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Pitching Game Ideas

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I''ve read from Squaresoft that "Unfortunately, we, and many other game companies, cannot use any game ideas that are received from the general public due to legal complications that can arise. That is why we have several complete development teams in Japan whose sole purpose is to create and produce video games." First off, is this really true, or is Squaresoft trying to scare newbies from having their name in a big game (and keep pre-production teams from getting very pissed off), and second, would it be viable to try pitching a console RPG to a developer? I have several parts of a design document written down that I would like to see created into a console RPG game, and I''ve worked with a friend of mine to refine it. It''s too large for us two to create it, and too large to get a whole bunch of free help and market as freeware. Any ideas?

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I don''t know if that''s a direct quote, but its not entirely true. For Squaresoft, who are as much game developer as publisher, it may be easier for them to avoid legal problems if they refuse to consider outside game ideas. But certainly other publishers, e.g., Microsoft, Sega, and others, do indeed consider outside games. You''ll need more than a design document, though. Major publishers see a thousand of those a year. Read the "Developer''s Speak" documents under the "publications" link at www.bizdev-inc.com

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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Yes, that was a direct quote from SquareSoft''s Support FAQ. Then again, who said that PR people (or politicians for that matter) tell the truth all the time?

BTW, that was a good article for people like me with a semi-idea of what companies look for. But I''m not that great with programming, and to put together an actual working demo, I''d need several programmers and artists. I was thinking about opening a project at Sourceforge, but I''m concerned on the open source front and trying to get the game published. An RPG isn''t exactly the best thing for people to be modding and adding hacks to...but then again, I do need the help . I''ve already written an eight page basic outline for the game, so the foundation is already set. Should I make a souped-up version at SourceForge and hope I can round up some help, make some posts and friends in the Help Wanted forum, or do you have a better suggestion?

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Companies like SquareSoft are too large to ever use an outside game idea, regardless if you have a thousand page design document and complex concept art. Game development companies rarely ever use a third party concept, and if they did, it will not be from someone not well known.
There are more ideas out there than time.

I once submitted a presentation to Westwood Studios, and actually recieved a reply (which is extremely rare). They basically said, very nicely, that they dont use outside ideas, but thanks.

So it is a complete waste of your time to try to get other (especially big) development companies to even consider your idea. If you think its revolutionary, develop a demo and pitch to a publisher for funding.

-Ibuku

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A lot of companies (or rather the highly paid lawyers they drag around) are worried that if some kid of the street writes them a letter, and they read it, he''ll try to sue for plagerism when their next game comes out.

A lot of these companies return unsolicited proposals to sender unopened.

If you''re a designer with no experience, you may want to try to join a team, either here or at source-forge, and create a few small games, before aiming for the industry.

As for Microsoft and others accepting outside game ideas; they accept outside Games (because they''re publishers..), and as such they''re actually looking for something approaching a complete game game, with a team that can bring it to completion within 10-14 months.

Allan

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Afraid I disagree with Graham 100%. I have worked with a large number of game developers and publishers over the last fourteen years and none (not one, zero, nil, nada) will accept or even bother to read designs submitted by members of the public.

The following came from the Eidos web site and matches the quote from Squaresoft given by the original poster:

"Regarding design submissions by individuals
..........it is very unlikely that we would take an interest in a design or storyboard from anyone but a well-established developer with the programming and graphics resources to develop the title in question."


The question of design submission is a very frequently asked one and a more detailed response can be found here http://www.obscure.co.uk/faq.shtml

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

[edited by - obscure on June 5, 2002 1:51:08 PM]

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Not a hope in hell I agree the only way in on game design at this level these days is join a team/company as a desinger perhaps and influence a project directly that way.

From the outside looking in tho you have no chance really if your looking to sell a large company a new design idea that way.

Years ago it may of been possible of course, but that was then
and you probably would of got ripped off anyway to be honest :/


Adrian Cummings (Proprietor)
Mutation Software
www.mutationsoftware.com
www.dweebs.info

[edited by - Mutation on June 9, 2002 9:10:53 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Mutation
oops sorry about the 2 replies now 3 - doh !


Dont apologize. Instead, go and edit the second post, click the checkbox that says "Did you double post?" then click the "Make Modifications" button. Tada, no more double post.

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