Phylomon

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What's in a name?

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1 What's in a name? on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:36 am

The name "Phylomon" is a fairly obvious reference to Pokemon. As such, it is likely to evoke comparisons to, and associations with, Pokemon. The question is, how accurate will those associations be? Pokemon is all about the inter-monster fighting; anybody who comes to Phylomon expecting that, is likely to be disappointed. Not good. Thus, it might be a good idea to at least consider some alternative names for the project. I'll start the ball rolling with the first candidate:
Phylogen.
Being "phylogeny" without the terminal "y", Phylogen is an appropriatey science-y term -- and it's biological science-y, which is a bonus. And the suffix "-gen" means "producer of", which is also appropriate.
Now you guys talk amongst yourselves...



Last edited by Cubist on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:38 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling correction)

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2 Re: What's in a name? on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:50 am

I think the appeal of the name Phylomon is that it references Pokemon. This game is meant for younger kids (the same age as the range of Pokemon players), so even though the gameplay isn't exactly the same, there are similarities which I think the players would be able to pick up:

eg.

In Pokemon, each "monster" has different attributes that allows it to defend/attack, same for real organisms.

Each monster/organism has a "type:" ground, water, air (well, not fire...unless you count the mythical salamander :p)

Phylomon does a pretty good job of representing the game, IMHO. Very Happy

In fact, this game is kind of a "transition" from understanding the intricacies of the pokemon world and applying that to organisms in real life.

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3 Re: What's in a name? on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:18 am

Well, other games/shows/series have gotten away with their own endings. I think there are a couple that end in -bot, for example.

The beauty of that sort of name is that you can then refer to each individual as a "bot," as in "I've got three grass type bots!" or "My monster bot can beat any of your wussy pirate bots." The title of the game lends itself to becoming a generalized term/ category name.

I would propose "Phylozoans," but that would be horribly animal-centric of me. "Phylotphytans" is likewise out. It's also out because "Phylophyta" sounds too much like "Phylo fighter," and we all agree this isn't about fighting!

"Phylobiota" might be a bit of a mouthful, but then you could call each card a "biotan" and make Latin professors everywhere cringe! Razz

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4 Re: What's in a name? on Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:33 pm

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with Cory Doctorow (of boingboing fame) about the phylomon project, and one of the things he advised against was sticking with the name "phylomon." Not so much because it's not a great name, but from a trademark point of view, it could lead to problems down the road.

This came up, because I actually asked about the merits of not being concerned about the TCG patent, or hasbro's trademark protection (i.e. can we get a mini "streisand effect" for publicity's sake?), but Cory was saying that it's a little risky and these things if they go sour, can at the very least be a massive time suck.

Cory also mentioned that he thought chances would be that Hasbro wouldn't actually have a problem with "phylomon" (because it's educational and all that), but that if it did get very popular, they might go after it simply because it sets a precedent that could lead to genercide (i.e. let's say someone sets up a "pornamon", then if "phylomon" is allowed to exist, it make protecting trademarks more difficult).

Anyway, with all this in mind, and the comments in this thread, I'm thinking the simplest root is to simply call the game "phylo" but stick with using the term "phylomon" almost like an affectionate vernacular. More than anything else, this means I can change URLs, and in the press we can still fall well within trademark problems.

FYI, I've registered http://phylogame.org and phylogame.com

And, with all of this copyright stuff being really interesting and all, you should check out this really great TEDtalk that was recently released (http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/771)

Anyway, take home point, how does (dum dum dum) PHYLO! sound?

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5 Re: What's in a name? on Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:17 pm

This copyright and trademark stuff seems so silly. Maybe too much lawyering is bad for the world! Anyway, good advice to save from problems later on. Phylo seems to have a nice enough ring to it (although phylomon still sounds cooler!)

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6 Re: What's in a name? on Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:44 pm

I think it's important to have one more syllable in there, just for the way it helps roll off the tongue.

"Phylo" leaves you hanging a little bit in a way that "Phylomon" didn't.

"Phylogen" was closer to a good answer.

Possibly "Phyloma".

"Phylodin" "Phylojin" (looks foreign and thereby cool), "Phylokin" ("kin" can be family or "kind," could even imply "kindred" which is a generally cool word)

Throwing in a random Japanese (or other culture) suffix might do the job fine (-kun, -pin, etc.)


Just some ideas.

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7 Re: What's in a name? on Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:47 pm

sweetbreads19 wrote:I think it's important to have one more syllable in there, just for the way it helps roll off the tongue.

"Phylo" leaves you hanging a little bit in a way that "Phylomon" didn't.

"Phylogen" was closer to a good answer.

Possibly "Phyloma".

"Phylodin" "Phylojin" (looks foreign and thereby cool), "Phylokin" ("kin" can be family or "kind," could even imply "kindred" which is a generally cool word)

Throwing in a random Japanese (or other culture) suffix might do the job fine (-kun, -pin, etc.)


Just some ideas.

Phylokins would be a REALLY cute name to call creatures. Phylokin would then be the name of the whole game.

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8 Re: What's in a name? on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:43 am

Right now, we're still loving the name "phylomon" (it was afterall created by a large group of kids), and to be honest, I hope the project gets continued to be called that. The move to "Phylo" with maybe the tag line "The Trading Card Game" (or something like that) is more about evading possible trademark issues.

In other words, in the general vernacular, I'm really hoping the project remains known as "Phylomon" but having "phylo" as the official branding will prevent us from getting in trouble down the road.

i.e. keep calling it phylomon this and phylomon that! (like a codename or a term of endearment!)

So... although having it called phylo-something is a cool idea, the fear is that we'll totally lose recognition of the "phylomon" title.

Anyway, let's play by ear - the nice thing with "phylo" is that it's easier to change down the road than say committing to phylokins and then finding out something doesn't work about it.

Also have to say that I'm totally loving the dialogue today. This is awesome!

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