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Unique Pet Names?


Nate
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I always liked being able to call my pet what I like, but then you lose a sense of uniqueness.

 

IMO, the biggest issue with forcing unique pet names is that you end up with names like "B34stsl4y3r_13_09_1999".

 

What do you prefer? Unique names - you can "snag" that amazing pet name? Or non-unique - you can have the same as someone else, but lose some of your pets uniqueness?

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If I could, I would so just lock that baby into letters only so I quit seeing pets being named after their stats. That always drives me nuts! I like actual names, but this is like a toss up. 

The only way I see of somewhat avoiding have un-unique names is if maybe you create a giant list of names and then it picks one at random, and if you want something better, you have to earn it. As much as I like naming my own pets and feeling that uniqueness by getting to name them what I want to name them, there's always someone who just names it with a number or stats or rarity and then I just feel like I want to disconnect.

Not sure if that was helpful in any way to be honest :P sorry

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This has been a huge toss-up for me too. I just love the competition and value of unique naes, but on the flip side of it, it kinda sucks not having the ability to name them whatever you want. 

I guess it depends on the kind of game you want. Unique names might be better suited for petsites, and anything names for SIMs.

I'm looking forward to what anyone else has to say about this, if there's any ideas on how to deal with naming of pets.

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I hate forcing arbitrary unique names. If I want to name my pet Fluffy, I want them named Fluffy, they are unique to me regardless of whether someone else has some other pet named Fluffy. I also do not like the odd random number letter combos that often come out as a unique site ages and names get taken. 

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On 4/25/2017 at 10:42 AM, Nate said:

 

I always liked being able to call my pet what I like, but then you lose a sense of uniqueness.

 

 

I've never really understood this argument. If you can name your pet whatever you want, how does the name of other people's pets affect that? If you want yours to be unique, you still have the option to come up with a less common name. If you choose a name like "Kitty" or "Shadow", your pet never had a unique name, because those words have been used to name pets for ages. In fact, you can be more unique if there are non-unique names, because then you can have a pet named something like "Shadowly" and people are unlikely to take that name because they've all picked "Shadow" instead.

 

Think about it, I doubt no one on this forum has a unique name. But does that actually matter? No. We are all unique people. A name is simply used to make it easier to describe people in conversations or call out to them. If your name is Tom and there is another Tom in your class, do you think anything of it, besides, "Hey, that's cool. We have the same name."? 

 

I actually find it strange to see this mentality of wanting unique names spring up from sites like Neopets and others that follow suit. Didn't anyone realize what a nightmare that became on Neopets? I don't want to have to name my pet something like "Mezerdia" because all the typical names are taken and then some. Not everyone wants a fantasy-sounding name for their pet or a name that reuses letters like "Jekkylll" because that was the only fitting name for the person's pet and now they have to go around all the taken ones just so it sounds and looks similar to what they actually wanted.

 

Can someone really tell me what the fun in claiming names is? Do you really feel like that gives your character/pet more meaning? Why does what other people have matter so much? Or is it the value unique names have on these games? The fact that you can trade them and look "rich"? Wouldn't you rather your account have value from something other than stumbling upon an untaken name? Shouldn't the value of your account be built by actual playable features on the site?

 

I really don't get the draw of unique names and "low IDs". Sometimes I wonder if it's just a goal to have on a site that lacks other goals for users.

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1 hour ago, SingSong said:

I've never really understood this argument. If you can name your pet whatever you want, how does the name of other people's pets affect that? If you want yours to be unique, you still have the option to come up with a less common name. If you choose a name like "Kitty" or "Shadow", your pet never had a unique name, because those words have been used to name pets for ages. In fact, you can be more unique if there are non-unique names, because then you can have a pet named something like "Shadowly" and people are unlikely to take that name because they've all picked "Shadow" instead.

 

Think about it, I doubt no one on this forum has a unique name. But does that actually matter? No. We are all unique people. A name is simply used to make it easier to describe people in conversations or call out to them. If your name is Tom and there is another Tom in your class, do you think anything of it, besides, "Hey, that's cool. We have the same name."? 

 

I actually find it strange to see this mentality of wanting unique names spring up from sites like Neopets and others that follow suit. Didn't anyone realize what a nightmare that became on Neopets? I don't want to have to name my pet something like "Mezerdia" because all the typical names are taken and then some. Not everyone wants a fantasy-sounding name for their pet or a name that reuses letters like "Jekkylll" because that was the only fitting name for the person's pet and now they have to go around all the taken ones just so it sounds and looks similar to what they actually wanted.

 

Can someone really tell me what the fun in claiming names is? Do you really feel like that gives your character/pet more meaning? Why does what other people have matter so much? Or is it the value unique names have on these games? The fact that you can trade them and look "rich"? Wouldn't you rather your account have value from something other than stumbling upon an untaken name? Shouldn't the value of your account be built by actual playable features on the site?

 

I really don't get the draw of unique names and "low IDs". Sometimes I wonder if it's just a goal to have on a site that lacks other goals for users.

Heheh, fair reasoning. I see where you're coming from. There were always people (I noticed) on Neopets who weren't all into the well named thing.

