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Pitch your game: "One line to lure them all"!

A topic by SnoutUp created 1 year ago Views: 1,931 Replies: 51
Viewing posts 1 to 21
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Here's little marketing exercise!

You have one sentence for your PR email title to stand out in thousands of titles in the inbox of multi-million subscriber Youtube channel . One sentence to hook the reader & pull it in to the magical world of feature lists, trailers, GIFs and screenshots, which is (or should be) your well crafted marketing letter. One sentence to tease about the best thing your game has to offer or straight up reveal it.

  • avoid using "fun" or "addictive"
  • use basic "GAME TITLE is ..." structure if in doubt
  • link your pitch to your game page (if you can or want to)
  • give tips or ideas on how to improve other pitches (if you can)

Go!

Dead King is an auto-runner about rebuilding the life of the victim of regicide to become the most powerful being in the kingdom.

Link to product page

The moment I saw "auto-runner" my brain shut down.

I think you might want to try to find a way to say how it is different from the standard auto-runner. I saw you have something about buying abilities if I remember correctly, maybe incorporate that into your pitch, because auto-runner screams boring (at least to me), but buying abilities sounds interesting.

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I just came up with this one and added it to our website...

The Light Inside Us is a unique action/strategy shooter about power and the responsibility that comes with it

The Light Inside Us website

Would love some feedback and advice

The word "unique" doesn't add anything to this. Everything is unique. Why is it unique?

From the perspective of wanting to know in one line what the game is, I would add minimalist graphics and isometric.

As a YouTuber, if this was in my inbox, "isometric" probably would've made me less interested to be honest. That said, when I actually clicked the link to check it out, it does seem interesting..interesting enough I'd like to give it a shot and maybe make a video of it. I don't see anything about price or downloads? You should at least mention that there isn't a way to get it yet if there isn't.

Those are good points. Unique doesn't necessarily convey anything. The main thing I wanted to get across was that the game is very different from other shooters, but I'm pretty sure quite a few other games are the same.

Minimal and isometric are also terms I was considering, since people who've seen it have drawn comparisons to Rymdkapsel in terms of art style. I'm not too sure about mentioning release status or pricing in the one-liner though. Wouldn't that come either in the email subject line like, 'The Light Inside Us-Preview' or in the description?

Sorry for the confusion, I wasn't recommending you put availability information in the tagline, I was asking about it because I want to try it.

Second this. You need to describe why it is unique instead of just saying that it is unique.

I learnt it the hard way in the past :D

Does the game have to actually exist though?

Because if not.......(*clears throat*)


"The title of this project: "Freewill Platoon" is just a project name, what it is: It's Valkyria Chronicles meets the first Dungeon Seige."


Basically, as long as the pitcher knows what your referencing, X meets Y helps a lot, it creates a picture of what they know to be good already, without you having to say much more, it has the taste of familiarity, and it also kinda states, yeah, that thing was good, but what if we did that...but differently....hopefully better? All in one sentence.

Many a film has been pitched as "Diehard on an X." http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DieHard...

It works.


Now, I wanna unpack my idea a little......

I have no idea how I would make it, but basically, I started off with some thoughts on how valkyria chronicles could be improved, it's one of my most favorite games ever....but it has it's faults, nothing that gets in the way of me playing it, just, it could be even more awesome right?

But I wasn't sure how I'd go about addressing how it tends to function in turns until I say a video on dungeon siege, then I immediately recognized what it actually needed to be, an rpg/rts hybrid, where you only control a single platoon, no more, no less, of 20-25 people max, with, like VC, each character having significant back story and a long list of traits, much bugger then what VC did, and they wouldn't trigger in that anime flash frame kind of way, they'd just always be active when applicable. What Dungeon siege has to add is controlling many people at once in that RTS fashion, but each character having stats, and their own adjustable equipment, much like VC.

The game would ultimately be a WW2 or modern day esque RTS (I haven't quite decided setting, but I do want guns, including lots of automatics.) with all those specific character stats and possible perma-death (though, hopefully with VC's critical health state rescue mechanic so it doesn't veer into fire emblem save scummy territory again.)

generally comparing your game to one or two other games is not a good idea; it immediately marks your game as unoriginal/derivative

Originality is....to a certain extent....a myth.


Do you really think most popular works are truly original?

No, all of them have inspirations from other works.

Even Shakespeare adapted his works from older, common stories, or so I'm told, and in turn, many works from derived from his ideas.


But I can assure you I haven't seen anyone really pull off this idea before, these two other games are quite simply the closet I've ever seen come close to that, and they certainly have a lot that could be learned from. Thus, there's still some originality, but with plenty of inspiration from good ideas.



