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Would like some feedback on a Pitch Paper.

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#1 Joshua.Hower   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:47 AM

       Nothing super fancy, I've just been reading a few books on game design. I've been interested in this field for a while now, I am currently working with a team on the project this paper is for. I just figured I'd post it and see if anyone could give me any pointers on the overall presence of the game in their imagination. I'm not sure if a pitch paper should be more technical or more engaging like a short story.

 

I'm sure you guys are up to date on current and upcoming games and I know this is similar too "Evolve" but I've been working on this Idea for the past two years.

 

Any constructive criticism is appreciated (including the format of the forum post itself, I don't want to post unruly content on here). Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

 

MOTD: Pitch Paper

                Soldiers engage in visceral player versus player combat opposing unspeakable monsters in this survival horror multiplayer online battle arena. During the course of a match soldiers will attempt to complete mission critical objectives while trying to withstand the relentless assaults from one of many unique and terrifying monsters. Each level or “map” will be an interactive “arena” where players slug it out; either to survive or kill. Arenas include interactive objects players can make use of, to open a path or restrict access. Soldiers scrounge up useful gear and weapons throughout each level to help them fend off the monster.  These items are added to the player’s permanent armory if they can complete the mission with them in hand. Soldiers and monsters both have in depth progression trees ranging from weapon and skill proficiencies, devastating monster ability upgrades and even the most powerful tool of all “knowledge”.

 

                During the lobby phase, after the matchmaking process is complete, players choose from a list of available characters. There are several different classes of “soldier” each bringing their own unique brand of mayhem to the arena. Every soldier class has individual proficiencies with certain weapons, gear and technology allowing them to use said items to the peak of their capabilities. With repeated use a soldier can become proficient with any weapon of their choosing.  The player who is designated to play the part of the monster will pick which monster they want to play out of their available monster list. Monsters have a plethora of abilities to choose from at higher levels and the more they use these abilities the more devastating they become. Players not only enjoy a frantic combat shooter in a tense arena setting, they are also engrossed in deep character progression.

 

               The battle fields of MOTD are interactive arenas, where players can use their imagination to help them complete mission objectives. These interactive objects range from simple tasks, such as opening or locking a door to control movement, or complex operations requiring multiple steps; like fueling a generator to illuminate a pitch black objective area. These interactive objects give players a vast number of options to help them achieve their goal. If a monster wants to bottleneck the soldiers to give themselves a tactical advantage, they can use a number of world objects to do so. Some of these include breaking door controls, moving large objects like vehicles or trees to block an alleyway or once they obtain enough knowledge they can manipulate electrical systems, heavy machinery and even the soldiers own automated weapons platforms. Soldiers rely mainly on their personal gear kits to engage the monster but are more than able to interact with the environment as well. By locking doors, disabling lights, activating automated weapons and even operating heavy equipment, the soldiers have numerous tools at their disposal. All of these things give each mission incredible replay value, the only limit to the strategy is the limit of the players imagination.

 

               Weapons and gear are the main commodity for the soldier, without them they stand little chance against the monster. During each mission weapons and gear will be scattered around the arena waiting for the soldiers to find it. Soldiers have the opportunity to permanently add new weapons and gear like machine guns, armors, tech upgrades, explosives, sniper rifles, side arms and even experimental weapons to their personal armory. The only catch is they have to survive the mission with that gear in their inventory. Once they permanently acquire an item it is unlocked in their personal armory, where they can select to take that item into battle with them during the character selection process. Once a weapon is stored in a player’s armory they don’t have to worry about losing it in their next match, due to their armory’s fabrication abilities. Every item can be upgraded and modified through resource points that are collected by completing missions, these upgrades can include modified sights, larger range of usable calibers, more damage and even style customizations.

 

               Soldier and monster alike have in depth skill trees allowing the player to customize their character to their play style. These abilities powers will be affected by a multitude of factors, gear, level, and even the amount of times the player has used it. If a soldier carries uses an M4 for many battles they naturally become accustomed to it and will therefore use it more effectively, the same goes for the monsters and their basic attacks and abilities. The monster is also privy to the most powerful tool knowledge. Monsters have the ability to consume the knowledge of their victims allowing them perform more complex tasks with human technology. A low level knowledge skill enables a monster to perform basic tasks like opening doors, while a monster with a higher knowledge level will be able to perform complex tasks with human objects like hacking automated weapons platforms.

