Archive for the Name Generation Category

Naming System

Posted in Name Generation on May 27, 2011 by sfahy

The game implements a relatively simple system for generating random names, that gives pretty good results and is flexible enough to be adapted for several situations.

For example, the game generates books of forbidden lore that adversely affect the player’s sanity. These books are intended to have Lovecraftian sounding names, and are generated as follows.

A random entry is selected from a template file that contains strings such as these :

Dark Truths of [elderGod]
[evilAdj] Truths of [elderGod]
The Coming of [elderGod]
The Call of [elderGod]
Secrets of [elderGod]
....

The text in the square brackets refers to other name generators, and is replaced with the results of the generator it references.

So, for example, Dark Truths of [eldergod] becomes Dark Truths of Ithboth.

The elder god generator simply strings together random syllables, as the name being unpronounceable is actually desirable in this case, but it could just as easily return from a list of standard names, and some of the other generators do exactly this.

Some entries contain references to no additional generators, and refer to a fixed name, in this case one of several widely referenced “evil books” like The King in Yellow etc. It makes sense for these fixed entries to be selected with less frequency than template entries, and I plan to add that feature.

If it becomes necessary or desirable to have a more robust entity name generator, a Markov chain string generator can be added without altering the overall structure of the name generation system. As fun as that would be to implement, it would be complete overkill at this stage of development. If I’m spending time adding any nuanced features at the moment it should be to systems that relate more directly to the gameplay. Still, it would be a nice little feature to eventually add.

Here’s a sample of the output for the Forbidden Lore generator:

Malign Circle of Zharglelghast
The Maw of T'sa
The Muncriliulus Codex
The Black Rites
The Capsius Codex
Pnakotic Manuscripts
Foul Circle of Shogysizhar
Circle of Otepu'llshog
Book of Iod
The Book of the Yiggnoh
Insane Truths of Gan
The Putrid Maw of T'sa
The Saurian Age
Ghastygthclot's Eternal Eye
The Glelxicygth's Baleful Whispers
The Malign Apocrypha of Sothstligy'go
The King in Yellow
Liber Ivonis
Maccius's Hateful Journal
Insane Truths of Gan
The Maw of Gug
The Muncriliulus Codex
Ghastnazclot's Eternal Eye
The Zharglelghast's Malign Whispers
A History of The Necronomicon
Diseased Lies of Gugzothshog