what kind of titles makes you give games a chance?

whotfisjojo

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ive heard people say simplicity is key such as "within"
some like gibberish like "wamzo ka-zamzo"
while others say the prefer the old fashion "heroman: the legend of the bird"
i cant decide because most of the time i just choose what seems fitting of the theme/art (or if it just sounds funny :0) lol)

honestly for me one of the most annoying parts of making a game is coming up with a title
what do you guys suggest when it comes to coming up with a title?
or what kind of titles draw your eye?
 

Synrec

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ive heard people say simplicity is key such as "within"
while others say the prefer the old fashion "heroman: the legend of the frilly bird"
i cant decide because most of the time i just choose what seems fitting of the theme/art (or if it just sounds funny :0) lol)

honestly for me one of the most annoying parts of making a game is coming up with a title
what do you guys suggest when it comes to coming up with a title?
or what kind of titles draw your eye?
Proper title design or rather graphic design in general, includes the proper use of shadows, gradients and accents.

Even a game like undertale, despite looking like graphical garbage as some players call it properly utilizes this for their environments if one looks closely. You can see, where appropriate, they placed shadows, accents, etc.

Your title also needs to reflect the design of your game. If your title looks really detailed yet your game doesn't meet that standard, you basically negatively show off your game whilst the opposite may be true, there are limits to how simple your title should be otherwise the first impression would be that of low effort.

Whatever you do, all the best.
 

whotfisjojo

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this is really great advice that i try to follow as closely as possible! i personally do not feel i have a problem with titles in the graphical sense but
my problem is mostly with picking the words themselves that fit the story :0)
 
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This is just my opinion:

More than the words of the title, I focus on the miniatures/screenshots of the game if I'm scrolling a page, and if it catch my attention, I click and read the description of the game.

Often times, titles mean little to nothing to a casual onlooker unless they describe the game in some particular way. (That's the reason why, at least in Japan, many Light Novels have those d4mn long titles, because they are really the synopsis of the story, and doing it that way help catch the eye of the people passing nearby).

That said, a title can help to reach for the people you know are the most likely to get your game. For example, your game is anime/oriental style? Give your title oriental-sounding worlds like "kaze", "kage", and so. Or maybe you are doing a more niche game, like something about Cthulhu, Elder Gods or so? Use words that their fanbase will understand then (sorry, I'm don't know any word of that lore XP). Generic world will make you reach to more people but will be less eye catching while more specific world will reach less people but attract them more.

In the end is all about what kind of game you make and what people you are trying to attract with it.
 

gtswaifuism

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I'd say it's about the same as for TV/anime, I prefer cool titles like

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Fate/Stay Night. I'm a lot more willing to take a look at games with titles like that.
 

whotfisjojo

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@DisfantasyProject
for me titles give me an idea of what the game as a whole is going to feel like and i feel disappointed when i download a game called (for example: )"bird feeder" expecting it to just be a little game where you feed birds when its this fps with this whole lore about some guy who avenges his family but fed birds once in 2005

so i find it extremely difficult trying to 1.draw in the crowd i hope to have 2.stick to the story as to not give the player a different idea as to what it might be 3. AND not give away too much of the story
i hope to accomplish these 3 things i just dont know where to start really
but from your guys' responses
i think i may be looking into it a little too much lol! :0)
 

KakonComp

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It both has to match the game and be something that isn't seen everyday. I usually search what I might call the game on Google to see if it's already being used for a game, and if not, how many results it brings. Too many results means me giving the title of my game to someone outside this site, who then searches for it and doesn't see it.

I probably won't actually be turned off from playing a game based solely on the title, but certain word combos like "Legends of" and "Tales of" don't really sit well with me. Especially since many high profile games already use them in their own titles.
 

WaywardMartian

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I'm trying to think of a good answer to your question and keep running into 'I know what I don't like but I'm trying to articulate what I do like'. Like, I know I'm not going to click on anything with 'chronicle', 'tales', or 'journey' in the title because that's going to be Four Friends Go On An Epic Fantasy and I'm not looking for that ( it doesn't matter if it's not that, that's just what I'm going to think from the title alone. ) I have a pet peeve against 'Of _____ And _____' titles for no explicable reason. I'm going to skip anything that's just a character's name by itself because that doesn't tell me anything.

