We started picking a name for this group about two months ago. I remember being in a hotel room in Boston, bored out of my mind on a business trip, when the conversation on our Slack channel started to pick up. We must have rattled off one-hundred-fifty possible names that night and the truth is that most of them were garbage. After I curated the conversation for potential keepers the final list came down to this:
- BGDs (short for Board Game Developers and pronounced Bee-Gee-Dees)
- Cardboard Contractors
- Sleepless Games
- Draw (not even a name, just a word we liked a whole lot)
- Card and Board (think room and board)
- Caution: Games in Progress
- Game Glue
- Cardboard Jungle
We took this list and we tried to figure out if any of these ideas had legs. We wound up agreeing, very unanimously, that Bee-Gee-Dees is extremely fun to say; a sentiment I still feel very strongly about.
Meeples also stood out. It captured the essence of the group, a Meetup of people connected by board games. That being said, it was not ideal in terms of SEO or giving the group a unique identity. And yet, Meeples kept coming up over the course of the next month as a starting point for a potential name. Here are some of the Meeple related ideas that we spoke about, or that flashed through my mind but I was too ashamed to share:
- Meeples United
- Meeples NYC
- Meeples of New York
- Board Game Meeples
- Board Game Design Meeples
- Design Meeples
- Independent Meeples Working Non-Independently to Design Board Games in New York City as Meeples
They were all fairly bland. So naturally, we kept thinking of Meeple related names until… today. Today, for some beautiful, mysterious reason, Daniel threw out the name Metro Meeples nearly as soon as we dove back into the maelstrom that is Meeple related name design. Lucky for us, “Metro” jumped out as the better of those two words, and so began the short process of brainstorming board game related “M” words to pair with our new cornerstone of name design. To keep this piece consistent, here are some of those “M” words that we associated with Metro just earlier today:
- Metro Maker
- Metro Mage (this may or may not have been what we decided on…)
- Metro Marker
- Metro Meeples (here as a tribute: thank you Metro Meeples, for ending two months of painful deliberation)
Maker Mage Games
After about a hour of deliberation, and a few messages to the Slack admin channel (while writing this post) to be absolutely certain that Metro Maker Games did not sound too much like a company and too little like a community, we decided on our name: Metro Maker Games.
However, I am a cruel and terrible leader, and a week later I decided that this was not a perfect fit. As people who know me know, I want to start a game company and I want to foster a design community. At first it seemed that these two things could be done separately, but in the end I felt that it would be better for company and the community if they were done together. $20 a year later on a second domain (RIP metromaker.games) and we are officially live on the inter-webs and it feels very good to be here! I should add that it also feels far better to have escaped trying to name a company with what was left of our sanity! Hooray…
Note: The majority of our blog posts going forward will likely focus on design, on our Meetup group’s successes and failures, on individual and group projects we are focusing on and looking to share, but this topic seemed like the right way to kick it off. I imagine you’re thinking, “Ben, what’s so hard about naming a company? Is this really worth such a long, dull, pathetically half-baked blog post?!?!” Me: “Yes, yes it is.” A name might not seem like a big achievement to you. However… you are horribly, irrevocably, outlandishly, mistaken. This name choice allows us to spend our time on the games, on the community, on the infrastructure and processes that matter. Finalizing smaller steps to achieve larger goals is a fundamental part of design. Picking out name will inevitably make this community, Metro
Maker Mage Games, the best board game development community in the North-East and, some day soon, the world.
From Metro Mage Games
Thank you for being a part of this journey with us. We look forward to engaging with each of you and to making this community, and this blog, an oasis of board game development knowledge and pier-to-pier support for years to come. In closing, games are about the people who play them. That is how I, and now now Metro Mage Games, will always start and end the game design process. So comment, email, post, share, shame, hack or laugh at this post and those to come and please let us know what you think a game design community could do for you!