Game Design: Random Name Generator and Other Story Tools

I’m always looking for game ideas. Whether it be an entire game, or just a story plot point. These ideas can come from anywhere: an overheard conversation, a magazine article, a personal experience, etc. Sometimes this isn’t enough. Sometimes random computer generation can help when times are tough and ideas are drying up.

This is where story tools come to the rescue. I recently wrote about Randomized Game Design Ideas and the great site: Seventh Sanctum. Well I found another valuable tool — you can never have enough, right?

Language Is A Virus is an interesting website primarily targeted at writers. There are tools to help with poems, character names, and titles (among others).

Poems! I had never even thought of having poems in a game before, but why not? What a great way to give a role playing game some depth by having a character spew poems as hints to your quest? Or maybe a book of poems that hide the directions to finding a hidden treasure?

Here’s an example of one of the poems that the “Automatic Poetry Generator” produced for me:

Strange and arid against the earth

Strangely huge below the dreamscape
You cavort with big women among the mud
Be wary! The end is going
Strange and colorful above the gods
You breathe vaporous spirits among the light
Be watchful. The vision keeps going
Strange and arid against the earth
We hobnob with big illusions on the light
Awaken! The day is hard
clouded seeking
lost in broad daylight
a phone ringing somewhere
After how many voyages
my friend
grow old
and miss his turning

Not too bad… I can see taking this and massaging it a bit and it being quite useful. If nothing else, it certainly has a cool feel to it.

What about a random character name? Here’s a few examples from the “Character Name Generator”:

  • Scout Lovie Mo
  • River Bug Cinnamon
  • Trish Mikaia Jeslyn

Hmmm… not quite as good, but I like “Scout”, “River”, even “Mikaia”. These are great names for NPCs!

Not too shabby for a free tool. Enjoy.