How Sea of Thieves earned its name!

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    Hi Rare. I was thinking. When before i was born i was originally going to be named Rhys. But instead my parents decided to name me Ryan... i sometimes wonder how weird it would have been to have a different name then the one i am so used to...

    Sea of thieves is such an awesome and creative name for a legendary pirate game. But i was wondering what process you went through to eventually come up with that name, and what else this game could have been called where sea of thieves eves not suggested?

  • 1

    Yeah that would be interesting! I remember the Nintendo Gamecube was called the Dolphin I think before release. I got so used to it being called the Dolphin that when they announced it was to be called the Nintendo Game Cube I was disgusted for a short while pondering why they didn't just call it the Fun Box. :)

  • 2

    Yeah, Rare tell us the story behind that name.

  • 10

    Love this kind of stuff. Good question! Kind of related, but if you didn't know, the codename for Sea of Thieves was Athena during early development.

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    @IOnEI-Falcon Athena, why Athena? What connection could that possibly have, or was it just like, hey lets code name this Athena, cause it sounds cool and kinda mysterious.

  • 4

    @MarsPaxus Athena is the goddess of wisdom, arts, craft and war...so take your pick as to which of those is applicable to game development and a video game set around pirates. It could also be that Rare just likes to codename their projects using Greek mythology.

    @Mi6-x-NeRo Would you stop changing your avatar icon already! One would think you're trying to confuse us older members with the constant switching. You're already a marked man and no amount of icon slight of hand will change that.

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    @Mi6-x-NeRo Great question mate! Will be interested to see if Rare responds :D

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    @Daimyo-DoriMa sorry mate. Mi6 official regulations require me to change my oicture every two weeks. To avoid detection...

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    @opticalmatrix @JoeNineTee

  • 22

    Haha, wow, good question. We spent about a year trying to figure out what to call the bloody thing. Honestly, it's harder than you think, especially when you're used to calling it one thing for so long - i.e. Athena.
    We tried multiple different approaches to this, from team suggestions on a whiteboard, to working with one of the marketing teams within Microsoft to source suggestions, and ended up with a shortlist of five names. Sea Of Thieves was my favourite from that list, and we ran them all past the legal team and the other four were vetoed for various boring legal reasons and Sea Of Thieves was the only one left, so I was in a happy place :-) I would have fought for it whatever the results, but that made it that little bit easier.

    Some of the team suggestions were hilarious:

    • What's Kraken
    • Sea ++ (a personal favourite)
    • The Rumming Man

    and of course, we came up with stupid acronym ones too:

    • Awesome Roving Sea Encounters
  • 6

    @JoeNineTee typical british approach then. What was wrong with Battle Seamen?!

    Thanks for sharing though Joe! I didnt consider legal issues when choosing a name. Although i love the name Sea of Pikeys! (is that allowed?)

    Why was it originally codenamed Athena if i may ask?

  • 14

    @Mi6-x-NeRo said in Question to Rare Developers regarding the game title:

    @JoeNineTee typical british approach then. What was wrong with Battle Seamen?!

    Thanks for sharing though Joe! I didnt consider legal issues when choosing a name. Although i love the name Sea of Pikeys! (is that allowed?)

    Why was it originally codenamed Athena if i may ask?

    The main reason for choosing any codename is that if someone hears it, they have to have no idea what it is :-) - but I always liked this line from the wikipedia entry for Athena:
    "She is noted to have only fought for just reasons, and would not fight without a purpose" - which was one of our original aspirations for the game. As we move and evolve the game forwards, we want to add reasons/motivations that whenever you encounter another ship, you don't always fight (which aren't really present yet).
    We actually picked the codename prior to landing on pirates as the theme, but we always had that aspiration for the experience. The first ever powerpoint we put together for the game was called 'Players Creating Stories Together' as that was the thinking behind the game, before anything else, but pirates was the perfect theme for it.
    Interesting fact: in that original deck, we actually referenced fun stories from a bunch of other games including this one:

    We just loved watching people have great stories from games based on the mechanics that were available to them, and then encounters with other players.

