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Naming the game

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alandor
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Hi!
This is my first post here. I've been having board game design as a hobby for more than ten years, but it's not until now that I finally have a game that I feel I could publish. I have a few balancing issues left to solve but I believe that once that's done I will be able to raise some money for it on kickstarter.

I will probably have a bunch of questions for you all as I proceed with this but for now I thought I'd just start with one. What name should the game have? What kind of copyright laws must I respect? The working name for my game has been "El Dorado", but there are already several games with that name (on boardgamegeek). It is an exploration game on an uncharted island where the objective is to find a hidden ruin. There's nothing in the theme specifically connected to the legend of El Dorado, so I could just as well call it something else, but I thought it would be a good idea to have a name that people recognize and connect to. So my questions are 1) if I can get in trouble for judicial reasons if I use that name or 2) if there are any other reasons why it's not a good name.

anonymousmagic
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The problem with a name like

The problem with a name like "El Dorado" is not copyright. It was a real place, or at least a real legend. No one can copyright that. But the problem IS all those pre-existing games. Imagine a potential buyer going on BoardGameGeek and trying to find your game only to be overwhelmed with multiple results that all have the same name.

How are they to know which entry is yours? A mistake is easy to make.

The game doesn't Google well either. With a name like that, there's no guarantee your website will be on the top of the list or even on the first page of Google results if someone searches for it.

That's why I think it's a bad idea.

donut2099
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You should call it Forbidden

You should call it Forbidden Island. Ok, just kidding, I just started playing that one its fun. Anyway, there are countless legends of lost treasure, many of them might lend to the theme of a game like yours. I googled 'lost gold legend' and found this gem, maybe it could inspire you.

http://www.unmuseum.org/dtgold.htm

alandor
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Thanks for bot of your

Thanks for bot of your responses. Good to know I don't have to worry about legal issues, but I see your point and I will think some more about using a different name.

Pehaps I'll take the suggestion and try to connect it with some other, less exploited, legend.

alandor
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Brain storming

Maybe if I give you all more of a background someone will be able to come up with a good suggestion.

The game is an exploration game which takes place on an uncharted island sometime in the 18th century. As the island is explored players find valuables in different categories that correspond to different professions/hobbies (stones, plants, insects, relics, birds, wildlife and a general "money" value). Somewhere on the island is the remains of a lost city which has the best treasures but also some traps and obstacles. At the center of the island is a huge volcano which is destined to have an eruption once certain conditions are met and when it does players must hurry to leave the island before the volcano gets them. The players who managed to escape compares the items they found with their professions or hobbies to see who's the winner.

So the game has three possible themes that the name could focus on: 1) the island 2) the lost city or 3) the volcano.

The thing I liked with the name "El Dorado" was that it would be the same in all languages. This is a family game meant to target an age group of 10+ years, so I'd really like to have it translated to people's native languages. But neither El Dorado or Ciudad Blanca has any connection to an island so maybe it would be better to just make up a name and call it "The lost city of xxx"?

Other suggestions (I'm not content with any of these but they may give you a direction):
Explorers of Volcano Island
Explorers of Catan (the island has the same shape as Catan, but nah...)
Uncharted island
Explore and escape!
Island of discovery
Mysterious island

I'm open to suggestions. If anyone could just throw me a cool sounding name that could be the name of the lost city, or a suggestion for the whole game.

BENagy
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I like El Dorado, too.

I like El Dorado, too. Especially since none of the previous El Dorado games on BGG are very popular, the "most" popular one having been released over 20 years ago! I looked at City of Gold, too, but the Golden City is popular enough I wouldn't risk the confusion. I'd recommend you stick with El Dorado, if it fits well.

danieledeming
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I really have to agree with

I really have to agree with anonymous. You don't want to be fighting the rest of the interwebs AND a bunch of other games with the same name just to be found.