On the other hand, I will take a second look at pretty much anything with 'rite', 'spawn', 'abomination', 'Antarctica', or something involving an unpronounceable word that is obviously a creature's name because those are all code words for Eldritch Horror and I gobble that right up.

So I guess find that balance of 'code words for your audience' and 'stands out so it can be remembered and Googled'. I can see the temptation of the manga titles that tell you the whole premise ( Oops I Accidentally Performed The Rites of Zgernath And Now We're Married And I Have To Win Over My Unspeakable Mother-In-Law. I mean, I'd buy that without even looking at a screenshot. ;) ) There's not really a formula to craft the perfect title. Maybe start with the manga-style title as your working title and whittle it down from there to find the heart of it.
- I Accidentally Performed The Rites of Zgernath: Eldritch horror/comedy. Audience wants to know what the consequences are for performing the rite.
- The Rites of Zgernath: Eldritch horror/scary. Is the player supposed to perform the rites? Is the player trying to stop them?
- I Married Zgernath: Eldritch horror/comedy but who's Zgernath? If it was I Married Cthulhu there'd be name recognition to make it funnier.
- My Unspeakable Mother-In-Law: Eldritch horror/comedy. This one gets closest to what the game is: your mother-in-law is an ancient eldritch being and you have to deal with her. Also nobody has to try to spell 'Zgernath' when they Google it.
 

whotfisjojo

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@WaywardMartian
this is super helpful!! ill definitely come back to this for reference when coming up with titles! :0))
 

cekobico

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Think of other game/anime/comics/tv shows that somewhat resonates with your game; and go from there.

If you feel your game has a very heavy JRPG influence, you might want to pick wordings that resembles a JRPG game in hopes to catch the demographics who play JRPG. (Final Fantasy, Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, Trails of Cold Steel, Xenoblade, Ni No Kuni, Valkyria, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Breath of the Wild, SaGa)

If your game is more on the western influence, pick something that's evokes that idea as well. (Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Diablo, Ultima, Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Neverwinter Nights, Might & Magic)

You get the idea. You can see there's somewhat a vaguely distinct difference and wording choices between the two regions. I think Western titles are a bit more "logical", while Japanese titles are more "surreal" with their word choices.

But the point here is that by following the same principles, you might be able to attract the crowds who enjoy that type of genre.
Generally speaking, there are a lot of people who exclusively plays JRPG and knows nothing about WRPG; and vice versa.

By picking a title that "sounds" like a JRPG, you can attract those crowd into your game but if your title sounds like a WRPG, those type of people might not be immediately interested with your title.

Then again, all of this are generally my casual observation and my own guidelines whenever I had to think about the title of my game. So I could be wrong :shrug:
 

Dororo

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Well, it's easy.
The name doesn't matter.
You don't sell something just 'cause is called "LUFIA". You sell it just after a lot of people played the game and shared opinions about a thing they know is called "LUFIA".

An example of this? Indiana Jones. "Raiders of the lost ark" - they called the sequels the way people knew it: Indiana Jones ("that movie with Indiana Jones").
INTERCEPTOR became "Mad Max: Thunderdome" as people knew it for "that movie with Mad Max".
And the most famous example of them all: ZELDA. The Legend of Zelda become Zelda: whatever, and guess why?

The name is the word people use to communicate the product each other. If you call your game "Let's have a good time with cats" or "SimCats" or "Catology" that actually doesn't matter.
No one get attracted by a title alone, without having other hints.
"Let's go see The Book of the Jungle, probably talk about a misterious magical book that summon a jungle..."
"Hey, I wanna see JUMANJI, it should be about strange aztec snacks..."
I mean, what you can expect from games called "999", "Patapon", "Turrican", "Tetris", "Bubble Bobble", "Xenogear"...

LATER, if your game got any degree of fame, it does matter a lot.
That's why producers usually use a simple keyword/neologism as the main title and a subtitle that describe more the tone (you noticed that "The Book of the Jungle" later became "MOWGLI - The book of the jungle"?).
The single word/name is easier to attribute and share.
Many comics already begin with that: the character name. Product name < = > the content. Immediate attribution, easy to share.
That if you plan to have the minimal share in the future.
 

MerlinCross

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Well for one if your game gets going, expect people to shorten it to either a main name/word in your title or abbreviations.