And if doing this is so wrong, why is it hollywood makes so many sequels and such, and they sell....really well?

Execution by a good director is of course critical too (often what makes so many other movies fail.), but that's the point, it matters more how you do it, more then it matters what you do.....as long as it's not a half-baked idea. And I've thought out a lot more to this idea then your aware, it's not half-baked.

The problem is that to anyone who hasn't ever played or heard of Valkyria Chronicles or Dungeon Siege, this pitch means absolutely nothing. When you're at a show like PAX, and have 5 seconds to grab someone's attention, saying "X meets Y" isn't going to do it. They'll space out and look at something else that's caught their eye. The "Die Hard on an X" trope also tends to be very limiting due to the literal nature of it. People may think, "Oh so it has Bruce Willis?" or similar narrow-scoped thoughts. There are a hundred different ways this description can be interpreted, and none of them give a clear picture about what the game is, how it plays, or why you're passionate about making it.

Working off your descriptive paragraph, if you eliminate the references to other games and clean up the grammar a little, this is what your pitch looks like:

A World War II RPG/RTS hybrid, where you only control a single platoon of 20-25 people, each with significant backstory and a long list of traits, stats, their own adjustable equipment, and LOTS of automatic weapons.

See how clean that is? Now people know what you're talking about. We've got a genre, we've got a setting, and we've got a clear picture in our mind of how this game is going to play. The point is to focus, and have a clear understanding of what you're making. No one will understand your game if you don't.

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If it's only a single sentence one gets, screw them all. That premise is wrong.


That sentence is just as loaded with things for a person being required to know, as anything else.


Edit: None of these other pitches have remotely interested me, I need to know....more.......pictures, descriptions, something.

When you're in an elevator, at a show, or pitching to a publisher, you're lucky to even get one sentence, let alone get to show pictures. Time is money.

I'm not a cop, but damn if you didn't steal this thread, which I hoped to be with 1-sentence replies mostly... Also, I must admit that your pitch doesn't say much to me, since I've never played any of those games. That's risky.

My apologies.

I suppose all I can say is that making one sentence pitches isn't for me.

[untitled] is a platformer about exploring an unknown world and its vast, diverse ecosystem.

Mondrian - Abstraction in Beauty is a relaxing, procedurally generated, 360-degree block breaking game inspired by art history.

http://lantanagames.itch.io/mondrian

Children of Liberty is a 2D kids' stealth game about helping Paul Revere on the eve of the American Revolution.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/264440

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Noisekiller is a game about shooting shapes and being really angry.

http://mokka.itch.io/noisekiller



Making this Thread was a really good idea by the way.

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Swim like a fish: http://ninjadodo.itch.io/guppy

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Your pitch made me imagine "hold button to go up, release to go down" sidescroller and game itself looks way more interesting than that! I'd rather use the line you have in game page - "Guppy is a 2D watercolor fish simulation". It's already pretty interesting!

Thanks. :) Usually I do use the simulation line, though "swim like a fish" is the shortest.... but you're right, absent other information it's easy to think of the familiar with the short version.

D.S.A is about a girl band who are tripping out while lost on a giant college campus: http://thewaether.itch.io/dsa


(P.S This is pretty much exactly what I wrote in press emails and it seemed to get attention for it, so I guess it's good!?)

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This is always a pain to think about, though I guess that's just a criticism of the genre and plot I've got more than anything else. Ah, well:

Phantasmagoria is a world where vicious, godlike beings have come to reclaim a power thought theirs . . . and you're not entirely sure they're in the wrong.

(work in progress, no links available, got a lot of tech to work through)

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ah oh.

Um....have you heard of Sierra's game called by the same name?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantasmagoria_(video_game)

I have no idea how IP stuff applies in this case, I just want to make you aware.....

Yes, I am aware, but thanks regardless! :)

I honestly have no idea about pricing, or what I'm going to do around this, and the name is something I've held onto for a while. If it's a problem, I'll end up changing it, but that's not a concern right now.

Nice to see thread going pretty strong and interesting pitches with even more interesting games behind them. My first language isn't English, so I'm usually going for simpler descriptions, but having weird mechanics or characters help to keep it interesting

  • Iron Snout is a button-mash game, where you fight hordes of wolves with their own weapons & body parts
  • Cave Blast is a jetpack SHMUP with silly characters shooting bacon lasers and banana bombs at weird enemies
As far as emails go, I try adding questions or call to actions to the title. For Iron Snout it's "How many wolves can one piglet beat?". Can't say it works well, tho. Had only few replies.

Jim Sterling loved Iron Snout! Isn't that what really matters?

Sometimes I find phrasing it as a question can make it feel like you're setting them a chore unconciously, so I tend to avoid it.

