I Fed A Neural Network 1200 Video Game Names

Image: id/Kotaku

A lot of the time, video game names sound like they were generated by a machine. So, I decided to see if I could teach a neural network to name a game.

Sometimes it's hard not to groan at some video game names. There was a period of time when I kept confusing Absolver for Observer because they sounded similar.

When game names aren't similar, they can be nonsensical. How are you supposed to pronounce JYDGE?

It occured to me that maybe us humans are just out of ideas, so, with the help of Deadspin's Tim Burke, I fed 1200 game names to a neural network in order to make up a few new game names.

Burke told me that usually you train a neural network on a much larger dataset, but when he tried he came up with mostly weird Tom Clancy names like Tom Clancy's Tomb Roids or Tom Clancy's Legends: The Hag. I wanted to generate some names that sounded like you could grab them off the shelf right now, so I used a dataset consisting of all of the English language releases for the XBox One, Playstation 4 and Wii U from the consoles' releases to around June, 2017.

Some of the results sounded like they were real games; others not so much.

Most interestingly, there were a lot of sequels in the generated results.

The Dead Charter 2

Glomepers: The Fantare 2

Songers of Stare 2

The Ganing 2

Call of the Marder 2

The Game Park 2

The Dead Charter 2 sounds like it could be one of the many pirate-y games that are coming out this year. I am also very curious about what happened in the first Call of the Marder.

"War" also showed up a lot in these names, as well as "Heroes" and "Battles."

The Warling

The Tank Wars

Elite of Wars

The Bommerns of War Shorker

Call Heroes

The Battle Evil Heroes

Tank Wars is an actual game, but it was not in the dataset that was fed to the neural network. Deep learning invented Tank Wars on its own.

These were the scant few that really felt like the names of real games. They feel fantasy flavored, probably because they use a lot of made up words. In particular, Toton of the Legenders is definitely a weird, sprawling JRPG that Jason probably loves.

The Tome Core

The Gold of Deor

Toton of the Legenders: Starner Carsing

The Tock of the Seningang

The Tale of the Gare 2

These ones were just funny. Why did this neural net think games are so dank?

Samer 2: Dank Gane Edition

Wraloy Legend: Dank

Dank Super Date: Sparo Edition

Dong Devin


The Bank

Crant Sons

The World Cant

Even with a limited dataset, I feel like these game names strayed pretty close to reality. Legends, battles, heroes and apparently dankness are recurring themes in the names of games. A lot of games concern themselves with sweeping, epic quests and combat, so it makes sense.

Still, I'm disappointed that these were the things that rose to the top. Even if they're fewer and further between, video games are about more than just legends and war.

Overall, I think my favourite name of the group is The World Cant. Girl, same.


    Not going to lie, Dank Super Date: Sparo Edition sounds like an amazing follow up to Dream Daddy

    Feels like each of these should have a "10/10 IGN" next to them.

    Do the same with mobile games! They are even worse. Hell, I'll try it myself:

    Legend of Heroes' Quest 2: Chronicles of Saga.

    Nice one, that made me lol.

    Also I’d total buy Toton of the Legenders: Starner Carsing.

    In the same way that the Monty Python made-up band name "Toad The Wet Sprocket" became real, I really hope somebody - anybody - makes a game called "The Bommerns of War Shorker".

    The Tock of the Seningang is an amazing title - I could write a Lovecraftian horror novella on the name alone.

    Randomly assign some of these names to indie game devs and make a game jam out of it. Could be interesting.

    I find it hilarious that a larger data comes out with Tom Clancy games. Burke should sell his system to Ubisoft.

    Why is Jydge so hard to pronounce?

    We should so have a competition on making some games around these titles

    I know I'm childish, but I cannot stop giggling at Shartords. Is there a "pull my finger" ult?

    Pre-ordered Dong Devin from EB to get the exclusive Ultra Sheath DLC armour.

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