Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
thewitchell

The name of place

This topic is 2550 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I am trying to come up with some names for places in the game I am thinking of developing in my spare time while learning in college, but I am terrible with this type of stuff any suggestions on creating names for places and/or worlds? Any help will be greatly appreciated, so thank you for all of the help in advanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Come up with a common theme for the naming of locations in your fictional game world.
Then, using that theme, figure out what the logical names for those areas would be, based off of *why* they were named what they were.

Find whatever real-life country is most similar to the feeling and style of what you are aiming for with your world, and look up the names of the cities in that country to give you an idea to how those names feel.

Example: Look at Great Britain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure how in-depth you're going with this, some like to plan out every little detail whilst others just do it for major plot areas... but you should think about what the settlement does, where it is, the culture of the people.

This town is built around the only bridge over the river Harvey, so it's called Harveyford. Little things like that can add to the depth. If your world has a history then it is much more lifelike. 'Arthur's Seat' in Edinburgh is named as such because it's where King Arthur rested for a while. Suddenly you've opened up the history of Edinburgh, set up a King in the Mountain sub plot, blah blah blah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like Victor's approach.

I have a story here with a pair of cities named Marksworth - named for its founder - and Galvania which means f-knows-what but it sounds kinda like "galvanize"; it's made of English phonemes and arrangements of sounds, so it may sound more natural to an English speaker.

Contrast "Galvania" with "Wrzeszcz", for example.

In Wrzeszcz, the W is like the English V, the RZ is like the 2nd consonant in "measure", the SZ is like our SH (sorta) and the CZ is like our CH (sorta). These are all sounds present in American English, but the arrangement is not. So it sounds completely alien and is difficult to pronounce the first time. Similarly, a lot of Poles can't pronounce words like Prosthesis.

But of course don't go overboard there.

Another story I had featured "Portville" which is just code for Portland. "Gotham" and "Metropolis" are the same thing, but for New York. (New York was sometimes known as Gotham IRL, and that's where that name came from.)

You can screw with things like this for effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coming up with place names depends on a lot of factors. (Victor does a good job of addressing some of them.) Here's a good list of things to consider:


1. Are the place names in English? Many towns and cities are named after famous people, such as St. Louis, Washington, or Franklin.
2. Are there any significant geographical features nearby? For example, "-ford" is a common suffix for town names because prior to modern times, a good ford created a trade-route or travel route that brought enough taffic to support a town or village. The same is true for ferries. The US is full of such towns, such as Hartford, and many streets are named after ferry crossings they lead to, such as Tesson Ferry in St. Louis, Missouri.
3. What about the things the place produces? "Clayton" is the name of a town that produced clay as a major export, for example.

3.5. There are several common suffixes for towns in English, including: "-ton", "-ville" "... City".


4. Are the place names non-Engish words? If the game world is a fantasy world, then you might want to develop a naming language. It's basically a set of sounds and some rules on how they're put together. For example, if you want vaguely Japanese sounding names, then all your words are going to be made up of syllables with only a consonant and a vowel, excpet for maybe some "n"s or "m"s at the end. "Moko" "Kondo", etc. You can do the same thing for any other Earth language. Or, you could just pick your own sounds and make your own rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can use names of real places, objects, people and change them. For example, Blizzard used Igdrasil (nordic family tree) and changed it to Nordrasil. You can notice that "Nord" (nordic) was added to "rasil".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!