That said in my opinion the more silly your name is, the more silly I expect the game. Same with overly rich fantasy styled words. I see like Spirit of Mana/Magicks and see it's a scifi game I'm skipping.

wamzo ka-zamzo as you put it would be a pretty good title for some whacky highjinks based game, perhaps with Clowns but some sort of fantasy opera spanning generations? Nah.
 

??????

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I dont care as much about the title as i do about how the title scene looks. If your using default rm title scene, with default pictures etc, I would be leaving the page immediately. I wouldn't even stick around to find out anything else about the game.

To me, if you didnt put tlc into how the title looks, you didnt put any into the game. Maybe harsh, but its how I see it. :)
 

TheoAllen

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Screenshot/actual in-game video footage (not trailer/movie) matters more than the title for me if it's for games. The title probably only matters if I'm going to watch a movie/tv series. But even with that, visual still wins by a large margin.
 

RCXDan

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A good title needs to be a combination of three aspects:

* Visually appealing
* Indicative of the actual product
* Original

@Synrec made a good point regarding how a title logo should look and how the actual look of your game should reflect it.

When I say indicative, I mean what happens in the game has to relate to the title.

Overlord? It's a dark fantasy story from the bad guys perspective, cool.

The Mother series? The actual games have heavy maternal themes, especially Mother 3 and Earthbound Beginnings.

Chrono Trigger? Game revolves around time travel from start to finish.

How this wouldn't work is if say, you had a scifi story yet title it "Mystic Legend." It'll be off putting and weird, especially if fantasy elements don't even play a role in the game.

A well constructed original title helps a lot in separating your game from most others, especially if you want people to find the game in stores and so on.

Like if there's a bunch of games called Legend of [something] and you have a game with a similar title, your game would blend in with the pack and people will misremember it... let alone if it suggests a scenario people have seen before, like the Chosen Heroes Fighting The Demon King and so on.
 

Vipor1983

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For me I like simple titles or titles like Legend Of......
 

CraneSoft

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As a player, I don't usually care about titles as long as it isn't a PITA to google due to extremely generic keyword usage. No chance can be given if I don't even know of its existence after all.

With that said, I do prefer unique titles that doesn't have anything along the lines of "Fantasy, Legend, Tales" or anything that would lead me to a massive list of long-running IPs by the AAA studios. I really don't need the 1000th "Legend of X" RPG and I certainly won't bother to search for an obscure one.
 

Tai_MT

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When I buy a game, here's what I'm looking at:

Genre
When I feel the desire to buy a game, I generally know what kind of experience I'm looking to have. "I feel like playing a shooter, but I want some RPG Progression elements in it, or a skill tree or something. Maybe a good story too.", "I just want some mindless action-gamey stuff. I don't want it to be too difficult, and I don't want to have to think all that hard about it. Simple and fast-paced with low skill ceiling." I search keywords as appropriate in the genre.

Gameplay
Generally speaking, I'm looking for snippets of gameplay. I'm looking to see if the advertising of the product delivers on what it actually has. I don't need a screenshot that shows an RPG battle. That tells me nothing. Generally speaking, I'm looking for the game to know what its hook is, and to show off that hook. Horizon Zero Dawn did this amazingly with its advertising. What's the story of that game? Who knows. Who cares. You play a girl with a bow and you hunt robot dinosaurs. That's the hook. All the advertising showed this girl shooting robots with a bow. This is what I'm looking for when I browse screenshots or trailers. If your game is boasting "massive skill tree", then you BETTER have a screenshot of the whole thing and how big it is.

Title
I use the title as a "general indication" of the creativity of the dev. Does the title sound generic? If so, I probably won't be interested. Does it sound insanely obtuse or nonsensical? I can wager most of the game is probably the same way. Is it straightforward and tell me what the game is or what it's about without context? I can probably assume the game will be that way too. The title conveys to me the intent of the game and the general "structure" of how it is most likely designed.

In particular, I'm a fan of titles where I don't know what the title means... until the game tells me. You may even notice that about my own game (Second Shoreline). What is Bioshock? The game never really tells you, but it hints at the meaning of it, which makes the meaning pretty evident. What is "Mass Effect"? Game tells you immediately with the opening text crawl. Etcetera. I sort of really enjoy when a title pulls this off. It has no meaning until the game gives it meaning and that meaning is significant. You don't know what it means unless you've played the game.

