Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Name Game

Mike Conway of Darkstar Eclectic Media, soon-to-be-publisher of Heroes of Oz, has mentioned that he once toyed with calling his game Adventures in Oz but decided against it to avoid confusion with Eric Shanower's comic book of that name. So why am I sticking with that name?

For one thing, it's not trademarked. A quick trademark search only found one close match: Adventures in Oz with Cheryl, a kids fitness video series put together by former American Gladiator Cheryl Silch. Also, Adventures in Oz appears to be the name of a children's board game.

When coming up with a name for my game, I wrestled long and hard with it. Coming up with something that set the right tone for the game was definitely a challenge. "The Wizard of Oz: The RPG"? Doesn't convey the scope of the setting. "The Land of Oz"? Conveys geographical scope, but could also be simply a reference work. Also the title of the second book in the series. "Adventures in Oz"? Conveys the idea that Oz is a place where adventures happen.

My logo designer, Brad McDevitt, threw in a really neat touch when he turned in the logo. He added a little subtitle: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond The Yellow Brick Road. It actually says a lot of what I want to get across: 1) That it is a fantasy roleplaying game, 2) that it is an Oz game, and 3) That there is more to Oz than the Yellow Brick Road, which is one of the main ideas of my marketing campaign (you didn't know that I had a marketing campaign, did you? BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!)

For the record, I don't think I would have gone for "Heroes of Oz" as the name of the game. To me, it says that the game is about heroic action. But looking at the stories, the most common protagonist is a little girl, not Bruce Willis.

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