Name improvements and a request for suggestions

As of today, elf, dwarf and orc names have been greatly improved (both in terms of quality, and of variety). There have been some very small improvements to some of the other name types as well.

I hesitated about posting about this, though, as the idea was for blog posts to introduce new features, not just “hey, names X and Y are now better”. But I have a problem here, and I need your help: I need ideas for new name types.

Yes, I could visit any of the many other generators on the web, but I really don’t want to copy ideas from the “competition”. Besides, it may well be more useful to answer needs from actual FNG users, instead of just adding random types “because I can”.

So… suggestions? Any name types you’d find useful? Or other new features?

New: name length variation

Not a huge change today, in terms of work, but I think this makes each generated list of names (instead of individual names) more interesting.

Up to now, except for some special name types (e.g. military operation names, English names, etc.), the “size” selection worked like this: “short” names had 2 syllables, “medium” names had 3, and “long” ones had 4.

As of now, the above values haven’t changed, but some variation was added: for each generated name, there’s a 10% chance of having one fewer syllable, and another 10% chance of having one more. So, a 20-name list of short names, for instance, will, on average, consist of 16 2-syllable names, 2 1-syllable ones, and 2 with 3 syllables.

One consequence of this is that, for the first time, 1-syllable names (and 5-syllable ones, if you choose “long”) appear from time to time (and some of them are even decent!). But, more importantly, each list of generated names is less uniform, and therefore less predictable. I hope you’ll agree that this is an improvement.

I also added the two most recent name types, “reptilian” and “Aztec-like”, to the Portuguese language version.

New: “Aztec-like” games, improved reptilian names

As I mentioned yesterday, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the quality / variety of the generated reptilian names. However, I had a thought; besides usually having lots of “esses”, in several fantasy universes, reptilian races are associated, for some reason, with “Aztec-like” cultures (e.g. Warlords Battlecry 3). This has allowed me not only to improve the reptilian names, but also to add a new type, “Aztec-like” names. In fact, the former are currently a “superset” of the latter.

“Aztec-like” names examples:

  • Coātl-li
  • Tōnatpa
  • Iuhahitl
  • Huelizal
  • Texochcuā
  • Cue-lō
  • Huatl-loc
  • Linatno
  • Na-yotl
  • Tlāl-zatl
  • Cauh’li
  • Linoyli
  • Tli’pa
  • Melotlhui
  • Petlico
  • Ca-noch
  • Natato
  • Tlachhuittla
  • Tlah’chi
  • Cicaxōch

Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to add a comment.

New FNG feature: Reptilian names

As suggested in the site itself, they’re appropriate for common fantasy races such as Lizardmen or Snakemen. A few examples (just generated by FNG):

  • Tisthsil
  • Sthsaysth
  • Thysass
  • Thysthssyshst
  • Thashas
  • Hyissthy
  • Thylshi
  • Hthesy
  • Asais
  • Cythllith
  • Sascesth
  • Thassasss
  • Tsisthly
  • Sahhsths
  • Ilsia
  • Fangsais
  • Athlyi
  • Sthasisshl
  • Cythhthis
  • Sahsis

There’s still room for improvement; I already have a few ideas to do so. Anyway, any comments / questions / suggestions?

Welcome to the Fantasy Name Generator blog

As you may have guessed, this is the companion blog for my Fantasy Name Generator (FNG) site, existing since 2009, though it was based in part on a utility I coded for fun (and to generate names for AD&D characters back in the day) on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, in BASIC, in the late 80s.

Why does a name generator even need a blog, you may ask? Well, technically it doesn’t (and it’s thrived perfectly well for 3 years without one). This blog will have mostly just two goals: posting about improvements and new features, and getting (and replying to) user suggestions. Which means that it’s not intended to be a high traffic blog, or a frequently updated one (as I work on the site mostly during my free time). I’m also thinking of, from time to time, doing a post with funny generated names / examples.

So… any suggestions? “Better names” is too vague. 🙂 The ability to generate names for other fantasy races / universes would be a good suggestion. Or some idea that would improve the generation of names of a particular type. Or user interface improvements. Or something else you can think of.

Also, there’s a Portuguese language counterpart of FNG, called Gerador de Nomes de Fantasia (yes, I’m Portuguese). It is mostly the same, but doesn’t include some name types that really only make sense in the English language. On the other hand, it can generate Portuguese name/surname combinations.