What about some lesser known lost city like Petra? (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - the temple entrance) Or some famous volcano like Mauna Loa or Krakatoa or Vesuvius? (Some of those have games already)

There's a lot of options out there - no need to make promoting your game any harder, IMHO.

ruy343
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Name Generator

from the following link, I have come up with the subsequent names:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_large_volcanic_eruptions

Tambora
Mount Terawera
Kolumbo (maybe seismic activity uncovers the ancient city of Atlantis, but the underwater volcano of Kolumbo came with it and is about to erupt. So, players must explore the lost city before it's lost to humanity forever (again!)!
Black Peak
Menengai
Whakamaru

Hope that helped a bit...

hotsoup
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MacheteBlack JungleRage of

Machete
Black Jungle
Rage of the Volcano
Conquistador
Terra Nova
Terra Incognita
Jungle Panic
Lost Island
Forbidden Gold
Professor Challenger

alandor
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Cool

Cool, there are some pretty good suggestions here. The background story to involve Atlantis is actually quite interesting but I would have to rethink the theme of the game if I were to use that.

I like the sound of Terra Nova, but maybe it sounds too epic. I assume Terra Incognita is "unknown land" or something like that. I'll ask some friends what they think about that. The word "incognito" is not without other associations, but I still like it.

Anything in latin or spanish sounds very exotic to me - "Inexplorado" or perhaps "Ciudad incognita". But I don't know how well it would work in other countries where Spanish is not as exotic...

Shoe
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I personally like Lost

I personally like Lost Island, but give it a name...not a real one just something:

Lost Island of __________

anonymousmagic
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I haven't checked if there

I haven't checked if there are games about Krakatoa, but that volcano is relatively well known AND located on an island. You could start a whole new myth about how its most famous uncovered a hidden city. The place also some nice parts you could use in retheming.

alandor
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There actually appears to be

There actually appears to be a game called Krakatoa, but it's quite old and has nothing in common with my game, so that wouldn't be a big problem. Of course using this name will give me some of the same problems as "El Dorado", but not nearly on the same scale.

It seems like the history of Krakatoa leaves some room for "invention". It had a huge eruption in 1883 which apparently destroyed two thirds of the island. In its current state the island of Krakatoa doesn't suite the game I've made, but perhaps it did before the eruption... And who's to say there was never a lost civilization on this island when all the evidence was wiped away with the eruption...:)

So perhaps "Lost City of Krakatoa" or just Krakatoa?

dyertm
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Names

Hi Alandor,

I'm leaning more towards the name Lost City of Krakatoa as it provides more detail of what the game may actually be about vs. just Krakatoa as this could be about anything... Just my $.02 :)

alandor
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That's a good point. I'm

That's a good point. I'm leaning towards having a sub phrase like that. Either "the lost city of" or "the lost island". I've discussed the name Krakatoa, or Krakatau, with some friends and we share the concern that the name isn't as "striking" as it could be. Perhaps it would be better with a purely fictive name such as "The lost city of Azuma" (like the designer of "Settlers of Catan" did).

It should also be said that Krakatoa doesn't sound good in a Swedish context, so for the Swedish translation I'd rather use Krakatau – but how does that sound to English speakers?

Can't figure out how to insert images but I uploaded a "logo" suggestion here.

rene.shible
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Joined: 01/30/2014
Wow a lot of really great

Wow a lot of really great names on these lists! I just want to point out that El Dorado for me is distinctly intriguing, and if you haven't moved on from that name yet, I might suggest extending the title to something like 'Explorers of El Dorado', or 'Expedition to El Dorado', or 'El Dorado: The Golden Towers of so-and-so'. Just a thought :)

Somebody also wrote Professor Challenger, I think? That sounds hilarious :D

rene.shible
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hotsoup wrote:Machete Black

hotsoup wrote:
Machete
Black Jungle
Rage of the Volcano
Conquistador
Terra Nova
Terra Incognita
Jungle Panic
Lost Island
Forbidden Gold
Professor Challenger

These are actually my favourite names on this list, they all sound intriguing - like an exploration game should.

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