Why we called our game Albion

Some time in 1994 we (the Albion team) were thinking of a name for our new role-playing game. We knew it would involve Celtic culture somehow. As well as spaceships and aliens, of course.

Some of my personal criteria for game titles were:

  • It’s nice when a game’s title starts with an “a”, because then the game shows up at the top of alphabetized lists.
  • It’s nice when the game’s title is not truncated by the operating system. Albion was a DOS game, so it’s nice to have a name of eight characters or less.

However. Albion started off as an Amiga game, and Amiga’s operating system allowed longer filenames than DOS. So either we came up with the name after we made the decision to switch to DOS (because Commodore had gone bankrupt), or we were just lucky in this regard.

So someone, maybe me, came up with “Albion”. We didn’t know what it meant, but we knew it sounded vaguely Celtic. As this was before we could have looked this up on Wikipedia or Google, we had no idea Albion meant England… In retrospect it’s a weird name that creates associations that have nothing to do with the game. This is probably how Japanese developers pick names all the time.

Anyway, that’s how we came up with the name.

Comments 5

  1. Oliver Reischl wrote:

    Oh,… Wow, i’m embarrassed now that i didn’t know you worked on Amberstar, Ambermoon and Albion. I played Amberstar some (as i had to wait ages for the PC-version!), but a friend of mine is a big fan of all three of them. Take my honest apology for my ignorance ;)

    Posted 22 Feb 2013 at 23:05
  2. Jurie wrote:

    Ha, no problem at all :) I thought the PC version came out at about the same time as the ST version, or a bit after? The Amiga version definitely came later, and was a bit problematic.

    Posted 23 Feb 2013 at 16:14
  3. Konstantinos wrote:

    Hi Jurie. Wow where do I start. I got my first pc around 95, and at the time, the way to find out about games were the pc games magazines and the occasional demo cd’s they came with. From the moment I played the Albion demo I absolutely loved it! A year went by and I finally acquired the full game. And there are not many instances that I’ve bought an original game copy, that says a lot :) I think what got me hooked on Albion was that the visuals and gameplay really worked. I mean, when right clicking yielded the manipulate option, I was filled with excitement and satisfaction at what I would acquire. Strange huh? But after a lot of rpg playing, I would say it is quite an important trait for a game to have. I remember being stuck at the Druids basement, having missed the dialog that you should press some tiles in the shape of a cross :) I think I got unstuck by re-playing the whole thing from the start! All in all, a great world to explore, great way to level up and step by step not fearing the enemies. Why do I write all this? Well because I never had the chance to THANK you for one of the most beautiful experiences in gaming…If a sequel were ever to be released I woud jump up and down with joy!

    Posted 09 Mar 2013 at 14:34
  4. David wrote:

    Hi Jurie! :)

    First of all, I like your blog so much, because it’s interesting to read about your thoughts regarding to different topics – especially the computer games industry.

    But back to topic. I couldn’t help grining because you chose the name Albion just because of the reasons given above. I always thought there was a hidden agenda or something like that because the whole game was very sophisticated. :D

    PS: I’m the same David who commented on the following interview of you. Btw I’ve heard that you are in contact with a friend of mine named Enrico (aka Morphesus). :>

    http://www.in-ga.me/entwickler-im-portrat-jurie-horneman/

    Very best wishes
    David

    Posted 12 Mar 2013 at 21:49
  5. Jurie wrote:

    Argh yes, I owe Enrico an answer. I haven’t forgotten! Thanks for the kind words.

    Posted 13 Mar 2013 at 12:27

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  1. From Intelligent Artifice - On Albion And Avatar on 02 Jul 2013 at 15:23

    [...] those Celts: I’ve explained earlier why we named our game Albion. We had a Celtic dictionary and a book on Celtic myth and that was pretty much it in terms of [...]