Titles

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dreamfarmer

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May 14, 2003, 8:32:49 PM5/14/03
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Okay, I'm curious.

How /do/ people come up with game titles? How much effort do people
put into choosing a title? (Yeah, I know, different people, different
methods. I'm still curious). Are there any titles you feel are just
inspired, or simply functional?

Thanks!

Chrysoula

Andrew Plotkin

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May 14, 2003, 9:17:59 PM5/14/03
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Here, dreamfarmer <exst...@msn.com> wrote:

> How /do/ people come up with game titles? How much effort do people
> put into choosing a title?

Let's see... "A Change in the Weather" was named flat-out for the Eric
Bogle song.

"So Far" I barely remember naming. I think the ambiguity of the idiom
amused me.

With "Spider and Web" I wanted to refer to both the ideas of "caught
in the spider's web" and "web of deception", without actually using
either idiom.

"Hunter, in Darkness" was nothing special... well, maybe I had the
idea of script-writers' notation.

"Shade", again, was a nicely ambiguous word.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
* Make your vote count. Get your vote counted.

OKB (not okblacke)

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May 14, 2003, 9:26:30 PM5/14/03
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dreamfarmer wrote:

Sometimes I actually do spend a while thinking up cool titles.
Unfortunately, I don't usually come up with game ideas to go with those
titles. Most often I hear or see some phrase in the real world and it
makes me think of some idea and then I use that phrase for the title.

--
--OKB (not okblacke)
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is
no path, and leave a trail."
--author unknown

Mike Sousa

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May 14, 2003, 10:28:12 PM5/14/03
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Good question...

The title to my games change during the latter stages of development and
sometimes during cycle two or three of beta testing.

"Above and Beyond!" was "Abducted!" for most of its development life.

"At Wit's End" was "Oh Jake!" for a while.

"No Time to Squeal" was "Cacophony" for months until Robb Sherwin was
inspired by some literature.

"Friendly Foe" was simply "Bunny" -- that was changed days before I
submitted it to the IF Art Show.

(I'm betting that my current WIP name will also change before its
released...)

So, to answer your original question, after I get a feel for the game
and how it plays, I come up with a new title that sorta matches the
game. I really don't put much thought into it, it just happens.

Thanks for letting me stroll down memory lane. :)

-- Mike

PTN

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May 15, 2003, 1:00:09 AM5/15/03
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"dreamfarmer" wrote:

> How /do/ people come up with game titles? How much effort do people
> put into choosing a title? (Yeah, I know, different people, different
> methods. I'm still curious). Are there any titles you feel are just
> inspired, or simply functional?

Well, on the functional side of the equation, "1893: A World's Fair Mystery"
was basically just my work in progress name ("What are you doing?" "Oh, I'm
writing an 1893 World's Fair mystery game."). I figured I'd come up with a
better title later on in the process. But after staring at my WIP title for
long enough, I just couldn't think of the game under any other name. If
nothing else, I figure it is at least clearly descriptive of the game
itself, in a way that a more original title might not be.

-- Peter Nepstad
http://www.illuminatedlantern.com/1893


Jason Melancon

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May 15, 2003, 2:45:01 AM5/15/03
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On 14 May 2003 17:32:49 -0700, exst...@msn.com (dreamfarmer)
(replies to <>) wrote:

> Are there any titles you feel are just
> inspired, or simply functional?

TerpEtude
Photopia

and, in another vein,

Space Aliens Laughed at my Cardigan
Another Lifeless Planet and Me with No Beer
Pick Up the Phone Booth and Die
Jacks or Better to Murder, Aces to Win

--
Jason Melancon

Stephen Granade

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May 16, 2003, 8:42:52 AM5/16/03
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exst...@msn.com (dreamfarmer) writes:

> Okay, I'm curious.
>
> How /do/ people come up with game titles? How much effort do people
> put into choosing a title? (Yeah, I know, different people, different
> methods. I'm still curious).

Most of my titles come about while I'm first planning the game.

I had the title for "Losing Your Grip" before I had most of the
plot. I had an overarching plan, and knew mainly what the game would
be about.

"Arrival" was meant to evoke '50s B-movie titles, though in retrospect
"THEY ARRIVE" might have worked better.

I chose "Common Ground" because it described the gameplay but not the
main characters.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade
ste...@granades.com

Jon Ingold

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May 15, 2003, 5:07:12 PM5/15/03
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> Good question...
<snip Mike's title-list>

...Whereas "Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out Of Me" was my fault, and in
place long before I really knew why. (The exclamation mark now at the end
was nothing to do with me, however).

