Axiom Verge, Canabalt, Project Zomboid, and more - the secrets behind how creators name their games

Sometimes it's easy to tell where a game gets its title. The Witcher is based on a series of books known as 'The Witcher Saga.' Meanwhile, 'Halo' is both the name of the series and one of the most important objects in said series. But not every game name is so clear cut. So Mike Rose, founder of publisher No More Robots, asked devs to share their stories on how they came up with their respective titles.

Some devs put a lot of thought and heart into their games. Mikael Forslind said that his project, Alwa's Awakening, was named for his grandmother (Alva) and the alliteration made it easy to say and remember:

But plenty of others simply stuck with a working title, either for simplicity's sake, because people remembered it best, or (as was the case with Project Zomboid), the public started getting hyped before an official name had been decided.

Lots of other devs simply wanted to clear the hurdle of legality. Civilization: Beyond Earth lead designer Will Miller said it was a simple matter of getting the green light from 2K's legal team. Overcooked was originally going to be called 'Too Many Cooks,' but... well, if you don't already know the Adult Swim comedy sketch by the same name, take some time today and watch.

It turns out not even Disney money can buy you the rights to the name 'Just Add Water.'

Personally, my favorite stories are about Axiom Verge and Canabalt. Axiom Verge creator Tom Happ said that his game's name is basically the result of random chance thanks to the use of a random name generator, while Canabalt originated with a young child's mispronunciation of the word 'catapult.'

There are plenty more interesting answers in the Twitter thread - go take a peek and see if your favorite is listed!

Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.