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captain_crunch

Brainstorming names for a sci-fi game

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I am developing a game in a sci-fi setting and I would like to know if there are useful techniques for coming up with many names for things like: Places - planets, cities etc. Animals and Plants Technology People Are there online resources (dictionaries etc.) that can provide inspiration?

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Thank you. Yes, I realize now there are many name generators on the internet. It seems a lot of them are of low quality though.

What, do you think, are the resources that people use to create the generators?

I would like to see an online dictionary of some sort with animal/plant species and work from there.

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One strategy I've heard of is to pick a language your audience isn't immediately familiar with (Farsi or Interlingua, for example) and use actual words/names from that language.

It's probably slower than an automatic generator, but gives a much more unified and believable feel.

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I've lost the most interesting link somewhere down the line.

It was a site that let you specify the way names/words should sound, using some form of grammar I believe, and then they would generate names according to your specs. But, again, I've lost that link. [sad]

CipherCraft

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The way I see it, many game designers, and even other entertainment professionals, come up with names for their material through word mixing. Taking several words that have a meaning related with the material you're working on, and mixing them into something that resembles a name.

You can also pick up foreign words, latin, you can remove letters, you can switch them by others, you can reverse them, you can remove vowels, duplicate letters, use your imagination. =)

For instance, you have one character that is a blacksmith, he's supposed to be strong and cold, like the very iron he works. So we could choose the word "iron" and change it into "Ivan", the consumers of your material won't see the connection, but subconsciously the name will feel cold and strong as the character.

Another example, this time with more then one word.
I once had to come up with a name for a character that was very peculiar, he was small, but had a huge sword, and since he couldn't properly pick it up, he'd use his back to lift it. The words I choose were "hard" and "back", and came up with the name "Beckard", which is an actual name.

"Sonic" doesn't that name give you a certain sense of speed?
"Voldemort" has the French word for death in it's name "mort".
"Neo" is Latin for "new".

I'm sure you can think of other names. =)

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When scientists discover new plants and animals, they just pick the features of that species that makes it unique then they change those features into latin words. thats how they get names like feline, canine, equine and so on. im sure you can find a latin translator online somewhere, but im not sure. if you find one, try things like :big teeth small ear: or :long sharp tail: good luck!

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