I've had this thought bouncing around in my head--PING!--to build a world, maybe small in scope, using geography that I am familiar with. Basically, Southern California. I live in the Inland Empire, an area often ignored by Hollywood. I'm wondering what it would look like if I removed all of the man-made stuff, and put my own in there. Perhaps tweak the names of the features, or maybe existing cities. Something like this:
Mt San Gorgonio (highest peak in Southern California)...The Gorgon
Cajon Pass...Pass of Chaos
Mormon Rocks...Zealot Massif
Mojave Desert...Mahafee Wasteland
The Badlands...The Badlands (hey, if the shoe fits...)
Santa Ana River...working on that!
Los Angeles (City of Angels)...Port Seraph
Basic premise is an empire, that is Empire in name only. The Emperor and his family were all executed several hundred years ago. The hero of the story is an unknown descendant (as the Emperor had more kids than anyone knew about.)
Well, that's my idea. A very rough work in progress.