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Whatís in a Name?

Iíve decided to change the name of my game from Adventure Trail to Super Amazing Wagon Adventure. Game titles are extremely important. This is especially true on the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace, where Iím planning to launch my game. Xbox Indie Games get very little press coverage and are almost always sold for the minimum price of $1. Therefore they are typically impulse buys chosen directly from the new release list, not unlike purchasing a pack of gum at the register. The purchasing process has roughly three steps.

  1. Select the game on the dashboard.
  2. Download the trial.
  3. Purchase the full game.

As a developer, you have to try as hard as you can to get as many users through this process. The scary part is that the actual quality of your game doesnít come into play until the very last step! Undoubtedly many games fail due to poor quality box art, a nondescript title, or badly chosen screenshots.

Adventure Trail, while evocative of my gameís setting, is a pretty bland title. It completely fails to convey the bizarre tone of the gameĖdid you know it involves time travel and aliens? I was also concerned that it would give the (mistaken) impression that my game is a remake of Oregon Trail. The gameís setting and certain play mechanics (like naming your party members) were inspired by the Apple II classic, but the gameplay is very, very different.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is a much better fit for my game. Itís strange and distinct while still describing what the gameís about. Just for fun, hereís a look at my first attempt at cover art.

Box Art