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What Makes a Good Brand Name?

Josh

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In evaluating possible company names I have come up with the following criteria which I used to choose a name for our new game engine.

Spelling and Pronunciation
The name should be unambiguous in spelling. This helps promote word-of-mouth promotion because when someone hears the name for the first time, they can easily find it online. Similarly, the name when read should be unambiguous in pronunciation. This helps the name travel from written to spoken word and back. Can you imagine telling someone else the name of this...establishment...and having them successfully type the name into a web browser?:

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Shorter is Better
Everything else aside, fewer letters is generally better. Here is a very long company name:

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And here is perhaps the shortest software company name in history. Which do you think is better?

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The Name Should "Pop"
A good company or product name will use hard consonants like B, T, K, X, and avoid soft sounding letters like S and F. The way a name sounds can actually influence perception of the brand, aside from the name meaning. The name "Elysium", besides being hard to pronounce and spell, is full of soft consonants that sound weak.

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"Blade Runner", on the other hand, starts with a hard B sound and it just sounds good.

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Communicate Meaning
The name should communicate the nature of the product or company. The name "Uber" doesn't mean anything except "better", which is why the company Uber originally launched as UberCab. Once they got to a certain size it was okay to drop the "cab" suffix, but do you remember the first time you heard of them? You probably thought "what the heck is an Uber?"

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The Leadwerks Brand
So according to our criteria above, the name Leadwerks satisfies the following conditions:

  • The name "pops" and sounds cool.
  • It's not too long.

But here's where it falls short:

  • Ambiguity in spelling (Leadworks?)
  • Ambiguity in pronunciation. Leadwerks is pronounced like Led Zeppelin, but many people read it as "Leed-works".
  • The name doesn't mean anything, even if it sounds cool. It's just a made-up word.

These are the reasons I started thinking about naming the new engine something different.

New Engine, New Name
So with this in mind, I set out to find a new name for the new coming engine. I was stumped until I realized that there are only so many words in the English language, and any good name you come up will invariably have been used previously in some other context, hopefully in another industry or product type. Realizing this gave me more leeway, as I did not have to come up with something completely unique the world has never heard before.

Our early benchmarks indicate the new engine is a performance monster, with incredible results I did not even dream were possible. Together with the rapid development pipeline of Leadwerks, I knew I wanted to focus on speed. Finally, there was one name I kept coming back to for weeks on end. I was able to obtain a suitable domain name. I am now filing a trademark for use of this name, which requires that I begin using it commercially, which is why I am now revealing the name for the first time...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep scrolling. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How does this name stack up?:

  • Unambiguous spelling and pronunciation.
  • It's short.
  • The name "pops".
  • It communicates the defining feature of the product.

Now think about our goals for the new engine's name. Will people have any trouble remembering this name? Is there any ambiguity about what the product stands for, and the promise it makes? If two developers are at a Meetup group and one of them says "I made this with Turbo" is there any doubt what the promise of this product is, i.e. massive performance?

The name even works on a subconscious level. Anyone having trouble with their game performance (in other slow engines that aren't Turbo) will naturally wonder how fast it could be running in ours.

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The fact that the name has a positive emotional response for many people and a strong connection to the game industry is a plus.

Turbo Game Engine is an unambiguous brand name that takes a stand and makes a clear promise of one thing: speed, which is incredibly important in the days of VR and 240 hz screens.

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15 minutes ago, tjheldna said:

TGE = Torque Game Engine =(.

Yeah, we should not call it that. If you want to abbreviate it, just call it "Turbo" for short.

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I must say the first thing I thought when I saw Turbo was Torque and I cringed for a second but got over it. Swift would be a sweet name but stupid Apple took it already for their programming language. 

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I bought the domain name www.turboengine.com a couple months ago. It wasn’t cheap.

US trademark application has been filed.

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I think the shortness of the name will make it stick more. Plus the words 'turbo' and 'engine' fit together really well. 

ps: don't forget to rename the 'Leadwerks 5' backers forum.

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I was thinking, as it is a product created from new TGE, Leadwerks will continue to receive updates?  Or does he die with the birth of Turbo Game Engine?

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I hope the end product of this will take the ease of use of Leadwerks with the speed of Turbo. What I'm saying, please keep the level csg editor, quick asset importing, easy to read API, mutliplat support and all those aspects that made me purchase LE in 2014 or so. 

