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Names for places and NPC

#1
How will the generation of planet, system, moon, station, nebula, and other names be handled? Will there be a generic list of names (like numbers and Greek letters, types of stations like "depot" or "outpost," real-life locations) or will there be a sort of name generation system where a list of letters (like p, t, k, a, e, i, etc.) or a list of syllables (like na, ka, la, om, id) that can be fused with each other to create fictional placenames?

Or would there be something else, and would we be able to name stations, planets, factions, and other things that we own? (Like maybe a ship title card in addition to possibly a character name)?
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Re: Regarding Placenames

#2
In general, lists of syllables will be fed to probabilistic models, which will then generate probability distributions among different factions, regions, etc. This will create coherent variation in names, such that, for example, NPCs in a certain region might have names that follow similar naming patterns.

Yes, you will be able to name your own assets!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Regarding Placenames

#4
i do like that specific name patterns will be systematized it kinda adds that culture feel for those of us that get more into the rpg aspect.
also its a decent way of telling freind from foe in some situations. (ie faction x always names their ships delu-XYZ and you find a ship called Delutorutos you could know in advance what to expect from that particular npc.)
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Regarding Placenames

#5
Dadalos wrote:i do like that specific name patterns will be systematized it kinda adds that culture feel for those of us that get more into the rpg aspect.
also its a decent way of telling freind from foe in some situations. (ie faction x always names their ships delu-XYZ and you find a ship called Delutorutos you could know in advance what to expect from that particular npc.)
Exactly, that's the idea :)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Regarding Placenames

#6
Something that I have used previously that gives really good results for name creation is the "Everchanging Book of Names" (http://ebon.pyorre.net/). My understanding of it is that from a starting set of names it calculates statistics on the distribution of certain syllables and uses those in the generation of new names that fit in with the current set.

So for example if you use the name set for Old World / Lombards, male you get results like: Ainoar, Aganoald, Sirambilf etc.

Personally I have no idea how "Lombardish" those names are but its something :-)
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Re: Regarding Placenames

#7
Speaking of names - would it be possible to generate alien aliens that don't follow a rational human naming scheme?

For instance:

Bargle.
This peculiar race seems to use only a single noun as well as only ever using one item for all related functions. They use one type of hull, one laser, one missile system, one name. Assumptions that they would use adjectives (which they know) to differentiate functions or items have not been proven. A Bargle is always a Bargle and always the same Bargle.
Every bargle (as in member of the species) is named Bargle. So are their planets, systems, suns, cities, ships, and apparently everything else. Navigating their systems is risky because their maps don't differ between nav beacons, planets, debris fields, or space stations. They are all Bargle, too. Trading with them is highly confusing because they only buy or sell Bargle.
No one has yet figured out how this can possibly work for a space-faring race. Theories range from telepathy (even though they do use language to communicate) to racial memory, up to a bargle conspiracy, which claims that they use different names internally. No proof for any of them has ever been found. The bargle are confounding mystery.

While bargle equipment can be used in the ships of other races, they do not sell blueprints and all attempts at reverse engineering have failed. The prevalent opinion among scientists and engineers who tried is that this is bargle.



If you generate letter salad but all races follow the exact same conventions for the organisation of cities, stations, trading, and military ships, then you have a universe of completely generic Star Trek rubber head "aliens".
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Regarding Placenames

#8
It would be possible to program phonotactical rules, I guess.

You'd start with a repository of letters, like the Latin alphabet:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

And then you assign each of those letters a classification.

Vowels: A, E, I, O, U, (Y)

Plosives: P, T, K (C), B, D, G
Stops: N, M, (NG)
Approximants: L, R, (Y), W
Fricatives: F, V, S (C), Z, H, SH, (ZH), TH (like "thing"), DH (like "the")
Affricates: J, (T)CH
Cluster: X (combination of k and s), QU (Cluster of k and w)

And you could program the game to select these different phonemes only in certain ways, such that you don't get ridiculous and impossible letter combinations such as QMTYC or something. Different "layouts" for parts of names, which could go like this:
Plosive + Approximant + Vowel -- This could compose a syllable. For example, we can get the syllable "PRA" with this layout, as well as "TWE" or "NYU".
And you could make a variety of these syllable possibilities, like Stop + Vowel + Approximant, or Fricative + Plosive + Vowel, or Fricative + Plosive + Approximant + Vowel, but the more phonemes you have per syllable, the more likely you are to run into issues.

But certain fricatives don't mesh well with plosives and stops, like F and V, and TH, and such. Stridents S and Z do, though. So we could split the classification further:

Fricatives: TH, (DH), F, V, (ZH), (SH)
Stridents: S, Z

But if there's still trouble, like trying to pronounce "ZGR", then you can split all of the consonant phonemes according to a voiceless/voiced dichotomy:

Voiceless Plosives: P, T, K (C), (QU)
Voiced Plosives: B, D, G
Stops (almost always voiced): N, M, (NG)
Approximants(almost always voiced): L, R, (Y), W
Voiceless Fricatives: F, H, SH, TH (like "thing")
Voiced Fricatives: V, ZH, DH (like "the")
Voiceless Strident: S
Voiced Strident: Z
Voiceless Affricate: (T)CH
Voiced Affricate: J
Cluster: X, QU

So then you have a working repository of consonants and digraphs to choose from.
But then there's also vowels to work with.

A, E, I, O, U, and Y are certainly not nearly as many letters as there are vowel sounds to choose from. So we could go for specifics and use accent marks to increase the vowel graphemes we have to work with or double the vowels to make them "long" or arrange them into a variety of diphthongs.

But accent marks don't always work with some computers, and they're annoying to type if you wanna tell your friend about your universe's development. So let's stick to the other two methods.

Basically, we can take any two vowels and stick them side-by-side for a diphthong, although some of them will look weird because we (generally being English speakers, though I expect there are plenty of people looking to play this game who DON'T speak English natively) aren't familar with them. We can start with just our double letter pairs:

AA, EE, II, OO, UU, YY. These could simply be the longer forms of the other vowels, or be pronounced differently -- it won't matter because there's no voice acting or anything like that.
Then we can tackle our diphthongs:

A: AE, AI, AO, AU, AY
E: EA, EI, EO, EU, EY
I: IA, IE, IO, IU, IY
O: OA, OE, OI, OU, OY
U: UA, UE, UI, UO, UY
Y: YA, YE, YI, YO, YU

Plus our long and short monophthongs:
AA, EE, II, OO, UU, YY
A, E, I, O, U, Y

And maybe even an H-convention for another set:
AH, EH, IH, OH, UH, YH

Now, this might become problematic to read if you use Y as both a consonant (like in "you") AND as a vowel (like in "happy"). But generally the vowels are easier to use than consonants in this sort of situation, so anywhere you have space for a "vowel" phoneme in one of the syllable structures, any of the above vowel letter combinations could be used.

So let's make a four syllable name using the following:
Voiced Plosive + Vowel
Voiceless Fricative + Vowel + Stop
Approximant + Vowel
Voiceless Affricate + Vowel

BE + SIN + YOE + TCHYU = Besinyoetchyu.

I don't really understand programming very much, but this is the general idea behind phonotactics. I suppose there could be variations on this alphabet throughout the game, with letters added or taken away to create a distinct naming aesthetic for different regions, factions, or equipment. If you could procedurally generate alphabets from a repository of characters, and then phonotactical rules, then I guess this would fit.

But again, I really have no idea if that's possible.
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