Post by Neo Samurai on Jun 3, 2006 17:56:49 GMT -5
Yes, but not for main characters:
Minor or non-important characters can have common names, but main characters cannot.
Yes, but only for a few main characters:
Only a couple of the main characters can have a common name.
Yes, main characters should have common names:
All main characters should have common names.
No, no characters should have common names:
Any character with a common name is unacceptable.
I don't really care
It doesn't bother you if a character has a common or uncommon name.
Now, what do I mean when I say "common" names? I mean names like Bob, Bill, Joe, etc. You get the idea.
As for my choice, I think that common names can be used, but only for minor or non-important characters. When a main character has a common name, it doesn't fit well. A main character with a common name feels just that...common. Not that a main character should be the cliched epic-hero-who-has-no-weaknesses, I don't think they should feel like a common person that you can pull off the street.
Think about it like this, let's say that you have an uncle who lives out of town and has a lazy eye named Bill. Whenever you hear that name, you think of him. Now, let's say you're starting to play a new RPG. It turns out the main character's name is Bill. Now, whenever you see or hear about him, you're gonna think of your uncle who lives out of town and has a lazy eye.
Using an uncommon, foreign, or made-up name will have less chance of giving off this kind of feeling.
Post by thetruecoolness on Jun 3, 2006 18:24:44 GMT -5
I tend to think that having a main character with a normal name is fine in some instances. It can be used to show the irony how special someone can be with a normal name. Also for some games it can add to the whole one everyday person can make a difference motif. At times I get tired of how strange all main characters names must be, like anyone would ever be named that, and at times it can take away from the supension of disbelief if the name is too out there, also no charater should ever be named Fayt, or something similar to that (that really bothered me in Star Ocean:Till The End of Time that the main characters name was Fayt). Now of course if the chracter is really eccentric you would imagine they would come from a strange family and probably not have a normal name. So I don't think it would be good for all main characters but I think it would give a nice contrast to all of the other wierd names to have a chacter named John or something like that.
"And I can't tell if your laughing, Cause between each smile is a tear in your eye. There's a train leaving town in an hour. It's not waiting for you and neither am I."
Post by Dungeon Warden on Jun 3, 2006 19:05:08 GMT -5
Personally, I prefer more unusual names for characters in a fantasy setting as it adds to the feeling that you are in an other world. I think some common names would be okay - but only if those names were used in ancient times. Simple names are easier to read and remember, but I'd rather see a name like Cid then Bob. I guess there are some names that work for me and some that don't. So I guess it's not so much if common names should be used, but if that name fits the feel of the character in the story.
So, yes to names that fit the setting and no to names that don't. I guess that doesn't fit into any of the options given.
first of all, every NPC has a name (in most of my games...no Spirit Saga or Seraphim tho...dunno why) and of course they will be common names like Jeff, David, Jill, Jack, etc...so naturally i find common names okay.
as for main characters, it depends on the name. William is a fine name for a character in an RPG, as are names like Logan, Gene, Edward, and Seth, among others. it really depends if the name fits or not.
but, that's just me.
Black all around me, even the water. The water’s not really black, of course. Reflection from the sky. Water’s like a mirror sometimes. Lets you see your face in it, anyway. Reflecting the night’s face, then, isn’t it? Does the night have a face? It must. Otherwise the water couldn’t reflect it.
I am made from the dust of the stars and the oceans flow in my veins
my opinion on names (and the heroes that carry them):
ive always liked the idea of the antihero or the hero that isnt really a hero, the common man just trying to make it, trying to do what needs to be done, yadda yadda yadda (phoenix pinion carrys this line of reasoning) so i am totally okay with common names, however...
i am totally okay with uncommon names, so long as they are made common (everyone shouldnt be name paul and tom and richard and then a hero named Persathimus). when i was writing Phoenix Pinion (is there enough self promotion yet? i think not...) i started with the name Jale (not sure why) and because i set on that name, i decided that everyone should have wierd names. i eventually developed a cast with names like Mina, Barne, Lynn, Wiesim, Dante, Alicia, and so forth. Not all of these are uncommon names, but they all have a certain fit to them (in my opinion).
further, someone mentioned that some names are unbelievable, and i think that no matter how crazy a name, the key to making it believeable is to make other names in the same spirit. if everyone has a weird name, the weird name is no longer weird, right?
Post by Doan the Nado on Jun 4, 2006 20:15:50 GMT -5
I haven't voted because it really depends on the setting of your RPG. If it is supposed to be something that is happening in our world (meaning sometime in the last 400 years or so, on Earth), then common names make perfect sense. If it is supposed to be set in a historical setting, the names should match the names from the time, at least seeming to fit in.
