how to write a pitching document that sells your game

[wow, found a post on my old blog(blogspot) circa summer 2013, ancient time when I still worked in that game company. a short but nice read, for a few minutes I couldn’t even figure out that I myself wrote it…ok repost here on this official blog of mine. This is more of a ‘do this, then do that’ blog post, more on practical side, to be read as a checklist when you’re prepping a pitch]

write pitch that hits…

If you are a game developer, you surely realize the importance of having a good pitching document in game project.

A good pitching document helps your team keep focus on key goals of the project. More importantly, a good pitching document helps you present your gam to others (including investors) as a professional and respectable product, even in the beginning phase of your project.

This article walks you step by step, showing the 7 key elements of an effective pitching document.

1, executive summary.
Executive summary should be no longer than 50 words. The essential information in this part includes: the title of the game, its genre, and the targeted audience. In addition, an introductory sentence on the conception of the game is also appropriate in this part.

2, audience analysis.

Even if you think your game will be fun for all ages and gender, you still need to define specifically a core audience: namely gender and age. Preferably, your game should target at 1 gender and the age range should be no more than 8 years.

3, story.

Every game, however simple, has a story behind it. The story set the tone and the general emotional appeal for your game. So, have a story for your game regardless which kind of game you are making.

For example: the story behind Starcrossed (BAFTA Winner of 2013: You guide a crash-landed astronaut back to his home planet.

4, competition analysis.

This part should be done visually by a table. You compare your game to other similar games in the market by defining 5-7 essential features of the game genre and deciding which features you provide and which ones you do not provide. This is important because it separate you from your competition, defining what make you different.

an example of a competition analysis table:

             Feature

Game

Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5
Your game x x x
Competitor A x x x
Competitor B x x x


5, market analysis.

In market analysis, you explain why the game will succeed if developed and released now, in other words, making a case for your game. You should give examples of similar games which are already successful, and/or point out a specific plausible player desire that has not yet been fulfilled in the market.

6, game play.

Game play section tells what players will do in the game. This part should describe all features and activities in the game, very concisely, each feature and activity no more than one sentence/or even better bullet point.

7, budget and schedule.

The budget mentioned in this part is not necessarily the exact, real, final budget – that would be open to in-person negotiation. What should be specific in this part are:

[+] The number of team members.

[+] The time (in term of hours) devoted to the project.

These 2 factors will help later calculation of the budget.

Reference:                                                                                     

Credit must be given to several sources of professional game writing advice, including IGDA’s book ‘Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing’which I thoroughly recommend.

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