When you’re browsing games in the App stores, it’s often the game’s name that catches your attention. A game with an awesome name is bound to be pretty dope, right? You’d think that a game with a name like “Operation Darkness” would be pretty cool, especially since it’s an RPG set in an alternate World War II. Instead, the game was a visual mess with poor mechanics.
Of course, the opposite can be said, too. “Dwarrows” doesn’t give us much of a clue about the game. Since the game has a “bad name,” we might skip right over it, thus missing out on a fun little 3rd-person town-building game with charming graphics.
As a developer, you need to know how to name a game, but also how to choose a good name! To help with that, here are some things to keep in mind when creating a name for your new game, be it a casual game or the next AAA release.
1. Reflect on the Game’s Premise
One of the core fundamentals about gaming name ideas is to make a name that reflects what the game is about. If you’re creating a magic-based game, choose a title that reflects that (Magic: The Gathering). If you’re creating a sports game, use the sport in the title (Mario Golf).
2. Stand Out with Play On Words
A play on words is a cool way to make your game stand out and give the potential player an idea of what to expect. For example, perhaps the game will be about a character avoiding obstacles and skateboarding down busy city streets. This is a game called Shredded Streets that was developed in Buildbox.
When you’re considering how to name a game, your goal is for people to know what the game is about. Instead of creating a long and detailed name for your game, you should try to keep it as simple (but memorable) as possible. After all, would you play Frogger if it was called “Jumping Frog Avoiding Deadly Obstacles”? We wouldn’t either!
4. Grab Attention with Action
Sometimes the best games will grab your attention when they have a strong action word in the title. If you can’t think of a strong action word to use, think about the primary action you’ll be doing in the game and use that, like Mortal Kombat (you do a whole lot of combat in that game!).
5. Choose a Search-Friendly Name
When you’re thinking of a name, try to avoid using a name that has weird spellings or has words that people wouldn’t even associate with the game. Suppose someone is looking for a renovation game- you won’t want to choose a name like Flipping the Friers because it could bring up a time-management cooking game!
6. Obvious Names are Obvious
Sometimes the simplest names are the most obvious ones. For example, Hit the Glass is pretty simple because you’re throwing a ball into a glass cup. Diner Dash is another obvious one because you’re dashing around the diner to keep customers happy.
7. Emotional Connection
Choosing to name a game based on how the game is supposed to make you feel can be a little tricky because not everyone feels the same thing. Say you’re looking for a name for your horror game. You may like the name Blood-Curdling Screamer, but there’s no way of knowing if the person who’d play it would feel the scary parts of the game lives up to expectation. They may ask for a refund and leave a horrible review if it is more like a Yawning Snoozer.
What Are You Going to Name Your Game?
Trying to think of game name ideas that don’t stink can be pretty tricky, especially since there seems to be new games coming out every second! However, when you put as much thought and consideration into the name of your game as you do for the development, more people will find it, love it and recommend it to others. As your game succeeds, your hard work will definitely have paid off.
For even more game naming ideas, check out our article 19 Ways to Come Up with Game Ideas.