It’s been a busy month at Rattlebox Games HQ, where we’ve been playtesting and tweaking our dice-rolling Druid magic battle game. Up until a few days ago, we were calling the game Battle Rocks, which we were very fond of because it is a spoonerism of our company name (the original spelling of the game was even Battle Rox). But we’ve come around because of comments from other designers and playtesters that the name didn’t serve the project well.
Here are some elaborations on that idea:
- It gives a false impression of what the game will be about. The verb/adverb noun construction Battle Rocks evokes other uses of the word battle, such as Battle Bots. This makes people think that the noun in the phrase is going to be the things doing the battle. So some people expressed disappointment that we didn’t have duelling animated rocks.
- Battle Rocks also gave an impression of frivolity, perhaps, that belied the complexity and length of our game. While a two player game can be as short as thirty minutes, our average game is a bit longer, especially for new players, so using a title that makes the game seem light and quick is not ideal.
These are, perhaps, minor points. But first impressions are important, and if someone’s first impression is “oh, that’s not what I was hoping it would be,” we’re starting with a negative and having to work our way back up.
So how did we pick Cromlech? Here are the reasons we love this new name:
- For most people, it doesn’t mean anything. That means that it won’t necessarily ATTRACT them to the project, but they will probably come in with no vision of what it is. That means we get to control the initial impression.
- It’s a single word, relatively easy to spell. We may see some difficulty from people who only hear about it, but this is manageable.
- It actually does have a meaning that harkens back to the game. A Cromlech is a stone circle, like stonehenge. If you haven’t played or seen anything about our game yet, stone circles provide the magical power for the Druids who wage war in the game. So it’s a thematic connection.
Speaking of names, what are some games that you think have fantastic names? Are there some that really miss? Let us know!