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Creativity exercise - create an "elevator pitch"

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It's widely accepted that it's good to practice creativity, and I thought it might be a bit of fun to have a go at practising as a community with a simple challenge.  You'll get to practice being imaginative, as well as the useful skill of trying to describe a game idea succinctly.

 

 

Here's the challenge:

 

Create an "elevator pitch" -- that is, a very basic high level description that attempts to describe the core essence of a game, no more than 1-2 paragraphs --  based on some of the #5WordIndieGame titles for hypothetical games that people have been making up for a bit of a laugh in response to a tweet from @Team17 last week.  Your description should be as short as you can make it whilst still communicating the hypothetical game in as much detail as possible.  Take your time and revise what you've typed a couple of times before submission, and try to cut out anything you don't need and really make every word count.  Bonus points for wacky and original game concepts -- note that they don't necessarily have to be practical, as they're not actually being made!

 

So:

  1. Click through, and look through the suggested titles.
  2. Pick one that looks interesting, and write your pitch describing the game this title might go with!
  3. You may optionally include one quick "napkin sketch" mock-up image to help illustrate the idea.
  4. (Positive) Feedback on ideas from other members is encouraged!

If you pick the same title as someone else, try to pitch a different game that might have that title.

 

 

I'll submit one or two of my own tomorrow! smile.png

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Wow, 446 views but no attempts yet?  Come on guys, give it a try! smile.png

 

I'll get the ball rolling with a first attempt -- hopefully a first example will encourage others to jump on in.

 

-----

 

I chose @JoffCom's title: "Email Simulator: Send and Receive":

 

 

The internet is really a series of tubes and emails don't just magically appear in the inbox -- someone has to shove them into the correct tubes and sort them as they arrive!

 

Email Simulator: Send and Receive is a tongue-in-cheek single-screen arcade game where the player works in the email sorting office: outgoing mail must be placed into the openings of an increasingly more numerous and tangled series of tubes to reach the correct destination, whilst incoming mail must be quickly removed to the correct inbox before the tubes become clogged!

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My *attempt* XD

 

"Sheep Wars: The Mutton Awakens"

 

An adventure game where the player must solve story-based puzzles to help a race of super-intelligent sheep, who have created an empire in outer space, defeat the undead sheep that are coming back to life on all their planets. Each puzzle completed helps the sheep advance their technology and learn more about the the Mutton threat. The player controls 3 different sheep that can be dispersed across the empire and can unlock different puzzles, part of the challenge is finding out which sheep needs to go where before the Mutton take over.

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Wow, 446 views but no attempts yet?  Come on guys, give it a try! smile.png

I'm working on mine, because concept and pitch contests are always fun.  But, did anyone ask permission for us to use the submitted titles?  What if one of the submitters objects to having someone else play with a title that is basically their original intellectual property?

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But, did anyone ask permission for us to use the submitted titles?

No, but I wouldn't expect any problems with building on what are essentially throw-away joke ideas, especially given they're only undeveloped five word titles and we're just adding ideas rather than actually making any games.

I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it and remove any of them if the originator asks though - and obviously if anyone actually wants to proceed to make their game idea they should follow up with the originator for themselves to get permission.

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Ok, I will try too.
I choose Tale of Sword and Taxes by Patryk Kowalik

You are an evil tax collector in a medieval rpg/sim game where you gather a group of guards and thugs. Your task is to collect taxes by traveling from village to village. It is too a tongue-in-cheek game.

You need to press the people as much as possible, on the other hand you need them in good condition to let them earn more taxes. With increasing evil reputation you will gain magic like power over the people, you need to fend off bandits, to find the hidden treasures in cellars, to see through the intrigues of lords, to plan the most effective way to visit all the villages. Your final goal is to be the most beloved tax collector by your king and the most feared by the people.

