Shut Up & Play some Rock 'N Roll: Pitch Video Do's & Don't'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.
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?
QUICK PITCH VIDEO DO’S & DON’T LIST
- 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.