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Naming A Board Game

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DSfan
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Hey Everybody,

Complete Hazard such an ugly boardgame name, it doesn't sound exciting enough for a sci-fi futuristic warfare game. But I can't think of anything else, and since were all so creative here, does anybody have some ideas I can use?

A few more questions:

  • How do you guys come up with boardgame names?
  • And do you ask if people like the name, before you use it?

Thanks in Advance,
-Justin
P.S- This may decide the name of the game to, so I thought I ask. What type of cards do you think I should add to the game, Magic, or Upgrade cards?

Edit- Sorry about that I forgot to put in a link to the game, in case you want some back-round info. Complete Hazard Rules

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Dralius
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Naming A Board Game

If your going to be licensing it to a publisher there is a good chance they will change the name anyhow.

When naming a game there are several things that influence it for me. First there is just my gut feeling; does the name give you some idea of what the game is about or the kind of play experience you get out of it. Secondly is the name going to draw attention; a name like “Off road racing” will not sell as well as a hyped name like “Baja Mega Madness”, this of course depends on your target audience. Third and last is it original; is your game going to get lost in the crowd. Using words like dragon or battle is a mixed bet there are dozens of games with those words in the title and for good reason they are exciting words that will draw certain players to them.

DSfan
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Naming A Board Game

First of all I just saw that you are from Ann Arbor, which is close to my home

Dralius wrote:
If your going to be licensing it to a publisher there is a good chance they will change the name anyhow.

Well this (publishing) is just a dream of mine. I would love to get a game published but... I think people would discriminate againist me since I am so young. But if there are any takers, i'd gladly send a prototype

Quote:
First there is just my gut feeling; does the name give you some idea of what the game is about or the kind of play experience you get out of it.

Yes, and thats why Complete Hazard doesn't fit. It doesnt sound like no light and simple warfare game.

Quote:
this of course depends on your target audience.

My target is for all sorts of people, young and old alike. Thats why I tried to make it simple enough for a kid, fun enough for a teen (like me and my friends) and that parents can also play with there kids.

Thanks for the advice Dralius,
-Justin

DSfan
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Naming A Board Game

I just came up with 3 names, first 2 are almost identical, last one is just one word.

  • Alpha Centauri
  • Assault on Alpha Centauri
  • Assault
I checked all 3 on boardgamegeek, the names are not taken. There is one though called Mission to Alpha Centauri, but mine is a wargame.

Does anybody like these ideas?
-Justin

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Hamumu
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Naming A Board Game

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is a very well known computer game (in fact, it's a turn-based strategy game! A Civ clone). Ironically, Assault is also a videogame, a very cool arcade game where the screen rotates instead of your tank (and it has tank-style controls with dual sticks, and you can roll your tank over on its side, and tilt it up to lob shots, and and and... man, it's cool). That one wouldn't worry me, but I don't think you'd get away with Alpha Centauri.

Take of that what you will, just sharing the info!

DSfan
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Naming A Board Game

hamumu wrote:
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is a very well known computer game (in fact, it's a turn-based strategy game! A Civ clone).

Thanks Hamumu, Ya I just downloaded the game, it is somewhat complicated, (and bad graphics) but it gave me some ideas like:

1. I will now stick with upgrades but there will be 3 "player mats" (1 tank, 1 Cyborg, 1 Ziggurat) You can upgrade the different parts of the people/tanks, like on the game.

2. I think I might eliminate harvesters and make them something like the supply pods (I.E. Moving Bases) and you can turn them into stationary bases. When a base is 1-2 spaces next to a resource spot, you can collect resources each turn. Because resource collecting was some-what tedious.

You guys like any of those ideas?

Anyways thanks again,
-Justin

Scurra
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Naming A Board Game

What happened to the Storms? I was thinking "Storm Warning" was quite a cool name (it mentions a feature of the game, but also implies a sudden violent confrontation or a slow build-up to a major event.)

As far as naming games goes, I sometimes have the "right" name from the start, but sometimes it doesn't arrive until a very long way into the process. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. As long as you know which game it is, giving it a "working title" isn't really much of a problem. When you are telling testers about it, the name is the last thing that matters ime... :-)

DSfan
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Naming A Board Game

scurra wrote:
What happened to the Storms? I was thinking "Storm Warning" was quite a cool name (it mentions a feature of the game, but also implies a sudden violent confrontation or a slow build-up to a major event.)

