Saturday, January 7, 2012

What's In A Name?

So, what's with the name "Fahrfall"?  I know you were wondering! :-)

Something About A Fall

The inspiration for Fahrfall is a game called DOWNFALL.  That is a cool name for a cool game!  But this is a different game, and a different game needs a different name!  Any name involving "Goes Down" is out for similar reasons -- see the Prologue entry of this blog if you need a reminder as to why.

Still, the premise of the game is falling.  In fact, I originally used "falling" as a working title.  But "falling" just didn't seem to have the right ring to it.

That Sure Is A Long Fall

I brainstormed for a while for a theme, and kept coming back to ideas about falling a long way.  I started to settle on "farfall", which seemed like a reasonable choice.  I Googled a bit, and found enough references to suggest that "farfall" has a certain lack of uniqueness.  In any case, it just wasn't turning me on.

Meine Deutsche Ist Nicht Gut

At some point, it occured to me that "far" sounds a bit like the German "fahr".  A vague memory from an old Volkswagen commercial suggested to me that "fahr" might relate to driving, and a hunch suggested to me that "fall" might have a similar meaning in German as it does in English.  German is notorious for its compound words, so I thought this might be a way to make something with at least a tenuous connection to a reasonable meaning but that retains some uniqueness.

I Googled a bit for "fahrfall" and some likely(?) German variations like "fahrenfall", "fahrfallen", "fahrenfallen", etc.  I ran into a few references, but nothing that seemed to have a consistent meaning -- it seemed like "fahrfall" might be used a bit like slang, with various links to roads, driving, running, falling, etc.  I pinged some native Germans and they more-or-less agreed with my interpretation -- one called it a "Denglish" word, which I suppose is the German equivalent to "Spanglish". :-)

A Name Is Born

So, "Fahrfall" doesn't really mean anything.  Yet, it invokes a relationship to "driving" and "falling" (and maybe a few other things).  Since the premise of the game is to control (i.e. drive) a fall, the name seems appropriate to me.

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