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 Post subject: Random Name Generators
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:19 am 
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I recently posted <a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/jerith/3708.html">this</a> in my LiveJournal and it generated some discussion on #Schlock_Mercenary. If you don't feel like reading the link, it describes a basic random name generator I wrote to play with the idea of context-free grammars.

Some of the relevent comments (edited for readability) are below:

Rhamphoryncus wrote:
Personally, what I think a name generator needs most is a rating system. Basically determine how "hard" a name is, or whether the "feel" is a certain way (like masculine or feminine, or elvish or dwarvish), and then let you filter and maybe sort based upon it. So instead of trying to generate good names to begin with you instead take a bunch of bad names and figure out which ones of the bunch aren't so bad
jerith wrote:
Perhaps have a rating system that adjusts the generating grammar instead of a filter. But how would you do the filter?
Rhamphoryncus wrote:
Well I'd do stuff like counting the number of hard sounds in a name
jerith wrote:
We could always use a CS or two-level grammar to handle that kind of rule.


Any other comments? Suggestions? Criticisms? Shiny things?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 8:40 pm 
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How about something like Martin Gardner's matchbox learning engine?

Give each symbol an equal probability of following any other symbol. Add a symbol for the end of the name and treat it as if it were any other symbol, except that it stops the name generation.

The tough part is filtering out the bad names until you have weeded out many of the combinations that "feel" bad.


A more complex version could keep track of symbol position within the name, and the symbols on both sides of the subject symbol. In that case the name could be generated from any starting position and be built from the middle out.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:41 pm 
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Shiny thing? WHERE?!?

I started writing a gibberish generator for Schlock Mercenary a while back... posted a couple of times to the SM forum about it, can't remember what thread.

The method I used was to group sounds into phonetic groups, then reassemble them according to the phonetic rules of English. By changing the way certain sounds were expressed but not changing the actual rules, I ended up with gibberish that a) looked nicely alien and b) sounded plausible to the English-speaking ear.

It generated names like "Fathrorlborw Nolb" Space Station and the like.

I may still have those rules lying around somewhere if you're interested.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:16 am 
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Chalain wrote:
Shiny thing? WHERE?!?

Thought that would get your attention :-)

Chalain wrote:
I started writing a gibberish generator for Schlock Mercenary a while back... posted a couple of times to the SM forum about it, can't remember what thread.

The method I used was to group sounds into phonetic groups, then reassemble them according to the phonetic rules of English. By changing the way certain sounds were expressed but not changing the actual rules, I ended up with gibberish that a) looked nicely alien and b) sounded plausible to the English-speaking ear.

It generated names like "Fathrorlborw Nolb" Space Station and the like.

I may still have those rules lying around somewhere if you're interested.


Please ;-)

Would make a nice starting point for some other grammars.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:01 pm 
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jerith wrote:
Please ;-)


Okay, but you'll be sorry. Heh. I decided to be nice and write up some comments explaining what I was thinking and how the script works. It took me over an hour to explain it. Heh. (You're welcome.)

IMPORTANT: This is not a grammar by any means. It's nothing more than a plausible-sounding gibberish generator. But here you go:

http://www.shinybit.com/golbwerian.py
http://www.shinybit.com/creeth.py

IMPORTANT: start with golbwerian. Just LOOK at creeth.py and you'll see why. It's about 5x as complex as golbwerian.

Also, I didn't put any notes in creeth.py. They're all in golbwerian.py instead. Though, once you understand golbwerian.py, creeth.py will make complete sense: there's just a lot more data in there. The data structures and methods are the same.

...probably. It's been a while. :-)

How would this affect name generators and grammars? Well, names are formed from grammars (E.g. Peter Miller comes from "Stone" and "the guy who runs the mill"), but the words themselves are formed from syllables and idioms. This gibberish generator, bolted onto a grammar engine, could throw out languages without forcing the programmer to painstakingly choose the phonetic base. You'll end up with nicely foreign gibberish... but in such a way that it sounds plausible.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:22 pm 
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here http://www.behindthename.com/random.html

it had all you are talkin bout
and more


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:10 am 
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Thanks for the link :-)

Is the code for this available anywhere?

It looks more like a list of names that it strings together rather than a grammar to generate new names fitting a particular style...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:04 pm 
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no code anywhere that i know of

sorry


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