*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 26, 2021, 10:55:19 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: How did you come up with your name?  (Read 4590 times)
David C
Member

Posts: 262

lost in the woods...


« on: April 23, 2007, 12:56:14 AM »

I always figured that coming up with the name for my game would come to me as I worked on the game. Now, its been a year later and I still don't have a clue, so how did you come up with your name? Similarly, how did you come up with a company name?
Logged

...but enjoying the scenery.
David Artman
Member

Posts: 570

Designer & Producer


WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2007, 08:38:18 AM »

For my company name, I had to accommodate all possible "products"--games, web design, fiction, non-fiction, art--so I just added "designs" to my name:
David Artman Designs (or david artman designs, when I'm feeling cummingsish.)

For my (first) major game (GLASS; see sig), I knew what I was making--a generic system for LARPS--and I knew of an existing major product whose name I could leverage for a form of quasi-brand recognition: GURPS. Further, given my game's general reconfigurability, and the fact that I could pun off glass in several ways (glass half empty or half full; looking glass; magnifying glass), the choice of that acronym was inevitable:
GLASS: Generic Live Action Simulation System

For other games (mainly Icehouse games), I either riff off the "Martian" theme of older, original Icehouse games (Martian Shuffleboard), extend the pseudo Japanese of an existing game (Zendo -> Ikkozendo, "single Zendo" for a single-stash variant of a game that usually uses four stashes), make a pun (Stacktors, for a role-playing game--i.e. actors--where characters are made out of stacks of pieces), or riff off of "ice" as in Icecaster (a variant of Spellcaster for Icehouse pieces; get it?).

HTH;
David
Logged

Designer - GLASS, Icehouse Games
Editor - Perfect, Passages
Ryan Macklin
Member

Posts: 13

Comrade Mastermind


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 04:05:46 PM »

The game I'm working on (though not very actively at the moment) went through a few titles.  It's a game about being half-possessed by something truly Evil and being in a support group for it.  It started as "Half-Evil" and grew, as the support group element became more important in my mind, to "Damned Anonymous."  Now, I'm not 100% happy with the title, but that's the title as it stands.

It took me longer to come up with my imprint name, Tomorrow the World! Games.  That grew out of wanting to do a web column but not having a good title for it, so I just called it Master Plan (as in "My web column is part of my master plan to rule the world!").  My podcast ended up with the same name as people heavily suggested I stick to that (which has created some confusion with my newer listeners).  I took that idea and ran with it when thinking of my imprint name, and "Tomorrow the World!" popped into my head.  I stuck a "Games" on the end of that because it flows well as both a noun (for the imprint's name) and a verb (for actually shouting it at people).

Sadly, I don't have any advice or suggestions on how you can figure out a name for yourself or your game.
Logged

Ryan Macklin
Master Plan: The People's Podcast About Game Design
http://masterplanpodcast.net/
JustinB
Member

Posts: 106


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2007, 09:38:50 PM »

Fae Noir, my game, was originally entitled Noir because it's a noir game merged with fantasy. I decided that Noir didn't describe the game adequately enough or set enough of a brand identity, so it became Fairy Noir, but I felt that that didn't sound "cool" enough, and since one of the major elements of the game is the inhumanity of the creatures of faery, I decided to turn it into Fae Noir. It's a recognizable name, suggests what the game is about, and can be dropped to two letters (FN) for abbreviation purposes. In short, the name establishes the brand image of the game before you even know what the game is about and is easy to remember.
The name of my company, Green Fairy Games, was harder to come up with, but gets back to establishing brand identity. I had initially decided that the cover of the Fae Noir core book would have a picture of a green fairy with a pistol leaning up against a bottle of absinthe (again, to establish what Fae Noir is about at a glance), although the final cover was somewhat different. As part of branding the FN line, I thought it could be fun to stick the green fairy in every cover in a covert kind of way. When I had settled on that, I figured why not use it as the name of the company, since it helped establish a strong visual for the website, business cards, etc. If you look at the website(www.greenfairygames.com), that silhouette in the header is also the primary image for the business cards. Finally, Green Fairy Games suggests a fantasy element in our products as well as a hint that the material might be retro in some way, if the customer knows anything about absinthe. The name is also, I think, fairly easy to remember and the palindromic GFG abbreviation is attractive.

In the end, I think the most important aspect of your name is the effectiveness at branding your product and your company. A cool name is nice, but unless it draws in customers and makes you memorable, it's of little more value than wearing a peacock feather. I went through a half-dozen names for the company and none of them felt right until I thought of going with GFG. Trust your instincts and keep an eye on your marketing strategy.
Logged

Check out Fae Noir, a game of 1920's fantasy. http://greenfairygames.com
JustinB
Member

Posts: 106


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2007, 09:48:19 PM »

The game I'm working on (though not very actively at the moment) went through a few titles.  It's a game about being half-possessed by something truly Evil and being in a support group for it.  It started as "Half-Evil" and grew, as the support group element became more important in my mind, to "Damned Anonymous."  Now, I'm not 100% happy with the title, but that's the title as it stands.

Ryan, for what it's worth, I think you're definitely on the right track with your game title and your company name is great.
I think the unhappiness you're feeling with the game title is because it doesn't feel similar enough to the name Alcoholics Anonymous. I've been thinking about this and I believe it's because "alcoholic" is a noun and Damned Anonymous, at first read, sounds like "Extremely Anonymous." Perhaps something like Evilholics Anonymous? Yeah, that's not very good either. Demons Anonymous?
Logged

Check out Fae Noir, a game of 1920's fantasy. http://greenfairygames.com
Jake Richmond
Member

Posts: 220


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2007, 01:07:14 AM »

Emily Boss is a good source of names.
Logged

Jarx
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2007, 02:43:11 AM »

Fatum, the one i'm working on is basicly latin for Doom, worlds end and gloom.
Not the nicest name but it has a ring to it.

