Things pootled along quite nicely for a while. We spent most days working together at mine, or at the British Library. Joe was writing new software to make the game run more smoothly, and I was designing characters, writing dialogue for the main level, and creating code puzzle levels with some help from my brother, Sunil. Leonie was illustrating everything on her mac and doing the animation, and we were all researching more games. Check out ‘Rush Hour’ by Antonia Jade Heslop - any game where you get to ride off into the sunset on a Boris bike with Boris, is a work of genius.
So it was all good.. except that we were being asked what our company was called, and we still didn’t have a name. How hard could it be? Incredibly difficult as it turns out. Also, I think you can accurately measure someone’s level of sanity by their suggestions for company names... and we qualify as mentally unsound. We started off unafraid, having fun over a bottle of wine. It was just me and Joe at the time - we fully expected to have a name by the end of that evening.
We started with wondering what we stood for, as a company - trying to think long-term as well as what we were working on. We make games with a purpose. Right. So... Hackable... Cardboardium... Microsoup... we became more and more desperate until we ended up with ‘Shizzle’. Hmm.. maybe we should have gone with white wine, instead of red. My sister and her friend Chris’s contributions were Polar Toad and Forever Pear Jelly, which I quite liked, although perhaps more as a band name.
Next, we decided to ditch the idea of integrating what we stood for - and go with something more irreverent. This tactic was inspired by the Chinese restaurant next door 'New Cultural Revolution'. The mysteriously bad translation had always intrigued us - what did it mean? What does it have to do with their Chinese food? But the fact remained - it was unforgettable.
We agreed that bizarre = funny and Joe suggested creating an online generator, by making lists of words. We didn’t go with any of them, but our favourites were:
- We Make Interweb
- We Ponder Breadsticks
- We Fight Synergy
- They Transmute Unity
- I Draw Potatoes
After GeneratorGate, we had some pixelly names that we loved, but were unfortunately taken:
Pixel Yarn, Pixel Party, Pixel Noir, Wildepixels
Then we got really frustrated and creatively blocked, resulting in sentences such as this:
Spinach. Algebra. Algorithm. Algorithmic spinach. Fruitface.
Then we made a final shortlist, which looked like this:
- Ponyhead Studios
- Curly Bracket
- Wizard Unit
- Rainbow Steed
- Unicorn Joust
A day after designing a logo for Unicorn Joust, we ended up changing our minds and going with the name Drum Roll. We also made up names for our business cards - I was Chief Scribbler, Joe was Chief Button Presser, and Leonie was Chief Pixel Wizard.