What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Written by: Calvin Kammer

Why are we called Griffin Games Studio?

It started with another business that Kiara and I are starting up, Griffin Games Fresno. This is a brick and mortar specialty board game shop that I want to be a destination for board game players in my region.

With my partner’s experience with making impressive sets, creating a jaw-dropping medieval fantasy inspired tavern sounds both cool and achievable. Our past with escape rooms makes us think a friendly local game store (FLGS)with a cool set would do well. It's always been a goal of ours to share our love of board games with our community, and we think there is a big opportunity for a brick and mortar storefront.

And if it doesn’t at least I will have a dope background to play Dungeons and Dragons in!

Griffin Game Studio is effectively the in-house brand of board games that we will eventually offer. I’ve never seen a FLGS that has an in-house game brand, no idea what to expect! Other than sharing some founders, the only connection the studio will have with the game  store will be to sell our games in that storefront.

If they aren’t necessarily associated together, why give them similar names?

In short, I’m in love with the name and branding. In long, I’m terrible at creating original names after finding one I like.

It will probably be confusing for some players, but hopefully clearly labeling will differentiate Griffin Games Fresno from Griffin Games Studio.


Why Griffin specifically and how did we come with the name?

  1. It’s a family name
  2. It’s a cool family name

In DnD we always went to a tavern called the Bloated Toad. It';s a classic watering hole where anything can happen, and most of my Dungeons and Dragons campaigns visited the Bloated Toad at least once. I love how it rolls of the tongue, and is a slight nod towards the Prancing Pony. Love Bloated Toad… But it doesn’t have a great connotation! This would not do for a FLGS! (I also love the Winking Kobold, but in my experience, non-DnD players aren’t familiar with Kobolds!)


The Wyvern  Cavern Tavern was a name we laughed at, maybe it makes an appearance in a game or two. 

Kiara and I readjusted our goals for the name and found we wanted something with class and style which would clearly depicted our business.

Originally we were planning for Dragon’s Horde. Dragon’s horde valuables, and certainly the games we sell would be valuable! Creating a life-sized Smaug (or maybe not life-sized) mount to hang over the fireplace... Games lining the walls from floor to ceiling... We could see it all! Except, there was a problem.

In town there was a business with too similar, but not the same, name. Even though they have nothing to do with board and card games, it’s in our best interest to find something new entirely. It also doesn’t have “game” in the name, and with my experience with search engine optimization (SEO) that would hurt us in the long run if we both competed for "Dragon Fresno".

Well, if it couldn’t be a dragon, the most iconic fantasy monster ever, there must be something else that works. Chtulhu would be cool, but so edgy I doubt many casual gamers in Fresno would enjoy the theming. We started to run out of creative steam until it finally came to us.

That’s when Kiara and I thought of her grandfather's family name… Griffin. The noble and intelligent creature of myths and legends sounded like the perfect theming/mascot for us. The fact that there was a family connection solidified the decision immediately! I think the name will take us far, only time will tell how far we will soar!


Thanks for reading! If you found this to be engaging please engage in the conversation by commenting or sharing this post. I'm always open to feedback, and am looking forward to continuing expanding on Blurbs from the Bloated Toad. -Calvin

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