 

               MOTD gives players high paced player versus player combat. Deep character progression gives players that all important goal to strive for; being the deadliest creature. Customization and upgradable weapons fills the players thirst for loot and instant gratification. Interactive arenas give players almost unlimited strategic options to give more playability to each mission. MOTD hits the trifecta in player needs promising this will be a fan favorite title.



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8723

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 02:32 PM

Joshua, I didn't read the above, because the question is unclear. Who are you pitching to? In other words, who's the target audience for this pitch? Is it publishers? Or is it capital people? Is it indie devs?

Also, I firmly believe you should never use the word "will" in a pitch. If you speak of the game in present tense instead of future tense, it makes the game seem more real to the listener/reader.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 6 Eyed Studio   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:37 PM

I agree with Tom about the target audience. I read most of your pitch paper and it sounds like it's intended to be read by a potential investor.

 

Just some quick points:

  1. Wall of text: headings and bullet points will make your document much easier to digest
     
  2. It could be a personal preference but I dislike the overuse of "quotation marks". It hints at irony or shows an uncertainty of the thing you're describing to me.
     
  3.  There is at once too much and not enough information. After six paragraphs I'm still not grasping what the soul of your game is but you've already referenced Evolve so I fall back to thinking about that game and not yours! There's a temptation to over-explain every mechanic and feature but I just want to know how awesome my experience as the player will be. So focus on the strong (positive) emotions you want your players to feel. The nitty-gritty of how everything works should and will be explained in your game design and technical documents.

Speaking of Evolve, I looked up their site and grabbed this summary from their About page:

 

 

From Turtle Rock Studios, creators of Left 4 Dead, comes Evolve, the next generation of multiplayer shooters where four Hunters face off against a single, player-controlled Monster in adrenaline-pumping 4v1 matches. Play as the Monster to use savage abilities and an animalistic sense to kill your human enemies, or choose one of four Hunter classes (Trapper, Support, Assault, and Medic) and team up to take down the beast on the planet Shear, where flora and fauna act as an adversary to man and monster alike. Level up to unlock new Hunter or Monster characters as well as upgrades, skins, and perks. Earn your infamy on the leaderboards and become the apex predator.

 

This is consumer-facing marketing copy but the same style should be adapted for your pitch docs. Keep it tight, keep it simple. Cut to the core of the idea as quickly as possible.



#4 Joshua.Hower   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 06:50 AM

Sorry it took so long to repy I had an incident come up this weekend, I know the question is vague but this helped me understand that. I really do appreciate the feed back I'm currently just a hobbyist but I would like to eventually make this a career. I do think my main flaw is my communication of my concept to certain audiences and you guys made some great points that slipped by me.

 



Also, I firmly believe you should never use the word "will" in a pitch. If you speak of the game in present tense instead of future tense, it makes the game seem more real to the listener/reader.

 

I thought that was the impression I was giving but I wasn't sure how to phrase it, thanks for the input.

 


Just some quick points:
Wall of text: headings and bullet points will make your document much easier to digest

It could be a personal preference but I dislike the overuse of "quotation marks". It hints at irony or shows an uncertainty of the thing you're describing to me.

There is at once too much and not enough information. After six paragraphs I'm still not grasping what the soul of your game is but you've already referenced Evolve so I fall back to thinking about that game and not yours! There's a temptation to over-explain every mechanic and feature but I just want to know how awesome my experience as the player will be. So focus on the strong (positive) emotions you want your players to feel. The nitty-gritty of how everything works should and will be explained in your game design and technical documents.

 

Thanks for the good points, I guess I was just a little jaded about "Evolve" I know I shouldn't have mentioned it but I did. I don't use quotation in the sarcasstic sense its a bad texting habit for defining a title of something to avoid confusion, I'll keep that in mind next time. This paper was an internal one I was asked to do to grasp the concept to new members seeing as how we are hobbyists and we obtain and lose people sometimes.

 

I do have a consumer facing pitch but I'm still working on that. I'm having a hard time cutting through the gristle but delivering a compelling point at the same time.







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