10 August 2020 | 19 Comments
With indoor rock climbing not being an option over the last few months due to the pandemic, I recently turned to disc golf as a reason to get outside. St. Louis has some beautiful, challenging courses (including one where you have to throw over a pond as pictured here), and I’ve had fun playing with fellow game designer Paul (Honey Buzz) and Keyforge podcaster Jake (Sanctumonius).
After a recent outing when I lost 2 of my discs to the aforementioned pond (I’ve played lots of ultimate frisbee, but different techniques are used in dics golf), I ventured to disc manufacturer Innova to buy some more.
On Innova’s website I discovered that nearly of their discs have names like thunderbird, valkyrie, leopard, spider, shark, bullfrog, etc. I’d heard Paul and Jake use these terms, but I didn’t realize just how many discs there were, each with a unique name and purpose.
I think this style of nomenclature is brilliant for a few reasons. First, it makes talking about the discs much easier. Instead of saying, “I think I’m going to use my 11/5/-1/3 disc here,” you say, “I’m going to use my wraith here.”
Second, for people getting into the sport, it makes the decisions of buying discs more accessible. I don’t need to puzzle over a variety of factors when buying discs–instead, I can just buy a driver, mid-range, and putter with fun names.
Third, branching off of the previous point, it lets disc golfers link their personality to the discs they choose. I can see myself saying at some point, “You like the panther? I’m more of a wombat guy.”
This naming technique reminds me of reward nomenclature on Kickstarter. While there’s nothing wrong with using names like standard, deluxe, collector’s, and all-in (and sometimes a straightforward name is clearer than a fun name, and it can still accomplish the goals I’ve mentioned above), I also like when some projects use names like Adventurer, Immortal Knight, etc (examples from Roll Player Adventures).
What do you think about this strategy, whether it’s for discs, rewards, or other types of products? Are there times where you like it and other times you don’t?
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