The Gates - Worldbuilding Inspired By Hive

in Worldbuildinglast month

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Inspired by writing for the NFT contest that was run by @juliakponsford and @clayboyn about a month ago, I've started to world build a Cyberpunk future world where this novel/novella can take place. I wish to share with you the first part I have for it as well as the small excerpt that sparked this adventure.


Beware the Neon Skeleton beyond the 7th Gate.

Those words rang through her ears now. She stood before the 7th gate. An unassuming set of pneumatic doors made of brushed stainless steel. She closed her eyes and tried to relax her diaphragm to exhale, conscious that she had been holding her breath for some time. Before she could do that her mind flashed back to the 5th gate. Where her friend had willingly given himself to the nano-swarm. Not out of sacrifice, but to join it willingly. The nano-swarm was said to be one of the most exhilarating experience one could have. A million hits of Dragon-Jebba without the fatal overdose.

Beware the Neon Skeleton beyond the 7th Gate.

The girls head fell forward and a small smile spread across her lips. It was Zekk that had said those words. Now he was slowly being disassembled by the swarm. Cell by cell. Sure, it's an ecstatic trip, but it's one way. He wasn't dead, of course. He was now part of the hive, where he would live for all eternity, one with the nano-swarm. His family can even contact him on the holosphere! She exhaled slowly.

"But why Zakk. What did you see in the swarm that I didn't?" She whispered to herself, head still bowed, eyes still closed.

The hiss of pneumatics operating before her was startling, but she didn't flinch. She could see the glow of bright lights through her clenched eyelids. She knew what it was.

"Come in my child," a distorted, wavering voice said to her. "And see it for yourself.


Inspired by The Adventure Zone podcast, I interpreted the cover of this book/movie to be some sort of trial that a future adventurer would have to face. Over the weekend I set to work laying out some rudimentary points to get the juice flowing. It's not too much, but it is building fast. I had to type up my written word, and I hate doing that, but it allows you to see the edits that I made. I hope you enjoy reading this and it inspires you to build your own cyberpunk world!


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The Gates

A cyberpunk novel

• 7 room contest separated by doors or gates
• The prize at the end is something grand, worth taking the risks of the challenge
• Everyone will lose something along the way, though
• Most participants die
• Known winners are rare
• Participants are chosen at random, or at least what appears to the contestants as random.
• One guest may accompany the selected participant and will receive a fitting prize of their own
• Both participants do not have to complete all 7 challenges

The Gates takes place in a future Toronto, the business centre of Canada. A bustling and densely packed city of skyscrapers. Sky walks crisscross between the towering structures, allowing residents of Toronto to never have to travel more than 10 floors up or down in their entire lifetime. The different floors of Toronto act as a ranking system in the society, with the elites at the tops of the towers, and the low tech scum having to live on the bottom ten floors. Some even choosing to live underground with the outcasts of all societies. It is there, somewhere below Toronto where The Gates are rumoured to be found.

Nobody knows who operates The Gates or why they exist, but the suspicions alternate between Government sanctioned experiments and the demented game of a mob boss. It is especially hard to figure out as the participants receive nothing but a data drop informing them that they have been selected and a coordinate to the first gate. Prior participants that have been interviewed tell contradicting stories of the layout to the gates, with only one constant that hampers the ability of cyber-sleuths to figure out the true creators. There is no curator within the gates. AI or Human, there is nobody to guide you through the trial.

The layout of The Gates varies by participant, but can be broken down into 7 large rooms with hallways interconnecting them. Participants enter the first hallway, the doors close behind them and then the doorway or gate to the first room opens. They complete the trial and a doorway opens for them to make their way to the next trial. A participants only course of action is to go forward and proceed through the gates.

The Gates

1. Den of Dajeb
2. place
3. place
4. place
5. Nano-Swarm
6. place
7. The Neon Skeleton

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