Mobile Bugs, and Space Prototype Name

Hey Folks! Spent most of the day tackling some more mobile bugs today. I actually managed to fix two more!

The first was a bug with item mirroring. Items such as shoes were not appearing mirrored when they should be, both while uninstalled and installed on a socket. This turned out to be related to the way the new engine loads images. It uses sprite atlases instead of individual images, for performance reasons, and this meant some differences to how sprites get flipped horizontally. I was able to consolidate the mirroring code, and all seems well now.

The second issue was causing water to not go into bottles when released. As it turned out, bottles were being flagged as non-rigid, again due to the atlases. In this case, because atlases rotate some images to pack them tighter, the full/empty images for the bottle were at different orientations, and the game thought that meant it changed size when full. A bit of extra handling code in here fixed that, and I could store water again!

Both are pretty minor bugs, but I'm still coming at the list from the easy side while Tiago tackles the hard stuff :)

In other news, I took a bit of time today to start brainstorming name ideas for the space prototype. I've had a few in mind already, but haven't found one I'm crazy about yet. Some of the criteria I'm trying to fulfill:

  • Does it sound interesting enough to warrant a further look?
  • Is the name likely to be confused with or infringe upon another product? E.g. other games, shows, movies, toys, studios, etc.
  • Would Googling the name result in this game, or something else?
  • Are the URL and Trademark taken?
  • Does the name communicate that this is related to NEO Scavenger?
  • Does it communicate that this is a parallel story?
  • Does the name imply spaceships?
  • Crew management?
  • Building and customization?
  • Solar System travel? (As opposed to interstellar travel.)
  • Is it easy to say/hear in a loud environment? (Seriously, imagine telling someone the name at a concert. Does one have to spell it out letter by letter?)
  • Can it be made into a good logo? (What if "NEO Scavenger" words have to be part of the logo?)

Obviously, this is a tall order to fill, and some criteria may be mutually exclusive. Even NEO Scavenger fails some of these. But it's important to consider these things, and at least try to get as many as possible.

The big ones, though, are the first 4.

One trick I'm considering is the combo name, a la Star Wars and other franchises. Namely, "Blah Blah: A NEO Scavenger Story" or "NEO Scavenger: Blah Blah." This knocks out a lot of the confusion and IP law issues almost immediately. But it's a mouthful, hard to logo, and may have other issues.

So that's on my mind. I'm getting tired of calling it "NEO Scavenger: Space Prototype." YouTube videos ask for a game title to tag it with. People are trying to tell friends and have no name to use, etc. It's coming high time I nail this down :)

Comments

Malacodor's picture
Malacodor

How about "ASTRO Scavenger" or "NEO Solar Skipper?

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

spacecowboy's picture
spacecowboy

I'm going with "ASTRO Scavenger" like Malacodor said or maybe "Solar Scavenger"

ra1's picture
ra1

NEOnaut

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Not sure I want "Solar" actually in the name, as while it suggests the System, it also implies some focus on the sun or solar power. (I know, I know, I said Solar System as a requirement. But I haven't found a good way to say it without using "Solar.")

"ASTRO Scavenger" is definitely clear and accurate. I know exactly what I'm getting with that title, and it's got pretty strong overlap with the gameplay.

NEOnaut is actually pretty accurate, too. It suggests exploring the NEO. Though, it may describe Philip Kindred even more so :)

One thing to note, I'm hesitant to try and hang my franchise on either "NEO" or "Scavenger" alone. "NEO Scavenger" as a phrase was unique enough that I didn't have too much competition for trademarks. I got a little push back from the USPTO because there were apps out there like "SCVNGR" and a host of "NEO" related IPs, but the combined name was differentiated enough to win.

If my series of games were the "NEO Series" or the "Scavenger Series," on the other hand, I might have a battle.

That said, I might be able to expand the "NEO" and use that. I.e. The "New Earth Ostracon" series of games.

I'm still sanguine on the possibility of "...a NEO Scavenger Story" or "NEO Scavenger: ..." That way, I can use whatever words I want, as tacking-on "NEO Scavenger" makes it unique. And I could always design the logo such that the main focus is the new word(s), with "NEO Scavenger" more subtle.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

linibot's picture
linibot

Astroscavenger is already finished apparently, no need to keep developing that game. Oh, and here's Neonaut the game - that one was harder to find cause Neonaut the software company apparently spends decent cash on google, at least this side of the pond. Enjoy the games folks. ;)

That is such a tall order Dan, I don't envy you one bit. NEO Scavenger was a bit of challenge as a name to begin with probably. ;) Then again it isn't easy to get a running series under a unified name. Even Amplitude (who did have a neat idea to begin with) is easier to find on google with their studio name than if you try to "endless series" or "endless games" or similar. I'd just try to keep the NEO bit personally, simply for continutity's sake, but try to make it clearer in promo material what NEO actually means - cause apparently this flies above many players heads, it just isn't communicated often or clearly.

Edit: On second thought... you have a great chance to start communicating what NEO means more often now already, with the redesign, before you even have to settle on the new name. Maybe something to consider.


NEO Scavenger: FAQ
10 Ways (not) to Die - A beginner's guide

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Ha! Well, I guess that's that. Nice sleuthing, Lin!

And good point about Amplitude. That's exactly what I do whenever I want to find them :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Malacodor's picture
Malacodor

Damn. But AstroScavenger looks so cheap, maybe the dev will sell you the name rights for a few dollars. ;-)
"NEO Stellar Skipper" wouldn't sound like green energy, but probably not very good either.

I'd rather go with "...a NEO Scavenger Story" than "NEO Scavenger: ...", I simply hate those colon names.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

Asthepanda2iscool2's picture
Asthepanda2iscool2

How about NSO for "New Space Ostracon" instead of NEO for "New Earth Ostracon"? NEO might be a little misleading as a title unless you plan on being able to land on a planet (such as Earth).
Also, I'd rather see the game with "...a Neo Scavenger Story", since I, like Malacodor, hate colon names.

Rar! Rar rar rar! Thanks for reading :)

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

I could probably manage to win a trademark case for "Ostracon" if I wanted all my games to share that word. Though, going with NSO sort of abandons the brand recognition of NEO Scavenger. And I think I could make an argument for NEO covering space, as well. E.g. this is the "New Earth" that we are piecing together clues about.

In any case, I'm glad to see a consensus forming around "...a NEO Scavenger Story" vs. "NEO Scavenger: ..." :)

I did some more brainstorming, and I may have a candidate. It probably violates several of my rules above, but seems to conjure an accurate picture, and appears to be safe from infringement (so far). Going to sleep on it a night or two.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

spacecowboy's picture
spacecowboy

lmao the only other thing I can come up with is something like, "To Spacefare Again" but that's kinda not fitting the criteria you have on the post. I'm so un-creative.

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

If this were a game about a wisftul captain yearning to take the helm again, perhaps "To Spacefare Again" would work :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games