Though i don't have a company name, I'm thinking Demonic Throne designs would be a good name.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2007, 06:17:18 AM »

Here's a thought: what matters is the game, not the company.

I always wanted to call the game I was working on through the early 1990s "Sorcerer." I had that settled in my mind long before Mage was published or I'd heard of it. So that was that. But the company? Geez, I never imagined even bothering with a company name until 2000, when I considered shifting to book form. I consulted with the person who would act as my first promoter, and she said, "Yes, you need a company name." I thought of "adept" as just right for content, based on both its general and specialized meanings, but otherwise was incredibly boring, X Press. It suited me; I wanted the company to be secondary to the game.

Until one gets that concept down, it's hard to combine the two things I'm about to suggest that people combine.

1. Concentrate on the game names completely individually, letting your own sense of inspiration and ownership do the job.

2. Choose a company name strategically, with branding and other market-based decisions in mind.

My point is to let #2 sit and wait; one does not need a company name or official company of any kind to design and publish games.

Best, Ron
« Last Edit: April 29, 2007, 06:18:52 AM by Ron Edwards » Logged
Joshua A.C. Newman
Member

Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2007, 07:12:58 AM »

Logged

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2007, 03:59:10 AM »

Huh, my experience has been very different from Ron's.  Schroedinger's Cat Press is a joke on the short-lived nature of RPG companies and the traditionally poor communications of the FLGS -- "I thought you guys were out of business?"

"Unknown Armies" was a compromise name, not really anyone's first choice, and I think this tied in to its early identity issues -- the biggest problem with UA1ed was people saying, "Cool, but what do you DO with it?"  Eventually, it became its own thing, I guess -- like "Reservoir Dogs".  But we got lucky.

I've observed that the most successful games have an evocative title that is 100% ACCURATE.  What is "Dungeons and Dragons" about?  What kind of game is "Vampire: the Masquerade"?  They do just what they say on the tin. 

I'm hoping REIGN falls into that category.  It sounds cool, but it also tells you exactly what the game's about.

-G.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2007, 04:26:09 AM »

Hi Greg,

I don't see where you're disagreeing with me. You're describing naming games evocatively and accurately, and naming companies as secondary. That's what I said.

Best, Ron
Logged
guildofblades
Member

Posts: 297


WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2007, 07:11:14 AM »

Well, company name. The Guild of Blades was a sort of guild name associated with a player character from an old RPG campaign. We wanted a unique name that could be memorable for a company name and thought the Guild of Blades fit the bill. We simply appended "Publishing Group" to give it an air of legitimacy and leave open the sorts of things we would be publishing.

Dark Realms Role Playing Universe. A system meant to serve as a universal system and where to loosely knit that universe together we provided a brief backdrop that talked about massively powerful armies contesting for control of the universe, each with its own realm established in its own dimension, The Realms of Light and Realms of Darkness. With the backdrop suggesting the Lords of Darkness having the upper hand in that struggle, we arrived at The Dark Realms for the name of the game. And "Role Playing Universe" to clearing mark it as an RPG and to suggest its universal theme.

Worlds of Heroes & Tyrants Epic Adventure Game. Originally this was published at the WHAT? Customizable RPG. The WHAT? was a marketing gimmick because this was a little digest sized B&W saddle stitch rule booklet that retailed for $2.00. In that format it was extremely difficult to arrive at an eye catching cover art and presentation, so we opted for complete black backgrounds with title and cover art done in reverse whites. That worked pretty well and lots of people were curious as to what the WHAT? acronym stood for. A year after its first release and for a whole year thereafter we held a competition for people to submit their name for the game for which the acronym would stand for. Worlds of Heroes & Tyrants was the winner. Epic Adventure Game (tm) is our own fancy renaming for RPG largely because we have some intended projects for mass distribution for the game and by generating our own game format name we will be bypassing some potential road blocks in distribution.

Heroes Forever RPG. I wasn't involved with choosing this name but the reasoning I was told was simply they wanted the word  "Hero" in there because its a supers RPG. And forever has a bit to do with the alternate history world setting for the RPG and the longevity of some of the notables.

Button Wars: Tactical Spaceship Combat Game. Ok, not an RPG, but rather a miniatures game. Button Wars because the game pieces and marketing gimmick is that the game pieces representing the capital ships are basically buttons, used as disks (ala, no pin in them for wearing). The rest is purely a description of the theme for the game.

Grunt Fantasy Miniature Battles. Another miniatures games. Grunt because Grunts are the most lowly, totally expendable type of unit in the game. And the army point rules allow you to replace a set number of grunt units after every game, bringing your army back up to a baseline number of Grunt units. So Grunt loses are basically replaced for free and hence their usage as cannon fodder is highly encouraged.

Overlords: Fantasy Battlescape Wargame. A fantasy board wargame, made obvious by the subtext of the title. "Overlords" because those are the very powerful rulers of the creature armies the game is based on. Overlords in two of our RPG games also is inter-changable in meaning for "god" in the traditional meaning of god in fantasy RPGs.

Thats most of them. All of our historical games have largely just been naming variations of the name of the conflict of period.

When it comes to naming games I think the idea is to both create something that is memorable in its uniqueness or memorable because it is simple and thus easy to remember. This makes the job of branding the game much easier.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
http://www.1483online.com
http://www.thermopylae-online.com
Logged

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!