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Petition For Player-Defined Names Lists

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Polis Diamonil
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Posts: 25
Founded: Dec 02, 2019
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Petition For Player-Defined Names Lists

Postby Polis Diamonil » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:52 am

Something that I believe would immensely improve the game is if players could optionally submit name lists for their nations. Instead of using completely random and meaningless names, each player could populate their nation's name lists with names that they would enjoy seeing again and again. The default name list should be published as part of this as a "base file" for players to use. Players could even share naming lists between one another for in-jokes and/or regional culture.

If a nation had a name list submitted, that would change all the @@RANDOMNAME@@ items into names drawn from the submitted name list. Then instead of names like Zeus, Ryan, and Farnsworth, we'd have individual variations of naming like real nations do. Players could use this to represent part of their nation's culture, or load it up with arbitrary indicators of their national governing policies for in-the-moment-reminders as they're picking issue responses. If players implemented the 503 McGoohan rule and then wanted to implement it in their nation, they could do that with a little work. If a player wanted all the grand high muckitymucks manipulating national leadership to have pokemon types for last names, that would also be possible (haven't you ever wanted to meet a Faith Charizard?). If they wanted really spectacularly rude names, since the name lists aren't publicly exposed, that should be possible too.

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The Free Joy State
Senior Issues Editor
 
Posts: 10815
Founded: Jan 05, 2014
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby The Free Joy State » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:26 am

Polis Diamonil wrote:Something that I believe would immensely improve the game is if players could optionally submit name lists for their nations. Instead of using completely random and meaningless names, each player could populate their nation's name lists with names that they would enjoy seeing again and again. The default name list should be published as part of this as a "base file" for players to use. Players could even share naming lists between one another for in-jokes and/or regional culture.

If a nation had a name list submitted, that would change all the @@RANDOMNAME@@ items into names drawn from the submitted name list. Then instead of names like Zeus, Ryan, and Farnsworth, we'd have individual variations of naming like real nations do. Players could use this to represent part of their nation's culture, or load it up with arbitrary indicators of their national governing policies for in-the-moment-reminders as they're picking issue responses. If players implemented the 503 McGoohan rule and then wanted to implement it in their nation, they could do that with a little work. If a player wanted all the grand high muckitymucks manipulating national leadership to have pokemon types for last names, that would also be possible (haven't you ever wanted to meet a Faith Charizard?).

The editors can't do this. It would have to be the admin. But, from an editor's perspective, you are asking the Admin to add something to their already very long to-do list, something that -- in the event it were ever (in a year or two, etc) added in the game -- would add a huge amount of work for the editors who will have to recode 1300+ existing issues and new code to remember for every following issue and all to minimal advantage.

Oh, and then the mods will have to oversee all the new custom name fields and make sure they weren't rule-breaking.

If they wanted really spectacularly rude names, since the name lists aren't publicly exposed, that should be possible too.

Actually, there are times when random names appear on the nation's page, due to effect lines. So if a nation decided they wanted Poop Titwhistle as their random names (oh, my aching sides :roll: ), then that could appear on your front page.

Not to mention that there are rules covering content that everyone signed-up to when we created a nation. "Spectacularly rude names" would appear to risk falling foul of that [/notamod].
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison

My nation does not represent my beliefs or politics.

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Polis Diamonil
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Posts: 25
Founded: Dec 02, 2019
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Polis Diamonil » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:34 am

I don't think mods need to oversee the name list to ensure they're not rulebreaking. They're not exposed to the public; they can't contribute to the broader atmosphere of the site except to the degree that people share them.

If all the issues have to be recoded anyways - which they shouldn't, this should be a drop-in for a single text file if the names list is being coded in a straightforward manner - then altering the ones which put names on the front page should be a necessary part of it. There's only a few that can put up random names on the nation page; I'd be willing to compile the list personally.

If the technical barrier is substantial, there's something wrong with the codebase.

Updated:
I thought there'd be more of a list, but it looks like there's only two issues that expose random names to the world. Issue #1105, option #1 does this, as does issue #1236, option #3. Editing those two issues should suffice to fix the code so that arbitrary drop-in lists do not require mod policing. I know the scope of what I'm asking for. I've been previously assured that the names are simple randomness, and coding a swap for one list to another would be within my own incredibly limited programming skills.
Last edited by Polis Diamonil on Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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The Free Joy State
Senior Issues Editor
 
Posts: 10815
Founded: Jan 05, 2014
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby The Free Joy State » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:51 am

Polis Diamonil wrote:I don't think mods need to oversee the name list to ensure they're not rulebreaking. They're not exposed to the public; they can't contribute to the broader atmosphere of the site except to the degree that people share them.

All things in all custom fields have to comply to site rules. What you propose is a custom field.

If all the issues have to be recoded anyways - which they shouldn't, this should be a drop-in for a single text file if the names list is being coded in a straightforward manner - then altering the ones which put names on the front page should be a necessary part of it. There's only a few that can put up random names on the nation page; I'd be willing to compile the list personally.

"If the issues have to be recorded" -- where do you think they came from? People write issues, editors edit them and then players receive and answer them. The most recent answers are recorded where you can see them, and we have a more substantial database backstage. Keeping a record is very useful to many players.

And as for you coding a list with names of your choice -- we already names coded for the RANDOMNAMEs. It's quite extensive.

If the technical barrier is substantial, there's something wrong with the codebase.

Senior Mod Frisbeteeria, more qualified to talk about the code of the game than me, has described the site as "a big, sprawling game with lots of weird stuff in it. At its core is the amateurish code created by author-playing-at-being-coder Max Barry in 2002. There are fundamental flaws (primarily that it wasn't originally set up as database driven) that prevent easy code changes."

That seems as good an explanation as any.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison

My nation does not represent my beliefs or politics.

User avatar
Polis Diamonil
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 25
Founded: Dec 02, 2019
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Polis Diamonil » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:03 am

I just talked about this idea with a programmer I know, and it's definitely a lot harder than I initially expected. I still do think it would be a very substantial improvement to the game, but input validation and testing requirements would require weeks of work instead of quick work. Implementing a UI such that the system can only accept valid inputs would already shove it well beyond my skill level.

It also sounds like NationStates has issues with old technical debt making it harder still.


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