Friday, September 17, 2010

On Portaball name

There is no denial that Portaball is inspired by Valve's Portal. As a matter of fact the development codename for Portaball was... Portals. Just a placeholder, nonetheless I would have been more than pleased to release final product under this name.

The problem is, Portal is trademarked. It's not much of rocket science to understand that branding product in similar branch would definitely be copyright infringement. Sure, should I ever create an actual teleportation device, Portal name would be more than appropriate. However, since original application contains phrases like 'Electronic game software' or 'Video game software' it doesn't require a law degree to acknowledge that Portals name is bad idea.

Having faced the problem I made a list of hypothetical titles. I'm not going to publish the whole set, just be aware that there were some names I wasn't exactly proud of (Portalino). Some were going too far away from the heritage of Valve's game or were just lame (Teleporters). Then Portaball popped into my mind.

At first I wasn't exactly pleased. I spent some time analyzing it and I became aware of how comprehensive it is. Here's the list of my conclusions:

  • it resembles the idea of teleportation and portals in acceptable manner
  • it contains word ball, which obviously is one of game's main elements
  • it can be separated into 'port a ball' which implies that one can teleport a ball 
  • it's similar to word portable, thus magnifying the intention of ball's mobility

All in all, I realized Portaball is not that bad after all. My only concern is if it's catchy enough. Still, its uniqueness and diversity make it worth.

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