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Insert Coin: The Penny Drops

(Title by Jonathan Bennetts, Concept by Mare Kuntz)

 

Insert Coin explores the evils of capitalism by showing how it brought about the end of the world as we know it. Taking inspiration from the 1998 game Sanitarium, this point-and-click adventure game alternates between two strikingly different settings while taking the player on a philosophical exploration of deep themes. While Sanitarium tackled the themes of delusion, betrayl, and deceptive appearances, Insert Coin: The Penny Drops explores the problems of capitalism, ambition, law, and human nature. The 'dark' setting is a post-capocalyptic future where the player is a corporate slave in a polluted and decaying city. The 'light' setting is the prehistoric past where the player is an enterprising tribesperson making clever trades to become wealthier than his/her fellow tribespeople.

 

Initially the past seems like just a pleasant place to daydream about while trying not to think about the intolerable existence those labeled failures and reduce to non-citizens – property - have in this 'modern world'. the player's 'real life' consists of minimal sleep, minimal food, no health care, no clean water, and what little free time he/she has is severely restricted by a multitude of burecratic laws intended for the good of the corporation rather than the good of its workers; most notably the fact that non-citizens are forbidden from reproducing. The past is a place the player can imagine 'getting ahead' in a way they have permanently failed to in real life, like the wealthy corporate officers who live in the walled community Penthouse above the smog of the city. But then the player's accomplishments in the past start showing up associated with the player's rich owners in the future. Then the player's tribe is conquered by a neighboring tribe, and the player finds him/herself enslaved in the past too, and unable to 'wake up' from this supposed daydream...

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"Sheep Wars: The Mutton Awakens"

 

An adventure game where the player must solve story-based puzzles to help a race of super-intelligent sheep [...]

Sounds fun!  I'm picturing something turn-based, with a time-limit (that can possibly be delayed if the player takes certain actions) before the game is lost due to mutton uprising!

 


I choose Tale of Sword and Taxes by Patryk Kowalik

You are an evil tax collector in a medieval rpg/sim game where you gather a group of guards and thugs. [...]

Ooh, I like it, there's a bit of an evil genius vibe of playing as the perhaps slightly comical villain!  I really liked how you painted a picture of the game with your second paragraph! :)

 


Insert Coin: The Penny Drops
(Title by Jonathan Bennetts, Concept by Mare Kuntz)
 
Insert Coin explores the evils of capitalism by showing how it brought about the end of the world as we know it. [...]

Sounds really interesting -- and good to see someone mixing things up with a less humorous idea!  Referencing a well-known older game is a great way of quickly communicating the core of the idea -- although if you hadn't been careful about also describing the game in reasonable detail it could have backfired for those who are unfamiliar with the game and left them with an unclear picture -- something for anyone else using a similar approach to keep in mind! :)

 

Seems like a very dark theme and setting, but along with that some fantastic opportunities for really interesting and meaningful plot and character development.

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Riffing on @BroceedToCheckpoint's "How to leave your lover":

 

How hard can a relationship really be? An emotionally scarring take on contemporary relationship dynamics.

 

Gameplay takes the form of Bioware-style branching dialogue trees, wherein the player acts out a series of scenarios with their in-game partner. Each playthrough the player will be given the goal either of breaking up with their partner, or of convincing their partner not to leave. To ensure each playthrough is unique, the dialogue tree is populated by procedurally  chaining together a set of pre-written scenario fragments, customised to the active player goal and the genders of both the player and non-player character.

 

Examples of possible scenarios include 'forgotten anniversary', 'unwanted pregnancy', 'late mortgage payment', 'caught flirting with secretary', etc. The title screen is set to Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (assuming we can acquire the rights).

Edited by swiftcoder

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Insert Coin: The Penny Drops
(Title by Jonathan Bennetts, Concept by Mare Kuntz)
 
Insert Coin explores the evils of capitalism by showing how it brought about the end of the world as we know it. [...]

Sounds really interesting -- and good to see someone mixing things up with a less humorous idea!  Referencing a well-known older game is a great way of quickly communicating the core of the idea -- although if you hadn't been careful about also describing the game in reasonable detail it could have backfired for those who are unfamiliar with the game and left them with an unclear picture -- something for anyone else using a similar approach to keep in mind! smile.png

 

Seems like a very dark theme and setting, but along with that some fantastic opportunities for really interesting and meaningful plot and character development.