"Break-in", "Mulldoon" -- both chosen to have 8-letter MSDOS convention
titles. "Mulldoon" was just "Legacy" till I found a game with that name
already existed (and I'm so glad I did, as somehow Mulldoon is just the
right collection of syllables).

"My Angel" was "Mind's Eye" until the [multiple] play on words occurred to
me - strange, as Angela was Angela right from the beginning. (That was a
title that, when it hit me, I realised it couldn't really be anything else).

"All Roads" was a suggestion by a friend, after I complained the name should
be "All Roads Lead To Rome", except the game wasn't set in Rome.

"Insight" is exactly the right title.

"FailSafe" is a cool word with the right connotations, and that should raise
a question as to just what is the fail-safe in question?

Jon


Edmund Kirwan

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May 18, 2003, 4:57:46 PM5/18/03
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Jason Melancon <jason.m...@verizon.net> wrote in message news:<5mc6cv022sglvpdjt...@4ax.com>...


They are all great titles.

I would say that there are two rules for titles, but both are mutually
exclusive: 1) Conciseness (which is the first rule of all writing),
and (2) Anti-conciseness.

In other words, make it as short as possible, but if it's still more
than 2 words long, then make it longer.

I think of all the great titles up there, the best are the first two:
they make me think that the games they represent are somehow more
well-constructed than the following four.

Amazing what some people can do with a single word ...

.ed

www.edmundkirwan.com

Harry

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May 18, 2003, 6:17:24 PM5/18/03
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On 18 May 2003 13:57:46 -0700, ade...@eircom.net (Edmund Kirwan)
wrote:

Yes.
-------------------------
"Hey, aren't you Gadget?"
"I was."

(To send e-mail, remove SPAMBLOCK from address)

Anssi Raisanen

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May 19, 2003, 2:12:15 AM5/19/03
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Bugged - I chose it because the word has (at least) two meanings, and
they both fitted the game.

The Chasing - seemed to suit the game's mood. Working title was
"Chasing Horses" but that sounded a bit too melodramatic.

Out of the Study - I simply couldn't come up with anything better :).
"Getting Out of The Study" would have been too close to Mikko's game,
and something along the lines of "The Fly, the Goddess and the Wind
Turbin" was too clumsy.

Puddles on the Path - because the game deals with proverbs, the title
is based on a proverb also (Every path has its puddle). It took a lot
of time to come up with a suitable title -working title was "By Hook
or By Crook".

J. Robinson Wheeler

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May 19, 2003, 10:15:49 PM5/19/03
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dreamfarmer wrote:
>
> How /do/ people come up with game titles? How much effort do people
> put into choosing a title?

For some of my games, the titles came first, provided by other people
and inspiring the game: "Being Andrew Plotkin" and "ASCII and the
Argonauts". I guess "Centipede" qualifies, too, in a way.

"Colours" was sort of a matter-of-fact, what-else-would-you-call-it
kind of title. "The Tale of the Kissing Bandit", too.

"First Things First" had a different title for the first few months
of development. I'm not sure when exactly I decided to change it, or
how I came up with "First Things First." I guess I knew it was right
when I thought of it, because it sort of summed up the action of the
game, it was short and memorable, and it had a symmetry to it. But
I seem to have no distinct memory of thinking of it.

This has also brought me to realize that I no longer remember how
I came up with the title "Four in One." It works, because it's
also kind of distinct and memorable, but it doesn't mean anything.
It's not even really a pun on "hole in one" or something like that.
Very mysterious.


--
J. Robinson Wheeler Games: http://www.raddial.com/if/
j...@jrwdigitalmedia.com Movie: http://thekroneexperiment.com/

Edmund Kirwan

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May 24, 2003, 6:12:46 PM5/24/03
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exst...@msn.com (dreamfarmer) wrote in message news:<a839f13.03051...@posting.google.com>...

Actually, I forgot something ...

There are 2 types of title (at the risk of sounding like a serial
type-ist, considering my last post on this subject).

The first is a title that catches you before you play it. If you have
a choice of playing, "Photopia," or, "The grey sofa," you'll probably
pick Photopia because it sounds more intriguing.

The second type of title, however, is one that only makes sense at
some point after having played the game. You could call a game, "The
Green Phial," for example. This is not a great name. After you've
played it for a few hours, however, you could come across a
black-market chemist, who's selling two phials on the backstreets of
Moscow: one of the phials is white, the other, green.

As soon as you see that, you'll take the green one. It's sort-of
retro-active titling ... transmitting key information in the name of
the game.

If you can come up with a catchy title that ALSO transmits key
information, of course, you've got it made ...

.ed

www.edmundkirwan.com

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