Santa Fe, New Mexico

October 21, 2010

The road to Santa Fe went gradually up.

So gradually that it was not quite noticeable.

I arrived at night, and the next morning took a Bikram hot yoga class.

Midway through class I felt kinda funny and almost passed out.

Turns out that Santa Fe is over 7,000 feet above sea level.

Now we know.

Santa Fe is nice. Low, adobe, “Santa Fe style” buildings. A river running through town. Hilly terrain, with mountains in the background. Lots of shops and restaurants.

It’s a place where not-quite-young people go to vacation or retire.

For me, it was where I made the final decision on the name for my game.

Which I’ll get to in just one second.

In Santa Fe, Kettle and I took some picturesque walks and drives.

There were two places where we spent quite a bit of time:

A restaurant called Saveur, with wonderful food, an outdoor space for Kettle to hang out with me while I ate, and an owner who loved Kettle.

And a tea house, called The Tea House, with hundreds of teas and a picturesque patio with wi-fi.

It was at The Tea House that I choose the name for the game.

Here are some names that I did not choose:

Dungeon Dash – Although it performed quite well on the click-through rates, Dungeon Dash suggests a certain frivolity which isn’t appropriate for the game. Also, there are a series of popular casual games that end in Dash, and they have a trademark which could have caused problems. Dungeon Dash did serve me well all these years as a working-title, though, and I will miss it.

Caverns – This name tied for the highest click-through rate, and I liked it because it’s short and one word. But it’s a bit dull, and it would be hard to brand such a generic name.

Warrior One – This name tied Caverns for best click-through rate, and I liked it because it’s fairly original without being too weird. But it has the problem of sounding as much like a martial arts game as it does a role-playing game. And I would have been self-conscious about my game’s name being a yoga pose.

Half-Elf – For a long time, when I thought that the game would just have one hero character to choose from, I was leaning towards this name. But after the meeting with Reaper Miniatures, it became clear that there should be lots of hero characters, even if only one is played at a time. And Half-Elf would restrict us to half-elf characters. Also, it had a terrible click-through rate.

Dragon Raid or Dragon Lair. These did pretty well on click-through rates, and I think they are solid names, although a bit generic. The problem is that, even though it’s the case for the current game, the game may not always be about killing dragons. And in addition, the word dragon is used so often that it would be hard for either of these names to stand out.

We tested lots of other names as well, but they didn’t do well on the click-throughs, and I didn’t really like them that much anyway.

Which leaves the name that was our first choice. It was the first choice because it met most of my hopes for the name:

  • It’s original, but not hard to remember
  • It’s short
  • It had a pretty good click-through rate
  • It refers to the hero characters
  • It’s neither too serious nor too cutsy
  • It makes it clear what type of game it is

But, as I mentioned in the last post, the .com domain for the name would not become available for a few days. So I didn’t know if I could get it.

The few days ended while I was on the patio in The Tea House.

And I got it!

I also got the iPhone app name and the Facebook page name, and I applied for a trademark.

I guess I should tell you what it is now.

But how about I just give you a hint first.

(Sorry about this, but I get so few chances for cliffhangers.)

What would you call a group of adventurers, whether elves or dwarves, warriors or rogues, male or female, etc., who had one thing in common – they were good at going through dungeons full of monsters?

Think of a profession, like doctors or engineers.

It’s not a real word, but it sounds like one.

Got it?

Okay, the name of my game will be …


Now we know.

New Mexico next


Santa Fe ahead

Santa Fe from a hill

Santa Fe style

My office (with receptionist)

My desk (with assistant)

A scenic stop

A roadside romp

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