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What's in a name? - Greyscape

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LordBrand
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Joined: 12/27/2014

So on Robostrat’s thread asking for help naming his game, I actually mentioned the current working title of the game I am designing. Soulfinger called out some pretty important points regarding the “shade” of Grey, and whether or not it’d be a good idea to call a game that.

So, I thought I’d take Robostrat’s approach and mention a little bit about it, and see if the group thinks we have a solid title, or if it doesn’t work at all. The information below is not my formalized elevator speech, so give it a little grace. Just trying to get information across. (;

Thematically:

The game is a fantasy strategy game set in a world called Altanruhl. Unfortunately, Altanruhl is being destroyed by a force called the Greyscape, which is a greyish, almost living destructive energy that has ripped holes in the fabric of the world. The advance of Greyscape has caused conventional forms of travel to be almost impossible between regions, requiring magical gates (arches the size of cities) to be used to pass from one area to another. The spread of Greyscape continues to envelop the world until it will ultimately be destroyed.

But there is hope! (For one player). The all-powerful mystic super-power in the world has issued a proclamation. The kingdom that is able to earn his favor will be saved from this world before it is destroyed. He will magic the people of that kingdom away to a new world untouched by the hellish Greyscape.

Time is running out for Altanruhl, and only one kingdom will be able to survive the Greyscape.

Mechanically:

Each player assumes control of a Kingdom (“race” that has unique traits or abilities to add variety to gameplay). Players build armies, recruit champions (which can vary from game to game), place gates on the board, and try to gain control of various lands (which also change from game to game). Once a player has control of lands, they can build structures on them, which can be used to gain spells (Special cards that grant specific abilities or actions) or other resources.

Throughout this, players have opportunities to get victory points. The first player to 30 VP, or the player with the most VP at the end of 8 turns, wins.

So… Is Greyscape the right name? Easy enough to pull out a “So, anybody want to play Greyscape”? Evocative? Too similar to other games? Other thoughts?

Dagar
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Joined: 01/23/2015
Maybe your title should make

Maybe your title should make more clear that your theme is the escape from a great, world-eating calamity. I don't know if you want to keep the name 'Greyscape' for the destructive force, but anyways, your name should transport the stampede the whole world is up to, the desperation of the people, the will to do anything to get away from this world and to safety. However, as I understand it, the different nations align under their leaders (the players) and there is no notable effect of headless stampede, desertion, riot etc. in the population. 'Flight from Greyscape' maybe, but a 'flight from' and then something else with F would probably be more notable.

I should admit, I don't know if the word 'Greyscape' transports any meaning in english or if it is just a fictional name.

As last remark: Soulfinger is quite right with his notion of the color grey; I plan to use it on my espionage action cards, which hide the colors (and therefore types) of other action cards played.

DifferentName
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My vote

Greyscape sounds cool. Hearing that name would make me want to check out the art and components, which I think is a good start for getting someone interested in the game.

ruy343
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Joined: 07/03/2013
Heh..

How about "The Grey Escape"?

*hides in corner

Soulfinger
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I want to play Atreyu and

I want to play Atreyu and ride a luck dragon in my quest to save Altanruhl from the Nothing -- er, the Greyscape. :)

questccg
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ruy343 wrote:How about "The

ruy343 wrote:
How about "The Grey Escape"?

*hides in corner

LOL! That made me laugh... Kudos to you! :D

Note: The Greyscape sounds a little too much like the "Greys" from virtually every alien movie/series out there (like X-Files).

Although not very creative you could simply use "Antimatter".

Let me think about it - and I'll see if I can come up with something MORE thematic (akin to your Greyscape)...

Update: I would call the game *HAZE* (like Fog not marijuana)! And of course there is a F-ing Playstation 3 game that uses the exact same name!

I'll see what else I can think up.

GOT IT!: Nexus or Gateways

Instead of focusing on the Greyscape, I focused on the solution (not the problem). But of course there is already a game called "Nexus". "Gateways" is not as good - but I will think some more... Really like "Nexus" (and it's a cheapass game!)

Soulfinger
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questccg wrote:Update: I

questccg wrote:
Update: I would call the game *HAZE* (like Fog not marijuana)! And of course there is a F-ing Playstation 3 game that uses the exact same name!

You'll have a hard time with just about any single syllable name, especially with building name recognition. Even Magic had "the Gathering" tacked on for brand distinction, but seeing as how it's not the '90s anymore, the White Wolf naming convention is a little passe. Plus, if you have to point out "not marijuana" then obviously the consumer will make the same connection to Purple Haze, which is fine if the game is a metaphor.

questccg wrote:
GOT IT!: Nexus or Gateways

That one made me laugh. I pictured you sitting in front of your Gateway computer, glancing sideways at your Google Nexus. 9 games with nexus in the title, most notably the popular Nexus Ops. Gateway was also a popular series of scifi novels by Frederik Pohl (highly recommended).

To me, the game really does sound like a cross between Neverending Story and Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber. The name should reflect the urgency of their situation and their desperate struggle. I'd drop the magical overlord element and just make it a flat-out competition to survive. You strip resources from other kingdoms to reinforce your own in the hopes that you'll hold out or at least be the last to crumble. Go for emotional investment rather than the '70s style game world building of a magical land ruled by a powerful wizard.

In the novels I'm comparing it to, the antagonists were the Nothing and Chaos. Both names are really striking, as they embody primordial concepts. True even if chaos has been totally played out ever since Games Workshop heavily 'borrowed' their mythos from the works of Michael Moorcock. Greyscape as an antagonist doesn't speak to the reader on the same visceral level. It's the Nothing without the dread that nothingness implies, the worrisome oblivion facing every atheist or doubting theist. Board games don't usually emphasize quality storytelling in their flavor text. Personally, I think they should, particularly since that is the one part of the game that you can put a copyright on and consider your own. Even Magic is backpeddling to create identifiable characters and flesh out their realm in the steady wake of their success. It's harder to do it that way though because the public already has its own conceptions of how things should be.

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