Just this past week, I discovered a few episodes of "Gamers Haven" (http://gamershavenpodcast.com/) concerning co operative world building. Specifically Dawn of Worlds, from ClanWebsite.org, it is basically a game unto itself. The pod casts (there are three in all) have the cast going through the process of building a world. I'll admit that the pod cast does get a little slow, mostly when one of the guys stops to think of what he should do, but overall it is a decent primer for the process.
The PDF is twelve pages, though the rules are only on seven of those pages, and is well thought out. All you will need is a table, big piece of paper, paper for notes, pencils, and a pair of six sided dice. Someone draws a rough landmass on the big piece of paper, everyone rolls to see how much power they start off with and the fun begins. Also, it doesn't matter what game system you are using, except maybe in regards to races available.
Dawn of Worlds is split into three ages; land, races, and relations. Each action has a point cost, so in the land age it is easier to shape land and climate but difficult to create and command races, though not impossible. In the age of races, actions related to civilizations and races are more affordable while the cost to manipulate land and climate rises. The final age (relations) is all about how the different cultures and peoples deal with one another.
All in all it is a fascinating way to come up with a world that kind of ties into the subject of group templates from last week. Just get your group together and get started, the game master has the final say, so while the players know the history of the world, there can still be some surprises. I am looking forward to trying this out sometime soon, using Savage Worlds as a base and I will let everyone know how it goes.
Take care everyone
PS. If anyone has anything they would like to say, please do. I am curious as to how this is being received.