My name is Niels Gamborg. I'm a danish web developer, interface designer and web programmer. I live with my wife and 2 sons in a suburb to the city of Aarhus.
I work as a web developer and webmaster at the Danish State and University Library in Denmark.
I love user friendly web design and I think all web applications should be:
My key philosophy in application design is that all the users should be able to use the application right away with no instructions.
For a simple application like a name generator the user should be able to generate a name within the first second after page load.
To achieve that it is crucial that the generator button and the generated name are the first things you notice on the page.
I have done that with a huge button to start the generator and huge typography on the generated names.
Random name generators are easy to make. The first versions were simple though. Now I use a little more complex random calculations to create the random names I want. E.g. 40% female names, 60% male names, 10% names with a title, 10% of names with an extra prefix. You can make a lot of variation in the names with complex algorithms.
At my Name Generators Blog you can find a lot of tips, scripts tutorials and "how to" articles. Most of the content is aimed at helping users making name generators and randomizers. It makes the Name Generators Blog a great resource, if you wanna make you own generators, web apps, name widgets etc.
Other topics at the blog is:
All the name generator resources are free of charge and open source in the most friendly definition. It means they are free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") in any way. Use it after you own likings and in you own projects.
"Why can't I use my own ideas or names?"
I want to make it as simple as possible. Lot's of other name generators requires user input. Eg. input of names. I think they are a hassle to use. Much faster just to generate a new name, if you don't like the first one.
"Do the name generator use true randomness in the name generation"
"Why can't I choose different categories and decide myself, if the name generator make names from, colors, fruits, weapons?"
"Your names are far too long. People want short names!"
If you think the name is too long, just shorten it your self. I do make many short names, but I also make long names. The goal is to create huge variation in the names I generate.
"The name generator make too many bad names. The names are stupid and make no sense at all!"
That's right! My name generator does make bad names. But in order to make unexpected names, surprising names, creative and interesting names I have to take chances.
So if you come over some stupid names just create another one. After all the name generators are blazing fast. ;)
"When do you make a Indian/Italian/Runescape name generator?"
As soon as I get the time. In the mean time use one of the other name generators and get inspiration from them. ;)
Why use a name generator in the first place? People can make much better names than a stupid machine.
You're right again. But I bet the machine can come up with some strange combinations you didn't even consider. Just think of it as some additional inspiration and then do the fine tuning your self. ;-)
"Cool project! Can I do anything to help"
Thanks. :) I'll be very grateful, if you link to my site. Or tell your friend about the name generators.
Photographer Michael Van der Tol wrote on his blog:
"Now I'm not saying all the generated project names will work for you (i.e. "Forsaken Donut"), but one just might inspire you to go out and shoot. So give it a try and just maybe your "Cloudy Eyelid" will turn into a portfolio of a lifetime....hmmm...."Forsaken Donut"...I think I can make it work."
The very first "press" the name generator project got. :)
John Murrell from the tech blog Good Morning Silicon Valley wrote about the name generators.
"When coming up for a name for that new business, secret project or fantasy game character gets to be too much of a chore, try the Online Name Generator."
Thanks for the support "Good Morning Silicon Valley". :)
The code names made it to the front page of reddit.com's programming section. foxostro wrote about the code names:
"Out of Ideas? Generate your next project code name with this tool"
Gave a lot of sudden visitors and a good kick. :)
Jan Kjellin wrote on his blog: Sociala Experiment - experiencing social media.
"All aspiring authors or roleplayers know that one of the trickiest parts of the trade is to come up with original names for their characters. The ONG takes care of that with it's many types of name generators."
Thanks Jan. :)
In April 2012 Aron Marriott-Smith from the former atomace.com, picked the generator to be the "Tool of the week".
"With his web app it's so easy and fast to Generate Names - just hit the big red button and you away. I personally have been using it to brainstorm codenames for Apps. There are thousands of random combinations and the name generator also comes in twenty-one, (yes 21!) different flavours"
Thanks for the kind words Aron. :)
Met Brian at a danish multimedia design forum. I told him about the name generators and he told me he loved WoW and fantasy games. Brian wrote
"Why don't you make a World of WarCraft name generator too. And maybe a Guild name generator, when the WoW name generator turns out to be a success."
Thank you Brian both for the suggestion and prediction. The Wow name generator was a success. And it's definitely one of my best generators today. I really love the wow names. They're are short and catchy and real cool names.
And for that I also owes a lot to Brian. He gave a lot of constructive and very qualified feedback during the process of making the wow name generator.
Because of the success I also made the suggested Guild name generator and as a spin of from the clan name generator. Owes you one, Brian. :)
Just before Christmas 2009 I got this mail from Chris:
I like your web design, but I still couldn't find what I needed...a regular name generator.
Elf, WOW, Project, Business...all kinds of name generators, but not plain ol' name generator.
Thanks to Chris for suggesting it. Shortly after his mail I made the random name generator, that makes plain American names.
It was a lot of fun coding this generator. Instead of the usually creative process find and making base names, this one is based on some official American names list. So I got a lot of fun programming to make the script that could extract and formats the thousands of names used to make the ordinary names.
Laura sent me a mail. :)
"Thank you for a very cute name generater. I found some really nice and cute elf names. Your female elf names seems perfect and feminine.
Thank you very much for the support and feedback, Laura. It means a lot. :)
Also got this mail from Branimir
"Mr. Gamborg, thanks for your project. Never saw anything that simple, good working, and nice designed. Masterpiece.True masterpiece"
Thanks a lot, Branimir. Very kind words, and probably slightly exaggerated. ;) ...but fantastic to hear you like my generators. :)
Got this mail from Derek, where he tell's about a school paper.
Well i'm not very good at writing papers, but the biggest problem is always names. The usual Bob gets boring after a while. I googled and found this amazing site. The subject was on "SuperHero's" and was incredibly suprised to find a superhero name generator.
Thanks to Derek. I'm glad you find my generators both useful and easy to use. Such feedback means a lot.