Glad you thought it was interesting. smile.png  It was actually kind of humorous to me - mainly the idea that anyone would make a game preaching an anti-capitalist message - but I figured if I was creating a game concept I wanted it to be something I respected, thus not something absurd.  Unusually dark for me, the romance and pet collecting game fan; I was in kind of a weird mood.  I started doing a second one yesterday and it was going in a dark direction too.  But then I realized I didn't want to do two titles from the same person, so I picked a different one to work on today.

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Okay I completely failed at the brief part of this.  This is not an elevator pitch.  But, can the actual Final Fantasy games be summed up briefly?

 

 

Circle Quest - A Downward Spiral

(Title by Thumb Crusher, Concept by Mare Kuntz)

 

This is a Final Fantasy homage, though I'd change the combat out for something more actiony.  (In fact, this concept is more FFish than FF itself is anymore, given that the new one is apparently about a modern-day prince and his bros taking a road trip...)

 

Auside is a sword and sorcery world where people ride fantasy creatures as mounts, and there are two distinct races among humans. The Shelta are pale, slim, short to medium height, and consider themselves the superior race. They revere their history to the extent of turning it into a mystery religion, and think they are more intelligent and civilized than the Vivor.  The Shelta like scholarly pursuits and subtle and elegant fighting styles, and are prejudiced against mutants. The Vivor are tanned, tall and broad, and accepting of mutants, even considering some of them to be celebrities and great choices for mates. They don't like sedentary, mental work and are more inclined to physical pursuits like hunting, farming, and the more forthright kinds of fighting. There are also legends of an extinct ancient race from which these two emerged.

 

The main character, Basalt, is a teenager of the Shelta.  Born of low-ranking parents, he feels somewhat inadequate in the other Shelta's eyes, though he has the consolation of believing that he is superior to the Vivor.  His low rank also means he hasn't been taught much about his race's history, because such secrets are reserved for people who earn initiation into the mystery religion.  He joins a pseudo-military organization with the ambitious plan to hone himself and raise his reputation with the others of his race.  There he has to learn how to wield magic, which is challenging, and be matched up with a Vivor partner, which is even more challenging.  But just as he starts to settle in and earn promotions, he starts to mutate.

 

Mutations are currently a subject of investigation – an investigation Basalt is suddenly desperate to advance, in hopes of a cure.  Or if there is no cure, proof that mutants are actually the superior ones would be almost as good.  So far they only know mutation has something to do with magic, and there's a common belief that it was impossible for members of the ancient race to become mutants.  There is a legend that magic entered the world in the same mysterious event where the first wave of mutations happened.  Circles were an important symbol to the earliest magic-users and in a different form are also used in the Shelta mystery religion.  Circles symbolize cooperation among team members, and also the defensive shield this kind of cooperation can provide for a group against the outside world... as long as no members of the circle betray that cooperation.  The pseudo-military organization uses a circle to symbolize cooperation between Shelta and Vivor partners.

 

Following clues leading to ruins of this ancient civilization, the player is lead around the world and into the underworld, in a downward spiral.  As Basalt gets closer to the truth, discovering the secrets of history is a spiritual experience for him... but he's not sure he likes what he's learning.    All the characters get progressively more stressed out, ambitious, and/or mutated, so it's a downward spiral in both senses.  Meanwhile, the leaders of the Shelta's mystery religion have sent an assassin to make sure no one learns the secrets of history that they alone have a divine right to.  And there's also a mutant Vivor who is a charismatic leader and has been trying to rally people to subjugate the Shelta.  Basalt and his Vivor partner are regarded with rising hostility by both their races as traitors.  Ultimately Basalt realizes that the secret of the past is that humanity almost destroyed the world by warring against itself, and he and his partner must kill both the charismatic mutant leader and the secretive mystery religion leaders (final bosses) as the key first step to unifying their two races and preventing a new world war from breaking out.

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