Since 1983, 41 main Discworld novels have been released by Terry Pratchett with many other side projects, short stories and offshoots also produced. The books began as a sort of parody of other fantasy works, as well as mythology, history, folklore, and fairy tales. However, over the years they have taken on a lore all of their own, with running gags, returning characters and a very distinctive style. Regardless of this, each book is designed to stand alone. A prominent feature of the franchise is that they contain satirical parallels to our real world, science, culture and religion.
Terry Pratchett is also an avid video game fan and has taken the opportunity throughout the years to translate the Discworld to the medium of gaming, starting with the earliest in 1986, The Colour of Magic for the home computers. Most of these projects, however, have featured plots entirely new, and not based on a particular novel such as the more recent Discworld Noir for PC which features the brand new character Lewton the private detective.
Most of the stories of Discworld are set on the titular world shaped like a disc. The disc itself rests upon the backs of four huge elephants which in turn are standing on the back of an enormous turtle, the Great A'Tuin. The turtle slowly swims forward through space and does not revolve around a Sun, instead, it has a tiny sun (and moon) orbiting it.
The world is populated with humans, trolls, dwarfs and other kinds of beings. It contains several different distinct cultures, magic and it's own set of physical laws. Perhaps the most prominent and revered of the characters on the Discworld is Death who generally shows up when someone is dead, or at least when he thinks that they ought to be, and otherwise, can be seen only by wizards and cats.