"i usually go into a generator with, like, an idea and a half, and end up with about a billion more options and ways to shape them than i originally intended to."
Interview with the creator of Magical Gurll Random Generators.
Q&A with Courtney of Magical Gurll
How did you get into creating random generators?
when i was a kid my biggest hobby was creative writing. i have no idea where i found the first one but i picked up using random generators for prompts, but honestly half the fun was just seeing what the generators spat out. i started making my own in middle and high school with a base code Seventh Sanctum was providing for free.
at the time i'd taught myself html and css in my even younger neopets days lmao. so i was like, how hard can this be? turns out the answer is very, because programming and web development are hard, so even though i had a clumsily-built website in high school that got pretty popular, it didn't really last after the free host i was using shut down.
as soon as i discovered Perchance in more recent years though i jumped right back into writing out generators!!
What generators are you most proud of creating and why?
i really love the potion shop generator i made!! i feel like i did a really good job making it modular so that there's a lot of variety in the way the different options are used to create results.
i take a ton of pride in the fire emblem character generator i made too. it's got a ton of options and i feel like i did a good job playing with the franchise's common tropes for it. i help administrate a server for the tabletop game i mention being heavily inspired by, and people tell me all the time they used the generator to create their character, so i'm really happy it's so useful for what it is!!
What is the most fun thing about creating generators?
my absolute favorite thing is seeing what people make out of the results they get, but as far as the process of creating itself goes, i like how ideas grow and expand over the course of making a generator!
i usually go into a generator with, like, an idea and a half, and end up with about a billion more options and ways to shape them than i originally intended to.
What are the biggest challenges of creating generators?
for me i think it's making sure there are enough options to keep things from getting repetitive. especially since my generators tend to be super modular, similar ideas might appear in different lists that are drawn from at the same time - and i don't want those ideas to show up in the same result!!
obviously it's usually more trouble than it's worth to keep that 100% from happening, or it would force me to cut down on the complexity of the generator, but i always want there to be so many options that the chances of seeing something like that aren't high.
How do you use random generators yourself?
the thing i use generators for most often these days is names. i don't do as much writing as i used to these days so i don't need as much prompting, but if i need a name or title for literally anything i completely blank nine times out of ten. it's my greatest weakness.
What is the most interesting generator or tool you've seen?
i mentioned it briefly before but i really can't sing Perchance's praises highly enough. it's such a useful and accessible tool and, especially as someone without much of a traditional coding background, i'm really grateful for how it's made it easier for all sorts of people to write their own generators without much fuss.
What are your next big projects (generators or otherwise) that you can talk about?
they've taken a back seat to my current job search, but i have a couple of storytelling tabletop rpgs i've been writing and am hoping to release soon!! i've been into indie ttrpgs for a while but this is my first foray as a designer and it's an interesting adventure and shift in perspective.
Where can people find you on social media?
my personal twitter is @andromedamn!! it's just as much updates on my day to day life and retweets of art i thought was pretty, though.
my kofi feed is used exclusively for generator updates!
You can find more more Creator Interviews on Rand Roll.