Also, no disrespect to the artist of the logo, but I found it screaming "riced up Honda Civics" than "very efficient game engine." when I first saw it. I think the gold is nice versus the silver with LE logo so it hints the two are some what related (unless you didn't want that then oops..)

So what is going to become of this site? Will this just be turned into turboengine.com or will LE and Turbo co exist? Will LE become an entry level engine with a lower base price, or maybe consider open source? I hate for LE to be deprechated and/or purged from existence like LE2 was handled. I have your engine to thank for getting me invested more into low level code, and the people I've met and learned from here, but I see it hard the two existing in this point in time. It's engine, you do what makes the most sense. 

Also, is Turbo Game Engine another piece of software from Leadwerks Software, or your company name is changing too? Sorry for all the questions, just curious on where you plan to take things.

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6 hours ago, Josh said:

I bought the domain name www.turboengine.com a couple months ago. It wasn’t cheap.

Does someone else own turbogameengine.com?  You may need to fork over some more money for that one since that would be the actual complete name of the engine.

I'm also curious about reepblue's questions.

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55 minutes ago, martyj said:

Can we upgrade turbo with NOS?

Turbo = Lua
Nos = C++?

I really wouldn't mind if Turbo was just one engine now instead of being segmented.  I suspect it would be simpler for Josh too.

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turbog16.thumb.png.23b955f7e0e7eb1ce0f6f3561af3d36c.png

This was the first thing that came to mind. Along with:

Turbo Tax

Turbo C++

Street Fighter 2 Turbo

A logo plastered on 80s and 90s vehicles

Sounds a little retro IMHO akin to words like 'Deluxe', 'Cyber', and '<insert verb> - O - Matic' (Cyber Deluxe Turb-O-Matic Engine anyone?)

For better or for worse, I'm sure others will subconsciously make these associations as well.

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@CangoJoe I considered that, but there's nothing new under the sun. No other name communicates what I am trying to get across. The play on words with "turbo engine" makes a much stronger statement than just saying "Swift Game Engine", "Rapid Game Engine", or something like that. It communicates power and blasting speed in a much more visceral way. You advertise the product just by saying the name.

@martyj I love DLCs and I love product segmentation. Hehe...Nitrous.

@gamecreator I also own www.turbogameengine.com, which will redirect to the shorter URL.

8 hours ago, reepblue said:

I hope the end product of this will take the ease of use of Leadwerks with the speed of Turbo. What I'm saying, please keep the level csg editor, quick asset importing, easy to read API, mutliplat support and all those aspects that made me purchase LE in 2014 or so.

That's the plan. In fact, I want to improve a bit on the workflow anywhere we can.

8 hours ago, reepblue said:

Also, no disrespect to the artist of the logo, but I found it screaming "riced up Honda Civics" than "very efficient game engine." when I first saw it. I think the gold is nice versus the silver with LE logo so it hints the two are some what related (unless you didn't want that then oops..)

Logo is not necessarily final. I needed something to make the announcement with, though.

8 hours ago, reepblue said:

So what is going to become of this site? Will this just be turned into turboengine.com or will LE and Turbo co exist? Will LE become an entry level engine with a lower base price, or maybe consider open source? I hate for LE to be deprechated and/or purged from existence like LE2 was handled. I have your engine to thank for getting me invested more into low level code, and the people I've met and learned from here, but I see it hard the two existing in this point in time. It's engine, you do what makes the most sense. 

A new website will be built for the new engine (we're probably talking a year away) and eventually the community section of this site will be redirected over there, without losing any data.

Leadwerks 4 will continue to be developed over the next year or two. The product is mature and stable and will continue to be available on Steam, forever. I will never open-source any commercial product I make. Why would I do something so stupid? :D

8 hours ago, reepblue said:

Also, is Turbo Game Engine another piece of software from Leadwerks Software, or your company name is changing too? Sorry for all the questions, just curious on where you plan to take things.

The company might change. I don't know yet.

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Also, this is (a nicer version of) my car (Twin Turbo), so it all makes total sense.

audi-TT-roadster-designboom01.jpg.e47deb5cae690cdb22e35d03a59a34ed.jpg

I pledge to you today that the first $138,000 the new game engine makes will be invested wisely in purchase of a new Audi R8.

