Friday, March 14, 2008

What's in a name?

I was recently linked to the Indie Gamer forums. It's an interesting place where a bunch of independent developers chat about stuff.

Briefly looking over their feedback forum I was struck by the importance of having a good name for your indie project. It's all very well for the "big guys", if they release a game called Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom they have enough money to advertise it enough that it stands out a little. But if you're an indie publishing a game (especially on the PC where there are a staggering number of titles available) you really need to make sure the title grabs attention or sticks in a potential customer's head.

Some game names from that forum are: ZoX Universe. Mech Builder. Core Fighter. Magic Farm. Azgard Defense. Runes of Avalon. Empire of the Gods. Covert Warfare. Destiny Architect. Battle Forces Online.

You could easily combine any of those with a colon, and it'd be no better or worse. ZoX Universe: Destiny Architect. Runes of Avalon: Battle Forces Online.

I've started to come to the conclusion that if you have a good game you need a name that's either: incredibly short and snappy (but still manages to describe some aspect of the game) like Fez; or something long and strange sounding (but without a mass of x's, y's, or z's) along the lines of Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Anything else and people like me will look at the name and never even bother trying to find out more about your hard work.

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