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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingGame Name Clinic - I will rate your game's name
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Author Topic: Game Name Clinic - I will rate your game's name  (Read 505984 times)
Bennett
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« Reply #80 on: November 25, 2007, 07:38:13 PM »

"The Castle of Evil"

I have to assume you're serious, but that's not a good name, just on the grounds that it describes about ten million very mediocre games. Without further info, it's hard to offer a good alternative. Can you at least tell me one distinctive fact about the game?

#1: AKTUN PAK or ACTION PACK

I like where you're going with this name, but 'ACTION PACK' is too blah and it sounds like a minigame collection. If you call it 'AKTUN PAK' people will assume that it is a Korean-language game, which will hurt the audience size somewhat. AKSHEN PAK works better. Better yet, call it:

"ACHTUNG!"

#2 Depths of Khrion, Tales of Khrion, Tragedy of Krion, Cave Story Rip-Off

This game looks great. And if it's any consolation, the player character makes it look much less like Cave Story than The Underside does. (BTW, 'The Underside' is a totally great name)

Now, even if the undersea world is called 'Khrion', you can't call the game that. It's just not cool enough to make it into the game title.

If the game is freeware, then I reckon you can get away with taking this vintage videogame name:
"Netherworld"

If the game is not freeware, then you need an original name. I wish you could call it "The Bends" but that's a Radiohead album. And it's a shame that the word "grotto" sounds so silly. You should call it:

"Sunken Hollow"

I'm patting myself on the back - that's an awesome name.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #81 on: November 25, 2007, 08:02:23 PM »

"Sunken Hollow"
I think the word 'hollow' evokes a small, hidden place -- not a vast secret world, but rather a little hidden nook or valley.  Also, I hope Khrion is not sunken -- that would just be so ... Atlantis.
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Xion
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« Reply #82 on: November 25, 2007, 09:16:58 PM »

The game takes place in a castle where the evil king has agreed to let evil leaders dwell in their evil ways, thus making up the five bosses: The Necromancer, The Ogre Lord, The Beast, The Warlock/Wizard-type dude, and The Evil King. 'Tis The Castle of Evil.

Pray tell, what is wrong with Khrion, though? Sounds like a perfectly valid name to me. In fact, I think that in itself would be a cool name: "Khrion". Sunken Hollow, on the other hand, reminds me of
a) someone with sunken eyes and an empty gaze
b) a survival horror/pirate game
« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 09:20:50 PM by Xion » Logged

Zaphos
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« Reply #83 on: November 25, 2007, 09:30:01 PM »

The game takes place in a castle where the evil king has agreed to let evil leaders dwell in their evil ways, thus making up the five bosses: The Necromancer, The Ogre Lord, The Beast, The Warlock/Wizard-type dude, and The Evil King. 'Tis The Castle of Evil.
Is it a parody?

Also, Khrion sounds like "crying" to me.  Er, with a strong accent possibly belonging to Elvis, as in "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog, Kh-ri-on all the time."  But maybe that is just me.
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Bennett
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« Reply #84 on: November 25, 2007, 09:35:08 PM »

Sounds like a perfectly valid name to me. In fact, I think that in itself would be a cool name: "Khrion".

Yeah, but you also think 'The Castle of Evil' would be a good name.

Speaking of which, ok, now we have something to work with. I take it these bosses are the main hook of the game, so let's make them the focus of the title. Now, your plot is, you must admit, totally generic, and judging by your cool avatar I guess the main hook of the game will be that it executes a common theme uncommonly well. In the absence of other distinguishing features, though, we'll go with a title that has a nice sound and rolls off the tongue:

"Five Rivals"

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Seth
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« Reply #85 on: November 25, 2007, 10:56:41 PM »

Yeah I don't like the name Khrion or any of the variations.  If the title was the first thing I heard, I'd pass it off as a stereotypical RPG.

I think "Kraken" would be a better title.

and it looks absolutely awesome  Shocked
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bigbossSNK
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« Reply #86 on: November 26, 2007, 01:53:12 AM »

Tales of Khrion sounds too generic. I'd go with "My wife's a Krakken". Or even better "Khrion Physics". Yeah, now that's original!
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« Reply #87 on: November 26, 2007, 02:05:53 AM »

Regarding Ico:
I think Ico is a good name. It's short, memorable, distinguishable, googleable (hurray to wordcreation) and it is meaningless, thus it doesn't repell anyone. Just because it doesn't appeal specifically to femals it doesn't mean it shuts them out.
On the other hand a name like "Hold my hand" shuts out 90% of male gamers (major audience) and 50% (very rough uneducated guess) of femal gamers. Why does it shut out female gamers, you ask? Simple. Most of the time games with names aimed specifically at femals are crap and the only noteable thing about them is the name. Most of the funds of such a game are consumed by marketing experts and analyst in order to find a pretty name that appeals to a specific audience, thus leaving no recources to make the game any good (I can't think of any decent game with a name aimed at girls).
Not all female gamers are complety uneducated in terms of games so they know that they have little choice but to check titles with obscure names like Ico and better stay clear of femal specific names if they are looking for a high quality gaming experience.
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Xion
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« Reply #88 on: November 26, 2007, 06:58:06 PM »

Sounds like a perfectly valid name to me. In fact, I think that in itself would be a cool name: "Khrion".