First of all, Storm's are still in, as this was the first addition I was going to add. Secondly, I really don't know how "major" storm's are going to be. Right now, it is pretty hard to figure out how to move, and implement what storms are going to do, game wise (like limiting sight)

"Storm Warning" is quite a cool name, like you said it shows a feature of the game, but makes a slow build-up of an event in the game.

Thanks Scurra, I am going to use that. Hopefully you don't charge anything...
-Justin

sedjtroll
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Naming A Board Game

Hmm....
IF the storms were going to be a major part of thegame, then you could call it Storm World. It'd probably not be based on Robots, but camps of people trying to survive in the storm tossed remains of a world. Kinda like the movie The Day After Tomorrow.

The combat could be simple, maybe boring combat, made interesting with the effects of the storms and weather then comes up randomly, or semi-randomly- maybe you can predict things like tornados if you pay attention to weather patterns to an extent, etc.

This sounds like a whole different game, maybe I'll think about it further. The 'combat' wouldn't have to be normal combat, maybe the different camps fight over limited food and shelter.

Any ideas?

- Seth

DSfan
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Naming A Board Game

sedjtroll wrote:
This sounds like a whole different game, maybe I'll think about it further. The 'combat' wouldn't have to be normal combat, maybe the different camps fight over limited food and shelter.

Yes it does sound a lot different as mine deals with war.

Anyways it sound like a pretty good concept. I like how you can fight over shelter and food, maybe there would be different types of shelter, and the weaker the shelter the more people it can hold. The board could also be made by flipping tiles. Shelter would go something like this:

  • Light Shelter = 1 defense, 6 people max
  • Medium Shelter = 3 defense, 4 people max
  • Heavy Shelter = 5 defense, 2 people
Same concept could go for food. You would also have to figure out a way to make weather "predictable" maybe by radar or something.

I like the concept stick with it. If you would want to I am willing to make a bit of a collabrative effort, just give send me a message, even if you need a little help.
-Justin

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sedjtroll
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Stream of consciousness brainstorming.

Feel free to comment as you will on this:
Well, storms could move as I described before, roll a d6 for direction, if the map is hex based then the storm would move ahead, ahead left, or ahead right. The storm piece could be directional so you know which way it's facing.

This could be a tile exploration game where you're looking for food and shelter. Maybe each player would start with a shelter. You could also be looking for other survivors, which could be hiding out with just enough food and shelter to live until you find them (reveal them on a tile). Then you add them to your camp.

So you'd send out parties to explore. Maybe you decide how many people to 'invest' in your party (maybe you could have more than 1 party). When parties meet they could maybe fight over food or shelter with some simple combat rules influenced by the number of people present, etc. Maybe the people could have types... some good at fighting, some good at finding stuff, etc.

This could utilize a simple fighting mechanic I had talked about a long time ago- a simple opposed die roll, with bonuses for outnumbering, being skilled in fighting (i.e. one of your party is good at fighting- or one more than opponent's party), having weapons, etc.

So what would be the interesting bits? Maneuvering and planning your route around storms which come and go and move around the board. Maybe you can only go so long before your party has to return to camp or people start dying- like you have to bring back food. The more food you bring back, the longer your survivors live. The more Shelter you bring back (or the more shelters you set up, like satellite bases) the more people you can fit in them.

Setting up satellite shelters means you can hold more survivors, but it could be easier to attack (since only a few people would be at the satellite shelter).

Maybe you could build barriers (instead of shelters) to keep people from opponents from attacking your shelters...

So how would you win? Hmm... good question. Maybe a big, fancy shelter is on a tile that is force shuffled to near the bottom of the stack, and the camp that takes that shelter will survive. You want to be that camp... So you have to explore in order to find the special shelter (maybe a spaceship to get off the planet), and when you do you have to bring a big group to it (because there will likely be a fight over it), which means hoarding some food to make the trip.

Does this sound like it's worth persuing?

Scurra
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Naming A Board Game

sedjtroll wrote:
Hmm....
IF the storms were going to be a major part of thegame, then you could call it Storm World.

