Create an Ecosystem and the World Builds Itself

For me, gaming has completely changed my approach to worldbuilding. I've always loved making up worlds, but since I started gaming I moved from a 'must flesh out EVERYTHING and then INFO DUMP!!' approach to a more organic, 'would this be [[!Gameable]]'. By gameable, I mean things that interact, have motivations and/or impact, and do something.

Focus on the ecosystem. Rather than worrying about how to cram in a world's worth of detail, focus on crafting a living breathing system which has just enough detail to suggest more. Let the reader/player's imagination do the heavy lifting and gain their interest. A terse and evocative name or concept can suggest a dozen ideas while a paragraph is still explaining one. Better yet, when the reader/player has to use their own imagination they are being drawn into the story. It becomes a participatory creation instead of one-sided exposition. Draw from real world themes and ideas and let their brains fill in the gaps and imagine the worst without it all having to be explicitly spelled out.

-- Inspired by discussing approaches to worldbuilding on discord.