Naming the September Content Update
In September, Natural Selection 2 will be receiving a new ‘content update.’ Like the Gorgeous Update before it, this update will include new content, features, and improvements. The biggest features are Biodome, a luscious and unique new map (See screenshots in the May and June SoD posts) , the female marine, and (fingers crossed) Linux support.
Gorgeous was a great name for an update. It captured the ‘Gorge-centric’ nature of many of the features, and referenced the graphical improvements made to Spark. This time around, we want to use another awesome name.
A name is important. It gives a focal point from which to promote the update. It makes it much easier to get press attention. It allows us to give a ‘character’ to the content, and weave a narrative around the work that has gone into it.
So far, the UWE office has not settled on a name. We had a vote last week, and all five of these suggestions got almost the same number of votes:
What do you think of these names? Can you suggest a better one? The search for a name is complicated by what this update will represent. As Natural Selection 2 players, you all have a good idea of what has gone into the game since Gorgeous. The performance increases, balance improvements, system enhancements – All the little things that go into normal builds.
The wider gaming world, and less frequent NS2 players, they have no idea about any of these things. If they do know about Gorgeous, they might have only a vague sense that there have been normal build updates since. That’ is the natural result of our open, continuous development process. We don’t hold back features or improvements. But it doesn’t work too well for getting the word out!
So this update, this update that you could name right now, it will be billed as including everything since Gorgeous. LuaJIT, BalanceMod, new Docking, all of these changes are already public. They will not be new when the September update is released. But they will be included in the promotion of that update, as the culmination of the work since we last shouted to the world that NS2 had become more gorgeous.
When thinking about names, brevity and intrigue are key. The shorter the word, the better – two or three syllables is best. Any more and the word starts to be tricky to fit in headings, on banners, and upon the tongue. Is the word unique? Does it arouse interest and emotion? Does it sound a little weird, or quirky? Is it perhaps not a word you would hear every day, or if it is, is it being taken a little way out of context (as ‘Gorgeous’ was)?
Natural Selection 2 players, this update will be yours soon. What would you name it?