The oldest idea in Riiga is the Keid race who originated from a character called Jaro from a fake game my brother and I made up called Secret of the Hidden Spells. After playing Secret of Mana in 1999, we took inspiration to make a pretend game of the same variety. One of the lead characters was a boy from the jungle with a bow and long brown hair -- a Keid. Even the name Jaro is an actual Keid name in Riiga.
In 2001, my brother and I had an idea for a world. By this time we were both in our teens and had been making up countless other worlds, pretend video games, artworks, and other creations, but this one was different. After playing Achaea for the first time, we got a taste of a brand new way of creating fantastical lands -- one section of land at a time. So we used grid paper and plotted out a small land called Riiga. Each point where four grid lines intersect represented one area, which roughly translated to the size of a house. We also made up lists of all things that could be found in this land, ranging from butterflies and fish to catch, to monsters, wildlife, towns, and people. It was designed to be explored. We even made character sheets which were filled out by hand, and took turns with one person running the world and narrating events, and the other playing as a character.
A few years later, we came back to Riiga and designed what you might call "expansions" to the world. I created Jindiara, which is a jungle region and the place where the Keid first appeared, and by brother made a frosty land inspired by the Solstheim expansion to Morrowind, which included Hiiden Riiga and the Nadrock Isles. We drew inspiration from everything we knew, and many of the names and ideas exist in the current form of Riiga in some way.
After completing high school, I decided to start a new world project. Inspired by the above lands, I name it Riiga, and recycle some older maps and draw new land, eventually coming up with a world map. I decided at this point that my stories, drawings, and music would all come from this one world called Riiga. At this time, Nikina was called Nikana.
In 2005 I made up some other little fantasy realms inspired by things like Fire Emblem and Full Metal Alchemist, and what is now essentially the Kingdom of Vastin was first made. It even included most of the same concepts of marches such as Leotyne, Trelinia (now Goldrond), Phedailin (now Duracia), Laurondirin (now Simbea), Yele (now Yaele), and Jevithem (now Midlands). I wrote a few short stories about the political intrigue of the area, and even invented the Templars and Paladins around this time. This land used to be the main human kingdom in the east.
I also joined deviantART in early 2005, and consequentially began to make up a lot of characters, many of which have inspired parts of Riiga today. Cole is one of the inspirations for the Vamans, Nari, Raid, Aran, and Rike were the first Sirins, the Keid were becoming prominent, and races like Gruitin and Modeoa were invented. I also wrote a lot of stories collaboratively with online friends.
Thanks to a lot of interest from some new online friends, I decided to make Riiga's first wiki on WikiSpaces in 2007. It was scrappy, and I moved the wiki onto my own website within a year, but putting down all the information really started to give a sort of life or spirit to Riiga. I started creating all kinds of things about the world and its many places, like gods, cultures, monsters, orders, and an extensive history. I also created the first Riiga roleplaying forums in this time, which were hosted on ProBoards. This was one of the most productive periods for work on Riiga.
In 2010 a friend and I developed a second roleplaying website for Riiga, found now on riiga.net. The website saw about three years of consistent use. Writing lore for Riiga increased exponentially during these years.
In 2012 that same friend inspired me to start writing a book, so after a month or so of planning I began work on an epic fantasy adventure series. It was set in the equivalent of the Vastin Kingdom. Started the book, got serious with worldbuilding.
The second roleplaying website, riiga.net, died off during this year. I was mostly just working on my book and studying this year.
I got inspired to start going really deep with lore, trying to figure out where all the people came from, which cultures had prehistoric connections, link hybrid cultures with human tribes, and so on, but I began to hit walls. The more detailed and realistic I tried to make Riiga, the more I realised the design of the world itself really made no sense. Everything had been created without any thought or planning. Every biome, every civilised area, every piece of history, every city location was decided on arbitrarily. So I made the decision to recreate the planet.
This led to the world used on this wiki to the present day. The old Riiga's land masses and biomes were decided on the spot by my hand, but the new Riiga has tectonic theory, ocean currents, global wind patterns, altitude, centrifugal force, seasonal precipitation, and realistic biome distribution put into it. Its history goes back millions of years. Almost nothing about it now is arbitrary. Of course, this meant that the vast majority of the lore had to be recreated, using the old Riiga usually as no more than inspiration, but my love for Riiga grew immensely after this massive change.
Due to my decision to use Riiga as a setting for my Minecraft server, DistantLands, as well as the amount of recreation involved in remaking the entire world, I stopped writing my adventure novel set in Riiga. It reached 150k words and I was about 1/3 through the second draft. I don't regret the time I spent writing, and learned a lot during the process. The wiki moved onto this website in this year as well, and work on Riiga now took the form of writing whatever the Minecraft setting required.
Most of this year was spent working night shifts, but the early months saw a bit of work on Riiga. The Riigan Minecraft setting ended by the end of the year.
I went for several weeks without internet due to moving house, so I used this free time to work on Riiga, including a huge amount of refinement to its history, religions, and civilisations. The Official Riigan Sheets were made, and the lore began to deepen. I also started a new story, which isn't specifically set in Riiga, but I only got about 25k words into that before ending it once I got internet back.
Nothing on Riiga was done this year.
After many years of running a Minecraft roleplaying server, I decided to finally end it. The desire to create something that lasted longer than a Minecraft world had all but consumed me by this point. I wanted to go back to Riiga and work on other projects. So after years of almost no attention, Riiga saw an explosion of additions in December of 2019, adding more material in one month than everything over the past four years or so. I started to go really deep with lore, making page after page of detail, all with the intention of designing Riiga to be a flexible platform I could use to write and/or illustrate stories and events. I made a Discord where fans could check with progress on Riiga as a worldbuilding project and sometimes join in conversations to contribute material, as well as get sneak previews of art I was working on.
Riiga continues growing quite a lot. The Discord remains popular, and I started a Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in Riiga with some modified rules to help. This is streamed on Twitch and starts late 2020. I also stream a lot of Riiga-based artwork on Twitch, and start the Tales of Riiga Patreon, where people can support what I do as I write and illustrate short stories set in Riiga.
The D&D campaign reaches ~50 sessions by the end of this year, and I start working on my own custom VTT system for Riiga loosely based on D&D5E toward the end of the year. Tales of Riiga continues throughout the whole year, but the art streaming is paused halfway through the year.