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Concept Doc Advice

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I've got the rough draft of my concept document written. I'm wondering if I should change the structure of the document. So far I have the document broken into sections such as Environment, Combat, Adventuring, etc. It is for an MMORPG. Is this a "proper" format or should I flow paraphraph-style from topic to topic?

Thanks.

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I do have an introduction paragraph. However, given Tom's advice I'm trying to keep this to about 2 pages max so a table of contents is really pushing it I think. I'll be writing the treatment document after I polish this one so a TOC would be useful there.

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Another question: Being indie, should I focus more on game play features or story in enticement documents whose target is investors and to generate general excitement about my game?

Thanks.

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[quote name='landlocked' timestamp='1305725808' post='4812508']
Another question: Being indie, should I focus more on game play features or story in enticement documents whose target is investors and to generate general excitement about my game?[/quote]
Now your question is veering from Game Design to Business (it was never a Writing question so much as a Game Design question in the first place).
The answer is: NEITHER.
Investors want to know what the business plan is. How is your first game going to attract players, how is it going to earn money, why is your first game going to attract dollars in spite of all the competitive products out there? How experienced is your team, and are they capable of making this first game successfully, on time and on budget with the qualities necessary to earn the investment back?
After you've released your first game, what is the business plan? What kind of subsequent games is your business going to focus on, and why? How big is the business going to get, will it get acquired by one of the big publishers?
Stuff like that.

EDIT: Oh wait, I see that you're talking about the 2-pager, not the Treatment.

First: excite the reader. Put the reader INTO the game -- as if this was Tron, actually tell it from the POV of the main character of the game: "You sneak around the corner only to discover that the Grand Gorgon of the Grupch Empire is standing there, behind a phalanx of well-armed Gazornks. Nonchalantly, as though you'd known they were there all along, you raise your Gazitch Sword and say, 'You have fallen into my trap, Grupch. Come along quietly and no one will get hurt.' He doesn't fall for it. 'Take him, my pretties,' he says, and the Gazornks advance. Fade to interior, Grupch palace..."
That was pretty bad, but it gives you the idea. That's one paragraph (the first one).
Then you talk about what your game is: it's an MMORPG, and the reason why it's bound to succeed in the face of other MMORPGs is...
Do outline what the universe is, and why it's going to be massively popular, but you don't need to go into play mechanics. Who's the target audience, what's the platform, talk about the business model.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1305733541' post='4812561']
[quote name='landlocked' timestamp='1305725808' post='4812508']
Another question: Being indie, should I focus more on game play features or story in enticement documents whose target is investors and to generate general excitement about my game?[/quote]
Now your question is veering from Game Design to Business (it was never a Writing question so much as a Game Design question in the first place).
The answer is: NEITHER.
Investors want to know what the business plan is. How is your first game going to attract players, how is it going to earn money, why is your first game going to attract dollars in spite of all the competitive products out there? How experienced is your team, and are they capable of making this first game successfully, on time and on budget with the qualities necessary to earn the investment back?
After you've released your first game, what is the business plan? What kind of subsequent games is your business going to focus on, and why? How big is the business going to get, will it get acquired by one of the big publishers?
Stuff like that.
[/quote]
Thanks for the response. In your FAQ about concept, treatment and GDD documents, what was your intent for the concept document? I understand it should get people excited about the game. However, you've mentioned in other places that individuals and teams without a well-known reputation should focus on game play rather than making things look pretty. So, extending this focus of effort, should I also write my documentation to highlight my game play features or the story of the game? Furthermore, should the treatment document include bits of the business plan insofar as it pertains to the individual game with which you're trying to attract them? I realize your FAQ is not a hard and fast rule that must be adhered to but it has so far helped me frame my ideas to help my get down on paper what my end goal is and would like to stick with the overall goal of writing 3 documents for the game itself, which I do understand to be different from the business plan of the company.

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Land,
Sorry for my initial post in which I assumed you were preparing a full pitch, not only a concept paper.
I appended an edit to my initial post, while preparing breakfast (so it took some time to get it posted). While that edit was being written, you wrote your post. Scroll up and see the edit.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1305735263' post='4812578']
Land,
Sorry for my initial post in which I assumed you were preparing a full pitch, not only a concept paper.
I appended an edit to my initial post, while preparing breakfast (so it took some time to get it posted). While that edit was being written, you wrote your post. Scroll up and see the edit.
[/quote]
Your edit answered it perfectly. Thanks!

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The main point of the concept paper is to weed out the potentially interested from the non-starters, with a minimum investment of your time (and the 2-page limit assures that minimum time is taken from the reader's day). The trick is to put in enough information to hint that there's more to be heard, balanced with getting the potentially-interested reader excited enough to want to hear more. Be exciting and informative, leaving the reader wanting to hear more.

That said, this is definitely more of a Business question than a Writing question, so this is moving there.

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[quote name='landlocked' timestamp='1305743866' post='4812665']
Is it advisable to provide both documents (treatment and concept) in a folder and provided to potential investors at the same time?
[/quote]
It's advisable to have the 2nd one handy in case the reader asks for it.

In other words: sure, why not.

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