Pitching Ideas from outside the industry.

Discussion in 'General Gossip, Troll Wars & Game Development' started by Grunge, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Grunge

    Grunge Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Creating a thread for a friend, he has a game design he is working on and wants to pitch it to companies and needs some advice for how to do it, He'll post in a bit once he gets access.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  2. Base13

    Base13 Industry Unprofessional One Of Us

    I started as a game designer over 20 years ago. I would not pitch a game idea to a company without at least a working demo and showing I had the team in place to make it. I lack the clout to go in any earlier. That will apply many times over to someone with no industry experience. The only people who could go in earlier with a chance of success are lead designers on recent hit games, or someone already inside the company being pitched to.

    Luckily, there are now the tools to allow even a beginner to show their game working. The bad news is there will be others who have done that, so you don't stand a chance with less.
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  3. Grunge

    Grunge Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    He's still having a few issues getting in so im posting as a proxy for him.

    He's working on a horror survival game project that's currently on paper and looking for the right person/s that could help in getting it pitched to a developer to get it made.
  4. Jaccident

    Jaccident Adminisbator Staff Member Administrator

    Not to be that guy, but is one of the problems not that he's a member of the public?
  5. Grunge

    Grunge Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    It certainly makes things a lot more tricky that's for sure. As base13 said, its hard to get game designs noticed even in the industry with 20 years experience.

    Or were you meaning about unable to post? in which case I think these are supposed to be public forums?
  6. Jaccident

    Jaccident Adminisbator Staff Member Administrator

    I thought you were discussing forum access though?
  7. Grunge

    Grunge Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    yeah I realised after I posted and edit my post. It used to be everyone could post in the non private sections but that may have changed.
  8. RichHW

    RichHW Pixel One Of Us

    He has a less than zero percent chance of getting anyone interested.

    No developer, ever, is looking to buy in a game design - just consider the key issues from a developer perspective:

    - Who would own the IP
    - What percentage of reveune generated by the game would he expect to receive
    - Who would manage the project

    Additionally, it would require a developer that has a team sitting around, with nothing to do - just hoping for inspiration on what their next game should be.

    It would just never happen.

    The best outcome he could achieve would be to impress a developer with the design enough that they would offer him a design job.
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  9. Scotcher

    Scotcher Guring Gama One Of Us

    Hate to say it, but he may as well go yell his idea at the sky and hope someone hears it. Every studio has designers who all have ideas, and 99.9% of those will never make it into production. Hell 90% will never even get prototyped. There is no idea in the world good enough to jump that queue.

    The only way he'll get his game made is if he makes it himself, or at least makes enough of a demo to secure some funding to hire some people to help him make it.
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  10. trave

    trave Muppet One Of Us

    Ah yes, didn't Photon lock posting to the public forums as a spam-prevention mechanism a few months back?

    edit: here it is (nothing private-forum-sensitive here as far as I can see, just relevant information):

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  11. Ethereal

    Ethereal Unfriendly Ghost One Of Us

    I've got to agree with RichHW on this and I'm speaking from many years (2002-2013) on the frontline of handling these kind of enquiries at a publisher. There is very, very, very little chance of successfully pitching an idea in this manner, as the hard bit of game creation is not ideation but execution. Point your friend at Tom Sloper's excellent series of articles that explain why: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/idea.htm - I've been sending people to those for ages (last posted that link on here five years ago I see...)
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  12. DoomBot

    DoomBot Spideyman One Of Us

    Also worth telling him not to send unsolicited ideas to anyone since they can just plagiarize the shit out of it.
  13. trave

    trave Muppet One Of Us


    He can do it in his spare time, too. Hopefully it's an achievable game without AAA funding...
  14. Madcat

    Madcat Gaming God One Of Us

    It's not just a "get to the back of a long line, everyone has an idea" situation. We (a developer) wanted nothing to do with external pitches. They are legal liabilities. Internal pitches were ok because the employees already signed away their thoughts in the employment agreement.

    Some of the home-grown ideas were developed into proof-of-concepts, but taking one all the way to market with a publisher didn't happen often.

    In 15 years I worked from idea-to-box-on-shelf on exactly -> 1 <- in-house developed original game. The team that created the pitch and brought it to the first green light were experienced and had the resources of a veteran studio. It was still difficult. They guessed 90% chance of failure even though a lot of the stars were aligned. Self funding wasn't one of them, however, and that's the biggest hurdle; getting someone on board to spend their money on your idea.

    It's worth mentioning that the 90%-chance-of-failure pitch had extremely high production values. Lots of custom artwork, printed material, animation, original music. Everything was bespoke and "in the universe" of the game -- not a Word doc. It was brilliant on its own, but still a tough sell. That's where the bar sits.
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  15. Ethereal

    Ethereal Unfriendly Ghost One Of Us

    This GDC talk has some good points too:

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  16. pharna

    pharna Bear of Despair One Of Us

    The good news about making it himself is that it's never been easier for an idea man to do just that.

    Tell your friend to keep their day job and build the game themselves kit bashing all the amazing stuff out there on the asset store.

    There's some really good stuff you can get for free and surprisingly better for cheap.

    If his execution is good he should invest in a bit of money for some original assets.

    It's hard to be "just an idea generator" even when employed as a designer!
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  17. Mad

    Mad Industry God One Of Us

    Also in the 20+ year game design camp and still having to build prototypes to prove concept vision.

    And like the rest of the advice he can easily do this himself even if just hiring some entry level programmers on the cheap to slap it altogether for him.

    1. Pick an engine with a marketplace (Unity/Unreal)
    2. Buy an open world/fps base, integrate
    3. Find horror assets
    4. Design the feature sets
    5. Work on implementing them with your outsourced programmers

    If you look at the hundreds of Steam/VR games that get released each day half of them are non-developers taking a stab like this. On the plus side it's affordable to get something playable out quickly this way as a lot of the heavy lifting is done up front. It's his only chance really but it can work as an installed user base is his only chance at a publisher ever even noticing him.
  18. agilemethod

    agilemethod Literate Troll One Of Us

    I work at a developer who got in to self publishing who is open to new ideas, they put out a pitch challenge to internal employees. I could pitch it for him and if it's successfully approved he could be contracted on design a few hours a month. I expect he will have to give up all rights to IP and profit which is understandable considering they take all the risk.

    What does your friend want to achieve out of this?
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  19. IFW

    IFW Gabe One Of Us

    Omg! I agree with you!
  20. Ste Pickford

    Ste Pickford Super Moderator Moderator

    Yep, what everyone else says. Zero chance of successfully pitching an idea if you're not already working at the developer. The *only* way your game idea will be made is if you make it yourself. If you can't make it yourself (can't code, or do art or anything technical) then you don't have the talent needed to design a game (to design with enough rigour for it to make it to release, and make the decisions and compromises that need to be made along the way, you need a solid technical understanding of gamedev).
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