If your RPG takes place in another world altogether, you have the freedom (and perhaps the obligation) to make up all-original names. Just like you wouldn't expect to go to a foreign land and see people wearing the same clothes that we do, you also can't expect them to have the same names.
Maybe I'm too much of a stickler for realism. As Rodak has pointed out on many occasions, it's all about how fun a game is. I don't dwell too much on things like names, but if it's something like what thetruecoolness described where it detracts from the game, then that's a problem.
Of course, there are always exceptions. If your game is kind of off-the-wall anyways, then it might make perfect sense to have an alien character named Bob in your party.
Post by Neo Samurai on Jun 6, 2006 12:19:42 GMT -5
One thing though...
As much as I like main characters having uncommon, foreign, and original names, they have to be easy to pronounce (for the most part). You see, if you got a name (like Xyuvakriaria), everytime you see it, you'll stop reading and try to pronounce the name.
However, with an original name that's easy to pronounce (like Doshi), it has a simple pronunction and won't detract from the story.
And as for Doan, I do agree with what you say. However, since my games never take place in the real world, I won't run into those kinds of problems.
Post by JimmyPaladin on Jul 18, 2006 22:14:50 GMT -5
I remember this discussion...
Me_ "If you're naming him leef because of the word leaf, I recommend you find a english-to-latin or english-to-greek translator through google.com , or even better find a mythology story related to your story ( google: wikipedia ) and name him after a character from it. Your names can still have meaning, but I think it's better that the reason for the name be harder to decipher so that there's less chance it doesn't give away the plot.
Anyways, in my opinion there are four important things to consider when naming people, places, etc. in a story. They're listed in order of most important to least important:
1 - easy to say, easy to read, easy to remember Simply put, you want your player to be able to remember the names of things so that they don't get lost in the story down the road, you don't want it to seem awkward when the characters say the name of the person, place, etc., and you want the player to be able to read it smoothly - there by not distracting him from the dialogue at hand.
2 - fits in with other names in your story Basically, you want it to fit in with the other names you've used. I don't think this needs explaining.
3 - interesting enough This one varies greatly and isn't at all necessary - for example, "Great Expectations" used 'Joe' as the name of a main character because he represented the common man, and so that at first he would seem kind of boring. Usually with games though, people don't want to see really plain/boring names like Bob, Joe, Fred, Bill, etc. all over. The other aspect is that somewhat Bizarre names like Castor, Balder, Cierra, etc. will stand out more, and are more likely to be remembered by the player (at least, I think so).
4 - meaning behind name This would be the meaning behind the name: such as it being from a latin/greek/etc. word for something having to with the person/place, or being from a mythology story person/place similar to yours in some way. This is nice to have, but I don't think it's as important as the other three because this is more of an extra bonus the player may or may not learn after playing the game, and won't directly influence the story in any way (unless it's too easy to decipher and gives away the plot beforehand)."
because i am a writer way too focused on theme (will seems to appreciate it, i guess) I give all of my names meaning in some way or another. Whether they are simple or complex, I think the key is for them to have meaning and fit the story/theme/character in some way.
Post by nerussentia on Aug 19, 2006 20:32:33 GMT -5
I make my names from the people I know in real life. Not their real names, but names they want. All my characters are based on my friends and family. Nerus Sentia is obviously me and even though I'd hate the be the main character, my series is based on his existance. Liutenant Wyrm from the one I'm working on now is my friend Kevin. Also if my friends can't think of anything I just use what they look like and where they are from to determine their name.
Trykur is a treant from Philgaia (land of the undead) that assist you in finding out what is going on.
Post by reverendwolf on Sept 2, 2007 16:09:50 GMT -5
i don't see so much of a problem with common names. in fact, i become tired of "unique" names when it seems people bang their forhead on the keyboard and take out some choice consonants and use what's left. i prefer names that have an expressed meaning or give the player/reader an instant connection. i've never met a Xyuvakriaria. i have met a Sariah. the stories i tell all have grounding in the real world. i tend to create worlds based on the interplays of culture and people, rather than creating mystical and magical realms. i find I just can't create something with any enthusiasm that doesn't feel real to me. for this reason i use names that we can find in the real world, because someone named Michael is more real to me than Zordinal.
I think it depends a lot on the game itself and who the characters are.
In many RPGs the main characters have exotic names and I must admit I tend to like those the most.
But in some games an atmosphere of realism is being presented and we have ordinary characters being thrust into extraordinary situations. They have common names and seem common, which means that character development will be that much more important.
A good example of this can be found in Tales of Destiny 1 and 2. Reid, Farah, Mary, Rutee, and Max are all common names, but their personalities were well defined.
Last Edit: May 9, 2008 6:51:25 GMT -5 by raithwall
Worry is a general making plans for every possible outcome.