As someone who loves it, I'm not sure how to say why, but yes the value and specialness was something I liked. It was different from just having a lot of points or other assets you worked for because anyone who worked hard could have that.

But only you had the one pet out of millions with the name 'Dragon' that everyone else wanted. It felt special, it felt unparalleled, it felt... glorious just looking at the perfect simple spelled out next to your one in millions pet.

I don't get that sense of satisfaction from having expensive stuff or high placements on leaderboards personally, it doesn't feel 'special' enough. 

I see the setbacks of that system though and am wondering how else pet or other sites can replicate this same feeling of acheivement in a less obnoxious way? Surely there's other features we can do a similar thing with to offer that sense of value to players who really liked the unique naming thing (i know it's not for everyone, though, and isn't necessary).

Also would love to hear more feedback about what other people enjoyed about it.

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5 hours ago, Hare said:

Heheh, fair reasoning. I see where you're coming from. There were always people (I noticed) on Neopets who weren't all into the well named thing.

As someone who loves it, I'm not sure how to say why, but yes the value and specialness was something I liked. It was different from just having a lot of points or other assets you worked for because anyone who worked hard could have that.

But only you had the one pet out of millions with the name 'Dragon' that everyone else wanted. It felt special, it felt unparalleled, it felt... glorious just looking at the perfect simple spelled out next to your one in millions pet.

I don't get that sense of satisfaction from having expensive stuff or high placements on leaderboards personally, it doesn't feel 'special' enough. 

I see the setbacks of that system though and am wondering how else pet or other sites can replicate this same feeling of acheivement in a less obnoxious way? Surely there's other features we can do a similar thing with to offer that sense of value to players who really liked the unique naming thing (i know it's not for everyone, though, and isn't necessary).

Also would love to hear more feedback about what other people enjoyed about it.

I do like names to be unique but something like Petri12348854875777477574 is weird. Perhaps it be best to remove numbers otherwise people get lazy. The problem with non unique names is if you are searching for something like Dragon then you might get the first dragon that is found and this can be a problem if your petsite uses names as its difference. Dragon and DRAGON is the same name and this can cause problems.

The only way around this would be to use ids but to search for an id gets kind of boring really fast.

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@SingSong That is pretty much how I feel as well.

@Boltgreywing You can also have a search return all the Dragon pets, not just the first one. And with the list of returned names you can include their id and owners username. The owners name especially would clear things up as to who you are looking for.

 

I can kind of understand, but honestly just don't feel the same. Even if I did feel special from it, it would be at the loss of others not having it, which for me I don't like. Though I think if pets had more personality people would be able to grow attached to their pets more in ways apart from the names being limited. 

Edited by Anoua
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15 hours ago, Boltgreywing said:

I do like names to be unique but something like Petri12348854875777477574 is weird. Perhaps it be best to remove numbers otherwise people get lazy. The problem with non unique names is if you are searching for something like Dragon then you might get the first dragon that is found and this can be a problem if your petsite uses names as its difference. Dragon and DRAGON is the same name and this can cause problems.

The only way around this would be to use ids but to search for an id gets kind of boring really fast.

In your database you should probably always store unique ID's anyway. 

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On 4/27/2017 at 6:10 AM, Anoua said:

@SingSong That is pretty much how I feel as well.

@Boltgreywing You can also have a search return all the Dragon pets, not just the first one. And with the list of returned names you can include their id and owners username. The owners name especially would clear things up as to who you are looking for.

 

I can kind of understand, but honestly just don't feel the same. Even if I did feel special from it, it would be at the loss of others not having it, which for me I don't like. Though I think if pets had more personality people would be able to grow attached to their pets more in ways apart from the names being limited. 

@Anoua: I think the problem is not the name itself but the coding itself.

For example take this for change: http://duelingpets.net/pets/Space Cat

Suppose someone decided to also create a Space Cat called SPace CaT or Space Cat in addition to the original one.

These two spacecats will not show up because /pets/[name overide] is in effect and it will default to one of them and you don't know which one will be used. That is where the problem occurs and how do I deal with a case like this?

@Anoua: Do you have any suggestion as how to deal with this type of issue? This one crops up a lot for me.

On 4/26/2017 at 8:01 PM, Boltgreywing said:

I do like names to be unique but something like Petri12348854875777477574 is weird. Perhaps it be best to remove numbers otherwise people get lazy. The problem with non unique names is if you are searching for something like Dragon then you might get the first dragon that is found and this can be a problem if your petsite uses names as its difference. Dragon and DRAGON is the same name and this can cause problems.

The only way around this would be to use ids but to search for an id gets kind of boring really fast.

Syntax: In your database you should probably always store unique ID's anyway. 

@Syntax: Sometimes there are cases where I can't use ids at all and need to use names instead.

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19 hours ago, Boltgreywing said:

@Syntax: Sometimes there are cases where I can't use ids at all and need to use names instead.

Can you give an example? To be honest if you're in a situation where you can't use ID's in your database you're probably doing something wrong... 

