What's in a name?
When our team was established in January 2021 the big idea of our game was already there. We knew the theme of our game and we had a great understanding of the overall gameplay. What needed to come next was creating a company name for ourselves and a name for our game. Turns out these were two of the hardest decisions in the game creation process.
We knew we wanted a company name that shared our connection to one another; to our friendship, our families and our backgrounds. Trent Hansen, our co-founder and lead game designer, was born and raised in New Zealand. He came to Canada one summer to work at Muskoka Woods Camp on Lake Rosseau. This is where he met Brenna-Lynn (sales and marketing), his now wife. Darrin Henein (co-founder and creative director) and Alicia Henein (sales and marketing) also met at Muskoka Woods in the summer of 2004 (now married). Muskoka is really the heart of where it all began and we wanted to capture that. Combining our Canadian heritage with Trent’s homeland of New Zealand resulted in Canazee Games: Cana(da) + Zee (New Zealand). Our designer Darrin Henein created our logo and mascot, which pairs an adorable Kiwi bird, native to New Zealand, with some very large moose antlers on its head.
Now that our company name and logo had been developed we needed a name for our game. This process was one that took weeks and many extensive lists. Our brainstorming sessions populated many good potential ideas but nothing felt quite right enough to stick. It wasn’t until we stepped back and took a look at the overall game and game play to be reminded of what it was… Muskoka! Nothing encapsulated and defined the game as well as that one word. For those who have been to the Muskokas know the power of its name. It’s a region filled with vast forests and crystalline lakes teaming with wildlife. It’s one to explore and discover. Our goal and hope with Muskoka: The Board Game is to allow players to immerse themselves and experience all that this magical region has to offer any time they wish.