I always noticed you and @Tex always had a lot of characters based on political figures. I always felt this helped ground the story universe some. Granted however the people they were based on were often larger than life.
I was using them as the basis of my Russian mafia oligarchy parallel I started to develop.
Yeah, I think we are too hard on ourselves. I mean, it’s not all bad; sometimes that’s how we identify what we wanna improve at. Sometimes, it’s why we don’t write for months, though.
Hannibal de’Zama was literally named after Hannibal Barca, the famed Carthaginian commander, and the last battle of the Second Punic War, Zama. Other early names were throwing syllables together. I eventually got better at this; “Duane Leiparizic” is a mess. “Aubriv Harmer” is evocative.
I also, like Trav, cribbed from history. Theodore Orville Halberg had an OG last name, but was otherwise a Teddy Roosevelt nod to a T. Alice Halberg was named after TR’s daughter, Alice.
In current days, I tend to do more realistic names. Even “Lera” is actually just a nickname for Valeria (as a nod to the Roman roots of the EU, since she is meant to be my main in Reborn). Caldus Agaro is more old school, but I wanted to evoke the “sound” of FF6’s Figaran names. Ned Halberg is meant to stand in contrast to T.O. Halberg: as ordinary sounding as humanly possible.
Also: no Switch.
Russian Mafia parallel? Haha, I had one too:
My feeling is that in the Reborn era the Vory are much stronger because of the decline of the Scandian League (much as the implosion of the Soviet Union made the Russian Mafia much stronger.) So in CoH-era they may only show up occasionally but in Reborn they’re much more prominent.
Oh, and in terms of oddball character inspirations, Rhodes Palmerston takes his name from two noted British Imperialists (Lord Palmerston and Cecil Rhodes.) But the genesis of the character was the HBO original series Arli$$, about a sports agent. And it’s funny, because the series was terrible. And I knew it was terrible – this isn’t like all the stuff Aurora stole from David Eddings and later realized was crap, at the time, I knew this show was crap but it was on HBO and occasionally showed boobies. But the show is about a sports agent, and the spark inspired me to make a character more about deal-making and diplomacy than about military leadership and war. It’s made all the more funny when I realize this far predates any of my various sports fandoms. (…finally. The Capitals are playing for the Stanley Cup. This is a big fucking deal.)
… my first Kupop character was a fish man. I gave him a fish name that sounded kinda cool.
… then I had a king. He was from a video game. So, I used the name he had in the video game (Doan), and since he didn’t have a last name in the video game, he didn’t initially have a last name. (“Pendouris” came later, was first applied to Derik, and was meant to evoke the whole “once and future king” aspect of things)
… THEN, a few months into my Kupop run, I ret-conned in a teenage son for Doan. He was basically Crono from Chrono Trigger, but I gave him a D-name because his dad had a D-name.
Oh, I also made up some giant ants from space that came and wrecked things for a while. In a moment of true inspiration, I called them Hivans (because they came from the Hive).
Oh wait, you actually know hockey things? I did a website for Bryan Trottier and also TJ Oshie. Are they famous? We don’t have ice so I have no idea. I went to a Kings game once and I thought it was neat. I know basketball, what would be their basketball equivalents?
You know, around the time of the Hivan War, I had a conversation with Kusader something like:
Him: This is really cool. Everyone is working together to fight this huge war.
Me: Um, isn’t that what we basically did for ages? Like, what would you call the Great War?
Him: This is different. It’s giant ants. From space.
I would rate both Trottier and TJ Oshie as “well known to people who follow the sport.” TJ is probably Washington famous; Washington is very much a hockey town. (And a football town, even the Redskins are almost always bad.)
Like, someone like Alexander Ovechkin is definitely equal to somewhat like Kobe Bryant. But TJ Oshie is like “really good player in an essential defensive position on fire at the right moment to take his team to key wins.”
I’m in a friend’s hockey pool. I am the token American.
I typically guess based on names/wild theories (“the Detroit Red Wings will win this series because Juggalos will come to their homes and kill their children”).
One year, I won. The pool has over 30 people in it. It was the lowest scoring pool in its six or seven year history (at the time; it’s up to ten years now).
I didn’t know you could play hockey in a pool.
My brother did a fantasy football league one year. I decided to go with “players who are named Mike.” The whole team were Mikes, though a few Mikaels to fill out he bench.
I didn’t get last place!
oh, and I have a giant document of notes for character concepts, mostly kuper heros/kuper villains. It’s up to like 20 pages.
…which is funny, because back when I did Fara 1.0, I really struggled to come up with villains for her.
I also consider it a healthy exercise to put my character ideas into a binder, and keep them there until I actually need them. In the past, I would often do a post just to be like “oh, here’s this guy! he’s a thing!” and then never do anything with them because I had no idea where they should go. Obviously there needs to be a healthy mix between organic character development and plotting and actually having a plan.