Today I want to write about the biggest challenge for me in making a indie game. Finding the perfect name. Let me state this before i started, i couldn’t find my perfect name but i did find a great name, that’s the subject of the article.
There are many great articles about naming a indie game. This was one of the best among these articles. From a succesfull indie game developer Zoink. I suggest you to read this article, it was very helpful to me. But i want to tell you about the methods i used myself.
It is not difficult to find a name for a game, i will mention this later in the article. The problem is to find the perfect name. First of all, let me mention what is the perfect name for me.
The perfect name is a name that i realized that i will never find. It’s a name in your dreams, such as a Leprechaun’s gold end of the rainbow is so good to be true that it is only mentioned in the legends, but no one has seen it. A name is very similar to the names of the great games i’ve played before, and it sounds as beautiful as those names. This name is so perfect that i will fall in love with it as soon as i see it. The perfect name means that i wish i could find a name as beautiful as those other successful games.
After finding about hundreds of non-perfect names, I realized that i did not have enough time to find the perfect name and that I had to give the game a permanent name. Let me tell you how i found a great name that suits the game that i want to make .
Not perfect but a great name
First of all try to find 1-2 keywords describing the game. Keep the number of keywords as low as possible because these words are important and we will focus on these words in combinations with other words. Less the keywords, the easier it is to find the game’s name.
I wouldn’t recommend your keyword to be a very popular word. To check this, you can search and see your keyword from Steam’s game search page. As an example, there are so many games that start with Cosmic, although i actually found a name that didn’t sound bad to me and started with Cosmic. When i saw that there were so many games, i gave up. Because people should be able to find you when they search your name on Google. If the name of your game is very close to another popular game, when you search for its name, Google will tell you, “did you mean this popular game“, and will show you the links of that game.
Finding the secondary words
After finding your keywords , start writing words of secondary importance that are related with your game or game idea. Some words you just find may have nothing to do with your game, but maybe it just sounds good. My advice, try to choose words related to your game as much as possible.
There are many online sites you can use to find secondary words. This site is most useful to me because i found the name Neon Castle there. You enter your keyword and the site shows you suggestions that are suitable for the domain name. While these names are mostly for business purposes, they may help you to find new words or even a whole name that you don’t think of.
Another useful site is this great site. Here you can look up for related words. I am sure you will find very interesting and similar words that you are looking for.
And now begin to mix secondary words with keywords. If you want, you can mix not only keywords but also secondary words, but this time you will have a better chance to come up with names that are not very relevant to your game. Take note of the combinations you like. I did not even try to find a single word name. If you do not create that word from scratch, you can be sure that the name is already used. I found it more logical to look for a two-word name like most games.
Is this name used by others
Then check if .com domain name is available with this program written by Microsoft , not from your web browser. I will not name it, but when searching for a site where it is claimed that you can safely search for a domain name. During a search, i had to wait 1-2 minutes to see the suitability of a name i was looking for. Which never happened in my previous searches. And the result was that this name was taken. It was very interesting when the name was registered, exactly the day and time i was looking for. I don’t know if this was a coincidence, but i immediately stopped using that site.
The only thing i can say how secure this program is except it’s a Microsoft program. When searching for names, you have eliminated at least one eye than can steal your name. Even this seemed like a good step towards security. Because most sites use this program when looking at domain availability.
Using the program is very easy. In the folder where the program is located, type cmd in the address bar. This will run the program named cmd and automatically enter the address of the folder as the main address. To check if a domain name is available, type whois mygreatname.com and press enter. If a record is not found, you are lucky that you can get this domain name and I definitely recommend you to get it.
Be sure to search for the name on Google (or your favorite search engine) and Steam. Is there a game of the same name. Is the name of your game same as a well-known name, even in another area. If not, I can say that you are one step closer to the name you are looking for.
You can also check the patent and trademark as described in step 4 of this very good article. I recommend you to read this article. As already explained there, i wouldn’t recommend you wait 4 years to find the perfect name.
The most important and final step. Is this name good.
As you may find on the Internet or see the articles i have shared. The names found (including the name i found) are quite ordinary names, but the important thing is to decide to use that name. Don’t expect it to be perfect, there may be some cons, or you can say oh very close but this is not. My advice is not try to find the perfect name, focus on putting a name in the game as soon as possible.
You liked one or more names, great. Why did you like this name or names? Is the name resembles or looks like the name of a game or movie you like? Maybe you are still looking for a perfect name. But if it suits the subject and style of the game you are making, if it sounds good, can be read, if it looks good. Then wait at least one day. If you still like the name the next day, consult the people around you. At this stage, try not to hurry so much. After a few days, if the name still feels good and is liked by the people around you, congratulations, i think you found the name you are looking for.
My great named game TechnoTsunami is coming to Steam Early Access on April 17, 2020. You can wishlist on Steam https://store.steampowered.com/app/1240460.
Thank you for reading my article. I hope i was able to help you. See you in the next article, bye.