Taking the Plunge with Haste
Just to be clear, this is a part 2 for the last post discussing the reasons why we changed the name of our game to Haste. If you are interested in the full story, you might want to pick up from there.
So now that we’ve established that the name ‘Sigils of Kairos’ wasn’t good, what were we going to do about it. Was it too late to change the name now? What would be the best approach to naming the game? All of these rang through our heads as we debriefed after the Geek Market.
After a bit of back and forth, we took stock of how much we’d need to change and could take at a loss. Monetarily, we had invested a few hundred dollars in the banner, T-shirts, mousepads and the URLs for Sigils of Kairos. Even as a small company, those are relatively small costs to eat.
This unfortunately left us back at the drawing table. How would we go about finding a new name?
For weeks we began to brainstorm ideas, but were still trapped in our typical patterns laid out in the last post. As Jacob and I started bouncing ideas off of each other we started talking about our different approaches and why it wasn’t working out. We needed a new angle to the naming problem.
This is where Jacob set up a frame work which helped rethink the problem. In an ongoing email thread about this he wrote:
In my opinion there are three important things which the name needs to accomplish:
1) Be memorable - the most important thing is people remember it and associate it with our product
2) Aesthetically match the feel and atmosphere of the game - the flavor of the word... I'm not talking about the meaning of the words, but rather the look and sound of the word. Short vs long, soft vs hard sounds, strong vs weak looking characters.
3) Convey the nature of the game semantically - Aka the words can describe (through their meaning) that the game is about
So if we look at "Sigils of Kairos", I think it fails #1. I think part of the problem is both "Sigils" and more so "Kairos" aren't things people are familiar with, so it's hard to tap into pre-existing associations. Some people have never heard the word "Sigils". Almost no one has heard the word "Kairos".
For #2, I think "Sigils of Kairos" does an alright job. I think it conveys the fantasy aspect of the game well. I think it doesn't convey the feel of the game well (fast paced combat). I think it's something you mentioned earlier, that it would work well with an adventure RPG.
For #3, I think "Sigils of Kairos" does an alright job. I think the Sigils portion does somewhat align with the whole card-icon-inside-of-circle-thing. The problem with Kairos is, while you and I know a bit of the mythology, no one else does. People shouldn't have to read a wikipedia entry to get understand the allusion we are trying to convey.
And with that, we hit the ground running again. This helped us get a new approach on our naming conventions and had us narrowing down our choices to a select few. One of the front-runners, Haste, ended up being our winner. Jacob broke it down like this:
I think it nails #1 - it's short, it's a word people are familiar with. I think it would work very well.
For #2 - i think the visual aesthetics of the word are good - the lettering are all strong characters, the word is short, the letters have decent symmetry - it would be easy to make the text look strong. I think strong and short lettering work well to convey the fast paced, impactful combat. It doesn't really convey anything fantastical or strategic. On the auditory side, it's a bit weak. The "A" is good, but it lacks a strong consonant. But it's a short word, the A might carry it.
For #3 - I think it alludes to MTG, to the fast paced combat. But that's about it.
As you can see, the name Haste wasn’t perfect but it was a heck of a lot closer to what we were aiming for than anything else. Packed in there are some other concerns such as the ability to search up the game (SEO), but there are clear steps we can take in the future to make that less of an issue. Using the new SEO tools and advertising potential, we just had to ensure we grabbed hastegame for the URL and social media accounts before going live.
And that is the basic rundown of the name swap. As you can imagine, this was an issue that gnawed at us for quite a while until we made the final decision. I think that Haste is a great name for our game, and we really hope you all do as well. Please stick with us as we work through this passion project of ours and we will do our best to make Haste the best experience that we can!