An Abundance Of Beasts
August 26, 2023 10:20 PM   Subscribe

An Abundance Of Beasts
An Abundance Of Beasts is an endless medieval bestiary generator, creating new creatures every time you look.

An Abundance Of Beasts largely utilises information from the always wonderful Medieval Bestiary: Animals In The Middle Ages website and a lovely translated copy of the Bodleian Library Bestiary, and then pieced together using twine.

Additional generator/randomiser things I've made this month (all made with twine, and should work in any browser, though presumably all need javascript to run):

1. Shakespearean Sonnet Machine (spits out endless variations of Shakespeare's 154 sonnets)
2. a trillion / quite tiny / little poems (creates endless miniature almost-haiku in a 4/3/4 syllable format)
3. Above, Below and Inbetween (quick children's flipbook picture book prototype that shows a different 3-part scene every time you look)
4. Absurdist Conversation Generator (generates absurdist conversations. this was my first attempt, and contains upto possibly several minutes of fun)
Role: writer, programmer,
posted by dng (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

These are fun! The bestiary generator is a nice way to explore the source material that’s not the easiest to get at.
posted by ignignokt at 8:41 AM on August 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

This is really good!

It reminds me a bit of Monty Python's Llama Sketch.

The llama is a quadruped which lives in big rivers like the Amazon. It has two ears, a heart, a forehead, and a beak for eating honey. But it is provided with fins for swimming.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:47 PM on September 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

Ooooh, thank you! I spotted the bestiary generator on Web Curios and really liked it! (I sent it to my child immediately. Another fan!)
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:40 PM on September 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

Excellent, cheers. Glad you both like dit.

Also that web curios description of how it works is wrong, in that everything on there is actual lines of descriptions - or mild paraphrases - from translations of old bestiaries, just picked out and concatenated together at random (all of these randomisers work in roughly the same way, though this one was a bit more complex in that it needed plurals and subject names matched up, and the plurals especially basically all need to be hard coded for each animal because english is insistently inconsistent in that regard).

The alternative sounds quite a bit more advanced than I could manage, but still, I'm glad they liked it too. Obviously my cheap tricks look like slightly more computationally difficult tricks, which is nice.
posted by dng at 7:35 AM on September 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

This is really fun! Got some fantastic combinations. Made me laugh out loud more than once!
posted by that's candlepin at 6:36 PM on October 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

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