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[MOD]AltCityNames: Randomly generated city names

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Mod Components' started by Alulim, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Alulim

    Alulim Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Update: The BtS compatible version is here, with a few new city name lists added.

    This mod replaces the default city names with an alternate list of randomly generated city names. Hopefully this will appeal to other people like me who love the alternate history aspect of Civ but don't enjoy playing a simple "reshuffling" of actual history (so you may get Paris in a desert, Mecca in a tundra, etc.).

    To avoid this feeling of "reshuffling" I generated new lists of city names using the random name generator EBoN. The idea is to get made up names that still sound as if they could belong to the civilization in question. I attached one screenshot to this post and a few more to the post below this so you can see a quick sample of some of the names. If you want to see the complete city lists without navigating the xml file, download AltCityNames_EBoN_Text.zip. That has text file lists of all the cities.

    Installation: Most of you don't need to be told, but if you've never installed a mod before, here's how to do it: To use these city names whenever you start Civ, download AltCityNames.zip and unzip it into the Civ 4 directory in "My Games" (if you use winzip, make that you have "Use folder names" selected). To use this as a standalone mod, download AltCityNames_MOD.zip and unzip that into your MODS directory (again, be sure to select "Use folder names").

    Generating new names: I've included the files I used to generate these lists with EBoN in AltCityNames_EBoN_Text.zip. I have one chapter for every civ except for the French, they're included as a default EBoN chapter. I also have chapters for the Turks, the Vikings, and the Celts, since I originally started this as a mod for Civ 3. I actually reused my Celt list as the barbarian city name list but it's easy to change this you play with the Celts as a playable civ.

    If you want to use these chapters to generate new names, you first need to realize that most randomly generated names won't be "good". You'll need to generate a number of names before you find one that you like, so expect list building to take some time. With some chapters your main problem will be a lack of variety. You'll keep seeing the same names over and over. This is because the original list of names used by the generator is too small while I selected options that give the best possible names. The Incan chapter is one example. In this case you'll probably need to uncheck some of the EBoN options, I suggest "prefixes" and "suffixes".

    If you want to write your own chapters for EBoN you can use the ones I've included as a template, you just need to create a (preferably long) list of names for EBoN to work with. One good resource is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_by_country.

    Notes:
    • I consider the English civ to really represent all of the British Isles so I included Welsh, Scottish, and Irish city names along with English ones.
    • I wanted my Egyptian list to have a very "ancient" feel to it. So I tried to only use the original Egyptian names of cities instead of more recent Arabic or Greek names (the Greek names are the ones that are most familiar to us). That's why, if you open egyptian.ebn you'll see names like Djeba, Akhet-Aten, Ineb-hedj, Abedjou, Djanet, Waset, and Abu instead of the more well known equivalents Edfu, el-Amarna, Memphis, Abydos, Tanis, Thebes, and Elephantine.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Alulim

    Alulim Chieftain

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    Here are some more screenshots.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Madeira

    Madeira Emperor

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    Hey, this is one interesting mod, I agree with you about not enjoying reshuffling history, going to try this and think about using it in my civ3 mod too.
     
  4. ghen

    ghen Chieftain

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    I like it :) I'll install it this weekend.
     
  5. LothainTheGreat

    LothainTheGreat Chieftain

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    Great Idea. I was getting tired of having the same cities every time and had started renaming them when I would settle. But now you have saved me all of the work. I'll install it when I get home from work.
     
  6. niffweed17

    niffweed17 Warlord

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    what an outstanding idea. i think that some civilizations' city names could brook improvement, but i love the idea and will use the tools you have provided.
     
  7. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    A great idea :goodjob: Thanks also for posting the link to the generator program!
     
  8. beorn

    beorn Prince

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    I really like this. Aside from the obvious advanatages, it also means that you do not instantly know the significance of a city name that you encounter -- "Ah, that's Russia's 10th city, so they are big, and this is pretty much the outskirts of their civ"
     
  9. spincrus

    spincrus sol invictus...

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    I am the sort of person that should make you feel not alone in the Civ community :D

    I'm EXACTLY the same as you are. As a matter of fact, I've changed the names of the empires, made up names for the leaders and even COMBINED the leaders. I even renamed and modded the graphics for the religions, and even limited certain religions to two or three civs (so that the American-like civ doesn't found Islam and have Middle Eastern looking buildings in the middle of a European-style city).

    I don't really like the reshuffling, and I HATE to start adjacent to a desert tile when having chosen Germany...
     
  10. Alulim

    Alulim Chieftain

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    Thanks for the comments everyone! I'm sorry I didn't reply before, I was travelling for a few weeks after I posted this and when I got back the post had drifted to the nth page. But it's perfect timing that this was just bumped because I've now posted a companion mod which replaces the religions: Alt Religions.
     
  11. suspendinlight

    suspendinlight Prince

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    Very nice, I am going to try this one out.
     
  12. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff

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  13. suspendinlight

    suspendinlight Prince

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    Is there any way to have a python script to generate city names on the fly? After a while, even these random names become familiar. It would be really neat if every city name was generated when it was founded.
     
  14. spincrus

    spincrus sol invictus...

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    Well that's a bit hard, but doable. Like for certain cultures, certain prefixes and suffixes would be default, certain letters could also be default (like Xuhautl or something for the Aztec, where the word ends with a -tl, Jin Huan or something for the Chinese, where the name is a combination of two different names from the list, so it could also be Jin Pang or Keng Huan or Keng Pang... Don't necessarily have to have a meaning, just the phonetics).

    Or you could take these lists and just keep on introducing your own city names to the cultures, to the extent that there are so many that the Civs won't even be able to build enough cities in the hugest map to use all the names...

    Just be creative and make some stuff up :D
     
  15. Buckets

    Buckets Warlord

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    What would make this mod really great is if the names were shuffled or chosen randomly from a list, as opposed to the same order every time.
     
  16. Alulim

    Alulim Chieftain

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    If anyone's still interested, here's a BtS-compatible version of the CIV4CivilizationInfos.xml file. It also has city name lists for the Sumerians, Ottomans, Celts (so the Barbarians are back to using their default names now), Vikings, and Ethiopians. I may add a few more in the future.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Spocko

    Spocko Warlord

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    Thank you!!
    Spocko
     

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