Yeah, but you also think 'The Castle of Evil' would be a good name.
Haha, fair enough.

"Five Rivals"
No thanks. It seems you need more information. The game is more exploration-based, and you can chose to avoid fights with any of the four non-King dudes if you want, since they're all tucked away in their own little section of the castle, all branching out from the main explorey area, so to speak. But doing so would mean you miss some awesome loot.
You can take most enemies' equipment. It's a platformer. Items are gathered from each boss' section ala the dungeons in Zelda, but no item is required to beat The King - that is, the only required boss. But the main focus of the game is really just having a big castle to explore and loot.
The simplicity of the story is due to that I just want a game, not an epic tale with twists and shtuff. Something simple like those old games with the classic(cliche) "Yo' grrl got kidnap't, mang!" stories.
And yeah, I'm terrible at coming up with names. It's the last thing on my mind.
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« Reply #89 on: November 26, 2007, 07:25:33 PM »

Thanks for the feedback and support all.  AKSHEN PAK sounds good to me, so I'll run with that Smiley

As for Khrion game, I'm not really satisfied with any of the names presented, and I really want to get (teknogames and I are making it by the way) everything perfect for it.  Would it help if I gave a more complete summary of the game?

I'm curious, what do you think of current big name games, "Assassin's Creed," "Uncharted; Drake's Fortune," and "Soldier of Fortune?"
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Bennett
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« Reply #90 on: November 26, 2007, 09:01:13 PM »

Would it help if I gave a more complete summary of the game?

It couldn't hurt. I can't guarantee you'll like my suggestions, but I can guarantee  they won't include the word 'Khrion'. Wink

I'm curious, what do you think of current big name games, "Assassin's Creed," "Uncharted; Drake's Fortune," and "Soldier of Fortune?"

"Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" would be fine if it were just called "Uncharted". It's not taken by any other game. It's sufficiently evocative, and it doesn't feature a bloody semicolon. As it is, 2/5.

"Soldier of Fortune" - well, I think it evokes the game. And it probably appeals to the right crowd - the spotty teenagers and ageing man-boys who read 'Soldier of Fortune' magazine. But I'm not in that crowd, so I can't honestly say it appeals to me. At all. But then, neither does 'Barbie Horse Adventures' which has a perfectly serviceable name for the target audience. From a technical standpoint, I don't hate this name. 4/5.

"Assassin's Creed". Hey, it's evocative, it's not too cliched, and it doesn't have a numeral after it. This one is worth a 4/5. To be a really good name, it needs something cooler than the word 'Creed'. 'Creed' got tainted by the band of that name.


Seriously. Of the 100 newest releases on metacritic.com, 41 had a colon in them. FORTY ONE. It totally boggles my mind how any self-respecting developer could put out a title with a colon in it. It screams "design by committee", as though every producer and every director had to contribute one word to the title.
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Bennett
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« Reply #91 on: November 26, 2007, 09:14:36 PM »

Ok, I'm going to make a short guide to naming your game, based on what we've revealed so far.

1) Under no circumstances use a colon.

2) Under no circumstances use a spelling that nobody will be able to reproduce (no mixing numbers and punctuation, unless it's simple e.g. Q*Bert)

3) If you are going to misspell a word, do it for a reason - either to evoke a different word, or a theme. "Skool Daze", for example, is ok because of the elementary-school theme. Never misspell a name in order to be X-treme.

4) Remember your audience. If your game is aimed at idle cubicle workers, make it intriguing enough on its own (in the absence of an explanation or screenshots) to draw a bored click. If your game is for 13-year-old males, don't call it "Hold my Hand" because they'll be worried it will turn them gay. The easiest group to repel are grown females, but they supposedly make up over 50% of the casual games market, so be careful if you are making a Zuma clone.

5) Keep it short if you can. Ever word over three cuts the power of your game by half.

6) Unless the main character is a famous, instantly recognizable one (like Mario or Santa), don't use their name in the title. The same goes for the locale - if your game is set in Transylvania or on the Moon, or if your main character is 'Satan', you can say so in the title. If your game is set in 'Khrion' or if your character is called 'Targhan', forget it.

7) If your game has a unique hook or mechanic, let prospective players know in the title. If it doesn't, then try to evoke some kind of scene which will provoke an emotional response in the player. An abstract name like 'Ico' isn't BAD as such, but it's a missed opportunity to tell the player something or make them feel something.

8 ) Above all, naming is a gestalt, whole-brain activity. It is the power which separates us from the animals. There are some rules of thumb, but you can't apply a process or follow a flow-chart. The best names will just occur to you. If you're getting a blank, play the game for a bit or look at some photos and try to flash on it.

