Design and documentation journal for my interactive fiction (text games); also reviews and other miscellaneous stuff.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nomenclature finished!

Got all the names sort appropriately. There's a lot of very strange things people name children. There were a lot of gigglicious moments.

I have a couple concerns with the list I have:

- I may have inadvertently skewed the names towards European names, since those are the ones I encounter more and type more, and so find easier to type correctly.

- The list itself is inadvertently skewed towards Western names, given the time periods I used, and that the names weren't a random sampling - only the top 1,000, so names from small groups are bound to be left out. I don't remember seeing any Vietnamese or Thai names, and only a couple of Korean names. Japanese names have minimal representation.

- I left in a fair number of names I'd feel queasy about using for people. I mean, at some point, Commodore was a popular enough boy's name to make it on the list. I'm a little uncomfortable with the gender binary here. There were an amusing number of names that I'd tag feminine on the male names list, but since there can't be duplicates, I took them off. So there's no Rose, Marian, Ethel, or Edith in the male names list. On the other hand, I left a lot of the action names, job names, and war hero names on the male list. I may go back and change that. On the other hand, I kind of love the idea of having ram named Napoleon or Admiral.

I'm changing the instances to where the code picks names to use variables, rather than hard numbers, so it'll be easier to update the list numbers when I add/remove names.
(So instead of saying "Let R be a random number from 1 to 1000 . . ." I say "Let R be a random number from 1 to numberoffemalenames . . .")

It should clear up issues down the line. I hope. It's kind of hard to plan ahead, since I'm still figuring out Inform's little quirks. Stuff I think should work *awesomely* doesn't.

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