When setting up the company in 2009, choosing the name was one of the most difficult tasks. Our then-creative director was very much into architecture, and came up with Colossal Order. He had a very profound meaning for the name, with the pillars standing strong from ground up.
One thing I would advise: Google the name you’re thinking of using. In Finland, Rape is a very common name (short for Raimo) and it’s used in company names like Rape-Invest and Rape-Plan. However, going to international markets, those names might give a rather questionable image of the company.
My business partner, Alex, has dreams that he’s playing our games before we’ve made them, then writes the ideas down. The same thing happened with the logo and company name, and even though it was kind of ridiculous sounding, we just ran with it.
Force of Habit
Nick and I compiled a huge spreadsheet of different words that we liked, and then split them into categories: colours, animals/beasts, objects, adjectives, miscellaneous, numbers, ‘endings’. We then combined words from each category to make cool-sounding names: Slug Pocket, Bumblebit, Ox Head, Horse Face and so on.
We avoid relying on other frameworks and studios to make progress – hence Zero Dependency.
We entered a game jam with no coder on our team – people told us that was stupid. We won awards that year and became No Code.
Utopian World of Sandwiches
During one conversation, sandwiches became our metaphor for the kind of games we wanted to make: simple, customisable titles with the players at the heart of our design process. We got really into this metaphor and how triple-A is more like a gourmet restaurant – we can still talk for hours about it. At the end of this chat, I said: “I don’t want to go back to work, I want to carry on talking about our Utopian World of Sandwiches.”
Games are bite-sized, packed with tasty stuff and enjoyed with friends – just like dumplings.
Oh, okay then, you got me: it’s named after my favourite food.
John Campbell, our technical director, had a domain for his personal blog for years. The URL had a pretty name, so we used it. And it works – it’s clearly to do with computers, pixels are retro, and it’s different from the norm.
Little Wolf Studio
This is going to sound really poncy, but basically I felt like a lone wolf. I knew what I wanted but I was away from the pack – the pack being the bigger ‘normal’ studios. And I’m pretty little.
I’m going to make nine games before I die.
I want a Lamborghini Aventador. Why not remind myself of this unrealistic goal 100 times a day?
Alex Rose Games[Thumbfood founder] Simon Smith told me since I was more of an auter, I should sell on my name like Mike Bithell. Also, it means my IP is tied to my name. If a company bought my IP, they’d use a different name. Then it would be clear that my IP is no longer made by me.
We wanted to find a meaningless name that came with no baggage, with no weight of ‘awesome game studio’ dragging us down. But we figured the name is ultimately worthless until we make something notable. I mean, is Bungie a great name for a game studio? Not until they made Halo – now nobody cares what they are called.
I Fight Bears
It was already tattooed on my arm.