Monday, January 2, 2012

The power of names: "JADE" versus "ADOM II"

Today I would like to address an issue that has been bothering since the release of JADE in July: Is JADE the best name for the game?

For a while I have been drawn between keeping the JADE name and renaming the game to something like "ADOM II (powered by JADE)".

The advantages of "ADOM II" would be:

  • It uses an established brand.
  • The connection to ADOM is clearer.
  • The acronym better fits this domain here.
The disadvantages are that some new confusion probably would arise from slowly letting JADE move into the background (but how important is that for a new game?).

What do you think? Are there other aspects to be considered?

52 comments:

  1. Call it ADOM II.

    JADE is the engine, not the game. You may want to make another, completely unconnected, game using the JADE engine one day.

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  2. ADOM 2 (powered by JADE) :)

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  3. How about keeping the ADoM acronym, but modify what it means? Then, to give it a bit more of an unique feel, call it ADoM-Z, where Z stands for Zwei.

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  4. At first I was like "No I love JADE" But then i realised that ADOM II is better in almost every conceivable way, and that it won't take long for any attachment to JADE to fade away.

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  5. I'd prefer JADE, or at least ADOM II: JADE.

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  6. I would call it ADOM 2 (not II) and add some subtitle related to the lore and the story. For example, were The King of the Orcs to be the main storyline, I would call it ADOM 2: The Wrath of the Orc King (any resemblance with reality is pure coincidence)

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  7. ADOM II definitely. You want continuity that works for those unfamiliar with your website.

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  8. ADOM II, mainly because it's easier to google. The word JADE is being used in so many brands that it's not unique at all. Keep JADE as the name of the engine though, as obscenelygreen said. That way you can also keep using the pretty logo ;-)

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  9. I would prefer ADOM 2 / ADOM II (or even ADOM ][)

    I agree with obscenelygreen and Dirk, JADE is the engine not the game.

    Bette to build on the established brand, than try for a new one.

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  10. I would probably call it Beyond Ancient Domains of Mystery because then you get the acronym BADOM. Lol. But out of the two suggested options I'd certainly prefer ADOM II over JADE.

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  11. Yes, I agree with calling it ADOM 2 (Powered by JADE).

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  13. Ancient Domains of Mystery II: Enter Ancardia

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  14. I agree with obscenelygreen: ADOM 2 for the game, JADE for the engine is a much better way to go about it.

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  15. Actually I thought about the name JADE a few days ago and I came to the conclusion that it's a quite clever one: it sounds nice, has a pretty mystical meaning in itself and the abbreviation obviously really makes sense.

    But looking at what the "E" in JADE stands for, it's also quite obvious, that it shoulbd be an engine after all. So I'd aggree with most of the above comments that ADOM II is the better name. It clearly is a sequel (same world, years later) and should refer to its predecessor.

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  16. I kinda like Silfir's suggestion.

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  17. Also voting for ADOM II, I agree with obscenelygreen's reasons.

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  18. I'mma have to go with the crowd and go with adom II: some spiffy subtitle (silfir's does have a good ring to it) that way newbies and stumble-uponers will have some idea of its connection to adom

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  19. I'd say keep JADE. Maybe change the acronym's meaning to something like Jolly Advanced Dungeon Experience, because the current one indeed describes an engine rather than a game. Changing a name after so long seems just weird.

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  20. ADOM 2: Beyond the Drakalor Chain

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  21. ADOM ][e, JADE: Empire

    That said, I like ADoM 2 just fine. JADE is a good project codename and fitting for the underlying engine, but there's no reason not to use ADoM's name recognition to promote the new project.

    I do think it's silly to use the same name as a different acronym, though. Case in point: ToME. Not sure they had much choice, but the new name is pretty weak imo.

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  23. JADOM <- it obviously contains your new java engine and continuity of ADOM game.