Without being rude, Seth*, this is why I wouldn't hire you to name a game...

"Storm World" is a perfectly good descriptive phrase. But it doesn't have any subtlety, implied meanings or depth.
For comparison, try Jeff's "The Sands of Time". Now that's a wonderful name for a Civ game: it invokes the relentless passing of time but combines it with impermanence of civilisations. I've got "All for One", which exploits the double aspect of being a thematic title along with the non-co-operative nature of the game.

That's not to say you shouldn't have purely descriptive titles for games (hey, "Mystery at the Abbey" is about as good a title for that one as I can think of!) but just sometimes it's worth taking a little extra effort.

(*who am I kidding? Of course I'm being rude. Sorry. ;-)) Although I must admit that 8/7c is a good name, albeit one that completely fails to work outside of the US market!)

Anonymous
here's an idea

Instead of using the word storms...try Tempest. how about Tempest Tactics? or..something like it. it gets your point across..but is catchy enough to entice a potential buyer

Anonymous
here's an idea

Instead of using the word storms...try Tempest. how about Tempest Tactics? or..something like it. it gets your point across..but is catchy enough to entice a potential buyer

sedjtroll
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Naming A Board Game

Scurra wrote:
Without being rude, Seth, this is why I wouldn't hire you to name a game...

"Storm World" is a perfectly good descriptive phrase. But it doesn't have any subtlety, implied meanings or depth.
*Shrug* I didn't say it was GOOD, I just said you could name it that.

I was thinking of Kevin Costner's Waterworld, which in addition to being a lousy name for a movie, was 3 hours of my life I can't get back :/

- Seth

Scurra
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Naming A Board Game

sedjtroll wrote:
I was thinking of Kevin Costner's Waterworld, which in addition to being a lousy name for a movie, was 3 hours of my life I can't get back :/

Aww, come on - you must admit that the first fifteen seconds or so (when the Universal globe logo floods with water) is fabulous.
I admit it does go somewhat downhill after that ;-)

slam
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Naming A Board Game

Ziggurat is a distinctive, unusual word that you've used in the game. Could that be the title?

Or "Storm Front"?

DSfan
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Naming A Board Game

slam wrote:
Ziggurat is a distinctive, unusual word that you've used in the game. Could that be the title?

Well, it "may" have been a unusual word, except that I stole it from Warcraft 3 (a computer game)

Quote:
Or "Storm Front"?

Storm Front it's a nice name, thx, and i'll take it into consideration.

-Justin

Anonymous
Naming A Board Game

I agree that the name has to capture a variety of things including the very essence of the game, and it has to do so in only a few words. Having said that, I think the "Storm-" titles suggested so far don't really grab the light wargame aspeect (that's assuming the game is still a light wargame).

wickedgame wrote:
how about Tempest Tactics?

I think the word "Tactics" brings a degree of "wargaming" feel to the title (maybe too much?). What about Storm Tactics?

sedjtroll
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Naming A Board Game

slam wrote:
"Storm Front"?

That's actually a very good name for a war game that centers on storms, as "front" is a war term as well as a weather term (meaning the same thing really).

Anonymous
Naming A Board Game

Quote:
Storm Front

And it flows well! Also, FWIW, it isn't in the BGG database as either Stormfront or Storm Front.

DSfan
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Naming A Board Game

Thanks for all your help guys, I think I have finally picked a name. The new name (and hopefully) final is "Storm Front"

I have decided on this because it flows so well (as said by SiskNY) and it puts both a almost major part in the name (Storm) and also the word Front, signifies both a storm front or a war.

Thanks Again,
-Justin

Zzzzz
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Naming A Board Game

I would suggest you take a look at sites like

http://www.civilwarhome.com/terms.htm

There are a ton of war based terms that you might be able use in the name.

Such as (and I did not look at your game, so these might not fit)

Storm Lunette
(Lunette - A 2 or 3 sided field fort, its rear open to interior lines, was called a lunette. Lunettes were often named in honor of battery commanders or commanding brigadier generals.)

Point d'appui
(Point d'appui - A fortified or secure point that anchored or strengthened an army's position was called a "point d'appui." The sunken road and stone wall at Maryre's Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia are examples of this.)

Hope this helps...

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