The Mayday Games Blog

Shut Up & Play some Rock 'N Roll: Pitch Video Do's & Don't's

Shut Up & Play some Rock 'N Roll: Pitch Video Do's & Don't's

0 Comment(s)

When you’re a creative individual, it’s natural to want to share all the things about your creativity with the world. But sometimes, it’s easy to get carried away. Not everyone needs to know the entire story behind your creation.

That goes double for a pitch video.

Our Lead Game Developer, Daniel Peterson, sees over 1,000 board game prototypes each year, and a lot of those are in the form of a pitch video. You’d be surprised how many of those videos don’t even include basic contact information, so we wanted to share some tips to help all you game designers be as successful as possible!

Daniel is more than a game developer, he used to be in a professional rock ‘n roll band! He has played at SXSW and at several other music festivals! His band opened for Bowling for Soup, The Marshall Tucker Band and Nickelback and they were on the Warped Tour with Green Day, Flogging Molly and T.S.O.L. They were even in talks with record companies like Roadrunner Records, Hollywood Records and Virgin Records. One thing he said his band always did to keep the crowd hooked in was to come on stage rockin’ and rollin’. No talking. They’d jump right in with the music. They weren’t a big household name, so no one came to hear them talk. They came to hear some great music and that’s what the band game them.

They’d shut up and play some rock ‘n roll!

You can do this with pitch videos too! The most important thing to remember is to get to the point quickly. You want to hook your potential publisher in the first 30-60 seconds of the video. The reality is most publishers decide in the first 30-60 seconds if they’re interested, so you want to put your best food forward in that first minute of your pitch. Come in rocking out! Introduce yourself (be sure to include an email address) and your game, tell them how to play and what makes your game sparkle.

Already have the game set up in the video and show it while you talk about it. Showing set-up in a pitch video isn’t necessary. If your game is signed, all those details will come later. Remember, you only have 30-60 seconds to really sell it, so don’t waste time talking about set-up. Skip that step and have the game already set up.

No one knows the magic and sparkle of your game like you. If you’re not excited and passionate about the game, then no one else will be either. Talk about your game in a way that is engaging and exciting. It may be a video, but do your best to show how excited and passionate you are about your design. What makes it shine? This is the most important part of your pitch and what you should focus a majority of your 30-60 seconds on.
Remember, there are so many games already out there on the market. Why would your game stand out? Why would the publisher want to add your game to the market? What makes it different? Where’s the magic?

You don’t want to be too vague about your game, but you definitely don’t want to be too detailed. It’s a balancing act. While a lot of contests give you a 5-minute time limit, a lot of publishers won’t even watch the whole 5-minutes. If they do? Great! But you want to put your hook in that first 60 seconds of your video! Work on really rockin’ out! If you can sell them in that first minute then you’ve done your job!

Show us how to play your game…quickly. Show us one typical turn. Don’t start talking about any exceptions and oddities to a turn. In other words, we know there might be times that a typical turn might be different but we don’t need to see that in your pitch video. If your game is signed, all those details will come out in development. Just stick to a simple overview of your game. Show your design and back to what was said above – show us the magic!

Remember you’re making a pitch video. This isn’t a Kickstarter video. You don’t even to need to worry too much about video quality. If you have to make your pitch video using your cell phone, that’s OK! There is no need for some big professional production with fancy music and after effects. In fact, we don’t even want all that. We just want to see you and your game.

In the end, we want you to be successful in your endeavors as game designers. Daniel loves to meet new designers and when he meets with designers in person, he often gives them notes about things that can be improved upon with their designs. While he can’t do that when he views pitch videos, this is our way of trying to help you all out with those too!

And remember, with any field where you are putting yourself and your creativity out there…there will, unfortunately, always be some amount of rejection. It’s important to know that it doesn’t mean you have a bad design. There could be any number of reasons your game doesn’t get picked up by a publisher. The game just may not be ready. Sometimes you may have a game with a lot of potential, but it still needs work before publishers are ready to pick it up. Your game might not be right for a particular publisher. There are so many reasons your game might not be signed. So, don’t get discouraged! Keep up the hard work and if play-testers, developers or publishers give you feedback, take it into consideration.

So, what can you do to shut up and play your own rock and roll?


  • Do provide contact information at the beginning of the video – introduce yourself and your game
  • Do keep the best part of your pitch to the first 30-60 seconds of the video
  • Do have your game already set up at the start of the video
  • Don’t talk about your influences for the design or who else in your family and friends like the game and why
  • Don’t worry about video quality or after effects
  • Don’t go into too much detail about the game or the game rules

If you are interested in pitching a game to Mayday, we are always looking for family-friendly games. Family-friendly games are defined as games that are engaging enough for adults and easy enough for children to play as well. We are also seeking slight strategy games, like Isle of Skye, and games with a toy factor – like Coconuts and Click Clack Lumberjack.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

(0) Items
Items 0
Subtotal $0.00 USD
To Top