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Old December 13, 2010, 23:42   #11
Derakon
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I move that Dean's explanation of how names work be added to the documentation at the top of the file.
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Old December 14, 2010, 01:47   #12
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That's very cool, and also what Derakon said.
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Old December 14, 2010, 16:07   #13
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I'm a little confused by this, and will probably have to re-read it a few times.

What shocks me is that none of the suggested names are from my list. I took out all the Tolkein names and replaced them with mine.

Are you saying it's using my list to figure out how those names are constructed and creating a new one with similar probable combinations?

Interesting if true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Anderson View Post
It probably is using the list, but not the way you might have imagined.

The code doesn't pick a name randomly from the list.

What it does is build up a set of probabilities based on the list.

For example, if your list has...

aaron
alice
bob
fred

The code will read this and decide that the start letter is:

A (50% chance)
B (25% chance)
F (25% chance)

It will also determine that an 'a' has a 33% chance of being followed by another 'a' (as in "aaron"), a 33% chance of being followed by an 'r' (as in "aaron", and a 33% chance of being followed by an "l" (as in "alice")

A 'b' has a 50% chance of being followed by an "o" (as in "bob") and a 50% chance of ending the word (as in "bob").

A 'c' is always followed by an 'e' (as in "alice").

And so forth...

So when it wants to produce a random name, it starts by picking a random starting letter from its list (based on their chances), and then keeps adding another random letter based on the chances of the current last letter until it gets to a word end.

With just a few words, it's rubbish. With that short list of four names it would always follow an 'l' with an 'i' and an 'i' with a 'c' and a 'c' with an 'e', for example. But with lots of words to use as a basis for its probabilities - particularly since those words will show various common letter patterns (i.e. syllables), it's remarkably good at coming up with words that look as though they should be real words in the language that the list was written in.

For example, the main list in the file is a list of names of Tolkien characters. Based on these, the code comes up with random names that also sound plausibly Tolkien-ish.

If you put in a big list of English boys names, it would come up with random names that sound like they could be English boys names. If you put in Latin words, it would come up with words that sound Latin (as it does when choosing the text for scrolls).

So it does work, and is based on the names you give it. It just isn't as crude as picking a random one from the list. It's far less repetitive than that.
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Old December 14, 2010, 16:17   #14
Derakon
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Correct. If it simply pulled names directly from the list, then there'd be a much smaller name pool and you'd inevitably run into repeats. Zangband's random artifacts used to work like this, and I remember finding two random artifact armors named "Bubble" in the same vault once.

In short, there's no way to force the game to use certain names without changing how names are selected, which requires modifying the source code.
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Old December 14, 2010, 16:23   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Correct. If it simply pulled names directly from the list, then there'd be a much smaller name pool and you'd inevitably run into repeats. Zangband's random artifacts used to work like this, and I remember finding two random artifact armors named "Bubble" in the same vault once.

In short, there's no way to force the game to use certain names without changing how names are selected, which requires modifying the source code.
slight bummer, since I was altering it for a friend to include spoofed online names of various friends of ours. the suggested names lose that feeling, and many of the statistical rules are messy since the names were often several words concatenated together.

might get better results without the spoofed names, using their original online names, but will still have strange non-sensical randomized combinations.

however, this is not much of a problem, since I doubt he or anyone else will use the randomizer rather than create their own names.
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Old December 14, 2010, 21:29   #16
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I move that Dean's explanation of how names work be added to the documentation at the top of the file.
Done - now in staging: https://github.com/angband/angband/b...edit/names.txt
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