  • 5

    @JoeNineTee so litterally the core princibles. The foundations of the game is the idea of Creating stories with your mates.

    Thats epic, had no idea it was built like that and is super interesting to get a view into the initial conception of the game itself. Not the development as such. More the pen and paper, mind to matter stuff. Thanks for sharing Joe. Appreciate it.

    Maybe when we get to release stage. We could do a "look back" to significant stages of the design and build process. Like important ideas and desitions

  • 9

    @Mi6-x-NeRo said in Question to Rare Developers regarding the game title:

    @JoeNineTee so litterally the core princibles. The foundations of the game is the idea of Creating stories with your mates.

    Thats epic, had no idea it was built like that and is super interasting to get a view into the initial conception of the game itself. Not the development as such. Much the pen and paper mind to matter stuff. Thanks for sharing Joe. Appreciate it.

    Maybe when we get to release stage. We could do a "look back" to significant stages of the design and build process. Like important ideas and desitions

    honestly, in the future i'd love to put together a talk for somewhere appropriate (GDC, maybe, or ComicCon) on that very topic. How we came up with the idea/project, the phases it went through to get to where the game is now etc. Would be a lot of fun!

  • 4

    @JoeNineTee maybe a special edition tavern talk recap. The final one before release! Another similar question i have is.

    Have any forum members suggestions or ideas effected desitions made in the design process?

  • 4

    @JoeNineTee said in Question to Rare Developers regarding the game title:

    @Mi6-x-NeRo said in Question to Rare Developers regarding the game title:

    "She is noted to have only fought for just reasons, and would not fight without a purpose" - which was one of our original aspirations for the game. As we move and evolve the game forwards, we want to add reasons/motivations that whenever you encounter another ship, you don't always fight (which aren't really present yet).
    The first ever powerpoint we put together for the game was called 'Players Creating Stories Together' as that was the thinking behind the game, before anything else, but pirates was the perfect theme for it.

    It's really interesting to be able to read about the premise behind a game, exciting too, especially when that tallies with the sort of game you're hoping to play.

    Pirates is such a great theme - you have the genuine pirates, ruthless and villified by their society, with one or two rough diamonds in there like Bart Roberts, Drake, Sharp and Henry Morgan and then you have the fictional romanticised versions. it covers a broad spectrum of...hero types or play styles even.

    I like the idea that there might be a certain nobility or perhaps integrity, to the Thieves in the Sea of Thieves and being given the tools and opportunity to make our own stories and legends while we play the game and enjoy the world.

  • 5

    @JoeNineTee I think "Players Creating Stories Together" is one of the best motivations for a game that I have ever heard. Other companies pull this off at times, but which one of them lets you do it as bloody pirates!

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    @Mi6-x-NeRo said in Question to Rare Developers regarding the game title:

    @JoeNineTee maybe a special edition tavern talk recap. The final one before release! Another similar question i have is.

    Have any forum members suggestions or ideas effected desitions made in the design process?

    I believe a video in the future will speak to how we're incorporating player feedback/ideas into our production process, so I won't spoil that too much here :-)
    However, I think it's fair to say that prior to having people play, we've been definitely keeping an eye on the most talked about topics, what people feel strongly about, and have let that feed into our roadmap thinking, but what i'm most excited about is when we have people play so we can get their feedback on actual mechanics, and the experience all up - because we can make meaningful changes directly thanks to that.
    Once bit of info I can let slip: we do meet on a weekly basis to discuss top feedback points, speculation topics, suggestions etc. @OpticalMatrix has his work cut out to keep up with everything you lot talk about!

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    @JoeNineTee i wasnt aware you guys had forum meetings! Cheers for all your answers Joe!

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    At least you didn't run with All A'Bored.

  • 3

    Changed the title from "Question to Rare Developers regarding the game title" to make it clearer that there is interesting information in this thread

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