About The New Forge




Making a fantasy name generator, niche though it may be, begs an age-old question. If you’re in the business of creativity… what exactly is creativity? How do you become a blacksmith of inspiration, an architect of ideas, and a curator of “eureka!” moments?


Creativity is a difficult subject to talk about. One challenge is in the definition; is it a process, an output, an abstraction? Furthermore, if you cannot define it, how can you hope to understand it?


Yet the value, if not outright necessity of creativity is clearly evident. It permeates even our dullest thoughts and is the driving force behind our greatest endeavors (and really fun ones too!). This thing we cannot define is at the heart of how we define everything around us.


That is one a complicated relationship.


If your ambitions are driven by the efficiency and rainbow-variety of your ideas, complexity is a luxury you cannot afford. That’s why we made The New Forge: a random name generator that’s places the emphasis on process and user experience. But the road from thinking about creativity to making a successful name generator (our name generator fantasy, as it were) was not a short one.

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The New Forge started humbly as a Graduate School side-project in 2005. Name generators at that time simply culled from a database, cobbled together the results like a drunken blacksmith, and there the process ground to a halt. The quality of these name generators ranged from serviceable, at best, to virtually unusable. We began to think: if the yield is poor, perhaps the input is why.


We focused on the end user, and were surprised by the results. With other random name generators, the user had no influence in the types of names they would receive, no way to funnel concepts or abstractions; it felt like gambling for the risk adverse.


We gave just enough control back to the end user while attempting to not overwhelm them. Simple concepts like editing on the fly, linking words, and even adding new words made The Forge (as it was called at the time) push leagues ahead of anything that was available at the time.

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And time did pass, bringing with it newer, more ambitious projects – but the popularity of The Forge only gained in numbers. With a near-constant social buzz proving the merits of the project, we set upon bringing the prototypical design into the modern age like a blacksmith in our namesake.


We started from scratch on everything. Our database was designed from the ground-up to facilitate rapid integration and thematic grouping. The user interface has been engineered by industry veterans, bringing to bear a host of user experience know-how. And certainly the fresh coat of paint didn’t hurt the idea of a next-generation fantasy name generator, either.


The New Forge is the result of countless hours of craftsmanship and discovery. We hope you enjoy using the tool as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you. On behalf of the entire team, we are excited to see what you’ll think of next.

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