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4 hours ago, Josh said:

Leadwerks 4 will continue to be developed over the next year or two. The product is mature and stable and will continue to be available on Steam, forever. I will never open-source any commercial product I make. Why would I do something so stupid? :D

I wrote an entire essay explaining my statement then realized/remembered that Turbo and LE share the same code base. So even if LE bit rota over time, you can't share the code anyway due to it containing turbo code. Sorry. 🙂

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It is intesting to think like this: Leadwerks  was 4.x years old now, "he" has a son, and the son's name is Turbo, next generation of awesomeness! Someday, Leadwerks will be old and pass away but Turbo will live will to make Leadwerks proud. What a story...

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 Maybe some fixes from turbo will arrive in le 4 or external libs upgrades.Anyway really like the new name, i will bash with that name any poor soul i know that are stuck with unity :)

Besides cars, c++, speed this name make me remember turbo cweing gum from the 90s that had cool cars stickers.

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1 hour ago, aiaf said:

 i will bash with that name any poor soul i know that are stuck with unity :)

Yes, that is the idea. :D

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  • Blog Entries

    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 3
      Previously, we saw how the new renderer can combine multiple cameras and even multiple worlds in a single render to combine 3D and 2D graphics. During the process of implementing Z-sorting for multiple layers of transparency, I found that Vulkan does in fact respect rasterization order. That is, objects are in fact drawn in the same order you provide draw calls to a command buffer.
      Furthermore, individual primitives (polygons) are also rendered in the order they are stored in the indice buffer:
      Now if you were making a 2D game with 1000 zombie sprites onscreen you would undoubtedly want to use 3D-in-2D rendering with an orthographic camera. Batching and depth discard would give you much faster performance when the number of objects goes up. However, the 2D aspect of most games is relatively simple, with only a dozen or so 2D sprites making up the user interface. Given that 2D graphics are not normally going to be much of a bottleneck, and that the biggest performance savings we have achieved was in making text a static object, I decided to rework the 2D rendering system into something that was a little simpler to use.
      Sprites are no longer a 3D entity, but are a new type of pure 2D object. They act in a similar way as entities with position, rotation, and scale commands, but they only use 2D coordinates:
      //Create a sprite auto sprite = CreateSprite(world,100,100); //Make blue sprite->SetColor(0,0,1); //Position in upper-left corner of screen sprite->SetPosition(10,10) Sprites have a handle you can set. By default this is in the upper-left corner of the sprite, but you can change it to recenter them. Sprites can also be rotated around the Z axis:
      //Center the handle sprite->SetHandle(0.5,0.5); //Rotation around center sprite->SetRotation(45); SVG vector images are great for 2D drawing and GUIs because they can scale for different display resolutions. We support these as well, with an optional scale value the image can be rasterized at.
      auto sprite = LoadSprite(world, "tiger.svg", 0, 2.0);
      Text is now just another type of sprite:
      auto text = CreateSprite(world, font, L"Hello, how are you today?\nI am fine.", 72, TEXT_LEFT); These sprites are all displayed within the same world as the 3D rendering, so unlike what I previously wrote about...
      You do not have to create extra cameras or worlds just to draw 2D graphics. (If you are doing something advanced then the multi-camera method I previously described is a good option, but you have to have very demanding needs for it to make a difference.) Regular old screen coordinates you are used to will be used (coordinate [0,0] is top-left). By default sprites will be drawn in the order they are created. However, I definitely see a need for additional control here and I am open to ideas. Should there be a sprite order value, a MoveToFront() method, or a system of different layers? I'm not sure yet.
      I'm also not sure how per-camera sprites will be controlled. At this time sprites are stored in a per-world list, but we will want some 2D elements to only appear on some cameras. I am not sure yet how this will be controlled.
      I am going to try to get an update out soon with these features so you can try them out yourself.
    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 11
      Previously I described how multiple cameras can be combined in the new renderer to create an unlimited depth buffer. That discussion lead into multi-world rendering and 2D drawing. Surprisingly, there is a lot of overlap in these features, and it makes sense to solve all of it at one time.
      Old 2D rendering systems are designed around the idea of storing a hierarchy of state changes. The renderer would crawl through the hierarchy and perform commands as it went along, rendering all 2D elements in the order they should appear. It made sense for the design of the first graphics cards, but this style of rendering is really inefficient on modern graphics hardware. Today's hardware works best with batches of objects, using the depth buffer to handle which object appears on top. We don't sort 3D objects back-to-front because it would be monstrously inefficient, so why should 2D graphics be any different?
      We can get much better results if we use the same fast rendering techniques we use for 3D graphics and apply it to 2D shapes. After all, the only difference between 3D and 2D rendering is the shape of the camera projection matrix. For this reason, Turbo Engine will use 2D-in-3D rendering for all 2D drawing. You can render a pure 2D scene by setting the camera projection mode to orthographic, or you can create a second orthographic camera and render it on top of your 3D scene. This has two big implications:
      Performance will be incredibly fast. I predict 100,000 uniquely textured sprites will render pretty much instantaneously. In fact anyone making a 2D PC game who is having trouble with performance will be interested in using Turbo Engine. Advanced 3D effects will be possible that we aren't used to seeing in 2D. For example, lighting works with 2D rendering with no problems, as you can see below. Mixing of 3D and 2D elements will be possible to make inventory systems and other UI items. Particles and other objects can be incorporated into the 2D display.
      The big difference you will need to adjust to is there are no 2D drawing commands. Instead you have persistent objects that use the same system as the 3D rendering.
      Sprites
      The primary 2D element you will work with is the Sprite entity, which works the same as the 3D sprites in Leadwerks 4. Instead of drawing rectangles in the order you want them to appear, you will use the Z position of each entity and let the depth buffer take care of the rest, just like we do with 3D rendering. I also am adding support for animation frames and other features, and these can be used with 2D or 3D rendering.

