What’s in a name?

I’ve heard it said that it’s easier to name something before it even exists than to try to sum a thing up into a name after the fact, and I believe it. For nearly every game I’ve ever made, it seems like naming the darned thing is the task which takes the longest to complete.

Slide was an exception to this. I had the name picked before I made my first commit to the source repository, and it remained throughout the entirety of development. When I released it there was no other game by that name anywhere on the internet. I was feeling pretty good about it.

Yesterday I went to make an IndieDB profile for the remake. I created a boxshot image, collected screenshots, entered all the required information…and pressed submit.

  • There is already a game listed with the name Slide on Indie DB.

Tragedy!

I checked out the conflicting entry and came to the realization that, while I had become attached to the name “Slide” in reference to my own work, it really wasn’t a great fit as it described only the most basic mechanics. In this new game, the core mechanics are all about puzzles based on ice sliding in classic Zelda and Pokemon games. It obviously has a lot of polish and has likely been in development for a while, so even though I had technically released my game first I didn’t want to be “that guy” and ask that it be taken down.

And so began a frantic day of brainstorming as I tried to come up with a new name before the rapidly approaching OneGameAMonth deadline of November 4th.

Fortunately this all has a happy ending. The name I chose (with the help of some good friends) is Color/Shift, and I’ve retroactively renamed it in all my posts about this new release. Not only is this new name more tightly related to the core mechanics overall, but it’ll also help me distinguish between the original prototype and the new commercial release. All’s well that ends well. :)