Felix
Germany
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Hi people!

I wanted to hear your opinion on what makes the name of a tabletop game effective / great / captivating / remarkable and so on.
We can also discuss the logo design if the name is incorporated there.

The shorter the better?
Has the theme it presents to be obvious?
What about two-part formats like "Shards of Stuff: The Awakening"? (just an example)

Just whatever comes to mind in this area. I'd be interested to hear!
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Felix
Germany
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My question was about the name for a game. Not games in general.
 
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B C Z
United States
Reston
Virginia
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Hyperhead wrote:
Hi people!

I wanted to hear your opinion on what makes the name of a tabletop game effective / great / captivating / remarkable and so on.
We can also discuss the logo design if the name is incorporated there.

The shorter the better?
Has the theme it presents to be obvious?
What about two-part formats like "Shards of Stuff: The Awakening"? (just an example)

Just whatever comes to mind in this area. I'd be interested to hear!


Consonants... and Vowels... In a pronounceable order.
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Anthony Haines
United Kingdom
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Shortness: I think shorter is better down to a point at about 12 characters, in one or two words. Otherwise, games would all end up being called things like "Vre".
If it's longer than a few words, it's no good to me; I won't remember.

Theme emphasis : I think it helps to be suggestive, at least when you know the theme already.

Two-part formats : not ideal. Not a chance that I'll remember the second part (and the first part presumably fails the uniqueness test below).

Other things which I think are important -

Uniqueness : Don't call your game the same name as an existing game. Ideally not the same as something in any media (i.e. book, film, video-game etc.), and preferably not even similar.

Phonetic hazard : make it something which is easy to remember, and spell. Making up a word is acceptable, but does mean it's harder to remember - so try to follow the language's "ground-in" rules. (I think a test would be asking people to write down the name - they should match your intended spelling.)

Word-play : I am in favour of portmanteau and puns, but I don't know if they're generally well-received - and the meanings may not translate well.

Localisation : I use British English. American spellings (color, favor, neighbor, aluminum etc) generally look ugly or wrong to me, and believe the converse applies to some Americans. My advice would be to avoid using any such words which differ in the title.
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Ren
Italy
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I personally have a terrible memory for names so I prefer something short (1-2 words) and memorable. If it's longer than 2 words it will be shortened to 2 words. (Articles and prepositions don't count.) If it's 2 words but it can be shortened to 1 word, it will be shortened (e.g. Andor 2).

If it's unpronounceable it'll end up being called something like the Maya game or the Norway game.

Two-part game titles: the second part exists only in BGG listings. "Shards of Stuff: The Awakening" is going to be either Shards or Stuff.
 
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Jeff Warrender
United States
Averill Park
New York
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Personal opinion:

- No to colon-ized game titles. It comes across as hedging -- "I wanted to cram all of these concepts into the game title but couldn't think of a succinct way to do it, but the colon has liberated me!"

- Yes to titles that suggest their subject or theme or content. No to titles that explicitly state their subject or theme (exception is for party games)

One of the best pieces of advice I got in a "name this game" thread about a chaotic restaurant game was, "don't call it 'chaotic restaurant game'". The advice instead was to give the game a title that suggests a bustling restaurant without saying explicitly 'this is a game about a bustling restaurant!'. (In the end, the best suggestion was 'Le Sablier', which sounds like it could be a French restaurant, n'est-ce pas?)

- Yes to short and sweet.

- Yes to thinking at least a bit about whether the title will overlap strongly with other stuff in Google searches. "The Game" was one of the worst titles in recent memory with respect to this consideration.

 
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Lazy Mountain

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jwarrend wrote:
...

- No to colon-ized game titles.


Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident

Vesuvius - for short
Vesuvius incident - memorable
Something...Frontier... something...
Whatsit frontier? Final? High? Lost?. Too much overlap and opportunity to misremember.

That's the least memorable in my collection.
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Felix
Germany
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Thank you all for the great responses so far.

I like the point about "If it has too many singular words, it's gonna get cut down by the community anyway!".
Heroes of the Storm came to my mind or Dota or League of Legends, the MOBA games for PC. Heroes of the Storm is just "Heroes" or "HotS", Dota was originally short for "Defence of the Ancients" and League of Legends is just called LoL or "League".

So two words at max should be sensical.
 
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Laura Creighton
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Göteborg
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Before you finalise your pick, do this:

google the name you have picked out
and then
google the name you have picked out site:boardgamegeek.com

The idea is to see if your game name is very similar to somebody else's game name, from the point of view of a search engine. If you do not get a close match, proceed. Otherwise, if the potential for confusion seems large -- either because a user might type in the competing name instead of yours when looking for your game, or because the user might type in the correct name and still get all these wretched search results that refer to the competition, not you -- you may need to reconsider the name choice.

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