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Game Title

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Ok, I know that a unique and non-generic game title is critical to picking up players. But I have no idea how to give a name to an idea of mine. It's a very strange prototype.

 

There are RPG elements. As in actual role playing, making decisions that effect your character and the world around them, not leveling up and whatnot.

 

There are 4X elements, as you are limited in scope to a group of people that grow larger and more organized over time.

 

There is time progression from ancient civilizations to medieval to steam punk, possible to modern and future eras.

 

There are Cthulhu esk elements of madness, darkness, and death.

 

Carefully planning combat and diplomatic encounters is a core mechanic, with executing the plan as the other main mechanic.

 

Fighting and diplomacy are set to music with rhythm elements.

 

And the whole thing is set in a mincraftian voxel world where you are a god controlling various characters throughout history as they become heroes, villains, emperors, and hermits.

 

And the main difficulty is meshing all this into a single, unified experience.

 

But the question remains, what the heck do I name such a beast?

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Naming stuff is hard.

We usually wait until the game is fully finished a few weeks before release to decide.

Before that we have just have a project name, which usually is far from the final name.

 

One of the reasons why is that the game is likely to take a few turns before it is finished. 

The name we had in mind at the start might be totally inappropriate for the game when it is done.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't get stuck too long on the name now, whatever catches the spirit of the game and help you focus your creative efforts is good.

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i always say the hardest part of making games is naming them.

 

unfortunately, your description is way too vague to even make an attempt.

 

and a sufficiently detailed description may be more than you wish to reveal.

 

its something you should be thinking about from the first moment you conceive the game. if you're lucky, you might come up with something cool by release time.

 

my advise, don't settle. nothing kills a game like a lame name.

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Best names are usually unique, simple and maybe strange enough to remember.

 

As much as having a descriptive name be a boon (because it might be already your games "elevator pitch"), if this results in a name that is hard to remember or just generic, then don't do it. At least IMHO.

 

Compare "The Last of Us" to "Zombie XXX" (replace XXX with anything really.... Zombie Hunter, Zombie Apocalypse, and so on)...

 

The second title is much more helpful in making potenial customers aware from the start what the game is about, but at the same time screams "generic Zombie shooter" as soon as you find out the game actually IS about flesheating zombies... whereas "The Last of Us" hints at a post-apocalyptic scenario, at something melodramatic while staying mysterious and ambigious at the same time.

 

If I don't know about the two games, and you lay both games in front of me with only the title visible, chances are if I am not a die hard Zombie shooter fan I will leave "Zombie Apocalypse" lying on the desk while picking up the mysterious "The Last of Us" just to find out what it is about. By the time I find out it is just another Zombie Shooter (which it certainly isn't, in this case), I will already have started to watch the trailer, might have downloaded the demo, or maybe even already shelled out for the game... and chances are, if your games doesn't suck, and I am not totally grossed out or bored to death already by Zombie shooters, I might keep playing it.

 

 

My personal recommendation thus is not to get hooked up too much on a name that describes your game best, or falls in line with what other name similar games.

Find a name that is different, that people will remember.

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How about for now, just give it a codename.

 

This way you can refer to it amongst the other devs without giving too much away, and you can use that in the game. Just make it easy to change to the official proper name once you have one (use stringtables etc!).

 

Personally i recommend "Project Ponies". Because ponies. 'Nuff said. smile.png

 

Good luck!

Edited by braindigitalis

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Brainstorm for a while and come up with a ton of potential titles. Try to find words that are related to what's in your game, its mood, its themes, what the player does, etc. then combine them together to find a few titles that stand out as particularly cool and catchy.

 

Once you have a handful of good candidates, try them on other people to see which they will like. A good way to do it is to create Google ads with each of the candidate titles, pointing to temporary web pages with a form saying "coming soon" with a field to enter an email address to be notified when the game is ready. Then you look at which ad gets the most clicks to which titles get the most attention.

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How far along are you on the game and which feature is the most fun so far? You're a god, but do other gods exist? Does TotallyNotCthulhu (TM) exist in the world? What names have you come up with and rejected so far?

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All amazing ideas. I really like "The Name of The Beast" However, that's kinda a reference to Satan, and this is so different from anything you might find in the bible (except for, perhaps, the awesome fantasy stuff in the old testament) that I don't want the comparison. Tales of Futures Past sounds a lot like the most recent X-Men movie.

 

Now, for the names of the gods. Here's the thing. They don't have any. The minor gods, like the one you play, have no name, not one given by humans, who don't know you exist, or by each other, as they have no voice.

 

The game is really all about planning, and then executing on that plan. I know that sounds generic but almost all the mechanics revolve around either the planning or execution of a carefully crafted plan. But you are technically able to just skip planning all together and run in pell mell. So, you see my dilemma.

 

Right now the projects name is Terra Secundus, as second earth in Latin sounds kinda cool to me.

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I always do some brainstorming, writing down all possible names to a piece of paper and try to figure out which of them looks best and sound good. Also give it a try with different fonts or graphics.

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In this day and age, one of the primary concerns is searchability -- When your potential customers enter your title into google, you want at minimum the top 3-5 slots pointing unmistakably at your game. Preferably, if you've engaged with media in the right way, you can dominate the first several pages of search results with your website first, followed by reviews, Youtube videos, Let's-Plays, and Twitch streamers.

 

Being able to secure a highly-related URL factors into that, and helps ensure customers that they've found the genuine article. You should use the whois service to ensure such URLs are available, and if you have a few options you really like, its usually a worthwhile investment to lock down the .com and .net (at least) early on. I'm sitting on a handful of URLs related to game titles and the like myself -- it costs around $12/yr to register com/net/org and many others -- though some of the trendier top-level-domains (like .io) can go for ~$70. Once you've settled on one name, you'll want to snap up all the lesser 'common' TLD variations (ie .org, .info), and probably variations on your URL withing the most common TLDs (e.g. if you finalize on darknessarise.com, you'll probably want to lock down darkness-arise.com and darknessarise-game.com -- you'll also want to do a whois search against those URLs in your investigation phase also)

 

 

Finally, don't take it entirely upon yourself to name your project inside a vacuum. You can and should seek feedback from people outside the project -- specifically, people in your target demographic. A name you personally like and has meaning to you is often far less valuable than a name that your target market finds appealing. You can and should do focus-group style testing -- use your local Craigslist and offer $20 bucks and a free copy of the game for an hours time in an easily-accessible location (e.g. college campus if that's your demographic) or via Google Hangouts; or throw a survey on Mechanical Turk (you pay a small amount--you choose how much--for each result) -- using Turk you can have them watch videos or whatever it takes to inform them, you just have to balance what you're offering to pay with the time you ask for.

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