Hello guys! I have recently started on my first ever foundry mission that will be the start of a series. I am having trouble coming up with a name for the series. The first mission is titled " The Ultimate Computer", and the series will continue the theme of the first mission. I was thinking along the lines of Star Trek: Frontier or Star Trek: Trial and Error
I'd keep it simple. Only have a single word after Star Trek:.
One thing you can do is if you have something in your series that will make a recurring appearance then you can name it after that. For example in my series, I first just made one mission, but the mission was so ridiculously long that it ended up having to be split up into 3 pieces (and each piece still has a run time of 2+ hours).
Anyway, I digress, the point is, I realized that the Galaxy-X class, U.S.S. Atlas, which served as the command ship of Task Force Odyssey, was going to be a central part of the series, so I just decided to call it Star Trek: Atlas.
So you can look at your own mission/series and see if you can identify anything like that which people will recognize as representing the series.
Writers usually says that both the title and the first phrase of their work require the most time. Even more than the ending.
I can give you some tips my father gave me. He was a published writer (books and comic strip). However, you probably won't know him since he was french. He taught me a good name must be short. Maximum 3 words. Easy to understand words (except for scientific studies or poetry).
Some example : "Star Wars", "Star Trek", "Dune", "Doctor Who", "Iron Man".... There are some exceptions, but they are really few and usually serve a purpose. As you can see, it's usually 1-2 words, and you can go up to 3 ( "Good Morning Vietnam", "The Lord of the Ring"...). Some names are longer because of episodes, IE "Star Trek : First Contact", or "Star Wars : a New Hope". And yet, the episode name in itself is short. You don't want "Star Trek : the Ultimate Computer from Planet Delta" or any long name. Except if you want a ridiculous name on purpose.
Also, as Nagorak mentioned above, you need something symbolic of the whole series/episode. He was right with Atlas. You may also want to give a name for the serie, for example "The Ultimate Computer", and then add an episode name. IE : "The Ultimate Computer : Abort, Retry, Ignore" or "The Ultimate Computer : Illicit Experiment", etc..... I don't know your missions, just giving some hypothetical name. That way people knows it's the same plot. It's also easier to search for an episode.
I'd advise against the "Ultimate Computer". "The Computer" with a capital letter might be better. The capital letter would mean it's an important thing, so it can replace "Ultimate". Ultimate (=important) + capital letter (=important) is redundant. Also Ultimate "close" the story. There is nothing better than something Ultimate. No problems can happen to it, and without problem, no story. It's the answer to every questions (that and 42). I don't know your mission, so I may be wrong, don't take the advice if you think it's fine. It's just some ideas I have about this title.
Also, your mission name should reflect somewhat the content. Humorous name for a "fun" mission, or a dark name, scientific name, serious name.... "Back to the Future" or "Ghostbusters" are good examples. The name are intriguing and a bit funny. Also, it's completely true in the movie.
The example I gave : "Abort, Retry, Ignore" is the kind of humor I'm thinking. Or "Blue Screen". It's not hilarous, and you won't laugh at it, but you may smile. If it's a light joke, it will mean the mission may be serious, but will probably have some funny moments.
You can use more serious name like "Binary Code", or if it's focused on someone/ship/place, just the name of it (like Atlas for Nagorak's mission).
You can also make a title targeting to people's curiosity. Or to people's unconscious. "Twelve Monkeys" is a good example. If you don't know anything about the film, your curiosity will want to know more. Also, reference to the The Last Supper, but with Monkeys instead of Apostles. That's quite shocking by itself.
Or "Gattaca". What's that ? A person, a place ? If you look closely, and knows about it, the letters are the same than the one used for the sequence of nucleotid in the DNA.
I don't know if you've seen both those movies, but it should be enough to makes you curious about them. On a side note, they are awesome sci fi movies, like Blade Runner, but I disgress !
Usually the spectator will have what he expect or want to see. But not every time. Sometimes you want him to feel uneasy, or surprised (example : "A Clockwork Orange" or "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), but you need to be really sure about it, and again, it serve a purpose. Also, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" break the 3 word max rule, on purpose again.
Now, I'll gave you 2 examples, Doctor Who, the famous TV show and my own mission name.
Doctor Who :
The name is surprising, questions are rare as title. But it's also some kind of interjection, and it's intriguing (who say this ?). If you watch the show for the first, you'll probably find it quite surprising, as the main character itself.
The "Who" mean this person is unclear, a lot of uncertainty about him. The capital letter mean it's his name, which is, again, intriguing.
Doctor is reassuring. You obviously think about a medical person. Someone who help people and save life. Doctor also mean he is instructed, clever. In some people unconscious, it also imply old (long studies).
Later if you watch the show, you see everything you though was true. The question "who is he ?" is never really answered, but asked a lot of time. His past, and even his name is unknown to the spectator (->Who). He is often called "Who ?" from people, because they wonder who he is. He is a genious, and act as a protector (->Doctor). Finally, he is old, very old (->Doctor), and intriguing, as the show by itself (sometimes serious, scary, sad or funny).
In 2 simple words, you defined the main character, and the show.
Now, my mission name. Translated, it's "The Omega Triangle". It "sound" better in french than in english, so don't mind the sonority.
As you can see, short name.
The name is a reference to the Bermuda Triangle. Omega sound like a secret, a code name, and something unknown. Probably related to science. Triangle is also related to science (geometry, maths).
If you play the mission, the mission is about something like the Bermuda Triangle in space, and you "disappear" inside. The place where you start, is called the Omega Nebula (->Omega). You face the unknown, but in the end, everything is explained by science (->Omega + Triangle), and the myth is broken. As you can see, the title was true all along, and the spectator have what he expect to see.
I don't know if it worked the way I wanted to, and maybe I completely failed, but you have the idea behind the title.
My next mission is called (translated again) "The Escapee", which is the french name for "The Shawshank Redemption" movie. It's about your own prison break. Also, there is a rather dark setting (like in the movie).
I don't know if anyone will go through the the wall of text, or even understand what I said, but I hope this will help people searching for a title !