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About Name Generator Fun

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Emma Davies and Saxon Bullock are the soon to be husband-and-wife team behind Name Generator Fun.

Emma was one of the first people ever to build a name generator when she published The Original Fairy Name Generator in 1999. She has been creating weird, memorable, and funny internet content together with Saxon since 2011. Based in the UK, they met at a sci-fi convention in 2010, rapidly fell for each other, and have been pretty much inseparable since.

Saxon and Emma are currently in the final stages of fitting out a narrowboat so they can live a life of adventure on England's canals and waterways, a process they've been documenting over on their YouTube channel Narrowboat Zero Gravity.

 

Mission Statement: What makes Name Generator Fun different?

We really like to make original material. Emma made the first ever name generators for fairies, vampires, mermaids, Sindarin elves, unicorns, and so many more. When we weren't the first, we were still early to the party.

We go above and beyond to make the best name generators we can. A basic name generator can be created in a couple of hours, but we would rather spend several days to several weeks making each of our generators really good instead of throwing something together that produces a poor user experience.

Our generators don't just make names! Our superhero, supervillain, and Christmas elf name generators are hugely popular because they contain such detailed character descriptions. We have been copied many times (sometimes blatantly!) but none of our competitors put in the effort to make their name generators as detailed, funny, and entertaining as ours.

Most name generators don't work! Here's why:

If you view the source code of many name generator pages you'll find that they are made of a small amount of JavaScript code with a list of about twenty first names and last names. The problem with name generators of this kind is that a name generator with 20 first names and 20 surnames will only make 400 unique names (20x20=400).

That's no good if you're looking for a character name for an online roleplaying game, or for a social media screen name where thousands if not hundreds of thousands of participants are all looking for names. All those "unique" names will be quickly used up!

We think you'll agree, name generators can be better than this.

We use large databases of names and we test them carefully to make sure the components work together properly. Our names have multiple parts, give nickname options, extra titles, and lengthy or funny character descriptions, biographies, or special powers. Even our very smallest name generators have thousands of unique names (30x30x30=27,000)!

We are constantly working to improve our existing name generators as well as to produce high quality new generators, and we value our user feedback. If you get a dodgy name, let us know so we can fix it!

That's not all.

Many name generators leave users feeling unsatisfied. Some generator sites aim exclusively at the RPG or the writer's market. But many people who are looking for name generators aren't looking to make RPG or fictional characters!

What do people really want from a name generator site?

We've found that most people who search for name generators online are actually looking for something funny and entertaining that relates directly to them. They want something they can use as a screen name or to share on social media.

Only about 20% of our users are interested in looking through lists of names. Instead, most users want a full persona with a description that inspires or amuses them. That's something only we offer. No one else is doing what we do.

The best part:

Generators made solely for the RPG or writing market are rarely ever funny and rarely ever have added descriptions. But our users really like stuff that's funny. Our most popular name generators are the funniest name generators, and they're also the hardest to build. The Superhero Name Generator took about two months to build, and a lot of that time was spent on building the descriptions and making them genuinely funny.

Why does this matter? We think the best way to build websites is to build quality content and let our users decide what's good. When our users like things, they share our content for us, and we can get on with making new name generators instead of wasting time promoting them! Ultimately, our philosophy is to make content that makes us feel proud and makes our users happy.

About The Authors

Emma Davies

Author: Emma Davies

Website: Emma Davies

Emma Davies is a 42 year-old writer, programmer, designer, and YouTuber based in Nottingham in the UK.

As a child Emma wanted to be a science fiction and fantasy writer. She was a daydreamer and always had her head stuck in a book. She has written a number of novels (that remain in her bottom drawer) and is still a huge sci-fi and fantasy geek, and hopes one day to have the financial freedom to pursue a writing career full time.

She has a BA in Social Sciences (which she regrets as it turned out to be pretty useless in the real world). She also has an MA in Writing both fiction and journalism (this also turned out to be useless in the real world). During her Masters degree at Nottingham Trent University she became involved in online creative writing projects, and, having access to a computer for the first time, she discovered that she had a knack for coding and realised that programming and web design were the future.

She has been creating name generators since 1999 when her friend Debbie emailed her a link to a very basic disco name generator and she found it so amusing that she decided to write her own fairy name generator to teach herself to code. You can still see the original here via The Wayback Machine.

She believes that she may be one of the progenitors of the name generator genre. She is unable to find evidence in The Wayback Machine of any other name generators that date back as far as hers, and she has never been able to find out what happened to that disco name generator that first inspired her.

Emma has had lifelong health issues that have made it hard for her to work a rigid full time desk job. After working for a web design agency, and then for a large international tech company, she left to pursue self-employment so she could have more control over her work-life balance.

As a co-founder of Aria Software Ltd, she worked in partnership with a small local travel company in Sheffield, Alpha Rooms, and helped to build a first-of-its-kind live bookings system for holidaymakers. Thanks to the new website she designed with her then-partner, the company expanded rapidly to over 200 employees, and Alpha Rooms eventually bought them out. She also set up her own online business, Beantree Ltd, selling organic food and chocolates.

