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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Common Room --> The Official Red Dragon Inn Name Generator thread
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    Messages in The Official Red Dragon Inn Name Generator thread
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t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


The Official Red Dragon Inn Name Generator thread

As promised, I'm starting a thread for discussion of our RDI name generator. I have some ideas as to how it should work, but I'd like input.

My thought is to allow for different modules for various cultures. Obviously, khordaldrum (dwarf) names will be different from sylvari (elf) names, which will in turn be different from cidal (halfling). Human names can have a wide range, depending on the culture.

Now, there are two ways to do this: the quick, easy way, and the more difficult, higher quality way.

The quick, easy way would simply allow us to choose a module, add a lot of names, and have them spit out in a random order. It would be strictly limited by the names input. So, if a particular name is never entered, there is no chance whatsoever that it will appear.

The more difficult, higher quality way would work in a very similar manner to the end user - you'd set up your module with some seed names to start with. However, the program would use an algorhythm to then break those names into vowel and consonant pieces (possibly also prefixes and suffixes), would analyze the pattern of the name, and would then be able to take those pieces and construct completely new names, using your submitted entries as guidelines.

The second manner would require a good bit of debugging, I'm thinking, until I can maange to make it come up with "good" names. Of course, it might well become a VERY useful tool.

Any thoughts?



Posted on 2008-02-07 at 21:30:44.

Loki
TRSG 2.0
Karma: 113/94
1606 Posts


Name Gens

Sounds good, the second sounds best and I don't mind having to put up with it being debugged. It also widens the inn's range of tools and so it can offer more to potential members and more members equals better ratings


Posted on 2008-02-07 at 21:35:04.

Alacrity
The Tired
RDI Staff
Karma: 291/33
6340 Posts


Khords are fun

To do the khord name generator, you need three parts:

First name - One to two syllables that are basically gutteral. Ira, Dain, Barak, etc

First half second name - A hard substance or tool. Granite, Stone, Iron, Axe, Pick

Second half second name - A violent action or body part. Smasher, crusher, bender or foot, hand, toes.


There you go. Dain Ironfoot, Barak Granitesmasher, Jarl Picknose.


Posted on 2008-02-07 at 21:37:39.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


sheesh

Well, in that case, Khords should be SIMPLE. No real worrying about consonant/vowel patterns, soft syllables, or anything like that!


Posted on 2008-02-07 at 21:43:50.

Almerin
Typing Furiously
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/19
3012 Posts


well

I have some old Dragon magazines somewhere. and I remember in some of them were random name generators: lists to roll with first middle and last part.

I believe they were for dark elves and halflings, perhaps gnomes too, but I'm sure there are lists like that for all races. The question is: do we want to use these?

If you work in parts, you have to consider the fact that not all names are equal in length, so another part of the program should random the number of pieces.


Posted on 2008-02-07 at 21:55:41.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


here's a start

Here are the principles I'm going to work with. Please, by all means, comment and criticize!

All names will be organized first by race. If you are generating a khord (dwarf) name, you will not want sylvari (elf) names.

I see the input interface as being a tad tricky; to start with (and possibly forever), I will limit access to this portion of the tool.

Names will be divided by given (first) names and surnames (last names). When you enter a name, you'll need to let the system know which you are entering.

A name will consist of x number of syllables that the user will define. A name may optionally use a prefix and/or suffix, as well.

The system will save the name as a whole, flagging it as using a prefix and/or suffix, as well as a count of the other sylables used.


Now, when a regular user asks the system to generate a name, the following things happen.

1. The system decides how long the name should be, by looking at the syllable counts of the names in the database. If 50% of the names have two syllabes, 20% have three, and 30% have one, you have a 50% chance of getting a two syllable name, and so on. The chances of getting a name with a prefix or suffix are similar (syllable counts will still be enforced).

2. Syllables (and, if needed, prefix and/or suffix) are chosen at random and assembled into a name.


If we go by Alacrity's given examples, first names use no prefix or suffix; they are simply single syllables, for the purposes of the name generator. Likewise, to make it work like he has illustrated, all surnames will need to be entered as a prefix and suffix, but will have no other syllables.

So, you'd get a random syllable for first name, followed by a randomly assembled prefix and suffix for a last name.

