I was discussing games at work recently, and ended up analyzing Hero Academy as a card-based TBS with a interesting global action points mechanic. I’m probably mis-characterizing Hero Academy, as I’ve never even finished a game, but at least that fits my pattern of video game analysis. I started to sound so formulaic that my past enjoyment of madlibs led me to create stochastic strings following this formula; they sound just like me but are sometimes amusing and thought-provoking.
It’s a little similar also to the humble Mojam bundle, which had polls to pick pairs of theme/genre which they combined to get an almost stochastic game idea. The result sounded quite interesting, alas I haven’t played it yet to find out. I encourage people to randomly generate a game concept here and start work, but I won’t hold my breath. I plan to hook it up to an AI that writes games sometime too, but don’t hold your breath.
This isn’t exactly madlibs, because words are chosen randomly. Since they aren’t repeated, you don’t get much out of users picking them individually. The random set however can be influenced, as I explain below. Play with generating the paragraphs before you un-hide the next block containing implementation spoilers.
Click the button the generate a short paragraph hawking the latest randomly generated game.
NOUN NOUN is the ADJECTIVE new idea for a GENRE/GENRE game from ADJECTIVE NOUN Studios. It combines MODIFIER MECHANIC and MODIFIER MECHANIC to completely reimagine the concept of MODIFIER MECHANIC. With a novel THEME/THEME setting based loosely on the works of AUTHOR, it’s fun for the whole GROUPING. Be the first among your friends to VERB the ADJECTIVE NOUN! Coming next SEASON.
The implementation has a few interesting details. I felt like implementing it in JS, and so had some fun hacking JS into my WordPress posts. WordPress isn’t exactly a JS platform, but I was surprised at how easy it was to just shoe-horn it in there. Like all JS, the code is open source but hard to read :P.
The interesting detail is that I sourced most of the word lists from scraping through the content on this page. Below is the initial data for all configurable word categories, and comments can also add words to the lists. Just use the form Category: item, item, item. So if I missed a favorite genre of, say, cat-video, it’s as simple as commenting with Genres: cat-video. But don’t worry, this example text is going to be picked up by the script too. “cat-video” is already in there.
Genres: action, racing, strategy, RTS, TBS, shooter, FPS, arcade, platformer, adventure, simulation, metroidvania, story-based, simulation.
Mechanics: shooting, deck-building, strategy, image-processing, combat, menus, interfaces, online matchmaking, user-input, exploration, educational content, squad deployment, action points, map control, randomness, boss battles, mini-games, pattern matching, image recognition, loading screens.
Modifiers: cover-based, simple, real-time, turn-based, simultaneous, computer assisted, dynamically balanced, stochastic, realistic, global, persistent, large-scale, metaphorical, voice-activated, card-based, strategic, tactical, immediate, fast-paced, hex-grid, multiplayer, singleplayer, 2D, 3D, QML, social.
Themes: Steampunk, Vampire, Egyptian, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Musical, Film-Noir, Whimsical, Psychedelic, Romance, Post-Apocalyptic, Victorian, Viking, Spartan, Zombie.
Authors: Ludwig von Beethoven, Gilbert and Sullivan, Miguel de Cervantes, Sun Tzu, Richard Wagner, Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, the Pope, Linus Torvalds, Victor Hugo, Randall Munroe, Zach Weiner, Matthew Inman, David Morgan-Mar.
Groupings: family, flock, posse, office, stable, design team, guy who wrote it.
Seasons: Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn, holiday season, “when it’s done”.
Nouns, adjectives and verbs are not scraped but come from pre-existing lists I found randomly scattered across the web.
- The 2335 nouns are from http://www.desiquintans.com/articles.php?page=nounlist
- The 1133 adjectives are from http://www.momswhothink.com/reading/list-of-adjectives.html
- The 634 verbs are from http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/regular-verbs-list.htm
Thank you to those sites for providing word lists. I had to massage them into my own format and files, but if that’s not acceptable I’ll be happy to scrape them off the site directly every time someone presses the button 🙂 .
Edit 30/7: A version based off your own template is now available.