Picking a name for your board game design might seem simple, but it can be really hard! A good name is critical too, it needs to be unique (both artistically and legally) yet well suited to your design. Here’s some basic conventions:
- Don’t commit to a name until the game design is nearly complete
- Brainstorm as many ideas as you can
- Test all names with the sentence “Let’s go play ___!”
- Check for games with the same name at boardgamegeek.com (BGG currently has 75,000+ games in its database)
- Try favorite name ideas with your art, illustration, and typefaces
- Don’t get overly attached to any one name
It took nearly two years for us to name our game, we just called it “the pirate board game” for the longest time. When we were ready to pick, we immediately found that our first, second, and third choices were already taken. Pro tip: Every single cool pirate-y word is already a game name. We eventually picked something we were fairly confident with and then found it didn’t work well with our board art. Finally, we were inspired by classical board games to make up our own word- Yargo. We knew right away it was the pirate-y perfection we were looking for.
Here’s a name and logo design we rejected. We liked the look but it just didn’t fit our game and had to go.
Next time: Open licensing and board games!