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September 16, 2014, 01:26:42 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessWhat is your elevator pitch?
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Author Topic: What is your elevator pitch?  (Read 5719 times)
Evan Balster
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« Reply #60 on: January 24, 2013, 07:30:03 PM »

My game is a multi-directional space shooter in which you use the hulls of your defeated enemies as your only armor and weaponry.

I'd say "360 degree" rather than multidirectional.



...I should probably get around to writing my game pitch in here.  :I
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 10:42:03 PM by Evan Balster » Logged

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« Reply #61 on: January 24, 2013, 09:44:45 PM »

Fair enough. I had to look up what exactly the genre was called, because I wasn't entirely sure (and apparently still am not Cheesy). Any particular reason you'd choose "360 degree" over "multidirectional?"
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Evan Balster
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« Reply #62 on: January 24, 2013, 10:42:56 PM »

Slightly fewer syllables (maybe) and slightly clearer than "multi-directional" which creates a sort of ambiguity as to whether the game is 2D or 3D.
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« Reply #63 on: January 25, 2013, 10:00:47 AM »

Ah, gotcha. Good point, thanks. I'll keep that in mind when I actually start passing around my pitch.
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Richard Kain
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« Reply #64 on: January 25, 2013, 02:31:02 PM »

The "lingo" for what you're describing is a "dual-stick shooter."  "360 degree" would be a good term to use for anyone not familiar with video game tropes.

Also, how exactly would the player destroy their first enemy if all of their offensive and defensive capabilities are derived from defeated enemies? It's not a bad idea, and there is plenty of back-and-forth balancing you could play around with. But it does still have a logical inconsistency. You could cook up a mechanic to overcome this, but it might be necessary to spell it out in your pitch.
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« Reply #65 on: January 25, 2013, 03:28:38 PM »

I would normally call it a dual-stick or twin-stick shooter, but you actually only use one stick to move (left and right to rotate, up and down to go forward/backward), like in Asteroids. You can see where this gets confusing, haha.

If you click the link in my signature, you can actually see how I solve the no-attachments issue. Wink
The short of it is, you always start with one enemy attached. If you run out of attachments, you can always ram into something to grab it (at the expense of a few life points). I could explain that in the pitch, but it seems a little complex to convey in a short pitch — plus, I imagine that, left unexplained, that's the kind of question that might actually lead somebody to try the game out for curiousity's sake.

Thanks for your feedback, everyone! I appreciate it.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 03:35:12 PM by TheLastBanana » Logged

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« Reply #66 on: February 03, 2013, 06:29:30 AM »

top-down space shooter. ?
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« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2013, 10:52:25 PM »

Yeah, I've been using that on occasion, too. Still, most shoot-'em-ups would fall under the category of top-down, including scrolling ones... It's a tricky wording problem! I think I'll just have to hope that the rest of the description speaks for the game, and that people aren't too picky about rotating versus scrolling arcade shooters.
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« Reply #68 on: February 05, 2013, 10:45:21 AM »

well, "multi-directional" doesn't mean much to me.

Say top-down, then say the things that make it unique. It's no good to get a shorter description if it is confusing.

If you're looking for a hook, then consider "top-down" to be a detail. Make a choice about the most important element of your game and communicate that well. Hooks aren't supposed to communicate everything. They are meant to communicate the most important things, to create interest, so _then_ you can provide supporting details.

I see this mistake a lot with indies. They try to say everything all at once. It is more important to say one thing clearly, than two things unclearly. ... The hard part is choosing which of the two things you want to say. Pitches are about selecting (and communicating), not squeezing.
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JigxorAndy
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« Reply #69 on: February 09, 2013, 05:33:13 AM »

So coming up with this elevator pitch helped out when I needed to write down "Description of Game" for a website.
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Evan Balster
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« Reply #70 on: February 09, 2013, 07:07:54 PM »

“Wreath is a slow-paced game of storytelling and self-exploration set in another world.  You may freely walk, climb and think your way through places real and imagined as you help Suri come to terms with his past and confront the crises of the present.”

[an ambitious project I'm a little too secretive about]
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« Reply #71 on: February 10, 2013, 12:04:13 AM »

The "lingo" for what you're describing is a "dual-stick shooter."  "360 degree" would be a good term to use for anyone not familiar with video game tropes.
Well, uh... what's a dual-stick shooter? I've never played a game using anything but a keyboard and a mouse, so I kinda don't know what you're talking about Smiley

Of course I could read up on it, but my point is I don't that's the best choice for "lingo"... I dunno, maybe it's a cultural thing? Consoles or gamepads aren't really that popular in my country.

I'm familiar with "space shooters", "top-down shooters", "bullet-hell shooters"...

Liosan
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 12:18:26 AM by Liosan » Logged

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« Reply #72 on: February 12, 2013, 03:04:51 PM »

I recommend having different elevator pitches for different audiences. Obviously, a pitch to investors could be more skewed to monetization; however, a pitch to a gamer may be more focused on why the title is better that those that currently exist in the market.

Consider what you want the audience to take away from the pitch. Is the action a follow-up meeting or a game download.

I'd also suggest visiting:  http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/
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« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2013, 09:42:19 AM »

Wow that's a tough one because the game was grown, not designed.

