhabitable or anything like that; just a very chilly winter.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2023, 02:46:59 PM »

Some notes on Isallo's provincial government structure!

Isallo is divided into 31 provinces, territories, independent cities, and self-governing indigenous polities. It's worth noting that Isallo is a unitary state, which means that these entities can all be changed by the central government (and frequently are).

Provinces by form of government. Red is devolved provinces, Blue is unitary provinces, Pink is independent cities, Yellow is self-governing indigenous polities, and Gray is territories.


Provinces are the typical form of local government. There are two types of province: unitary provinces, which lack elected local government below the provincial level, and devolved provinces, which have elected municipal governments. Traditionally, the former is more common in remote frontier areas, while the latter has been the default. However, some have been advocating turning all devolved provinces into unitary provinces to cut down on municipal corruption and waste; this has already succeeded in densely populated Apeldoorn province so it may spread elsewhere. In both cases, provinces have an elected assembly with a provincial governor who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the provincial assembly.

Independent cities are a relatively recent innovation in Isallish local government, initially pushed through by the PvL-B in the 2000s to let them appoint friendlier governments for major cities. Independent cities are self-governing in all respects except in income taxes, where they share a common tax policy with their surrounding province. Tax policies are set by a special meeting of a provincial government which includes elected representatives from independent cities. Otherwise, independent cities are self-governing; just like provinces they have an elected assembly and a mayor appointed by the President and confirmed by the city assembly.

Self-governing indigenous polities are a special form of government which allows for native political structures to become part of Isallish government. Each one has a suis generis structure, though all are required to follow a democratic form of government. Notably, the Governor (or equivalent) is always directly elected to allow for greater native autonomy.

Territories have no elected government; instead it has a centrally appointed governor who handles all government functions. Residents of territories can still vote in federal elections, of course.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2023, 03:15:00 PM »
« Edited: March 19, 2023, 06:53:49 PM by Sol »

And the local governments, with names.



Spoiler alert! Click Show to show the content.


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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2023, 12:11:28 PM »

Side effects of Azurela's origins as an only semi-official smallholder colony which functioned as a haven for new settlers and traders of all kinds include a distrust of most authority, a strong but peculiar democratic culture and a high level of tolerance and openness, but also a certain state weakness which has led to organized crime problems and tense relations with power-projecting countries like Isallo.

I was thinking it might be fun for the two of us to perhaps have some territorial disputes over ocean rights if you'd be interested--Isallo seems like the sort of place which might have a somewhat absurd inflated reckoning of these things that could impinge on the Azurela's more logical ocean boundaries.
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2023, 01:53:13 PM »

How have your nations been handling the economic uncertainty caused by the collapse of SVB?
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Sol
Junior Chimp
*****
Posts: 8,223
Bosnia and Herzegovina


« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2023, 03:10:14 PM »

MAJOR EARTHQUAKE STRIKES OFF THE WEST COAST, TSUNAMI EXPECTED

At 5:52 PM local time, a major earthquake appears to have struck north of Isallo. Estimated by scientists to have been around 8.5 on the Richter scale, it has already caused widespread devastation in Apeldoorn Province and Woestijn Province, with widespread building collapses as far away as northern Nieuw Eiland. Worse yet, a major tsunami has struck northeast Apeldoorn and Woestijn Province, with the major cities of Nieuw Urk and Pamplona underwater.

The tsunami is also expected to the rest of the west coast, from central Secoterra to eastern Isallo. How will governments respond to this massive catastrophe?
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