Ellapse is a journey through a surreal, dream-like world where decisions have noticeable impacts and the line between close friends and enemies is hard to find.

How was that? It's kind of hard to summarize a game in one line (especially one you've been planning and working on for over a year), this is good practice!

thats pretty good! better than mine, i think. one suggestion that may or may not work depending on the game: would it be better if 'noticeable impacts' was exchanged with 'consequences'? just cuz that kinda seems more ominous.

Ah yeah! That's one of those words that seems rather repetitive from my perspective because one of the characters early on actually says "Every decision has its consequences." But yes, that does sound more interesting than what I had!

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The Ceramic Uncertainty: 40,000+ words about a plant & 80+ plot resolutions based on your choices may highlight more personal existential conflicts than you'd expect.


Perhaps the pitch is reflective of the interactive novel's wordiness ;) hehehehehe

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ooh, i like this topic. okay here goes. edit: advice is welcomed, i need it.


Valk Unit Zero, a 2D Action RPG; the world is repeating the events of it's demise, with only your memories intact, solve how to break free from this vicious cycle.

slowly building up progress @ValkUnitZero

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How about "Break free from a looping apocalypse, which only you can remember already happened"?

shorter, and more to the point, i like.

it's been such a tricky one. cause i also want to include that choices heavily effect the current iteration you're in, without saying butterfly effects.

Cassie: Professional Ghost is a puzzle platformer where you can't get used to the fact that everything else is corporeal, but you're not.

Let me know what you think of the pitch; I want to work on my marketing skills!

You tricked me! But if you actually make it i'd love to play!

Dragged Away: A Rogue-like JRPG where an unknown terror is chasing you. Think Hotline Miami action sequences meet a Final Fantasy 6 story line.

Please, please give me advice on this, I know I fail at marketing and would love the help.

Mystery House, an adventure-horror experience with eerie, lo-fi visuals where you must escape from a mansion home to an alien-worshiping cult.

Go here to check it out

I would focus more on the alien-worshiping cult part. "Eerie, lo-fi visuals" is just telling people that the game is scary. So is "adventure-horror experience," although that's excusable because it describes the genre of the game. It's better to show people a detail of the game that will get them intrigued and wondering what the game is like than to just tell them what the game is like.

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I didn't think the two phrases communicated the same thing, but now that you mention it I can see how it does.

What do you mean by "...a detail of the game..."? are you just referring to an aspect of the game, or something in the tone, etc?

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I guess just an interesting fact about the game? Something about its story, or its mechanics, or anything really, as long as it's not obvious. So if I say my game is a puzzle platformer, that's pretty boring, but if I say it's about the struggles of a ghost trying to be an adult, that's a lot more interesting.

Ah, got ya.

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The pitch got me curious, but I have a hard time understanding the part "escape from a mansion home to an alien-worshiping cult". Shouldn't it be something like "escape from a mansion of an alien-worshiping cult" instead?

Admittedly I wrote it in a bit of a hurry, so the grammar/phrasing might be off.

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Armed with Wings Rearmed, It's Samurai Limbo on Steroids!

http://d-sun.itch.io/armed-with-wings-rearmed

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Wasnt the first Armed With Wings a flash game? I think it even predates Limbo, right?, you should probably add something like "We were Samurai Limbo on steroids before Limbo was even a thing!".

Indeed AwW predates Limbo by 2 years haha - But I do intend to use Limbos popularity to my advantage.
Most people wont care which game came before which, and I think 'Samurai Limbo on Steroids' illustrates a powerful message.

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Stellar Stars is the 1st Ever Multiplayer Online Rogue-lite Arena (MORA) that passionately cooks the best of Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) and Rogue-lites together, empowering you with the ability to level up in direct and interactive ways, while fighting other players in a sci-fi & fantasy 8-bit world with procedurally generated stages.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=565632272

1 super long sentence heheheh :D

That sure is a long sentence! I think you should work on simplifying it a bit... "A mix of MOBA & rogue-lite set in a sci-fi world with massive boss fights" :)

Ever wondered what it would be like to be taken by aliens to a far away planet where there is no beer?

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I been learning Java and C# for the last year and I been toying with Unity for like 6 months and I would love to start my first full game. So some honest advice on this pitch would be appreciated:

Earth is death so pack your shit folks we're going away!! Choose your ship, assemble your crew, travel hundreds of light years at STL (Slower Than Light!!), watch your crew slowly wither in the soul crushing immensity of space... Are you good enough to reach the promised land??

I should probably include this is a newtonian physics space game with an arcade feel and emergent narrative, but where? And should I? That pitch (to me) sounds more interesting than just naming the mechanics.