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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by johnadaniels, Oct 7, 2017.
My son and I are starting a Game Studio and need your help with the name.
Which one most aptly describes you?
And do you really think random people on the internet are going to pick a name that you'll be satisfied with ten years from now?
If they're anything like me, they'll hate any name ten years from now - might as well let random internet people pick it. I've agonized over similar design choices (not names but website and logo designs etc.) for days and that probably was mostly a waste of time.
I think from a marketing perspective all those names are bad, because I've already forgotten all of them. They're generic and forgettable. Something silly like hyper-charged-bread-makers is easier to remember because it sticks more out from the crowd ever so slightly.
Aside from domain-availability, search term collisions are also a thing to keep in mind. For that, the generic often used words are also bad. Even worse are words that are associated with thematically related but stronger brands, because they'll show up first in search results. Ideally you want something that puts your page on place 1 of the search results when someone heard the name somewhere and googles it to find out what the deal is.
That said... historically the teams that start by worrying about how to call their game/studio instead of making games first, don't really need to worry about such things...
Dad & Son Games.
None of the above, to be perfectly honest. They are all way too descriptive and uncharacteristic. A good name, like any decent bit of art, communicates a message whose impression is entirely abstractable from its practical representation. I would suggest aiming for something more evocative.
You know, I rather like your kind of "method" for picking a name. However, I don't recall seeing you give any that embody what you're describing. Can you give an example or two?
TO be honest, I dislike all of them. The first one is kinda-sorta okayish, but the rest 3 sound pretentious.
Aside from what Billy4184 suggested, you could also simply try maximum number of [random adjective or verb][random noun] combinations and try the one you like the most.
You may end up with something like "Howling Squirrel Studios" though.
Well a good example that I like is Ironbelly Studios. It has a few different connotations - it gives the impression of something tough and strong, maybe like an armored soldier, mech or tank, as well as something warm and comforting (referring to iron pot belly stoves, which it at least reminded me of), as well as a place where satisfying things are created (again referring to the stove). And it rolls off the tongue quite well.
Others that I think are good, that are maybe a bit more casual, are (just went over to Google Play for a bit): Pixelfactor, Fingersoft, Supercell, Fireproof Games etc.
I saw this recently and I think it's interesting in that the same principles could be applied to game studio names:
With the point that good names perhaps can be tested by the range and strength of their connotations as well as the simplicity of their design.
As an aside, I don't really like my own 'studio' name - VSXGames. It's not too bad - but there are way too many syllables, and it's annoyingly easy to confuse with VFX. But at the same time I like the connotation of 'visual effects' and perhaps the slight reference to SpaceX, which I'm a fan of.
I remember trying this and I didn't get very far. Maybe I was just having a bad day but the results sounded like fragments of a poem generated by a bad computer program.
All four of the names in the poll are too generic. Think up a name that is specific to you and your son, a primary genre of interest, or to your primary skill set.
Everyones comments above have merit and instead of reiterating what they have said i would like to say how nobody has mentioned (or maybe i missed it) is the fact that the name will also speak volumes about your company!!
A small company name can still invoke strong feelings! For instance the person or team behind the Appstore Game Turretz called there company "111%" and to me that invokes the feeling that they put 111% into there games!!
Whereas the company behind the game State of Decay called themselves UndeadLabs and i remember reading (many many years ago before State of Decay was even released) That They chose the name UndeadLabs because they wanted any gamer who ever heard of the company to instantly go "Oh hey they are passionate about zombies/they make zombie games"
Possibly a good way to look at how you choose your name! Good luck! All of this info also applies to me as ive been thinking of company names myself!
Edit Note: I was looking at names such as Noobology.inc or The Killer of Productivity.inc (both terrible names IMO but you gotta start somewhere)
I don't understand the inclusion of "Studios" in a developer name unless they have... you know... more than one studio. I did it with one of my early teams too, and after we realised that it was a bit silly we changed it.
Plus, nobody cares about your "studio". If they care enough about the stuff you make then they might care a little about your team, but they don't care about the room you work in.
I echo the above suggestions about finding something that's somehow meaningful to you and evocative of relevant impressions to your audience. If it's your first dev team and it's mostly for hobby stuff then it doesn't matter what other people think of your name. Pick something that excites or inspires you and roll with it.
