RPG advice on nicknames / real names

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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RPG advice on nicknames / real names

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:42 pm

In Cyberganked there are two prompts for names.

The first is the "real name" of the character. Limited to some large number.

The second prompt is for the nickname or handle. It maxes out at 15 characters, or close to it. It's supposed to just allow letters, no numbers or special characters. This is what is used in the game, so if the handle you picked was "Aardvark," you'd be typing stuff like

>aardvark, inventory
>look at aardvark

And that kind of thing.

My question is, aside from maaaaaaaybe using the "real name" text if I wrote a scene where the cops or somebody were trying to process a character they captured, there really is no use for it. Would losing that piece negatively impact anyone? Is there any expectation in an RPG that the real name of a character be there?

I am limited in not allowing spaces for the handle, because I have to have the name of the characters be one dictionary word. But I'd like the thoughts of anyone as to what they expect in an RPG.
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RealNC
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Post by RealNC » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:41 pm

I never expect a "real name" entry in a game. Just one field, where I can type whatever I want, be it a real name or nickname.

I'd also expect to be able to type whatever I want, including numbers and symbols. "l33tH@X" should be a possible nickname, for example. Spaces are nice too, in case I want to use a real name instead of a nick name.

In this case, it might be a good idea to have two fields. A "name" and a "BBS handle". The first is for specifying what other people in the game call you, the other for how your name appears in written form. The "name" entry should only allow alphabetic characters and spaces, the "BBS handle" can be anything. This allows for NPCs calling you "Leethax" while the stats screen, documents, terminals, email, etc, would use "l33tH@X".

If you want to be extra cheeky, you would parse the "name" entry to see if it begins with an article and warn the player that this is how NPCs will call them. Which might be what they actually want, mind you.

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Post by Tdarcos » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:20 am

I was looking it up. Go do a search for unisex first names, store 26 of them in an array, plus some last name like Tangon. Generate a random number from 1 to 26, and say that you need to give them a name, but you picked one, say Alison Tangon. So you get something like this.

Welcome to Cyberganked.

For this game to work, I have to know your name. I have chosen the same Randy Tangon. If you like this name, press enter. Otherwise, type in the name you want me to use and press enter.
>

Pick, say, 30 nicknames and do the same thing. I'll leave the details to you.
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pinback
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Post by pinback » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:31 am

I don't want to have to type two names.

Paul's idea is surprisingly good.
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Post by Billy Mays » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:30 am

RealNC wrote:I never expect a "real name" entry in a game. Just one field, where I can type whatever I want, be it a real name or nickname.
I like this idea the best.

Two different name fields is not only gay, but I could only imagine that it also creates a huge amount of bugs for you to fix.

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The Happiness Engine
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Post by The Happiness Engine » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:18 pm

Ok, so here's what you are thinking: you want a 'name' field and a 'quick command' field. So just make it explicit.

NAME: this is the name of the character, it is what is displayed whenever you need you reference the character.

QUICK COMMAND: make it OBVIOUS (sorry been watching youtube) that this is just the short string that lets you refer to this character in the prompt. It can be something as shit as '4' and should in my mind default to party position if not set. So someone can type '4 CAST STOP-SUCKING' or 'BOB CAST SLOB-KNOB'. Or however it works.

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:31 pm

Tdarcos wrote:I was looking it up. Go do a search for unisex first names, store 26 of them in an array, plus some last name like Tangon. Generate a random number from 1 to 26, and say that you need to give them a name, but you picked one, say Alison Tangon. So you get something like this.
I genuinely love this idea and I am going to incorporate it in the game. Thanks, Paul. :)
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:34 pm

Other thoughts:

1) I really like calling it BBS handle. Due to how Hugo works I can't have spaces, odd characters and the like in there and have it work when the game refers to a person, but naming it BBS handle and real name works for me.

2) I am going to do the name thing at the end, instead of the beginning, of character creation.

3) Suggesting a name helps Pinback, where he says he doesn't want to type two names. If one is suggested he can just hit enter for that, and then type in the BBS handle of the character.

4) To The Happiness Engine: I do have restraints stopping me from allowing something like "4," but this is due to me using a game engine that was originally released in the 90s and designed to work on DOS. (It still works on DOS.)
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RealNC
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Post by RealNC » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:03 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:Due to how Hugo works I can't have spaces, odd characters and the like in there and have it work when the game refers to a person
Can't you cheat it? Convert the player's input to hex or base64 or whatever. That will give you a string of only alphanumeric characters without spaces and without symbols. You store that instead.

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Post by Tdarcos » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:52 am

Billy Mays wrote:
RealNC wrote:I never expect a "real name" entry in a game. Just one field, where I can type whatever I want, be it a real name or nickname.
I like this idea the best.

Two different name fields is not only gay, but I could only imagine that it also creates a huge amount of bugs for you to fix.
And here's a list of one or more for each letter of the alphabet:

Alex
Blair or Britt
Charley or Cameron
Dana or Drew
Eli or Erin
Frankie
Glen or Gray
Hayden
Ira
Jordan
Kelly
Logan
Max or Morgan
Noel
Ode
Paris
Quinn
River
Shannon or Sam
Terry
Umber
Val
Winter or Wyatt
Xen
Yardley or Yarrow
Zephyr or Zola
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