Note: Please note that when I say “pitching for games”, I meant communicating your idea succinctly about a game concept, whether it is digital or non-digital, and not baseball pitching game. I know most of you understand this, but I want to make sure everyone that is reading this blog understood what I meant by that. Also, can someone explain to me the rules of baseball? Anyway, without further ado,
Pitching in Games
Even as a filmmaker or as a shreditor from a third world country, pitching is not an alienating concept to me. I pitch often. Whether it’s about a short film or a corporate video, pitching is the main way of communicating my idea or my product effectively and succinctly, to someone who is foreign to it.
What is foreign to me however, is pitching for games. Is is relatively the same as pitching for films or video productions? Turns out, in Rami Ismail’s talk in GDC Europe 2014, it is. Relatively. Check out his talk at this in link in GDC Vault: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1020877/In-3-Sentences-or-Less
Rami Ismail in Pitching
Well, this is totally unexpected. I didn’t realise that I would be talking about Vlambeer again. It’s great. If you want to know more about Rami Ismail and Vlambeer, watch the talk by Rami Ismail in GDC Europe 2014. Alternatively, check out my blog about “game feel” by J.W. Nijman, as I talked about them as a company and what games they have made, a little.
So, what is “pitching”? Pitching is essentially a communication format or a method where you condensed information about your ideas or ideas of your products to make sure that you can explain or present it to either a publisher, a producer, or basically any funding body (or bodies like Kickstarter, IndieGogo etc), succinctly. This is to assure that can get your ideas or the ideas behind your products, realise by them.
Or as eloquently put by Rami Ismail, it is the “value proposition” of your ideas or the ideas of your products. To make it clear for some of your who are studying Philosophy or Cultural Perspectives, this is not the be confused with “the proposition of value” or *“Aesthetics”. Though the proposition of value is also part of the value proposition you made about your ideas or the ideas or your products. For those who are not studying Philosophy or Cultural Perspectives, do not worry about it. Yet.
Bottomline, you have idea about something, and you want to be it made. So, you go to the people that make that happen for you. But you want to explain it the simplest yet the most interesting way possible. You have to get your ideas or ideas about your product across effectively, so that people can that make that happen to you, would want to make that happen to you. And this can be done, verbally, or through slides, mood-board, writings, or even a video (example above).
Rami Ismail in Good Pitches
Rami Ismail believes that pitches are an effective communication method to get your ideas across. Good pitches, however are effective ways to get your ideas realised. in his talk, he shared couple of tips and examples of a good pitch:
1. Good pitches opens up communication
Yes, pitches are all about explaining it succinctly. Getting your first few sentences of your pitch right is really crucial. But it will also open up to many questions about it.
To Rami Ismail, it is really important that after you got their attention to their ideas, you must also be able to answer the questions that will be thrown at you afterwards. Think those first few sentences of your pitch as a key to unlock the interest to the people you are pitching to.
2. Good pitches do not waste people’s time.
Now, why is it important to pitch your ideas succinctly? Why is it that you have to condense information about your ideas or ideas of your product to the people you’re pitching to? The keyword here is “time” It is all about time.
Now imagine being in their position for a while. How many pitches that they have gone through before, or how many pitches that they will have to go through after you? Or better yet, think about the amount of information that will stick in their heads right after they’ve done with your pitch.
Picking the right words and getting rid of unnecessary information in your pitch will not only save time, but it will also makes it easier for the people that you’re pitching to digest information regarding your ideas or ideas of your products
3. Good pitches needs good delivery
Okay, so you have made structured your pitch to be as good as it can be. You know all (or almost all) of the answers that will be thrown at you during pitching session. You got all of those mood-boards done and you wear your best suit or dress and you greet everyone at the pitching session with a smile.
This is it. This is the moment you’ve been waiting. You want to impress the people that you’re pitching with your ideas. And then, you start pitching. But, nothing came out of your mouth. You voice is too soft. The people that you’re pitching to couldn’t hear what you said. One of them start looking at your watch, and the other start looking at their phone.
And you finished your pitch. They clap un-enthusiastically. They shake your hand and say “we’ll get back to you”. And that’s the last time you have seen them. How do I know this? It happen to everybody, including me. We got the idea, but we lack the “mic skill” during the pitch session.
So what do you do? Like Rami Ismail said, you practice and practice. Make your voice heard by them. Make sure they hear your idea clearly so that they can engage with your and your idea after the pitching session. Your good delivery will guarantee that.
As some of might’ve known, I’ve created a new card game rules for a standard 52-deck card. Let’s say hypothetically I would have to pitch my card game, how would I do it? Also, some of have already known, I am very new to games development and game designs, in general. I’m not using that as an excuse for not knowing how to pitch, but more of how can I pitch knowing that I’m new to this?
From what I understand from Rami Ismail, as well someone who has been pitching for numbers of years, I pitch to them, the story or the experience that they will get, playing my card game. I used my weakness, as a strength to at least open up an extra communication between me and the people that I’m pitching to.
But, I have to be careful not to talk so much about the story, but more towards the experience players would have playing my card game. So, in a few words, how can I pitch my card game, Vae-Victis!?
“Vae-Victis is a card game about making players feel that will always have 50/50 chance of losing, and winning, throughout the whole game. It is a card game that is tapping the side of “war” which hasn’t been fully tapped before, which is Luck. It’s a card about a player, managing the odds, to their favor”
COMING SOON 🙂