Interview with Joe Wetzel of Inkwell Ideas

I particularly find them [Generators] useful for one-offs. If there is a village or small town the PCs are just traveling through a generator's results are great and usually I can use those as is.

Our creative today is Joe Wetzel, developer of Worldographer and Inkwell Ideas

Generators Q&A with Joe Wetzel of Inkwell Ideas

How did you get into creating random generators?

It just seemed a natural thing to do as I developed Hexographer.

But then you're never satisfied so in addition to tweaking that over the years including revising it in Worldographer, we did generators in Cityographer and Dungeonographer. Plus many smaller ones for inns, villages, magic shops, etc.

What generators are you most proud of creating and why?

Probably Worldographer's world map generator. The results are simple, but there is some logic behind it and it comes up with what I think are mostly reasonable results. The fact that the program is also a map editor means you can easily tweak any parts that aren't quite right.

Worldographer

What is the most fun thing about creating generators?

Seeing the results and tweaking the algorithms to give better results or more variety. Extra options are fun! Why not give the user the ability to add a wall, river, and/or coastline to a city? (For example.)

What are the most painful lessons you've learnt from creating generators?

How hard it is to develop a realistic street network for a city, but maybe that's just because this is my current task.

How do you use random generators yourself?

I particularly find them useful for one-offs. If there is a village or small town the PCs are just traveling through a generator's results are great and usually I can use those as is. For an important location or a world I can start with a generator's output and add to it and edit it.

What are your next big projects (generators or otherwise) that you can talk about?

Right now we're adding the functionality of Cityographer into Worldographer. Some of the advanced city generation options will be via a separate paid key, but basically all the free functionality in Cityographer will be in it, plus a bunch of new functionality. (Better configuration options for example.)

Another project, but completely unrelated to generators is our current Kickstarter to create 3 New Sidequest Decks. In it, each card of each deck is a mini-adventure with a map, story hooks, several encounter ideas, and a couple of possible further adventures. The new decks are focused on modern spies & supers; Lovecraft/paranormal; and what to do after a total-party-kill.

Sidequest decks on Kickstarter

Where can people find you on social media?

I'm always making stuff so I'm not as active on social media. We do have a twitter account, google plus, a facebook page, and a youtube account for tutorial videos, but most of these simply re-post what we put on our blog.

Further Reading

Check out the 3 New Sidequest Decks Kickstarter. I'm a backer!

Worldographer is a great tool for creating random maps or doing them manually. And there are several other generators over at Inkwell Ideas

How have generators helped you with creativity?