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Generate culturally-specific fantasy place-names
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not_constantinople.py
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README.md

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam...

--Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire

Overview

Not Constantinople procedurally blends city and regional names using "recipes" of "cultures".

This is an example "recipe":

{
    "culture": {
        "assyrian": 1,
        "georgian": 1,
        "alan": 1,
        "greek": 15,
        "roman": 8,
        "armenian": 8
    },
    "name": "pharostine"
}

This will generate a list of blended place-names that are "1 part Assyrian, 1 part Georgian, 1 part Alan, 15 parts Greek, 8 parts Roman, and 8 parts Armenian":

Korchaldea
Achanopolis
Suenza
Theodike
Chenza
Kaia
Aleia
Ankyrrantia
Galerson
Kaion
Byzandax
Byzantiochion
Famalkidikos
Rhoneia
Edessina
Thev
Cephetrina

About this README

This program and this README are intended for non-programmers. If you're a non-programmer, this all might appear a little intimidating. That's OK. I promise it looks tougher to use than it actually is. I'm going to walk you through installing and using the program. Have confidence in your own abilities! It'll be great!

Installation

1. Install Python 3

Grab it here (Click the big yellow button).

When installing, be sure to Add Python to PATH (the checkbox at the very bottom). The Python path checkbox is at the bottom of the dialogue box

What is Python?

Python is a programming language. I made this software in Python. Python is a good tool for some things and not a good tool for other things. It's a great tool for manipulating words.

I could compile it into a .exe or .app, but I don't think it's worth it; for example, I don't own a Mac, so I would have no way to know if it actually works on OS X. If I just leave it as Python code, I can be sure it'll work for you.

2. Open up the terminal

In Windows, go to Start, click on the search dialogue, type in powershell, and press enter.

In OS X, go to finder, type in terminal, and press enter.

Congrats! You're in the Matrix. The terminal looks way scarier than it actually is.

How to read terminal instructions

Whenever you read "type some instructions" that always means: type those instructions in the terminal and then press enter.

Whenever you read something like "type cd <path/to/file>" don't type the < or the >, and replace path/to/file with the actual path to the file (for example: cd c:/users/seth/Not_Constantinople)

3. Install markovify

markovify is the Python module the program uses to generate gibberish. It's free and you get it by typing into the terminal:

Windows OS X and Linux
pip3 install markovify sudo pip3 install markovify

4. Download my program

Get it here. Unzip the download.

5. Congratulate yourself!

OK you're all set up. Great job!! I knew you could do it.

Usage

Using Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (OS X), navigate to Not_Constantinople/Input (I don't know where the folder ``Not_Constantinople` is located; it's wherever you unzipped the download .zip file.)

Create your input file

The example I gave earlier is from the file Not_Constantinople/Input/pharostine.json. To make your own input file:

  • Open Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (OS X)
  • Create a structure in the same format as the example I gave.
  • Save the file to Not_Constantinople/Input/<your file name>.json (Your editor will probably want you to save to .txt, but it does have to be .json.)

How the file is structured.

The indentations and new lines don't matter. The overall pattern of quotation marks, colons, curly braces, etc. does matter.

Let's look at the example again:

{
    "culture": {
        "assyrian": 1,
        "georgian": 1,
        "alan": 1,
        "greek": 15,
        "roman": 8,
        "armenian": 8
    },
    "name": "pharostine"
}
  • name is the name of the fantasy culture, and the name of the output files.
  • culture is the pre-set names of cultures that can blend together. A higher number means that this culture's place-names will be favored more.

See "Cultures" for the list of acceptable cultures.

Output

Once you have set up your fantasy culture(s), open the terminal and type the first command, and then the second:

Windows OS X and Linux
cd path/to/Not_Constantinople cd path/to/Not_Constantinople
py -3 not_constantinople.py python3 not_constantinople.py

Go to the folder Not_Constantinople/Output. There's your placenames!

  • Settlements are names of towns or cities
  • Provinces are names of regions, kingdoms, etc.

Cultures

These are the accepted names of cultures:

  • pommeranian
  • manden
  • greek
  • khazar
  • serbian
  • persian
  • saka
  • assamese
  • alan
  • norse
  • polish
  • sindhi
  • hindustani
  • egyptian_arabic
  • telugu
  • northern_sami
  • karluk
  • sumpa
  • occitan
  • bohemian
  • hungarian
  • komi
  • welsh
  • assyrian
  • khanty
  • sinhala
  • avar
  • gujurati
  • breton
  • croatian
  • old_saxon
  • romanian
  • georgian
  • cuman
  • ethiopian
  • bulgarian
  • baloch
  • german
  • tocharian
  • kannada
  • lombard
  • maghreb_arabic
  • turkish
  • nepali
  • bengali
  • panjabi
  • tangut
  • irish
  • ugricbaltic
  • marathi
  • basque
  • suebi
  • pictish
  • bolghar
  • lithuanian
  • visigothic
  • kirghiz
  • severian
  • lettigallish
  • nubian
  • bedouin_arabic
  • oriya
  • levantine_arabic
  • samoyed
  • ilmenian
  • mordvin
  • tamil
  • italian
  • afghan
  • sogdian
  • zhangzhung
  • prussian
  • pecheneg
  • saxon
  • han
  • old_frankish
  • bodpa
  • finnish
  • volhynian
  • frisian
  • somali
  • kurdish
  • armenian
  • uyghur
  • rajput

Note: Some provinces/settlements have the culture tbd because they were originally categorized incorrectly. If you recognize them, please fork this project and make the change.

License

See license.txt

The content of provinces.json was scraped from the data files of the video game Crusader Kings II.

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