If a game isn’t fun, it’s not worth playing.
If it isn’t meaningful, it’s not worth remembering.
Under this slogan, Nicolas Marinus of Thumbs Up Games went to the gamescom event to pitch several of his game concepts to major publishers. In order to stand out, he used prototypes we developed for him to tell his story.
This is what he wrote about his experiences pitching the concepts:
As a beginning developer, a lot of doors aren’t open to you. Getting through to publishers and investors is hard. Convincing them your idea is better than that of the competition even harder. Certainly if all you have is some text on a piece of paper.
That’s where that prototype in your pocket makes a world of difference. You get the opportunity to show the game, to let people play it.
As someone from Big Fish whom I met at the gamescom said: “This is the first time this week I get to actually play a game”.
My strategy was simple: I would walk straight past the girls at the counter and up to the first person wearing a badge from the publisher and introduce myself. “Hi, I have this prototype I really want to show someone (meanwhile I was flicking through some artwork on my iPhone), would you be the right person to talk to?”. When I found the right person, the response would generally be “You have 10 minutes”.
I learned to pitch and show two prototypes in under 5 minutes. And you know what? Most meetings turned out to last a lot longer. Partly because they liked the ideas, partly because they got to see those ideas in action.
Before attending the gamescom, my main challenge was to find a partner. Now, the challenge is to decide which partner would be best suited for me. And that’s one luxury I love to have.