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Author Topic: The character name creation guide  (Read 7026 times)


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The character name creation guide
« on: October 24, 2013, 11:33:20 PM »

This is a small guide to help people who would like to create new, original and believable names for RimWorld characters.

For the official guidelines PLZ see: Creative Rewards Guidelines

So this is about 3400 years in the future and you need to name someone. While some classic name might stay the same like John Smith or Yu Wong. After that much time, names are bound to change and evolve.

Because names from different cultures and different places can differ greatly, I suggest you read the RimWorld longsleep revival briefing to have a better understanding of the RimWorld universe and to have an idea as to where the character might come from.

First names:
- The first name is what people will call the character. It has be intelligible and easy to pronounce.
Ex: "Silvana" is alright but "Gbuthrdfgut" not so much.

- I've notice that, no matter the number of letters, first names will usually not be more than 4 syllables long.
Ex: "Jean-François" 12 letters and 3 syllables. "Jean", "Fran" and "çois"

- If the name is too long it just might get confusing.
"Britny" 6 letters, 2 syllables.
"Britany" 7 letters, 3 syllables.
"Britanyca" 9 letters, 4 syllables.
"Britanycala" 11 letters, 5 syllables.
"Britany-Calabra" 14 letters, 6 syllables. While this name would be valid in the real world, it's a mouthful.

- Try to mix names from similar cultures. You can get very interesting results this way.
For example if you take "Elisabeth" and "Isabelle". You can get "Elisabelle" and "Isabeth".

Surnames are an other matter. While it's not always the case, most surnames and family names, no matter the culture, have a specific meaning. It could be socially related, work related, environmental, geographic...ect.
Ex: Smith, Potter, Mason, Tailor, Spinner, Thatcher, Tyler, Slater, Miller, Baker, Cook, Fisher, Shepherd, Skinner.

These are all surnames related to the work people did in medieval times. If the character comes from an industrious heavy planet than we could probably add "Smelter", "Pumper" and "Asphalter" to the list.

If a family lives close to a river, they might end up having the surname "Kawasaki" or "Riverstone" in a generation or two.
If this family is on a war torn toxic planet they might have the surname "Toxipond", "Deadlake", "Crater" or "Blackrain" instead.
If your character is a descendant from a small group of bio-engineered soldiers he might have the surname "Sniper", "Spotter", "Driver", "Gunner" and all the military ranks even if he's actually a Burger Flipper.

Basically, think of where your character comes from and on what kind of planet did he/she grew up.

Hexadecimal Names:
- If you can make some good names with only the letters: A, B, C, D, E, F and maybe O for 0. Go for it.
Just be prepared to do some explanation.

Here is a list of sites that can help you in creating a good name.

Feeling creative? Wordiod will create random fake words in sevral languages.
Japanese naming conventions with first names and surnames lists.

Russian naming conventions with first names and surnames lists.

Spanish naming conventions with first names and surnames lists.

English naming conventions with first names and surnames lists.

French naming conventions with first names and surnames lists.

German naming conventions with first names and surnames lists.

Arabic first names and surnames lists.