If you end up trying to do significant commercial stuff and your name doesn't test well with your audience then it's not even a big deal. You're free to change it right up until you start making stuff public. This year I changed the name of a team I'm on after a year of development, and we only recently even started ideating for a logo. These things aren't set in stone.
Something else... all of those names seem to be generic attempts to tell us how good you are.
The thing is, as a general rule everyone wants to convince people that they're amazing. It happens so often that we just ignore it, it's meaningless to us. Doubly so because it's usually wrong.
If you're not someone like Blizzard then the selling point of your game is not simply that it's awesome. It's a harsh truth but one that probably anyone hanging out here has to accept - we aren't going to compete on outright quality because we don't have the extreme levels of combined budget, skill and people power that large studios have. What we do have is the ability to try stuff that they can't because we don't have to aim for such large audiences as them. So you want a name that gives some specific people an impression of why they you are of interest to them as individuals. And you don't want to tell them, you want to show them.
Rather than telling us that you're good, try and give us an impression of what's unique about you. @Billy4184 nailed it a few posts back, I can't say it better than they did, so read that post again and follow it's lead.
Thank all of you for your replies! I started with a list of a little over 100 domain names that were available and it took about 3 weeks to find them. I finally narrowed down to 4 by asking people which names they liked the best.
Finding a name that is available, half way short and sound somewhat clear is not easy to do. My first name was twobirdsinthebush.com but my son hated it, lol. I thought that proud arts was good because making games is a form of arts and we are proud of what we are making. Also it is short and easy to spell. 2 major companies that come to mind that used the arts is EA(electronics Arts) and LucasArts.
I think at some point you have to pick and name and get started.
Yep. So if "Proud Arts" is what works for you, stop worrying about what others think and get started with that.
UniComm Games (short for Unity Community... giving us credit for picking the name for you).
@johnadaniels Just for fun... http://www.nameboy.com is always a fun one for finding domain names. You can enter words, allow hyphens, synonyms, whatever... and it'll generate a bunch of potential domain names for you and show you their availability.
atomicdaniels.com is available and kind of cool.
I don't like any of them, but the first one I dislike the least.
I think the game titles are more important than the studio name. This tip comes from a guy with the most generic game titles of them all
Though I would say your game has a title that very well explains what it's about. I think titles that give no clue about the gameplay or genre, or even worse give the wrong clue, are much worse than being generic. E.g. "The Sexy Brutale" might turn off a lot of people that would have enjoyed that kind of game.
I need to get back to work on my Wilson the Whistlepig game.
At one point we did think about Naming it something like Untitled Wargame actually
If you think about titles as being part of the art itself, one might argue that it doesn't need to be purely functional.
Mine trend towards describing the story or the player's role in it, but even I have a few esoteric ones.
Here I Begin - puzzle/dialog game where player is betrayed by NPC
Judicate Peripeteia - VN where the main "mechanic" is judging people, deciding whether they live or die, and dealing with the consequences of that
Fulcrum of Time - RPG where player character travels the world and eventually becomes a source of "evil" in the world, sparking off a chain reaction of plotlines (including Judicate Peripeteia)
The first is only tangentially related to anything in the game at all. The second is a description of the player's role in the game - something that would be made clear in promotional material. The third is a description of the player character's role and the story of the game, though neither would be made obvious possibly until the next game came out.
I guess, coming from being a book reader far before I played games, I have a different take on titles. A thought-provoking title catches my interest immediately, whereas a more straightforward, descriptive one is one I ignore.
You mentioned working from a list of available domain names... but did you google the names?
First one is a band, second is a facebook/youtube channel, and the last is getting lots of hits for a tatoo studio with a similar name.
Thats just going to confuse people if they look for you by name...
Wargame says "strategy game" to me, so good choice you didn't take that .
Of course, good point! I think to a degree it depends on factors like genre, established expectations of genre-fans, and what you or your IP are known for already (if anything).
I'm going at it from the perspective of glancing at 200 indie game titles in a weeklong sale and thinking "what would a title need to say for me to even click on it", and that's definitely mainly stuff that sounds like a genre I like. I do click on some that just have weird intriguing titles, but I never buy them then because it's usually something I don't actually wanna play.
And I still would love to know if clickthrough to purchase conversion rates have some kind of influence on steam's algorithm, because that could be an important factor for wanting to filter who clicks on your store-page in the first place.
Would you say you also prefer story-focused games over mechanics-focused games?
I do, which is likely a part why I feel that way about titles.