The name of the game is 'Seven Voyages of Zylarthen'.
It's a relatively long, unwieldy and frankly, odd name as these things go, and has thus been abbreviated in at least four ways. More on that in a moment. But first a bit of background:
I publicly released the game on Christmas Eve, 2013. The game was more than two years in the making. As I've said before, I'm slow. But the name came to me in a sort of flash only shortly before. Here were some of my earlier ideas:
- More Things in Heaven and Earth (this was when the game was more 16th/17th century in tone, hence the Shakespeare reference)
- Coat of Mail
- Original Swords & Sorcery (this was both boring and risked confusion with Swords & Wizardry, among others)
So why did I instantly like 'Seven Voyages of Zylarthen' and decide to go with it?
- The other names sucked for my eventual purpose.
- It was a tribute to the first named character in OD&D--Xylarthen, the character who 'would have progressed faster as a Cleric, but because of a personal preference for magic, opted for that class' Men & Magic, p. 10. At least one other author riffed on this character--Jeff Rients in his neat convention module, Under Xylarthen's Tower (never offered commercially). I was feeling so righteous at that time that I considered naming the game using the actual name with the 'X' and everything. Sue me WOTC! Then I saw reason (and morality and legality) and decided I had to modify it. I'm glad I did.
- It was different. It hopefully made the game stand out from the pack.
- It was alternately memorable and hard to remember, if that makes sense.
- Along with the 'Seven Voyages' it referenced Aladdin and the tone of sort of fairytale wonder that I was going for, and that the illustrations by John Dickson Batten (perhaps the best thing about my humble effort) promoted.
Why am I now even more happy with it?
- I just like it.
- It's different.
- It's memorable or at least gets people talking about how to say it or pronounce it.
- If you google 'Zylarthen' you get only my game with a few minor exceptions: Jeff's module ('Did you mean Xylarthen?') and some video game discussion concerning a character named 'Zylar' who THEN did something or some such. I think there's also something going on in Hungarian. If you include the quotes around it, you obviously avoid these. This has helped me monetize things immensely to the point where I am now living in high style out of the proceeds from my game.*
But now the question is, how do you abbreviate it?
Swords & Wizardry is S&W. Lamentations of the Flame Princess is LOTFP. Original Dungeons and Dragons is, well, you know...
In private and public correspondence I usually refer to it as 'Zylarthen' (I feel a fellowship with that guy) but I've noticed that most other people do not do this. The alternative versions are:
- Seven Voyages
So the question is, what do you guys think? The alternatives are:
- Seven Voyages
- Other (Spalding's Folly, that weird free PDF game, or any other possibility...)
- 'Withdraw it from circulation. I'm a 5E man' or 'Withdraw it from circulation, clones are so 2009' etc.
So, here's the contest. Comment on my blog as to your preference. I can't say I'll listen if 6. wins, but I will applaud you for your opinion in the spirit of openness and tolerance.
They must be on my blog. Not merely Google+.
If I get 50 comments or votes, I'll send a free set of Seven Voyages of Zylarthen hardcopy booklets out to a randomly selected entrant. If you already have it, I'll send you the the hardcopy Lulu version of Stonehell, Swords & Wizardry Whitebox or Anomalous Subsurface Environment.
If you have all of those, then you're golden, and I'll be asking you to sponsor me and my family with a monthly donation...
Full disclosure: I've never received 50+ comments on my blog. I've gotten 20+ a number of times in reference to the mathematics of Orc evolution or monotheism, etc. But never 50+.
So, it's perhaps a tall order, but I'm serious about it. 50+ votes or bust. Hey, I'm risking major embarrassment here if I only get 2 comments. Let's give it, say a week.
May the best abbreviation win!
Cheers and thank you in advance.
*Spalding is lying.