Time for another update, just to assure you all that neither I nor the site are dead! I’ve been a busy bee in the background again, so I’ll talk about that in a moment, but several people have commented the limitations of the current Plot Gen, so I thought it best to clear up the confusion regarding that Gen.
I did mention the Plot Gen situation in a previous post, but I’ll highlight it again for those who missed it, as well as giving a bit more context.
The current Plot Generator is a very, very old and incomplete generator which gives limited, largely cliché suggestions.
I won’t bore you with the technical details of how it works, but suffice to say, it’s tricky getting it to suggest coherent plot lines with a sensible start, middle and end. The plan was to start the Gen off by suggesting common tropes and clichés and mixing and matching them, then once that foundation was in place, I would then start adding more unique suggestions in to give the plots a new twist, or, as I added more ideas, suggest an completely new stories altogether to prevent it from just generating tired stories.
It has had a few additional bits of info added over the years, but due to technical limitations, delays due me being super busy, the way that it currently works, and the fact that I had only managed to get it as far as only catering to one sub-genre of a genre for most of its life, it’s not really useful in its current form and I was never able to work on it in a way that would bring it to a “Complete” state. So there it sits, still in its original form, if technically slightly more polished than before.
Rather than try to scrape it into shape, I’ve decided to rebuild it completely, and after a long time of considering how I wanted it to function (and after learning a few new techniques), I’ve finally settled on a new look for it; its output will be much more dynamic, with the option for a much more detailed and unique output. It took a while, but I finally got the basic foundations in place for the improved Plot Gen. A while back, I asked you, the users which genre I should focus on first, and Fantasy came back as the result, so the first iteration will be for that. It’ll take a while to get all the genres and sub genres that I intend to add in there, but this new framework should make it a lot easier.
However, this is a very, very large project and I expect it’ll take me quite some time to finish it, so once I got to that milestone, I decided to take a break and turn my attention to the other Gens that had become stagnant, or were in desperate need of updates. With those Gens taken care of, it’ll mean less stuff on my to-do list, and will make it easier for me to focus on this update as well as working on NEW Gens, and of course will mean less unfinished Gens lying around. So to that end, aside from Phase 1 of the Plot Gen rebuild being complete, I have also made the following updates and changes to the other Gens:
– The Weapon and Quick Name Gens “Completed”.
– Updated Personality Gen.
– Updated Love Interest Gen.
– Several updates to the Appearance Gen
– More Gens now V3.
– Updated Quick Character Gen
– Updated Pregnancy Gen
– Pet Gen update soon
– Requests received for additions to existing Gens
The Weapon and Quick Name Generators are now “Complete”
That’s not to say that I won’t be adding anything else to them, especially in the case of the Quick Name Gen. In this case, “Complete” means that it finally contains all the options and data that I wanted it to have when I first created it; it’s no longer considered to be under construction. This means that now, the Gen can work well as it is, but going forward, any other updates will make it better/add more functionality. As an example, another Gen I consider to be Complete is the Appearance Generator; however, I frequently continue to add content to either on my own, or if users request an addition. More data will be added to the Quick Name and Weapon Gens as time goes on! (Not to mention the Weapon Gen’s sister and cousin will both come into being before long too…)
I finished updating the Personality Generator.
Another Gen now “Complete”. Aside from updating the Personality Gen to V3, I’ve reprogrammed the Gen to give a (hopefully) better balanced array of personality traits, as well as including the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator for the main ones, which will hopefully come in handy for people who want to get a better idea of what the personality is like.
I updated the Love Interest Generator.
Rather than let an unreleased Gen go to waste, I decided to merge the previously unreleased and unfinished Blind Date Gen with the existing Love Interest Gen, to give a more complete picture of the person. Now, you can choose to include details about what the new character would be like on a date with your existing character, and I also added a physical description of the generated character; both options can be toggled on and off, depending on how much information you want.
I made several updates to the Appearance Generator.
Continuing to move through my to-do list, combined with a few requests from users, I added or updated some options in the App Gen, including the ability to choose between full hair, bald/short shaven or anything in between, the option to have dyed hair colours, and a larger variety of tattoos, both the type and amount. I also added Exotic to the description Type selector; this is based on the Realistic type selector, which generates people with characteristics based on broad racial/ethnic groups (i.e. Asian, Caucasian, Afro/Caribbean, Latin, etc.), but instead allows the skin, hair and eye colour and hair type traits to be mixed and matched in ways that you wouldn’t normally find at all IRL, if not rarely. For example, an Afro/Caribbean type person with dark skin and naturally blonde hair and green eyes, an East Asian type person with red hair and blue eyes, A Caucasian type person with Afro hair, etc. This will allow for more interesting character designs without crossing over into rainbow-coloured Anime or Unique styles
The following are pretty self-explanatory:
-I updated a handful of gens to V3. This allows the Gens to run faster, and allows me to add more options and update them with a lot more ease. I also added more content to various Gens here and there.
-I added an age selector to the Quick Character Gen. Now you can generate characters within specific age ranges!
-I updated the Pregnancy Gen to choose number of babies and an option to allow complications. I do have a couple more additions planned for this one, so the updates are still a WIP.
-I’m currently working on completing the Pet Gen. There’s a whole bunch of creatures I intended to put in there right from the beginning, so this’ll take a bit longer, but like the Plot Gen, the framework is pretty much in pace; it’s just a case of filling it in. That’ll just take lots and lots of research…
-I received several requests for additions to existing Gens; I will get through those as quickly as I can.
So, the next few Gens I’m focusing on completing are the Pet Gen, Super Power Gen, and the Murphy’s Law Gen. All three are unfinished and I intend to rectify that ASAP.
Aside from that, there will be a new writing challenge starting on the 1st of July, so get ready for that!
In the meantime, thank you all so much for your continued patience and support! A lot of people have mentioned how much they like the site and how the Gens have helped them, so it’s great to know that RanGen is doing some good. Also, thank you to everyone who has whitelisted RanGen in your adblockers; it really helps the site out!