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2 hours ago, Syntax said:

Can you give an example? To be honest if you're in a situation where you can't use ID's in your database you're probably doing something wrong... 

For example take the Neopets sites what the creators decided instead of calling Scorchio species Scorchio they decided to call it Chomby instead even though there is actually a Chomby creature which looks completely different.

http://neopets.wikia.com/wiki/Chomby

http://neopets.wikia.com/wiki/Scorchio

How would  one decided between the two Chomby's in this scenario?

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25 minutes ago, Boltgreywing said:

For example take the Neopets sites what the creators decided instead of calling Scorchio species Scorchio they decided to call it Chomby instead even though there is actually a Chomby creature which looks completely different.

http://neopets.wikia.com/wiki/Chomby

http://neopets.wikia.com/wiki/Scorchio

How would  one decided between the two Chomby's in this scenario?

You can still use IDs for your pet species, right? You would just have to add some discernable text in dropdown manus if you were creating a search by species feature. Unless there's another code you have in mind that would be trouble with non unique species names. 

I don't know of any sites off the top of my head that do non-unique species names. Mine has unique names for species, but not individuals. I'm not sure if there's any point to allowing non-unique species names unless players are creating their own species' (which is a cool idea btw).

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In the examples you mentioned this would be handled by having unique ids, and to reference a user's pet profile, the I'd would be used in the url NOT the name. So, petsite.com/pet/1234 for example. 

I always use autogenerated unique ids and even if I made names unique, I'd still have an I'd field.

In the species example that is different. I create species names myself, and yes they would all be unique. It doesn't make sense to me to have different species with the same name.

But this is different from user pets. A user pet would be a specific species, but the name to me is only important to whoever owns the pet. But species are for all users.

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3 hours ago, Hare said:

You can still use IDs for your pet species, right? You would just have to add some discernable text in dropdown manus if you were creating a search by species feature. Unless there's another code you have in mind that would be trouble with non unique species names. 

I don't know of any sites off the top of my head that do non-unique species names. Mine has unique names for species, but not individuals. I'm not sure if there's any point to allowing non-unique species names unless players are creating their own species' (which is a cool idea btw).

@Hare: I see, most of the time species will be unique but not the pet ones. That does make sense.

10 minutes ago, Anoua said:

In the examples you mentioned this would be handled by having unique ids, and to reference a user's pet profile, the I'd would be used in the url NOT the name. So, petsite.com/pet/1234 for example. 

I always use autogenerated unique ids and even if I made names unique, I'd still have an I'd field.

In the species example that is different. I create species names myself, and yes they would all be unique. It doesn't make sense to me to have different species with the same name.

But this is different from user pets. A user pet would be a specific species, but the name to me is only important to whoever owns the pet. But species are for all users.

@Anoua: One of the problems I have with ids is they are very hard to know who has what id since I id's can get pretty large.  I am guessing the same would hold true for blogs, and private messages that it is better to use id's in those cases. What about making pet names unique only among the user they are owned by?

For example if user a owned a fish, a cat and a dog would it be okay to name their fish Fred, their Dog Fred and their cat Fred as well? Or should they be allowed to only have a unique name for each pet they own?

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Well an id isnt necessarily meant for the people, but for the database and code.

I would not force a user to have unique pet names. Why does it matter if they name their cat, dog, and fish Fred? It wouldn't be common for someone to do that, but why limit them just because it's odd to you?

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9 hours ago, Boltgreywing said:

@Anoua: One of the problems I have with ids is they are very hard to know who has what id since I id's can get pretty large.  I am guessing the same would hold true for blogs, and private messages that it is better to use id's in those cases.

Just because you use the ID's doesn't mean you need to display them. If you have for example a pet-search that is by name, you can display the ID alongside the name to show they are different pets, or display other information such as the owner, species or age to differentiate. You don't REPLACE names with ID's, they serve a different purpose. Any data entity should have unique ID's associated with it, unless you're using a multi-field ID but those can be a pain. 

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On 5/1/2017 at 5:16 AM, Syntax said:

Just because you use the ID's doesn't mean you need to display them. If you have for example a pet-search that is by name, you can display the ID alongside the name to show they are different pets, or display other information such as the owner, species or age to differentiate. You don't REPLACE names with ID's, they serve a different purpose. Any data entity should have unique ID's associated with it, unless you're using a multi-field ID but those can be a pain. 

I agree.

ID's are displayable, and their purpose is mostly for database purposes. Names are designed for human consumption, something we people can remember and understand.

Proof of point, Domain Names.

When you get a domain name, you set it up to resolve somewhere. It resolves to an IP Address. Think of an IP Address as a ID, and the domain as a Name. Same concept. Domain names are easier for people to remember, although the IP Address is the important piece of data.

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On the topic of unique names, has anyone considered having unique names for pets but allowing users to have nicknames for the pets (similar to how some sites will have you create a username but allow you to have a display name that's different)?

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It personally doesn't seem worth the complication to me. And I still don't like being limtied but if I had to be would be a nice compromise. But when would which show even?

Most games I've seen the username is seperate but then not seen. But more of a login name, so a different scenario.

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