I settle for "Arcade-RTS where you sweat off your thumbs and your brain trying to contain the mutated that's about to chomp on your broken shuttle and mutate your crop"
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« Reply #74 on: February 27, 2013, 04:39:02 PM »

I see this mistake a lot with indies. They try to say everything all at once. It is more important to say one thing clearly, than two things unclearly. ... The hard part is choosing which of the two things you want to say. Pitches are about selecting (and communicating), not squeezing.
Sorry I took so long to respond to this; I hadn't noticed you'd responded!
This is a very good point. I don't think the top-down part is really a selling point of the game — I was just trying to convey a sense of the game's mechanics. Maybe that isn't even necessary in an elevator pitch, though. The focus should definitely be on the core mechanic (picking up and using deactivated enemies as your weapons and armour), which could probably be applied to just about any type of game anyway.
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Graham-
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« Reply #75 on: February 27, 2013, 05:15:01 PM »

I'm assuming you want something on a website or something. Normally you want something memorable, that demonstrates the uniqueness of your game and its strengths. Normally it's a good idea to focus on the aesthetic - the experience of playing - not the mechanic itself - depends on how savvy the audience is.

First-person shooter. Everyone knows what that is. Turn-based combat. Same thing. Twin-stick: same. Parcour platforming, okay. Open-world, yes. Rogue-like, yes. Level system? Too generic. "Fight?" Too generic. Combat: same.

Imagine a pie of your game. Think of two pies. You have the experience pie, and the mechanics pie. Let's do Mario.

Mechanics:
  . platformer - but let's assume this term doesn't exist
  . run and jump
  . powerups, levels, bosses, challenges

^^ Generic. Try:
  . twitch platforming
  . air control, momentum
  . simple combat

"Aesthetics":
  . silly, fun, playful
  . serious, rich, difficulty
  . impulsive, expressive.

Possibility:
  Take two from each:
    . A difficult and playful twitch platformer, with a focus on momentum and air control.
  One from each:
    . An expressive twitch platformer.

Throw in character:
  . Mario tries to save peach. Is a plumber.
  . fight determined and simple goombas, aloof and silly koopas
  . get big, throw fire, and dodge bullets

Play as Mario, in a silly world, navigating the diverse challenges presented by aloof and simple-minded enemies. Express your platforming skills, impulsively, in the air or on the ground. Die and try again. Hold on to a powerup this time. Use your size to your advantage. Master your own momentum and save the princess from Bowser.

In this example I mention:
  . characters: Mario, princess, bowser
  . context: the silliness of the world, the personality of the enemies
  . key mechanics: platforming, and 3 qualities of it: impulsive, air-control, momentum
  . challenge (3 times): "challenges," "die and try again," "master"
  . powerups (2 times): that they exist, that size is one of them

Also notice how I structure it:
  . the challenge is talked about 3 times, once at the beginning, middle, end
  . characters are mentioned twice: beginning, end
  . key mechanic mentioned twice: middle, end
  . beginning is more aesthetics focused. I hook with the experience of playing Mario, hint at the mechanics, then in the second sentence discuss them directly. usually you want to hook with the experience of playing, then justify why that experience will be what it is, and what details go with that.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 05:42:06 PM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #76 on: February 27, 2013, 05:33:47 PM »

Note. With the pies you are looking for balanced representation. If you have a pie chart that represents the mechanics of your game, and you can use a single phrase for each third of the pie, what 3 phrases would you choose so your pie chart is most evenly divided, and each phrase is as good a representation of the contents it represents as it can be?

Skyrim aesthetics:
  . hundreds of characters
  . hundreds of diverse locations
  . hundreds of quests

Is this good? No. I don't mention the combat, or the type of story, or the richness of the visual world. The music is good and atmospheric. How about:
  . hundreds of characters, locations, and quests (diversity, scale, player-choice)
  . richly detailed environments that make a believable world (visual scale, quality, diversity, though content type not mentioned)
  . many possible character types, presented through a comprehensive leveling system (rpg, play-type diversity)

I don't mention combat, or the types of spells, or the treasure, or the kinds of playtypes. So try:
  . many things to do
  . rich environments to explore ("explore" key word)
  . expressive combat and leveling system ("expressive" helps solve the ability diversity question, which is similar to the ability type question)

Now we are starting to cover our bases. We would use more descriptive sentences, but these give us an easy way to think about the problem at hand. ... Follow this system:
  1. Describe your pie by dividing it into minimum 3 sections.
  2. Remove a single description. Imagine if your game lost that quality. How much worse would it be? *
  3. Try a different set of 3 descriptions. Remove one, like in step 2. Is the resulting implied game worse than the previously implied game? Which set of 2 pie pieces is the worse game?
  4. The worse game indicates the worse pie. Keep trying divisions until you can't come up with a better pie.

* Remove the "biggest" pie piece.

This pattern is complex, but if you study it you can see how to determine how good your pie division is. Make some pies, your game descriptions should start to flow out of you. Note, this process is healthy for your game anyway. The "make a pitch" challenge tests your knowledge of your own game's strengths, forcing you to come to terms with them. Often when going through this process product developers will realize what parts of their game really matter and what ones do not.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 06:25:29 PM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #77 on: February 28, 2013, 08:39:04 AM »

I like your systematic approach, will take a shot at it.
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« Reply #78 on: February 28, 2013, 09:17:02 AM »

same, thanks for the pointers, left me thinking
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Graham-
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« Reply #79 on: February 28, 2013, 12:36:33 PM »

Thanks. Yeah systems are better than nothing, unless you just have some strong instinct.
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