9) Try to avoid being associated with bad things. Don't go crazy over it, but let's put it this way: If your game is a rhythm game where you try to hit the beats in time with the music, DON'T call it "N'Sync". (Even though that would be a great name in all other senses)

10) If you have a great idea for a name, you can break these rules, of course.
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Derek
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« Reply #92 on: November 26, 2007, 09:26:12 PM »

"Osama Bin Laden Presents: Kr'ahrrl's Kwest: Adventures on Xerxania-5"
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Zaphos
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« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2007, 09:33:45 PM »

The colon is commonly used for franchise titles, where it can let you know in a clear way that the game is from series X but also give it a unique name.  Like "The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass" and "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess".  They absolutely need to have the first part on there, and while they could use a number instead of the second part, that would get confusing and intimidating pretty quickly for people who aren't closely following the series.
There are a lot of franchise titles, so a decent amount of that 41/100 is probably because of this trend ... which seems pretty reasonable.
Not that there's actually any problem with using a colon for non-franchise titles  :D

Although I will say that "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Hard Evidence" is probably over-doing it ...
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Bennett
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« Reply #94 on: November 26, 2007, 09:42:15 PM »

"Osama Bin Laden Presents: Kr'ahrrl's Kwest: Adventures on Xerxania-5"

Make it so. Hey, you're the dude who made 'I'm OK' aren't you?
(BTW, Jack Thompson is a game naming genius, even if his game design skills all his other skills leave something to be desired)

(BTW2, I would really like to see some "Osama Bin Laden Presents:" titles. I'll suspend my colon ban for that. There could also be a series of "Paris Hilton Presents:" )

The colon is commonly used for franchise titles, where it can let you know in a clear way that the game is from series X but also give it a unique name.  Like "The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass" and "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess".

I'm willing to give up Zelda and even Final Fantasy, if it means that there will be no more franchise titles ever. Imagine how great it would be if Miyamoto, Aonuma, Iwata et al had to pull their finger out and come up with new IPs.

But even if we have to keep franchise titles, you can do it without the colon and get better results. They only had to call it 'The Legend of Zelda:The Phantom Hourglass' because some marketing drone insisted they put the full trademark in there. A better name might have been "Link and The Phantom Hourglass" or "Zelda DS" or "Zelda's Curse".
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 09:47:22 PM by Benzido » Logged
jeb
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« Reply #95 on: November 27, 2007, 01:53:10 AM »

Our current game has a colon in its name. This is by "accident", or rather by unforeseen events. I mention this in my SGA speech ( http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=766.0 ), but here's a summary:

The game started out as a prototype game. The objective would be to gather resources and managing energy, so I simply called the game "Harvest".

We sent this game to Swedish Game Awards simply on a whim and didn't expect much more to happen, but we got nominated and won a prize at the event. Suddenly the game was well-known (in Sweden), with its prototype name. We also wanted to be able to reference SGA and say, "hey, this game has won a prize", so we didn't want to change the name.

However, "Harvest", or even "Harvest RTS" or "harvest game" is REALLY hard to win google ranking on, so we had to do something. After a number of different name changes, we settled on "Harvest: Massive Encounter". Using a subtitle isn't so inspiring, as you say, but "Massive Encounter" both describes the game and sounds somewhat interesting.

The internet is our main distribution channel, so if people can't google us we don't exist. It's possible that many of the big game companies think the same way when they name their triple-A products (actually, in many cases it's the publishers who name the games).
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« Reply #96 on: November 27, 2007, 11:02:17 AM »

I'm curious, what do you think of current big name games, "Assassin's Creed," "Uncharted; Drake's Fortune," and "Soldier of Fortune?"

I would be curious to hear a verdict on those too.  Smiley Personally I think Assassin's Creed was very clever choice, but I'm not so sure about Uncharted:Drake's Fortune.

As for Soldier of Fortune, it has a nice ring to it and with the background of the game in mind they didn't really have a choice being inspired on the Soldier of Fortune magazine and so on.
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Bennett
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« Reply #97 on: November 27, 2007, 11:04:26 AM »

I would be curious to hear a verdict on those too.

Direct your eyes further up the page...  Wink
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« Reply #98 on: November 27, 2007, 11:08:26 AM »

Ok, do mine :-)

"The Amazing Adventures of Kassandra"  Cool (it's an RPG)


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Bennett
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« Reply #99 on: November 27, 2007, 02:12:21 PM »

"The Amazing Adventures of Kassandra" 

Looks neat. I take it Kassandra is based on the Trojan woman who was cursed to be able to tell the future but not be believed.

"The Amazing Adventures of" isn't doing any work for you at all. And since your title is 5 words long, it's down to a quarter of its potential power. You'd have a result four times as good if you simply called it 'Kassandra'. However, you can probably do quite a bit better than that. I think in this case there's no unique gameplay mechanic which needs to be explained, so you want a name which evokes an exciting adventurey theme. Here's my suggestion

"Curse of Apollo"

(Assuming that in your game, Kassandra struggles with people not believing her)

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