Naming things and gaining achievement…
I’ve always found it difficult to name things. I spent three weeks asking people about names for my hosting company before I finally settled with Canis Hosting. My wife and I spent hours tossing around names for our dog before we came up with A.J. I’m amazed we even got those two items cleared away.
Something I actually found easier was naming characters. I found that coming up with names in a fantasy world was easy if you just let letters flow together. Korin, Tabin, Yurel, etc. Johnny might have been the toughest. I actually was going to use his name for a filler, but I decided to stick with it. It’s a good name, and why not have one real world name?
I’ve named a few villages, towns, and the main city. I’ve given names to sections of the cave network. There was even a dog I decided to put in the game that I came up with a name for. But the one thing still eluding me is the name of the world, or country, that they all live in.
It seems no matter what I do, I can’t come up with something engaging. I’ve tried to find a common pattern to my naming convention, but there isn’t one. Let’s face it, unless you’re naming the streets inside a neighborhood, the names of things inside an area aren’t going to really mesh because they’re of a certain theme.
Northville and Southfield may seem like they go together, but does Canton and Plymouth? Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti? New York and Harlem? I like the name of my capital city, but I’m not sure I’m ready to move that to the world’s name. I guess I’ll keep toying with names until I either find a replacement for the capital, or I find a real name for the country/world.
What if I decide to make an entire planet? What do I call that? Earth just won’t do.
A bit about achievement systems…
I’m a firm believer that Microsoft’s decision to build achievements into games, assign scores to people, and build a huge online community centered around it made the Xbox 360 the generation seven console winner. I don’t know if it was an epiphany in a meeting, or someone actually engineered the idea, but my hats off to them.
I’d now like to let the cat out of the bag. Ben Davis and I have been working on a gaming project for a few weeks now. We’ve set out to build a set of Flash games, and its been quite a learning adventure for both of us. One of the things we did is something I am bad at, we named it. Credit all that to Ben of course.
Familiaris Games will be releasing their first game in the next two weeks. I can’t give you the name, or details about it just yet, but today we decided that all of our games will adopt our own achievement system.
Aside from the leaderboard, we’ll have the traditional achievement triggers as you reach certain accomplishments in each game. You’ll have a profile on our web site, and be able to share your success with everyone. You’ll be able to make friends, share things on twitter and facebook, and compare yourself with others. We’ve also got a few more goodies, but we’ll leave that for your exploring eyes to see in a few weeks.
So far we’ve planned all of these games for the Flash platform, and are working towards Android and iOS. You can follow us on twitter @FamiliarisGames. We’ll keep you updated with the progress, and let you know when the games are launched, and where you can play them.
More AS3 tutorials tomorrow!