Choosing a game title

Solovei

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So I'm really bad at titles. Whenever I'm writing fanfic, it usually takes me at least half an hour after I'm done to come up with a good title, and even then it's usually some song title or lyric that I happened to be listening to and which (sort of) fits. I think games have an even stronger pressure to get the title right because it has to be catchy and memorable and stand out AND also relate somehow to the story and/or gameplay.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who struggles with this, so I thought it would be fun to ask -- how did you decide on the final title of your game(s)? Was there a working title? Did it change several times over the course of development?
 

Azurose

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I try to incorporate the story themes into the title. Say I want the game to be about death and rebirth, I'd think of words that you would associate with those concepts, and create a title out of it. This can change over time, but I like to keep the general idea of it mostly the same. For my current game, themes such as loyalty and duty play a heavy role, and the overall ''color'' of the game is presented in blue, so I went with ''Blue Allegiance". I wouldn't call it catchy or strong per se, but it gets the idea across.


If the story were to ever pivot in such a way that the title no longer represents the game, I'd go back to the drawing board and see what words I can use to best convey the new themes.

It's definitely hard to do, most of all because it is very easy to create a generic sounding name, or one that draws too much inspiration from other sources.
 

Milennin

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I like short names for my titles, that are more connected to the project than the game itself. Went with BETA for my first game, because it wasn't even ever meant to be a real game, more like testing ground for stuff before I decided to make it into full game instead. FADE stands for the 4 things I wanted to be the pillars for my 2nd project, and also happened to be a theme with that game with the villain spreading darkness by fading stuff to black.
RTP was simply because the whole project was made with RTP assets only. HERO for my MV project, because it revolved around the main character becoming and learning what it takes to be a hero throughout the story.
 

Mr. Detective

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As long as possible.

Example: "I wanted to rule the world with an iron fist in my previous life, so I tried to assassinate the President to take over the country, but ended up getting hit by a truck the moment I got out of the house, and now I am reincarnated as a weak little girl in a world full of magic."
 

Elissiaro

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As long as possible.

Example: "I wanted to rule the world with an iron fist in my previous life, so I tried to assassinate the President to take over the country, but ended up getting hit by a truck the moment I got out of the house, and now I am reincarnated as a weak little girl in a world full of magic."
Aaah, so you're a japanese light novel author.

I normally pick something that vagely fits the theme, and then add like, a subtitle to make it easier to search for.
Like, I dunno.
Shining Halo -
History of the Heavenly Wars
or something.
 

OgreKiddo

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Really hard to avoid a cringey title, but a good title comes from when you're atleast expecting it
 

KenKrath

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So I'm really bad at titles. Whenever I'm writing fanfic, it usually takes me at least half an hour after I'm done to come up with a good title, and even then it's usually some song title or lyric that I happened to be listening to and which (sort of) fits. I think games have an even stronger pressure to get the title right because it has to be catchy and memorable and stand out AND also relate somehow to the story and/or gameplay.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who struggles with this, so I thought it would be fun to ask -- how did you decide on the final title of your game(s)? Was there a working title? Did it change several times over the course of development?
How did i come up with a title? I didn't. I posted a contest on another website and had a prize for the title I eventually with.
 
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Fun Fact about game titles - if someone is the first to use it and legitimately publish a game with it, they can claim ownership of the trademark and potentially force anyone else trying to publish with the same title to take their game down.

It shouldn't be a problem for hobby developers, but it will be a potential problem for a commercial developer, especially since timing can determine how successful a commercial game is on the market.

Right now, there are still plenty of word combinations that can be used without worry, but a few decades from now, maybe there might be a hard time for commercial game developers.

Here's an interesting article on trademarks, and how there's an ongoing discussion among experts about whether all the "optimal trademarks" will eventually be taken, and perhaps sooner than later.

 

Milennin

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I went with the theme of short, single word titles for my games. 'BETA' for my first game, because it started out as an eventing testing grounds for me that later grew into its own game. My second game 'FADE' revolves around the bad guy spreading evil across the lands, slowly fading the world into darkness. My third game 'RTP' is basically just because I made it purely with RTP assets. My on-hold MV project 'HERO' has heroes as its main theme.
I also think naming projects is difficult, but I found this approach working very well for me.
 

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