After rewatching Aliens last night, I thought a lot about our characters names and the naming scheme in general. Right now most names are extremely long, with the naming scheme being first + [optional nickname] + last name. However in Aliens, almost all characters in the Hadley’s Hope detachment are referred to by Mononyms with either a first or last name being abbreviated.
I think this would significantly help our character recognizability if instead of having to have a huge amount of letters within ones name, we would be able to abbreviate either the first or last name into a single letter.
Movie Examples and how it could look ingame:
-W. L. Hudson
-J. “Pants” Lawrence
-M. L. Lewis
This would allow for general improvements with communications as right now people have up to three options they get referred to as (and lets be honest, most people ignore/dont use nicknames as theyre longer than the original name or edgelordish).
Everyone has the same [First] [“Optional Nickname”] [Last] [Maybe More], like Joe Beasley, Dallas Weeter, Nina “Salt” Hange, Nasoki “Coward” Chen, and one special one I know, William Van Der Redder [think that is his first name].
So changing it up and giving the marines another way to format their name would be nice.
How would that work, though? You’d run into several problems if you just went with “first name is abbreviated”
For example: if I want to call somebody by their first name, I now have to go find them in the manifest and oops I just called them by the name of the other PFC J. Doe, or what if I want to be known by a nickname or first name, then everybody would be calling me by my last name, if there’s a setting to pick which then you run into the same problem as before whether or not you choose what others see or you choose what you see others as.
I did, thoroughly.
I don’t see how names are very long at all, names are limited to a max of 28 characters, which for example “Johnathon Johnson” is half of that limit already, and while it is a sortof long name it doesn’t really matter as much in a game where we communicate solely through blocks of text and pointing. Nothing’s stopping you from calling somebody a nickname of your own choosing either, you can easily call:
Will, or Van, or anything else you like.
(Also while I was finishing this up I scrolled through the crew manifest and the majority of names were around 10 characters)
This is because they’re using their last name, abbreviating a first name if nobody says it in the script (if I remember correctly) just makes sense, and you can already do the mononym thing by just asking somebody to call you by a specific part of your name.
I think it would actually hurt character recognizability, if you pick an even somewhat common last name you’ll end up with “PFC J. Smith” and "PFC “M. Smith”, it’s a lot easier to tell them apart when it’s “PFC John Smith” and “PFC Michael Smith”, with half of the name being different instead of 1 letter.
And I still feel like 28 isn’t that many letters.
I don’t see how this would improve communications, nor do I see how current names are difficult to notice being called, call somebody a nickname, or first or last name and they’re going to respond because they chose those names, it could also have a negative effect on communications (see above examples of how this could cause confusion).
Additionally as less of a direct response to anything in your original post, character names are supposed to be names, full names, not just abbreviations of your name. If CIC is reading off your name for an execution announcement, they shouldn’t have to go ask you what it is in order to make it clear who you are because it’s literally impossible for anyone to know without asking you.
If 28 characters really is a lot to you, maybe your font size is too high? you can change it by pressing the little blue gear button on the right side of your screen and it’s in one of the settings tabs that pop up. (also there’s chat highlighting feature which you can use to highlight messages that include your name or anything else it’s pretty cool)
They should just remove comms altogether and force RTO communication in all honesty it would make it a much more immersive experience and RTO mains would have to rise up and defeat the xenocord hitsquad that would inevitably come.
There is an idea floating around that I think Forest wanted to do which was separate First names, nicknames and surnames into their own fields which means names could be shortened on comms etc if someone wanted to do that project.
Very evidently not as this isn’t “force everyone to have a mononym name”, its just allowing some players to have the abiltiy to have it
PFC John Smith” and “PFC Michael Smith
There was a round a week ago with a John Smith and a Jon Smith. Players aren’t choosing extremely extremely common names to be recognizable and thats entirely on them and is 100% not even related to this post in the slightest. Literally what?? If someone is going by J. Smith, that’s functionally no different as John Smith, just a name they use to blend in on comms.
it could also have a negative effect on communications (see above examples of how this could cause confusion).
Again, that example is a player issue and not related to this post entirely
Just reread the post, specifically the title since every response clearly has missed the main point. “Allow Mononym Marine Naming w/ Abbreviations”, the key word is allow. I doubt if this was allowed the majority of people would use it but its just an OPTION some folk can choose if they feel like it would fit their name, character, or recognizability better.
Im not gonna lie I don’t see the merits to the radio shortening idea as it would just lead to confusion. Names tend to get remembered in their entirety (first nickname last). This would similarly apply to a abbreviated name like “L. Lawrence”. turning ‘Larry Lawrence’ into ‘L. Lawrence’ would just make people think of two separate characters versus just having that be an option the character can choose to be from the start.
Just saying that in the military you use your last name more instead.
Which is how I think if used, 90% of people would use it that way, I just added first name for the relevancy since I still think there could some players that could want to use it and who does it harm to allow more player customization.
Pretty sure ‘Van der Redder’ is his last name. It’s Dutch iirc.
I also agree with Birdtalon on the idea of making nicknames an actual, real naming field in character creation (rather than just artificially adding one). That way you can leave them away on radio but keep them in direct communication. Maybe keep them in Squad comms, since Squaddies are likely the people who would call each other by those nicknames anyhow?
What’s about someone else recommending a nickname on the forums/IRC/discord/whatever, would the person have to hop onto the server, find the other person and click the funny nickname button? And what’s about getting a nickname from someone who’s not playing the game? I think nicknames are fine the current way. Edit for @steelpoint’s reply: Yes, it is cringe, but I don’t think using mechanical restrictions would make the game better. And use some better joke next time, didn’t laugh.