Making Enough Star Names for Very Large Galaxies

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Geoff the Medio
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Making Enough Star Names for Very Large Galaxies

#1 Post by Geoff the Medio »

EDIT: Split from Scripted Universe Generation


I tried generating a 2000 system universe. The server seems to use up the available star names, and then generates its characteristic filler names...
map screen showing systems with non-list autogenerated names
map screen showing systems with non-list autogenerated names
systems.png (507.51 KiB) Viewed 2914 times
It would perhaps be better to re-use the list of names, but append "Alpha", "Beta", "Gamma", etc. to all names each time the list is exhausted.

More notably, it fills the server log with hundreds of lines of a string I can't find in the C++ code:

Code: Select all

2014-01-28 08:55:24,896 DEBUG Server : pop from empty list
Could that be adjusted to only appear once, and perhaps to have a clearer error message?

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em3
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#2 Post by em3 »

Dat nebulae!
8)
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Vezzra
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#3 Post by Vezzra »

Geoff the Medio wrote:It would perhaps be better to re-use the list of names, but append "Alpha", "Beta", "Gamma", etc. to all names each time the list is exhausted.
Should be no problem, we just have to make sure then that there are no names containing "Alpha", "Beta" etc. in the starname list. Otherwise we'd end up with something like "Alpha Centauri Alpha", which sounds a bit silly.
More notably, it fills the server log with hundreds of lines of a string I can't find in the C++ code:

Code: Select all

2014-01-28 08:55:24,896 DEBUG Server : pop from empty list
Could that be adjusted to only appear once, and perhaps to have a clearer error message?
That's an error message thrown by the Python code if the starname list is exhausted. This is actually a leftover from testing the starname getting function that isn't really needed anymore, so I'll intend to remove this error message completely.

Added both issues to my todo list.

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MatGB
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#4 Post by MatGB »

I dunno, I quite like that, catalogue names/references work for me for stars.

Plus, not sure that using alpha, beta, etc works with the current naming scheme, we use proper English names for stars, like Deneb and Tarazed, which are Alpha Cygnum and Gamma Aquilae respectively, Alpha Tarazed would look weird to me, and I suspect even moreso to people that know this stuff well.

Quite tempted to try a much much larger map, just to see that. Or hack out a chunk of names from my en.txt, that might be interesting.

I would much much rather catalogue numbering than repeats, and I'm not at all sold on combining two distinct star naming conventions.
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Vezzra
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#5 Post by Vezzra »

MatGB wrote:I would much much rather catalogue numbering than repeats, and I'm not at all sold on combining two distinct star naming conventions.
Ok, what do the others think? Personally I too slightly prefer the autogenerated names I came up with, but, as I said in my previous post, I have no problem to switch to reuse the list and append Alpha, Beta etc. like Geoff suggested. I'll wait a bit so we can reach a consensus here.

For those of you who want to tinker and try out things for themselves, the getStarName function is where you need to look.

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Dilvish
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#6 Post by Dilvish »

Vezzra wrote:Ok, what do the others think? Personally I too slightly prefer the autogenerated names I came up with
My initial reaction to the auto generated names is that they're just fine.
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#7 Post by shawndream »

Autogenerated names look OK, but to me they also all look the same. I don't look at them and see a name, I see "random stuff" and "more random stuff".

I would actually be a big fan of using Alpha, Beta, Gamma even in smaller galaxies, as long as you used them on stars close to each other.

Naming stars randomly makes them harder to remember, naming clumps of stars makes them easier to remember.

"Oh, a Centauri, the centauris are over here."

I am also a huge fan of seed reliability, to the point that I think we should roll our own code. Remember, we aren't trying to make something secure, we are trying to make it reliable, so as long as it looks random and works the same everywhere it's perfect.

I don't know how you currently have it coded, but I think the seed needs to be reset for each category, to maximize predictability, so that for example, if two games use the same seed and have the same number of stars, but have different starlane and monster frequency, the higher frequency one will have the exact same monsters in the same places as the lower frequency one, plus a few more.

