Constraining Names to a Theme
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:42 pm    Post subject: Constraining Names to a Theme Reply with quote

Hey, all...

I've put a lot of work into making the theme of my MUD accurately (perhaps a loose term, with no written history) Celtic. The trouble is, players seldom take truely Celtic names.

At log-in, I have the addy of a site with hundreds of old Gaelic names, but it's obvious no one is going there. I even threaten players with being ignored by the Clans if the name isn't appropriate (of course, since the game is too new to HAVE Clans yet, that may be a vaporthreat).

I can't complain people are using BAD names, they're just too Romanesque in general. Fine for your average fantasy game, but not what I had in mind.

Now, we're a H&S game that is designed to allow RP, but I don't even "encourage" it. An RP-only Clan would be okay with me, though, and I'm hoping someone starts one. My question is, really, how strict should I be, given I don't want to alientate your basic Diku-loving hack and slasher?
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eiz



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 152
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many H&Ses have naming policies anyway (no SS5Gokus allowed, etc). Personally I'd like to just use my real (Gaelic Razz) name on H&S muds but many don't like that, for example. I don't think it would be overly problematic to be strict about this. Really, picking a name that fits the theme is not a huge burden, even for those of us who can't stand RP. Plus, Celtic names are cool anyway.
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Spazmatic



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Early on, enforcing it could lose you players. That's just a fact of the matter. One trick, however, might be finding a way to incorporate a database of legal names into the mud itself, and require authorization (maybe maximum level based) if the name doesn't match. Make this clearly stated, right from the start - I've had some luck with "convenienced" based motivation before, and all it'd really take is a little data mining.
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Jaruzel



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 13
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disneys Toontown (no, no, no stay with me on this one...) offers up three sets of name-lists. Set 1: Title. Set 2: First Name. Set 3: Last Name.

So during character creation, you pick a entry from each name list, for example:
Title = Mr
First = Floopy
Last = Bugglesworth

or

Title = Prof.
First = Dappy
Last = Clapper

This ensures that all characters in the game have Disney-esque names. If you can't build a name that suits you, they also offer custom name entry that is then accepted or rejected by an admin within 24 hours. While you wait for your custom name to be accepted (or not) you are assigned a temporary name.

This name-list system could be easily adapted for your MUD, and probably wouldn't require *that* much coding effort. I don't known any celtic names, so apologies for not giving examples. I'm sure you get what I mean though.

-Jaruzel.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hee hee... eiz, now you've got me wondering what your 'real' name is. Smile

Spaz, I think you're right. While it doesn't seem like a lot of work to talk about it, opening a browser and pasting an address in may just be a bit too much ask of players faced with such a simple question.

I think I might try Jar's suggestion. I have a long list of Irish names, I'll have to try to find the same for the Scots. And the Angles. Funny thing is, "John" would be perfectly in theme, not that any self-respecting adventurer would feel immersed in a game with a name like that. Shocked

Thanks, guys.
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:

I think I might try Jar's suggestion. I have a long list of Irish names, I'll have to try to find the same for the Scots. And the Angles. Funny thing is, "John" would be perfectly in theme, not that any self-respecting adventurer would feel immersed in a game with a name like that. Shocked

Thanks, guys.


Those Angles be not Celts.

But don't forget us Cymru, and you may need to expand that login name field so I can login as
Leodegrance Llewhellin ab Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
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eiz



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 152
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:
Hee hee... eiz, now you've got me wondering what your 'real' name is.


I lied actually. My first name (Mackenzie) is an English bastardization of the surname. Smile
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My old mud required PCs to have 'normal' modern-day names. So I allowed players to select any OOC account name they liked, but then (much like the example mentioned by Jaruzel) required them to select a first and last IC name from a list of choices (there were two or three hundred first names and over a thousand surnames, although the player could only select from sublist containing about a dozen or so of each). This did result in some amusing names, such as a vampire called Drew Blood, a PC called Malcolm Malcolm, and one player who was able to select her own RL name - but in general it worked out very well.
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Spazmatic



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think OOC logins are probably a must in this situation, not least of which because, by golly, when players come back after a long hiatus, they might end up trying to login as Spazmatic, failing, and deciding their pfile was deleted. That would be unfortunate, since I honestly can't remember my theme-constrained names half the time.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies, Tyche, I've been focusing on the Goidelic languages. Wink
Just for you, I'll do a search for Welsh baby names. But no, I don't think I'll expand the name field. That would mess up the WHO.