    Imo since JADE is goin to be better in EVERY aspect than ADOM (vaste, complex, details etc) it shouldnt be called as ADOM II because i didnt actually see that sequel of a game would swallow first part in every feature. Besides one may think "Ok,i played ADOM,i didnt like it...ADOM II?Eh,what can sequel contain like more features.Screw it".While small Drakalor Chain,where all the quest happened now stands for maybe 2% of new world - I cant actually imagine how long it will take to finish the whole game( i dont complain,i only wish this will take many days/weeks of discoveries :) )

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  24. flashdoom, you haven't played the Ultimas or the Might and Magics, have you? :P

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  25. I agree with the reasons everyone says it should be ADOM II, but this game has been JADE for me for over a decade now. It's going to be hard to change that.

    For me, ADOM is a 90s game that represents a very particular point in roguelike history. JADE was the fresh new version that would turn the genre on its head. JADE, in my mind, is something that borrows from ADOM but is completely different. No one calls Dwarf Fortress "Slaves to Armok II." They call it Dwarf Fortress. JADE should be the same way.

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  26. Currently I tend towards "ADOM II: Tales of Ancardia". Currently I also dislike the way that version numbers come across, e.g. when saying "ADOM II 0.3.0 has been released".

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  28. I can see how this would go either way, despite leaning towards Silfir's suggestion same as many, but I'd think it best to hew towards a name that won't confuse newcomers onto the prior existing ADOM content---Gamer_2k4 makes a very salient point in this regard.

    There's such a mass of "ADOM" content out there on the web such that I'd be concerned that things could get muddled---to say nothing of the problems that would inevitably occur where new people try ADOM first instead of "JADE", then something goes wrong, then it all gets murkier than would normally need be with most other games.

    Otherwise, well, time to start collection some domain names and the like for whatever gets ultimately settled on if there is a change.

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  29. "No one calls Dwarf Fortress "Slaves to Armok II." They call it Dwarf Fortress. JADE should be the same way."

    This is an excellent point. It should be "ADOM II" (because it IS ADOM II) + a subtitle that works on its own - the "real title", in a way. For that, it should aim to summarize what the game is going to be about. Dwarf Fortress is about the player managing a dwarf fortress, which makes it just about the perfect title imaginable.

    Though another reason no one calls Dwarf Fortress "Slaves to Armok, God of Blood 2" is that it's way longer. "ADOM II" is pretty short and sweet.

    "Tales of Ancardia". I'll be honest, I'm not crazy about that one. Mostly it reminds me too much of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_%28series%29 - And mind you, I have not played a single one, I've just heard they exist, since they're somewhat of a household name. It's enough to take away some of its originality.

    Whatever the title, though, it should convey the main difference that makes JADE, or ADOM II, stand out in comparison to its forefather. ADOM takes place in just the Drakalor Chain - and now you finally, finally get to see all of Ancardia! Hence my suggestion of "Enter Ancardia". "Beyond ADOM" or "Tales of Ancardia" convey it too.



    Also, "Eh, a sequel"? Diablo II, Civilization II, The Elder Scrolls? I think having the name "ADOM II" on it will not do anything towards lowering expectations, it will raise them.

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  30. I've gotten so used to the JADE moniker that it's hard to imagine something else... But "Java-Based Ancient Domains Engine" is a pretty apalling game name.

    "ADOM II" I'm not sure on since it does imply a lot about how the game would be. You could find it restrictive in a lot of ways, and it can make people have snap judgements of the game. For instance ToME4 still suffers from people thinking it's an Angband clone due to its predecessors, even though ToME4 has never had any Angband elements. If you want to do exciting new things with ADOM II then it might be hard for people to shake off the idea of it being the same as ADOM.

    If going with a tagline then I suggest something more dramatic than "Tales of Ancardia" - it doesn't inspire the real change in scope in the game. Maybe something like "Legends of Ancardia" or "The Chaos Chronicles".

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  31. Personally I've grown up with ADOM and therefore have a massive bias towards that name and the emotions it conjures.

    So ADOM II seems like a perfectly logical name to me. 'Java-based Ancient Domains Engine' also does say what it is in its name, it's and engine. 'Powered by JADE' therefore is a logical way of keeping it, it also makes sense for if/when The Ultimate Edition allows expansion/reworking of the engine for personalised content.