Something like taking the simple function and feeding it the seed XORed to "monsters", then reseeding XORed to "specials" next, and when playing the game, as much as possible for random events XOR "turn12" and "sys109" to the seed so that the random events play out the same each time.
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MatGB
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#8 Post by MatGB »

I've changed my mind.
shawndream wrote:Autogenerated names look OK, but to me they also all look the same. I don't look at them and see a name, I see "random stuff" and "more random stuff".
This.

I've hacked out all the names from my stringtable and have a 500 system game all with catalogue numbers. I can't remember where anything is, I'm not tying in strategic points, let alone where stuff's being built. It looks cool, at first glance, but is awful, for me, to play with.
I would actually be a big fan of using Alpha, Beta, Gamma even in smaller galaxies, as long as you used them on stars close to each other.

Naming stars randomly makes them harder to remember, naming clumps of stars makes them easier to remember.

"Oh, a Centauri, the centauris are over here."
This would be cool, I would love this. Especially on Cluster maps.
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Bigjoe5
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#9 Post by Bigjoe5 »

shawndream wrote:"Oh, a Centauri, the centauris are over here."
That's actually an intriguing idea. I have a hard enough time remembering where particular stars are in MoO2 with 80 stars... I can't imagine trying to play FO with 2000 stars, all with license-plate names.
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Dilvish
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#10 Post by Dilvish »

I'll give a go at writing up a patch for this starname thing
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cami
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#11 Post by cami »

What do you think about renaming systems when the first empire discovers them? Then they can get the generic designations initially and the real names from the list are used more reasonably
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Dilvish
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#12 Post by Dilvish »

cami wrote:What do you think about renaming systems when the first empire discovers them? Then they can get the generic designations initially and the real names from the list are used more reasonably
so the regions near the starting points for empires would have the 'good' names, and the regions farther from starting points would have the auto-gen names? Seems to just put the problem off for a little while.
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Vezzra
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#13 Post by Vezzra »

Dilvish wrote:
cami wrote:What do you think about renaming systems when the first empire discovers them? Then they can get the generic designations initially and the real names from the list are used more reasonably
so the regions near the starting points for empires would have the 'good' names, and the regions farther from starting points would have the auto-gen names? Seems to just put the problem off for a little while.
And it could (potentially) give away stealthy empires...

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Dilvish
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#14 Post by Dilvish »

ok, here is a first go at this; I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out. One thing to consider is a more significant limitation on how many stars will be named in the grouping fashion versus how many in the individual fashion, right now they're nearly all grouped.
stargroups.png
stargroups.png (854.7 KiB) Viewed 2923 times
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[The extension patch has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]

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cami
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Re: Scripted Universe Generation!

#15 Post by cami »

Dilvish wrote:
cami wrote:What do you think about renaming systems when the first empire discovers them? Then they can get the generic designations initially and the real names from the list are used more reasonably
so the regions near the starting points for empires would have the 'good' names, and the regions farther from starting points would have the auto-gen names? Seems to just put the problem off for a little while.
Yes, early discovered systems (observer/moderators hopefully dont count as "discovery" here) would get common names while later discovered games get catalogue names. This is quite similar to what happens in The Real World (tm). It is intended to treat the last resort case when no nice name can be found. It doesn't put the problem off at all, it only makes the game respond a bit more gracefully when it occurs.

I agree that the grouping approach looks very nice. I haven't looked at the names list but if it contains real names, please note that the grouping expects genitive form of the group's name (like Alpha Centauri for the Centaurus constellation). Not sure if anyone cares, but might sound awkward to some users otherwise.

Late naming offers several additional options: the grouping can be based on starlane or straight line distances. Besides Alpha, Beta also other attributes can be used, possibly based on specials or star types, like Maxima (the big one - though often just named alpha), Proxima (the close one) and whatever YOUR latin skills bring up x)
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