I expect a lot of growing pains before this works right... but maybe I'll be happily mistaken. I do know that great care will be needed in the setup to ensure that we get "good" names back.



Posted on 2008-02-13 at 15:28:29.

Vorrioch
Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts


Hmm...

Personally, I've never been that big a fan of elven and dawrven names along the "Axebeard"/ "Silverbough" model... but each to their own.

If you're looking for lists of human names then you might find these sites of interest.

http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/
http://www.behindthename.com/

The first website links to lists of real world Medieval names, the second to modern names by country (pus a few odd categories to mythological and ancient names). I've used both sites before now to generate names for NPCs and other stock characters.

One other thought: why not let users specify the sort of human name they want to generate by culture? (So you'd have "Human- Germanic" and "Human- Celtic" along with "Elven" and "Dwarven" as categories). Otherwise you might end up with some quite odd cross-cultural first-name/ last-name combinations.


Posted on 2008-02-13 at 15:56:46.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


cultures

I agree 100% regarding cultures. If this feature of the site turns out to be appreciated, we'll end up with quite a few various modules.


Posted on 2008-02-13 at 15:59:31.

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Names


I can share lists of names tha I have collected over the years, Orc, Hobbit, Dwarven, human, Elven and such. The elven list is made up of Tolkein like name parts with their meanings. It is just a matter of putting the parts together in a meaningful order. Like Isilimarenwyn Isil is Moon, maren is swordsman, wyn is maiden


Posted on 2008-02-13 at 17:08:30.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


gender

I realized I had left out one important piece - gender. Given names can now be specified as male, female, or either.

I have given this option for surnames, as well, though surnames are generic among almost all cultures. However, a few are not... "Garnsdatter" and "Graelsson", for instance, in a viking-esque naming system.



Posted on 2008-02-14 at 15:16:02.

Vilyamar
Glorious Emperor
Karma: 28/16
428 Posts


Surnames

If no surname is generated (i.e. for Scandinavian cultures and some Germanic cultures), it might suggest surnames like <'Father's name>ssen, <'Father's name>sson, <'Father's name>ssun, <'Father's name>sdottir, <'Father's name>sdotter, etc.

Also remember that some surnames are place of origin or profession as well. Charles Baker, Charles Schuhmacher, Charles di Angeles, Charles Da Vinci. These might also be suggested as a substitute for whatever is generated.


Posted on 2008-02-16 at 07:14:56.
Edited on 2008-02-16 at 07:15:35 by Vilyamar

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


alive

This idea is not dead, BTW.


Posted on 2008-04-25 at 21:15:08.

Grugg
Gregg
RDI Staff
Karma: 357/190
6191 Posts


Good

I only just noticed this. It better still be going.


Posted on 2008-04-25 at 21:36:14.

Reralae
Dreamer of Bladesong
Karma: 142/12
2506 Posts


This looks interesting...

What are you considering to use for the language of the code? If you don't mind putting in a java applet, I think I might actually be able to build it.

Well, that is of course if you don't have a prototype made already

From a programming perspective, perhaps instead of going by names in the database for the number of syllables (which change over time with varying names and so forth), why not try with a sort of standardized bell curve? That way, rather than the common number of syllables growing more common as they would eventually in the suggested system, there would be a consistent chance to get longer or shorter names. It's just a thought, but that way too it might help to reduce computer usage since it wouldn't have to check through the list of names every time you wanted to generate a new name.

Hmm, I can't think of anything else offhand to suggest... but I like the idea!


Posted on 2008-04-25 at 23:05:51.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 365/54
6858 Posts


first one done!

The first Red Dragon name generator is up and running (link is here, as well as in the armoury section). This one will be for the khordaldrum (dwarves of Audalis, though the names are suitable for dwarves of any world or setting).

You may generate male or female given names, as well as realistic or fantasy-based surnames. Sure, you'll get the occasional odd result or repeat, but by and large, the generated names are excellent - and with literally thousands of possible combinations, you should be able to easily get a good name.

If you'd like to help make the generator even better, feel free to send name suggestions to me via PM.

Keep an eye out, as we will be releasing other name generators in the future.


Posted on 2008-11-22 at 22:03:52.
Edited on 2008-11-22 at 22:04:06 by t_catt11

   
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