      Rotation and scaling of sprites is of course trivial. You could even use effects like distance fog! Add a vector joint to each entity to lock the Z axis in the same direction and Newton will transform into a nice 2D physics system.
      Camera Setup
      By default, with a zoom value of 1.0 an orthographic camera maps so that one meter in the world equals one screen pixel. We can position the camera so that world coordinates match screen coordinates, as shown in the image below.
      auto camera = CreateCamera(world); camera->SetProjectionMode(PROJECTION_ORTHOGRAPHIC); camera->SetRange(-1,1); iVec2 screensize = framebuffer->GetSize(); camera->SetPosition(screensize.x * 0.5, -screensize.y * 0.5); Note that unlike screen coordinates in Leadwerks 4, world coordinates point up in the positive direction.

      We can create a sprite and reset its center point to the upper left hand corner of the square like so:
      auto sprite = CreateSprite(world); sprite->mesh->Translate(0.5,-0.5,0); sprite->mesh->Finalize(); sprite->UpdateBounds(); And then we can position the sprite in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and scale it:
      sprite->SetColor(1,0,0); sprite->SetScale(200,50); sprite->SetPosition(10,-10,0);
      This would result in an image something like this, with precise alignment of screen pixels:

      Here's an idea: Remember the opening sequence in Super Metroid on SNES, when the entire world starts tilting back and forth? You could easily do that just by rotating the camera a bit.
      Displaying Text
      Instead of drawing text with a command, you will create a text model. This is a series of rectangles of the correct size with their texture coordinates set to display a letter for each rectangle. You can include a line return character in the text, and it will create a block of multiple lines of text in one object. (I may add support for text made out of polygons at a later time, but it's not a priority right now.)
      shared_ptr<Model> CreateText(shared_ptr<World> world, shared_ptr<Font> font, const std::wstring& text, const int size) The resulting model will have a material with the rasterized text applied to it, shown below with alpha blending disabled so you can see the mesh background. Texture coordinates are used to select each letter, so the font only has to be rasterized once for each size it is used at:

      Every piece of text you display needs to have a model created for it. If you are displaying the framerate or something else that changes frequently, then it makes sense to create a cache of models you use so your game isn't constantly creating new objects. If you wanted, you could modify the vertex colors of a text model to highlight a single word.

      And of course all kinds of spatial transformations are easily achieved.