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  32. I favour the Adom II name. Seems like a good idea for marketing reasons. Much easier to get people interested in my opinion.

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  33. @DarrenGrey: Funny... this morning I also came to the conclusion that "Tales..." is just a bit boring and "Legends..." is the minimum to use ;-)

    I'm not too hot about more specific titles like "The Chaos Chronicles" as I envision the Chaos story line as but one of several major possible story lines. So "Legends..." definitely is more along the lines of planning...

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  34. ADOM II. For all the reasons listed above, and an 'old-guard' (or at least 'second-wave') roguelike with a named sequel just tickles me in all the right places.

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  35. ADOM 2 or II. I would stray from giving it a title since the first ADOM had no title. JADE does refer to the engine, such as Half-Life 2 has the "Source" engine. Now if you rewrote the original ADOM using the JADE engine, then you could call it ADOM/JADE. Titles after games give me the impression that it is just a story arc rather than a full featured game, or that there will be an expansion, etc. I think as far as naming you have to use K.I.S.S. guidelines (Keep It Simple Stupid). At least don't give it a title yet, because more story elements may evolve and you may come up with a better title later. If you are already considering changing it from JADE then what is the harm in adding a title when it gets to 1.0 status? At least then it will have a more significant impact.

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  36. I sincerely hope you stick with ADOM 2 (or some numerical derivative.)

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  37. I prefer ADOM 2: Powered by the JADE engine.

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  38. Adom II: You die...

    As a prediction of the inevitable

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  39. How about "World of ADOMcraft".

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  40. Another vote for ADOM II (with or without "Powered by JADE").

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  41. ADOM II: [whatever]

    BTW, Thomas, I'm yet to send you an interesting Ukrainian paper ad featuring Ranger giving a handshake to WMOPC. Now I'll do it for certain :)

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  42. How 'bout SLADOM: Slightly Less Ancient Domains of Mystery ;) Adom II is my real vote.

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  43. Re-branding is the logical, almost the crucial thing to do.

    While re-branding, please keep in mind that given the established brand, Adom players expect Adom 2 to have (at least in UI level) a similar feel to what Adom 1 feels like to start and play.

    For me, the key point in preserving "the adom 1 user experience" is this:

    "I don't want to set zoom level, message font size, cursor blink speed etc. to comfortable levels EACH time I start JADE up."

    Adom 1 players EXPECT convenient defaults. Please deliver some conventional defaults that most of the players feel comfortable with. This in an aspect of Adom 1 I have always enjoyed: the story is somewhat "fixed" and so is the UI. Just please don't give players the options they don't want to choose, just give some convenient defaults (and possibly some way to configure them).

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  44. @Jaakko: Concerning defaults... what about the current defaults :-) ? As for being permanently configurable see http://www.ancientdomainsofmystery.com/p/jade-ultimate-edition.html

    While the ideas there will change soon (I have given that stuff a lot more thought) the basic gist still is true.

    Concerning the ADOM 1 user experience: While Jochen and I currently are working on the iPad version (well, mostly Jochen ;-) ) we noticed how complicated ADOM 1 actually is in certain areas. So we fully intend to take those experiences and make ADOM II a simpler game as far as the user experience goes (especially the number of commands... currently 80 are available on the iPad UI!). The game itself will be a lot more detailed (and thus complex).

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for a late reply.

      Just downloaded ADOM II V0.2.3 and tried it out.

      I like the direction this is going. The defaults feel convenient now - I'm not sure what has changed, but the game works much nicer now out of the box. Blink speed, zoom size, and everything - defaults feel like very nice right now.

      Btw. did I say I really, really, really LOVE the full screen (immersive mode)! I just wish it worked without having to tweak Aero in Windows 7 :(

      In terms of improving UI, yes you are absolutely correct: ADOM 1 is far too complex on many aspects. For experienced adom players, it's possibly not a problem, but for ADOM 2 and novice players, extra complexity must of course be avoided!

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  45. ADOM 2: Beyond the Drakalor chain
    ADOM 2: Legends of Ancardia

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