Meanwhile the name generators she had built for fun were going crazily viral. In 2010 she decided to concentrate on them full time and began building Name Generator Fun, which she launched in early 2011.

In 2014 Emma decided to pursue her dream of having her own tiny home on the UK waterways, and buy the shell of a 60 foot narrowboat and fit it out. It took another two years to arrange for that to happen, and she and Saxon have been fitting out their boat for the last two years and documenting their progress on YouTube. The project is nearing completion, and she can't wait to move onboard.

Saxon Bullock

Author: Saxon Bullock

Website: Saxon Bullock

Saxon Bullock is a 44-year-old writer, journalist, copy-editor, proofreader, novelist and YouTuber based in Nottingham in the UK, and soon to be living a nomadic life of strange adventure on a canal narrowboat thanks to a sequence of events that even he doesn't entirely believe. He's been a film journalist, a sub-editor on a magazine, he's worked in publishing in different roles for over fifteen years, and he's also written regularly for the UK genre magazine SFX since 2001. As a novelist, he's represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency, and in 2015 he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.

He was born in Cornwall in 1974, and spent most of those Internet-free days acquiring a fanatical interest in books, science fiction and cinema thanks to his eclectic parents, who showed him everything from Fred Astaire movies and Hitchcock movies to war epics and sci-fi horror. His bedtime stories included The Lord of the Rings and Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars stories, so it's little surprise that he grew up a voracious reader who was soon writing his own stories and scripts as frequently as he could.

This also meant that the moment he got his hands on a VHS camcorder in secondary school, plenty of over-ambitious experiments in filmmaking would follow, all of which peaked when he managed to successfully co-opt an entire chunk of his Media Studies A-Level solely so he could write and direct a one-hour, zero-budget fantasy adventure called 'The Alchemist'.

Saxon immediately followed this up with even more writing and filmmaking adventures, and once 'A' Levels were done, he voyaged to Bournemouth University to spend three years studying for a BA Hons in Media Production. While the resulting years from 1992–95 featured way too much late-teen angst, it also gave him his first accidental experience of journalism thanks to the Documentary side of the Media Production course. Here, he assembled his own audio documentaries on subjects like a local Cinema projectionist, eccentric pop iconoclasts The KLF, and the ups and downs of the comics industry.

At the end of his Media Production course, Saxon wrote and directed two short films – the melancholy superhero monologue 'Return of the Crimson Avenger', and the surreal drama 'Suicide is Painless' – and then promptly moved to London in late 1995 to achieve his ultimate destiny of conquering the media industry. Two years later, having spent most of his time working as a post-production runner, making tea, collecting meals for people and earning very little money, conquering the media industry wasn't looking quite so hot, and a change in strategy was in order.

This partly happened thanks to gaining interest from several production companies in a TV drama series Saxon had written and developed entitled Sanity Claws, and while the interest ultimately didn't go anywhere, it was enough to suggest to him that maybe writing would be a better direction to try. After a few twists of fate (and one terrible flat sharing experience), he ended up in retail, working at the flagship Oxford Street store of the late corporate bookselling giant, Borders, where he ran the science fiction section for over three years.

And then, in late 2000, a selection of deeply bewildering events resulted in him accidentally becoming a freelance film journalist, and within a couple of years he was writing for a number of outlets including magazines like Hotdog, Total Film, and SFX, as well as websites like Channel4.com, as well as doing increasing work in publishing as a freelance manuscript reader.

After quitting retail in 2002 and going on a six-week adventure across America visiting obscure movie locations, Saxon went full-time freelance in 2003 and decided to give serious novel-writing a go in 2005. By 2008, he'd moved from London to Hampshire and shifted away from film journalism, and his first novel – the sci-fi adventure The Hypernova Gambit – gained him representation from literary agent John Jarrold.

Soon after that, a number of twists in fate resulted in him moving to Manchester, where he started up work as a freelance proofreader and copy-editor, while still maintaining a side-line in book and comic reviews for SFX. Between 2013 and 2015 he also took on a part-time MA course in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester, from which he graduated in 2015 with merit, while 2014 saw him and his partner Emma make the unexpected decision that they really liked the idea of moving onto a canal narrowboat.

He's been living in Nottingham since early 2015, where he and Emma have spent a long time discovering that fitting out a narrowboat is really, really complicated. They've also unexpectedly ended up with a YouTube channel documenting their narrowboat adventures, and when Saxon isn't working, making videos or doing boat-related DIY, he can usually be found reading, watching strange and unusual films or TV series, and spending far too much time playing Dark Souls and/or Bloodborne.

Saxon's in-depth knowledge of pop culture and comics made him particularly instrumental in the creation of the superhero names, supervillain names, and Time Lord names.

Namegeneratorfun.com is a Zero Gravity production.

Last Updated: 6th December 2018.

Image Credit: The cat icon in the logo is by Freepik from www.flaticon.com. Licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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