Och, Mackenzie is a fine name, indeed!

In discussions this morning, it did seem 'accounts' were the way to go, though I'm not fond of the prospect of complicating the login. How I do this will be interesting... it may end up with all the player's characters in one pfile. I already have a separate NAME field within the pfile, rather than use the name of the file, to allow surnames for the clans.

Spaz, you're so right, the auto-login of most clients leaves me helpless when it comes to remembering who I am, where. This is one reason I'm sympathetic to those that use the same name in every game.
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Lindahl



Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:
In discussions this morning, it did seem 'accounts' were the way to go, though I'm not fond of the prospect of complicating the login. How I do this will be interesting... it may end up with all the player's characters in one pfile. I already have a separate NAME field within the pfile, rather than use the name of the file, to allow surnames for the clans.


A bit off topic, but it's been suggested before that accounts could be a directory and everything related to the account would exist in a file in the directory (account config, account info, each character). Just another option...
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Lared



Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:
Funny thing is, "John" would be perfectly in theme, not that any self-respecting adventurer would feel immersed in a game with a name like that. Shocked


...The MUD you're working on sounds identical to mine. Down to the name. Shocked

But--John? No no no. Sean! Shane! But not John. (I jest; they all come out the same in the end, if you account for the differences between cultures and flavors, eh?)

I don't plan to enforce Irish names on my MUD. My naming policy is basically thus:

-One word. One capital letter. Player names are first names, Mc/Mac/whatever is adopted ICly in their title.
-No historical names (Napoleon).
-No common-culture names (Wolverine).
-No numbers.
-No funny characters (ASCII > 127).

Other than that...frankly, I don't see a huge need to restrict players beyond that except for a VERY specific type of game--and that type of game will lose most of those players anyway.

Ed
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Spazmatic



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Other than that...frankly, I don't see a huge need to restrict players beyond that except for a VERY specific type of game--and that type of game will lose most of those players anyway.
...
-One word. One capital letter. Player names are first names, Mc/Mac/whatever is adopted ICly in their title.
-No historical names (Napoleon).
-No common-culture names (Wolverine).


The need generally arises when you want to create the look-and-feel of a theme. It's not really that uncommon, as most RP muds will require it, and many non-RP muds as well. Many of these muds are also quite successful playerbase wise.

Interestingly, while your list of restrictions won't allow me to be named "Peter" or "Caesar", it apparently doesn't have a problem with "Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz".

It is notable that by outlawing historical names and common-culture names, you are also removing a primary source of drift and variation in societal naming conventions. Not quite sure how I see that as a good idea, actually - in fact, it retains utterly vulgar or absurd names such as "Fuck" or "Antidisestablishmentarianism" but disallows very valid names such as "Newton" or "Cicero" or "Allegra". Why?

(Note to all: Allegra is a name of Italian origin. Notables with the name include Byron's illegitimate daughter. It has, in recent years, seen a tremendous jump in popularity. HOWEVER, it's also the name of a rather successful pharamaceutical drug, and interestingly, the jump in popularity coincides with the wide-scale adoption of the drug. It's both historical and common-culture, yet there are a huge number of children who are this very moment being born with that name. Poor kids.)
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Lared



Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh. I should have mentioned the "no nonsense names" bit; it's in the name policy I've written up for my current project. I guess I figured it was just pretty obvious.

Besides, "Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz" wouldn't work...it's too long. Razz 12 character limit, thankyouverymuchgoodbye.

I'd also recommend adding a "these naming conventions may be waived at the discretion of the implementer/roleplay staff" or some such, and another note of "these rules may be added to at any time." Just to catch these sorts of loopholes.
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Spazmatic



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd also recommend adding a "these naming conventions may be waived at the discretion of the implementer/roleplay staff" or some such, and another note of "these rules may be added to at any time." Just to catch these sorts of loopholes.


And then all sorts of problems will arise with troublesome players. Maybe even perfectly reasonable players and admins who simply can't see the reasoning.

Which brings us back to the original purpose of this thread - automatic systems for constraining names to a theme. For better or for worse, those problems I listed above are exactly the ones such a system is designed to avoid (though at the cost of introducing other difficulties). Several posts later, I finally get to make my original point. Yeah, I'm long-winded. Razz
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