      Because the text is just a single textured mesh, it will render very fast. This is a big improvement over the DrawText() command in Leadwerks 4, which performs one draw call for each character.
      The font loading command no longer accepts a size. You load the font once and a new image will be rasterized for each text size the engine requests internally:
      auto font = LoadFont("arial.ttf"); auto text = CreateText(foreground, font, "Hello, how are you today?", 18); Combining 2D and 3D
      By using two separate worlds we can control which items the 3D camera draws and which item 2D camera draws: (The foreground camera will be rendered on top of the perspective camera, since it is created after it.) We need to use a second camera so that 2D elements are rendered in a second pass with a fresh new depth buffer.
      //Create main world and camera auto world = CreateWorld(); auto camera = CreateCamera(world); auto scene = LoadScene(world,"start.map"); //Create world for 2D rendering auto foreground = CreateWorld() auto fgcam = CreateCamera(foreground); fgcam->SetProjection(PROJECTION_ORTHOGRAPHIC); fgcam->SetClearMode(CLEAR_DEPTH); fgcam->SetRange(-1,1); auto UI = LoadScene(foreground,"UI.map"); //Combine rendering world->Combine(foreground); while (true) { world->Update(); world->Render(framebuffer); } Overall, this will take more work to set up and get started with than the simple 2D drawing in Leadwerks 4, but the performance and additional control you get are well worth it. This whole approach makes so much sense to me, and I think it will lead to some really cool possibilities.
      As I have explained elsewhere, performance has replaced ease of use as my primary design goal. I like the results I get with this approach because I feel the design decisions are less subjective.
    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 6
      I'm putting together ideas for a racing game template to add to Leadwerks. We already support vehicles. The challenge is to put together that looks and feels slick and professional, like a real game people want to play. The finished demo will be submitted to Greenlight, GameJolt, IndieDB, itch.io, etc.
       
      Gameplay
      First, I wanted to think about what style of racing I want this to be. I don't want street racing because it's kind of boring, and the level design is more involved. I don't want spintires-style technical offroading because it's too specialized. I want some fun medium-paced 4x4 racing like in
      , but modern. 


       
      This single-player game will pit you against seven computer-controlled components. You win by coming in the top three places. A time-trial option will allow you to compare your scores to other players via Steam leaderboards.
       
      The HUD will display a speedometer, your place in the race, current lap, and total and current lap time.
       
      Cars will be 4x4 trucks, identical except with a different texture.
       
      The player can turn headlights on and off, honk their horn, and drive. The transmission will always be automatic.
       
      Pressing the C key will alternate between views, including 3rd person, 3rd person further away, first-person (in-car), and a free third person camera that doesn't rotate with the car.
       
      Checkpoints will be placed throughout the level, with a sound when you pass through.
       
      After the race is complete, a replay will be performed from data recorded during the race, and scores will be shown on the screen.
       
      Environment
      I want the environment to be scrubby arid desert with big dramatic crags in the background.
       

       
      Roads will be painted on with a dirt texture, and decals will be used to add tire tracks sporadically. Decals will fade out at a fairly close distance, as I plan on having lots of them in the map.
       
      The game will allow you to set the time of day and weather. I have not decided if the weather and time of day will change as the race progresses. Time of day includes night, morning, afternoon, and evening.
       
      Weather can also be set, with options for sunny, rainy, and snowy. Snow will use a post-processing effect to add snow on all upwards-facing surfaces. Tire grip will be reduced in snowy and rainy conditions.
       
      The vehicles will throw up a cloud of dirt, mud, water, or other material, based on the primary texture of the terrain where they are contacting. Dirt, water, raindrops, ice, snow, and other effects will hit the camera and remain for a moment before fading.
       
      Screen-space reflection will be showcased heavily on the vehicle bodies.
       
      One song will play for the menu and one for the race. The song will sound something like this at 0:44 because it sounds modern:


       
      Or maybe this:

       
      Scope Limits
      The game is single-player only.
      I'm not going to bother with changes to the terrain or vehicles leaving tread marks.
      There will be no arms visible when the camera is inside the car.
      The environment will be static. There will be no destruction of the environment, and no moving objects or physically interactive items except for the cars.
      I am not going to implement an overhead map.
      I am not going to implement vehicle damage.
      Other than finishing the game GUI, I do not want to implement any new features in Leadwerks to complete this.
      The game will not attempt to be realistic or follow any real-world racing events.
      The race will not portray an audience or people standing around.
      No weapons.

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