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How to Name a Game

So you’ve designed a game.  It’s going to be the best game ever.  But now you need to give it a name.  What are you going to call it?

Anyone who’s tried to name anything will tell you that this is harder than it first appears.  Whether it’s a band, a company, a child, a product or a boardgame, there are many considerations.  You can’t just go with the first cool-sounding name that pops into your head.

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Theme

Back in the 80s, I spent rather a lot of time playing Elite.  It was the first computer game to have 3D graphics (that I can remember).  Up until then, it was all platform games and scrolling shooters.  Elite was a space adventure simulator.  The ships and space stations were only wire-frame models, but when your whole experience has been 2D, any kind of 3D looks amazing.

A large part of the game involved buying goods at one space station and selling them for a profit at another space station.  You would spend the profit you made upgrading your ship or buying bigger and better ships.  The rest of the time you would be fighting off pirates trying to steal your cargo.  And get this: you would be flying around shooting those pirate ships… in 3D!

It was incredibly immersive.  One of the key reasons for that was the theme.  I could really imagine myself flying around the galaxy, trying to make a living while ridding the popular trade routes of pirate scum.  It was as close as I could get to Star Wars.  And did I mention it was in 3D?

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