Steven Sanders has drawn a number of comics for Marvel and Image; from Wolverine and The X-Men to Deadpool and Five Fists Of Science. He has over a decade of professional experience in the illustration field and now he’s turning his attention to world building.
Symbiosis is a world where technology and biology are inextricably linked, where man and technology need each other to survive. Think of it as ”1940’s Bio-punk”.
However, the most exciting thing is that Steven is releasing the world of Symbiosis under a creative commons license. So that means you can write your own stories, games or any other project using this world and add to the existing cannon. Therefore if you’re an author looking for a new exciting world to write in then Symbiosis provides all of the world information and artwork you’ll need to get started.
"The world-building in Symbiosis will encompass ethnic and political groups, ecology, biology, physics, mechanics/power transmission, trade, agriculture, war, religion, medicine...anything and everything that can fit into the 100+ page book." - Sanders on Kickstarter
Steven has set up a kickstarter to help publish the Symbiosis artbook. You can visit the Kickstarter project here.
Watch the promo video below:
An Interview with Symbiosis creator Steven Sanders
World Building School: Firstly I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the initial success of the Symbiosis project. It’s great to see the project resonating with so many people and raising 20% of the $50k in just over 24 hours.
Steven Sanders: Thanks very much! The support has been really incredible, and wouldn't have been possible without all of the great people out there who were willing to help pitch in.
WBSchool: What is the world of Symbiosis and who will it appeal to?
SS: Symbiosis is a world where we never developed mechanical engines. We bred and adapted organisms that act as 'bio-engines,' biological entities that lack a central nervous system, and use a "bio-ether" that exists on this world to do work, develop power, and do things like create anti-gravity effects when paired with various technological add-ons. A "Resonance Tooth" inserted at puberty gives humans a direct mental link with bio-engines, and lets them control and sense the world through them.
I'd like to think it would appeal to anyone who likes the fantastic, but sci-fi fans are probably the core group, along with the steampunk audience, possibly.
WBSchool: Can you provide a hint of the main/legendary characters, organisations or civilisations we can expect to see in the Artbook?
SS: Katherine Aeneas is the main character of the book, she acts as a guide of sorts through the world. There's a large number of organizations, ethic and political groups in Symbiosis. A few are the Bezrodnym, an aggressively nomadic empire. They move about in giant floating cities called "Cer-Fiara." There's a Merkatariak Traders Consortium, the main economic force in this world. The Nestäch Republic is the major industrial force in Symbiosis. The Porolites are another nomadic cultures, but not an aggressive one. They take a religious approach to the bio-ether, and do not let themselves see the outside world without sensory apparatus that lets them see and hear the world via the interactions of the bio-ether with matter. That's all I'm going to let out for now. Since most of the story-telling will be visual, I want people to be able to see their own world in this, and not be too hampered by my own ideas.
WBSchool: Tell us a little about the Kickstarter project and some of the rewards supporters will get.
SS: Symbiosis is a world-building art book, in simplest terms. It will come in two formats, one a ebook with no copy-protection, and the other a deluxe hardcover designed for collectors and people who appreciate well-made books. There are rewards of archival 11x17 prints, "prop-artifacts" that I hand-make which are objects from the world of Symbiosis, custom art, and of course the book itself.
WBSchool: You’ve chosen to release the Symbiosis world under a Creative Common’s Licence. Why use a CC license when other writers, artists and IP creators guard their copyright so tightly? What do you see being different about the Symbiosis project?
SS: I should admit that it's a CC license that includes a non-commercial clause. (Boingboing.net operates under a similar one.)If through some chance of fate some major production house wants to do something with Symbiosis, I could use the money. That said, I'll be granting no-fee or cut commercial licenses to individuals or small companies. I mostly just want to see what people do with this property, as unhindered as possible.
WBSchool: If the world of Symbiosis is released under a CC license will there be such a thing as “official canon”?
SS: Probably not. The original book may be considered "canon" of sorts, but beyond that, nope. Canon is in the hands of the public.
WBSchool: In one sentence tell the WBSchool readers why they should head over to Kickstarter and support the Symbiosis Project right now.
SS: I'm just some guy who isn't that well known, and I started talking about this project just on social media and it blew up like an atomic bomb; if that's not an indicator of appeal, I don't know what is.
WBSchool: Steven, thank you for your time and I wish you all the best with Symbiosis. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on its development and look forward to reporting on the launch and final product come 2014.
SS: Thank you, Nate! Take care.
Please visit the Symbiosis Kickstarter page and support it as it's a great project.