At some point or another as a game developer, you’ll need to pitch your game. Whether you intend to sell it or not, at some point you’ll have to explain it to someone. This could be an investor or maybe just your mom. Whoever it is, a good pitch can spark their interest and lead to a new fan.
What Makes a Good Pitch?
Pitching a project isn’t easy. It seems like it should be, especially if you’re the one who came up with the idea and designed it. The problem is that we get so caught up in the details of our game and explaining every little thing that we often lose a person’s interest. Of course, enthusiasm is a requirement for a pitch. If you don’t care about your game, no one else will.
So what are the elements of a good pitch?
- It provides the listener with a clear explanation of your game.
- It highlights key features that separates your game from others in the same genre
- It’s short!
- It invites them to perform a desired action (download the game, invest money, etc).
Sound simple? A great pitch requires a lot of trial and error. When we released our first game Once Upon a Runner (which you can download for Android and iOS) it took some time to draft a good pitch. At events, it’s also boring to say the same lines over and over so I had to come up with different variations of the pitch. For social media and our tag-line I had to come up with yet another, shorter one to immediately catch people’s interest. That one ended up being “Run, jump and burn your way through six different fairy tale worlds as Ella in Once Upon a Runner.”
Our regular pitch is a bit expanded, “Once Upon a Runner is a 2D, side-scrolling runner game where you control Ella, a young fire mage who finds herself transported to strange worlds. Avoid dangerous obstacles and face off against fearsome enemies based off of familiar fairy tales to return home. The game features six different story levels, endless mode, in-game comic panels and a fire-wielding heroine. Download/play the game now on iOS and Android!”
For The Painter’s Apprentice we’re still working on a good pitch for the game that will excite people. So far, however, we’ve been going with “The Painter’s Apprentice is a 2D platformer that draws inspiration from art. You play as the Apprentice who mysteriously finds himself inside of paintings. In order to return to the real world you must platform your way through eight different art styles, defeat sentient paint blobs and bring back order and color back to the paintings. The game features 8 worlds each with their own art styles, boss fights that will keep you on your toes, a range of paint blob enemies and bonus levels. Try it out.”
How to Pitch Your Game
Of course, in order to first pitch the game to a person, you need to get their attention. At shows this can be difficult because there are hundreds of games on display. Make eye contact with everyone who walks by and invite them to play your game. It can be a huge hurdle for shy people (like me), but if you want the best results you really have to put yourself out there.
Most importantly of all, remember to ABC (always be closing). Tell them what you want them to do whether that’s download the game, vote for you on greenlight or support your Kickstarter. If you don’t tell them, they won’t know. It feels like you’re putting a lot of pressure on the other person, but it’s something you need to do. Always ask. Always prompt them to perform an action and you’ll definitely see results.
If you want more detail on how to pitch your game Pocket Gamer wrote a great article on how to succeed at their Very Big Indie Pitch.
What are some other tips you have for a great game pitch? Let us know in the comments below.