Reviews
Honestly, I really only tend to read bad reviews. What I'm looking for is a "dealbreaker" for me. I will put up with a lot of "badly designed" aspects of a game if that game is still fun. I'm looking for things that would just make me not want to play. Excessive grind. Forced replay. Bad controls. Nonsensical story. Systems that are counter-intuitive. Game-breaking glitches. Etcetera. Bad reviews usually give you all the negativity they have and I find it useful as a consumer. I watched a bad review of Dead Rising 4 and bought the game anyway. Yes, the game is terrible. Not too terrible that I didn't enjoy my time with it. But, not so great I'd ever play it again after beating it 3 times. The negatives didn't outweigh the positives. This is why I read bad reviews pretty much exclusively. That, and I don't need to read, "the game was great! 10/10!". These are often not very truthful reviews, and few people understand what giving a perfect score even means.

Price Point
What is the game giving me in terms of what I'm paying? I don't care how good "The Last of Us" is or was... I'm not paying more than $25 for it. To me, it's not worth much more than that. I don't care how amazing Paper Mario: Origami King is... I can't fathom paying more than $30 for such a title. Persona 5? Yeah, I'd pay $60 for that. Witcher 3? Yeah, $60 game. Your price point is a promise of how much fun I should be having with your game. $60 means that I'll enjoy most of my time with your game and that I'll probably want to play it again. $30 is "I'll play it once, be bored for like 25% or more of it, and never touch it again when I'm done." I will pay what I believe your game is worth. If it's good for a single run, I don't want to pay more than $30 or $35 for it. If it's a "shovelware" type title, I don't expect to pay more than $20 for a couple hours of goofiness. If it's a massive sprawling game that I'll get lost in and spend my work day thinking about... $60 or more. There are a few games I'd pay more than $60 for. Especially to obtain their DLC. But, I ain't paying $60 for a RPG Maker title, even if it boasts 100 hours of gameplay. Most of that is because I interact with people on the forums (and thus have a decent grasp of the typical caliber of devs using the engine) and have spent time designing with the engine to know what it is and is not capable of doing (with and without plugins).
---

Anyway, that's what I'm looking for when I buy a game. Title is like... third down the list. I don't even use it all that much to determine if I'm buying the game. It's more a measure on what the game design is probably going to be like. If all a dev can think of for a title is something generic... then the gameplay is probably pretty likely to be generic as well. If the game dev thinks of something incredibly obtuse with a lot of large words in it... you can bet the game is probably going to just as obtuse and difficult to penetrate (usually, these are titles where the dev thinks video games are art. As a general rule, I don't associate with anyone who thinks "having fun" is "art". These people are trying to elevate something to higher standards that it shouldn't ever strive to be, because it loses all meaning when it does... and they're typically doing it so they can justify their own job choices or their own hobby choices, which means... insecure people. I don't play "artsy" games. Games exist to provide me with fun. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't play games to tackle moral quandries. I don't play games to think heavily about philosophy. I play games for fun. As do most people. Games can HAVE ART in them, but games are NOT ART. I refuse to play games made by anyone who thinks games are art, because their games are usually terribly subpar as a result of this mindset). The title often conveys exactly the mindset of the devs as they designed it and the mindset of anything in the game that exists. If the title is obtuse, you can bet most of the gameplay or story is obtuse as well. If the title is generic, same story.

The title of your work tells me, the game player, who you are as a dev and what your likely design philosophies are. It is "judging a book by its cover", but we all do that. Otherwise, we'd be roped into watching every movie, reading every book, playing every single game, interacting with every single person... even when we know we probably won't like the vast majority of them.
 

Aesica

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I don't pay attention to the titles so much as the characters, the plot overview, and (to me, most importantly) the batlte system. Your game title could be "Generic Quest" and I'd still play it if the above-mentioned things look interesting.
 

Featherbrain

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I like titles that are concise, catchy, that indicate the genre. An old-fashioned "Legend of McGuffin", while hardly an indicator of creativity, looks a lot better to me than "Legend of McGuffin: The Search for the Magic of Insert Fantasy World Here (Part 2: The Return of Dark Lord What's His Name)". In general I agree that titles aren't that important a factor for me--as far as very first impressions go, the cover is probably more important in terms of getting me to click the game store page or investigate further--but if my eyes glaze over just reading and trying to comprehend the title, that's not great.
 

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