Zombie Cow Is Dead: It’s Size Five Games

By John Walker on May 20th, 2011 at 1:57 pm.

Much more mature.

In a rather peculiar move, Zombie Cow – the indie developers behind the brilliant Ben There, Dan That, and Time Gentlemen, Please – have changed their name. No longer are they post-bovine, and have now become Size Five Games. Why? I’m not sure even they know why. Something about “Zombie Cow” being embarrassing to say in business situations. Well, I recommend trying to be “Rock, Paper, Shotgun” in a meeting with accountants. But Dan Marshall, the main man behind the name, has always hated it. And now he has the far more official sounding title, would everyone mind awfully rewriting their memories such that it was always the case? I think he’d prefer that. It also seems they’re quite close to announcing a new game, which is rather spiffy news.

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51 Comments »

  1. Nighthood says:

    I’d always thought “Zombie Cow” was a good name, though it did exude “I AM AN INDIE DEVELOPER”. Oh well, I’m sure their next game will be great.

  2. Baboonanza says:

    I would pay £20 for a new Ben & Dan game sight unseen. They were the best adventure games I’ve played since the 90s. By far.

    Privates was, unfortunately, rubbish so I hope it’s not something similar.

  3. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I think they lost a little bit of Indie Goodness with that name change..
    I love it how when I am trying to talk serious about something mentioned on Rock Paper Shotgun, as soon as I mention the website I get that “Are you completely fucking bonkers or what?” look.

    • a.nye.123 says:

      Doesn’t everyone just call it Arr Pee Ess? I’m a busy man, I don’t have time to luxuriously pronounce every syllable.

  4. omgitsgene says:

    WHY IS IT HOLDING UP SIX FINGERS? This instantly bothers me, sorry.

  5. trjp says:

    If you’re going to actually deal with business people, investors, banks and other people (who you’ll have to deal with if you’re going to do things properly), going around with a ‘silly’ name will grate after a while…

    I found this out the hard way – telling people you’re from “Zappy Dingdong” (I wasn’t – it’s an example) just starts a conversation off on the wrong foot (or diverts it too easily).

    Same applies to overly clever names like Shrewd Logarithm – you’ll spend more time telling people how to spell it than you will telling them how clever you are.

    That’s all before you have to try to translate the meaning into another language – or before you choose a word like Zombie, Pirate, Ninja which is dated and overused before you’ve had the letterheads printed…

    Summary: make it short, memorable and easily explained – and not registered already – and easily spelled and suitable and – hell it’s harder than you think…

    • Archonsod says:

      On the other hand going around with a shotgun is often a useful bargaining tool.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      The cutesy ones are getting a bit tiresome as well.

      It’s not too difficult to come up with a decent descriptive name. I’ve got a good’un with several related domains registered, including the straight .com.

      Make a list of abstract concepts in games, particularly ones that you like and will feature in your games. You should be able to come up with a good page full. Now play with those words. Easy.

      Or have some local pride and go the Bethesda Softworks / Sierra On-Line route. Plenty of options that don’t make you look like typical me-too university students.

    • Premium User Badge

      Morph says:

      Oh great, now I have to start a business so I can call it Shrewd Logarithm.

    • trjp says:

      Too late – my Gamertag is ShrewdLogarithm ;)

      It was autosuggested to me by the registration program – I didn’t type that and still can’t spell it first time, everytime :)

      I can actually recommend these random name generators, I’ve so-far created 4 separate businesses with names they came up with – including my Android Games entity, somewhatdog.com

  6. Theoban says:

    I’m pretty disappointed by this. I only have a size two computer, so I won’t be able to fit these size five games in it

  7. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    SAY MORE WORDS.

  8. Inigo says:

    But Dan Marshall, the main man behind the name, has always hated it.

    He sounds like a BAD PERSON.

    “We make the fifth size of game”

    I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and SHIT a better slogan than that.
    Like… “I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and SHIT a better game than you.”
    Yeah.
    I’m an IDEAS man.
    Pay me MONEY.

  9. Premium User Badge

    MajorManiac says:

    Perhaps Rock, Paper, Shotgun should get a less violent sounding name.

    Maybe:
    Rock, Paper, Shoes
    Rock, Paper, Symbolism
    Rock, Paper, Socrates

  10. Sam Crisp says:

    What exactly is the fifth size of game? What are the other sizes?

    • Wilson says:

      The first size, the second size, the third size, and the fourth size. There is rumoured to be a sixth size, but research has been inconclusive.

    • Sam Crisp says:

      Well, that clears that up.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Size 1: Console Shooter
      Size 2: Hex-based Wargame
      Size 3: AAA cooking simulator
      Size 4: Photocopier games

  11. Wilson says:

    Yeah, Zombie Cow wasn’t a great name. Looking forward to hearing more about this new game.

  12. JohnnyMaverik says:

    “Zombie Cow Is Dead”, that nearly gave me a heart attack… damn you John Walker **shakes fist**

  13. Auspex says:

    But now one of the jokes in BTDT won’t really be a joke to new players! D:

  14. mcwill says:

    FUNNY WORD + ANIMAL = INDIE

  15. Springy says:

    I didn’t like Zombie Cow (the name). I liked the games they made.

    I don’t like Size Five Games (the name). I like the games they make.

    They may proceed.

    • brulleks says:

      “I don’t like Size Five Games (the name). I like the games they make.”

      A tad presumptious. They haven’t made any games yet.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Malibu Stacey says:

    Is it wrong that the image on this article immediately made me think of Fruit Fucker 2000?

    • joehullion says:

      Not at all. I usually have FF2000 on my mind when I’m drawing robots, and Krahulik’s always been a big influence on me, so it’s unsurprising it gives a little bit of that. Also, the background’s orange, so there may be some subconscious citrus-association there too for Fruit Fucker’s “conquests”. Shudder.

  17. Chalee says:

    Dead Donkey
    Cadaverous Giraffe
    Unliving Monkey
    Lifeless Puppy

    I’m practically printing money here!

  18. KaL_YoshiKa says:

    Zombie Cow – Sounds like it makes fun indie games with possibly too much pop culture.

    Size Five Games – Sounds like it makes crappy casual games without souls.

    Not a huge fan of the name change here.

    • mcwill says:

      “Zombie Cow” == “I played Destroy All Humans once!”
      “Size Five Games” == “I have really small feet!”

      At least the new name doesn’t have zombies in it. I have an advanced case of Walking Corpse Fatigue,

  19. Premium User Badge

    UW says:

    Wow, for a second there the headline “Zombie Cow is dead” scared the bejeezus out of me.

  20. RegisteredUser says:

    I’m more of a size six.