A Fictional Setting for Belle of the Ball


Belle of the Ball was originally inspired by the Shindig episode of Firefly, which presented a lavish party with clear visual influences from Victoriana and the Antebellum South, but mixed with lots of other aesthetic cues.

Since then, I've described Belle's setting as a Victorian or Southern ball, since that's an easier explanation to new players. I'd still like the game's art to take both as a source of inspiration, but both come with a lot of historical baggage. I prefer a more contemporary, balanced representation in the art than would pass "historical accuracy" nitpicking.

To get around all that, I'm developing a fictional setting for Belle of the Ball. Not too vast, mind you, just a simple, short bit of worldbuilding to make clear that the game is set not in England or in the American South. Rather, it's some other place at some other time that just so happens to have dapper wardrobe and silly names. I've actually already given each guest a title and county of origin. For example...

  • Gigglesack Lololol, Zest of Latesun
  • Velocipede Vintertav, Gem of Krinkle
  • Radioactive Rendermum, Barge of Jamshire
  • Meowsmith Mutterhutt, Rock of Indigum
  • Obelisk Orlantop, Inch of Highmount
  • Mumblecore Masherfax, Cape of Glitterfall
  • Lafayette Linenhatch, Quill of Flappingap
  • Thathery Thumbvee, Eye of Dent
  • Jugular Jugkeg, Wall of Craw
  • Pinchlehead Pimpleleg, Jack of Boarsend
  • Critique Crappique, Drake of Anglebottom

At first, this was an excuse to embed layer of information on each Guest card, in hopes of future expansions tapping into this data set. Now it may also serve as the outline of a whole fictional setting.

I imagine Anglebottom, Boarsend, Craw, Dent, Flappingap, Glitterfall, Highmount, Indigum, Jamshire, Krinkle and Latesun being counties (or tiny countries) on a large Isle. I'd love it if that isle had a name with "bel" somewhere in it. Here's what folks on Twitter have brainstormed so far.

  • Isle of Beltingham
  • Isle of Belton
  • Isle of Belmont
  • Isle of Claribel
  • Isle of Maribel
  • Isle of Belshire

Something like that. Happy to take any more suggestions!

9 comments:

  1. How about an archipelago? Each its own little island with all the complications that entails. The area could be the Belosian isles.

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  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_%C3%8Ele

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  3. Maybe! For the moment, I'm less concerned with geography than the name of the place.

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  4. It'd be perfect, wouldn't it? But I'd like this to be a name I can "own" so to speak.

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  5. I did something similar with a game I'm developing, the name scheme was AZ, BY, CX, etc. It's a fun exercise and a bit of a challenge.

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  6. Misspell it ;) Bellisle? Bellile?

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  7. Here's a few ideas:

    Cumberbel
    Luxembel
    Belford
    Belwick
    Belstaff
    Belham
    Hambel
    Middlebel
    Belyork
    Ardenbel
    Canterbel
    Belroch
    Brandenbel
    Belmunt
    Belstoke
    Belcork
    Sutherbel
    Wesbel
    Belfife
    Roxbel
    Belfurt
    Karlsbel
    Augsbel
    Oldenbel
    Belhaven
    Belwig
    Belsley
    Belknock/Belnock/Belnoc
    Belflint
    Pembel
    Burgenbel
    Salzbel
    Belstadt
    Belkirc
    Belstein
    Belfolk
    Strasbel
    Beldeaux
    Belcourt
    Beldorf
    Dusselbel
    Roubel
    Belmark
    Belheim
    Belrose

    Hope you find one useful! I actually brainstorm names for a living, so doing a fantasy setting is a blast. http://sidengo.com/infamousscribbler

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  8. Are you opposed to flipping the order?


    Belgrave Isle
    Xanbel Isle

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  9. I'm quite open to flipping the order!

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Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.