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Fulgent

Pitching a game idea to a company

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I have an associates in fine arts, but I have been into game design as a hobby since I was 13. I wanted to know if game pitches are only accepted from people who have degrees in gaming or if people that have a good idea are able to pitch a game as well?

In 1999, I remember reading that there were no schools that gave any degrees in gaming, and that as long as you had a the relevant skills and a good idea, you would be able to pitch a game. Now these days, there are ads for game colleges all over the internet. This gives me doubt about whether I would even be able to pitch an idea at all without a game degree.

Am I better off going the indie way?

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Tom Sloper is going to be wondering around...
He'll prolly link you to so I have a game idea!
The short answer is that you the individual are never going to pitch an idea to any company from the outside.

*Make the game on your own. PC development can be free (minus cost of the computer and internet). IPhone and IPad development is free (minus the costs of the Mac and iDevice). Web (ie. flash) development is free, and there are many options to host for free until your site becomes too big.

*Join a company, make their game, but make contacts with other people in the business, and see if you can get a large enough group of people interested in your ideas. Companies pitch many different things while looking for contracts, and you're idea could end up in your company's pitch meetings.

*Go through the actual process of making a company, getting the business loans, and buy your way into being a licensced developer for Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and you could develop something for their platforms.

Quote:

In 1999, I remember reading that there were no schools that gave any degrees in gaming...

There are now! But most people on GameDev.net will give you mixed reports of how well they are accepted by the people hiring. But, taking some of the right courses, you will end up making games for your classes. Those demos can be worth a LOT. Look at Portal for instance.

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Thanks for the input, ironically, I was reading that very article just when I saw this reply.

I guess things have changed a lot then, the book I was reading in '99, "Game Design: Secret of the sages"<I think that was the title> had a section on pitching your game to a company, it explained what to do during an interview where you're pitching the game idea and to have a design document ready. Back then, it made it seem easy to walk into the main office of a game company, unless I'm remembering wrong.

The only direct game experience that I have is working on my own for 5 years<age 13-17> on a game and only getting up to 90% finished with it after all that time<all that was left were implementing the final levels, although the graphics for the final story boss were done.> Before that, I would make various games on paper, including board games and "chess" style games with altered rules<Like "bug chess", where the "queen" piece was shaped like a queen bug of the ant/bee group. Didn't move like the queen in chess though.>

Through that experience, I saw how difficult it is to make a video game, and how very time consuming it can be, I basically used up almost all my free time during my high school years while working on it. I probably should have planned better and worked on something that I can show and expand on in the later years.

Other than that, I have no experience with the other things, like forming a game company. I'm guessing licensing fees must be high. I have been thinking about looking into iPHONE and iPAD development, as this game idea might make use of the touch screen they offer. <Menus in the style of word balloons appear on screen, if the system has a touch screen, then the attacks can be selected by pressing the screen.>

I appreciate the information that you have provided in your post.






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Thanks, this new info really demonstrates how different it is today, than what was written years ago. They really made it look easy back then. At least from what I remember. It was apparently easier to break into the industry 10 years ago.

[Edited by - Fulgent on July 6, 2010 3:55:20 PM]

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To be honest I'm a bit sceptical that the advice given then would have been much more relevant than it is now. The industry has never been terribly interested in outsiders bringing in game designs. Possibly this is because in the games industry - more so than in film, for example - the real meat of the project is not something you can easily see from the outside, and therefore it's hard for someone without game development experience to be able know the full implications and requirements of their pitch.

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