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  • What Publishers Look For In Games

    - David Logan

  • Pitch Deck

    • The pitch deck allows you to show potential publishers what your game can become

      • While the trailer and build shows where the game is, utilize the pitch deck to show how you foresee the full experience working, such as highlighting a variety of enemies, bosses, or late game mechanics

    • After you gather your assets and put them all together, there are two main questions that need to be answered with your pitch deck:

      • Is this game worth making?

        • Think about what makes it different/fun/unique/something people will want to buy

      • Can this team make the game?

        • Point out any obvious technical risks or challenges that you honestly foresee upfront and prove that you have the people/resources/knowledge to address them

        • As an encouragement and reassurance that your team can make the game, include your track record of success and mention previously released games

    • Be sure to include the core loop, mechanics, and the player experience

      • If pitching to publishers, prioritize your game mechanics over your game's monetization model, no matter how good you foresee the monetization

    • When it comes to art, it's quality over quantity

      • Focus on one or two top-quality pieces of that really represent your game, rather than a lot of mediocre art

    • Take some time to sell yourselves as a company and as individuals

      • Keep this to 1 or 2 slides though, as your actual pitch is the most important part

        • With a limited amount of real estate to sell your team and members, show proof of why you are the best team to make the game so it focuses less on general skills and leans on why your team is the best fit in comparison to anyone else

      • Though your game may not be the right fit for the publisher(s) you approach, they may remember you and contact you for other projects/purposes

    • Overall, don't forget about the power of the classic elevator pitch

      • Know how to quickly and succinctly describe your game for others to understand and digest it

        • It's completely okay to say it's a cross between two well-known games or a mix of genres; people will understand this easily

    Plasticity is a short experience that was brought to us by students of the USC Games Program. Check it out for free on Steam, currently with about 20-40 minutes of content and multiple endings! Taking a look at the pitch deck they submitted, let's point out some really good points when it comes to preparing a deck for your game.

    Calling attention to this slide for its use of in-game assets, as it keeps the viewer grounded in the idea of the game they're looking at. Additionally, it's great material to help separate the game from other titles in the genre. It is telling how the game is being innovative.


    Continuing the world building within the pitch, this is telling how the game is original and unique.

    As mentioned above, the pitch deck is the developer's opportunity to show where the game can go past what is present in the trailer and build. By being transparent, you are building rapport with your potential publisher and they will be able to make a more informed decision on how to approach your game.

    Show how serious you are in your intentions with an educated and informed production timeline. Depending on how/when you expect to be getting paid during development, this will be very helpful to a publisher in proposing a budget. Having a project budget is mandatory for a publisher to know the scope of what's needed in terms of funding. Include each team members' monthly cost, facility costs (if any), hardware, software, and stuff such as marketing expenses.


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