Just wrote this up; this system is already in place in the test build.
Awesome Blog! I was liking the no name idea, until you pointed out the set backs =P
I like the current name system very much. Even though I would have never chose a name like Ross, I liked it better than the others that were shown (not sure why :P). In life you can't always choose what card your dealt. =D
wow random names...not something I like. I was once talked into trying the game 'popomundo' by an old friend and quickly left because of the name/character selection thing there.
the only game I've played where they had serious rules about names was Illarion. they used to have a name and wait thing where you create your char then wait to be allowed by a GM. they later changed it so that players were allowed to play as soon as they created but the name could be changed by a GM if it didn't fit the game rules.
I do like the no name part, but you did bring up something that could be a problem. adding players a randomly generated number could fix that, so you see the player's number even if you don't know thier name(again something from Illarion). you could still have the actual creator of an item's name on the item for instance you go to a store and buy any product its labelled with the brand name(and sometimes the smaller company that made it) and if its some generic brand you may have never heard of it before...that could be used to get a player's 'brand' to spread even if they decide to be some type of recluse who never leaves home.
now after typing all that I have to say, in almost every game I play I use the name Greatest. it creates alot of enemies who hate me just because of my name, but as said in your blog gives people who want it a bit of insight into who I am. I have a huge ego and usually show it every chance I get...with your system theres no way I would be able to use my name. I also see naming as a reason people would also choose not to play this game. I know it seems trivial, but in a game a person's choice for a name is a usually the only real choice they get and its something I really wouldn't want to lose.
Seems like an interesting concept, but I would be disappointed if I weren't allowed to use Ozymandias Llewellyn, both first and last name are real first and last names, just an unusual combination that would never be found in a randomly generated algorithm.
An idea would be to use both. Have an "Account Name" and a "Player Name" and allow the player to choose whether to show the account name or player name of other players when playing.
. It's definitely not trivial, and I agree with the concerns. This is only experimental and I'm open to changing it if it's bad. It's definitely risky. A big disadvantage is you can't choose a name you always play with. It's very off-putting that way.
I don't think that system you described would work exactly. However, I am thinking of adding Trademarks. In that case, your Trademark could be Greatest, with all your stuff labeled with that, which could help. (Frustrated new players wouldn't know about that though.) In my opinion, GM name changes are harmful for being delayed and subjective. I need a hands-off approach, where the players have a world that I don't interfere with.
The display option doesn't work because players need to all use the same system in order to talk about each other.
Well, you see, what I was talking about was more like a roleplaying game I used to play. Everyone was forced to use a "Real Name" as their name, but you could check an option in options, and whenever you saw their "Real Name" you also saw their account name under it.
Ah, that does sound okay. But if the secondary/account name is never used for anything else, seeing it there doesn't seem like it's any more helpful to the player who wants a custom name.
It is helpful for things like player reporting though, I mean if there is someone hacking or abusing the game in any way, which is more easily remembered, John Thompson or "l33thackernoob"
Oh yea, and with the random names system, I really think it would be better to index a list of names, and allow the player to "type in" a name and have the game come up with autocomplete suggestions, or similar names to your user name. Like if I type in "Tony11harp" it might search the name to see if it contains any usable first or last names. If it contains only a first name, or only a last name, it would suggest a random first or last name to go with it, like Thomas Harp.
thats something else that I was thinking but didn't mention, I've played a game where you don't get to choose your name normally and someone was talking to me, even used the name I had a few times and I didn't even realize he meant me til later...
its not just about remembering someone else's name, remembering your own name can be a problem also
You'd get used to using your own name.
Reporting is the same either way really.
Autocomplete I mentioned in the article, it has the problem with lists.
Sounds nice, but I swear, if I get names like EidelHosenSpracen Anderson, that would really mess up my characters immersion.
why are you against the idea of people using whatever name they want? if you're playing the game and you're totally immersed in your character seeing someone with a name thats different doesn't mean you have to come out of your immersion. for that matter having a name thats not quite standard doesn't keep you from becoming immersed.
I'd also like to point out that even with the game set up to use names the way you're planning(dual lists) will take them out of the setting they're in. think of cavemen with names like John Wright Bob Fletcher or Tom Smith. those surnames comes from words that represent trades, a smith being someone who worked with metal a fletcher being someone who made arrows and a wright being someone who builds things from wood. most surnames have some similar meaning and in a world with nothing created, how can you have a surname that means maker of something?
I'm not 'against' people using whatever names they want, beyond the reasoning I explained in the blog post. The problem is not names that are "different", it's the offensive or distracting names you end up with.
Characters in FE aren't cavemen themselves, they just are on a primitive Earth. They come from somewhere else, with full knowledge of Earth's history, including names.
that statement sort of goes against the entire premise of invention in the game.
if we already know everything of earth's history, why wouldn't we(within moments of arriving) start working towards what we're used to? making wooden tools and weapons before advancing to the stone age seems useless when you know how to make and use steel. digging a hole in the ground as a place to sleep seems stupid when you know how to build skyscrapers. trying to tame a pigeon to use to send messages is a waste of time if you know how to use radio waves...
That is true. From About:
>There is no intended parallel to real Earth history. The same things may be invented, but much more quickly than in real history, because players are actually modern thinkers with access to Wikipedia.
The reason to make, for example, wooden tools, is that you need wooden tools to make anything more advanced.
Reminds me of Dwarf Fortress's naming system, sure hope Urist is one of the possible names!
Is Urista close enough? :D