Always Be Pitching

Comic-Con San Diego hosted the d4 conference this weekend, and I had all sorts of webinars I was planning to watch. But after one chance to be a fly on the wall of a pitch meeting, I was hooked. Also, I found out the webinars would be available later, but I had a feeling the pitch meetings would not (and I was right). It was such an inspiration/education–I got to watch dozens of pitches and listen to live feedback from about 20 big names in the tabletop gaming biz. 

Recurring themes were: 
1) Do your homework. Don’t go into a pitch without knowing your audience, which means learning about who’s in the room and the company they work for, especially the type of games they publish and what their product line looks like (and how your game might fit into that line).
2) Show, don’t tell. Games are a visual medium, so the more you can illustrate whatever it is you’re talking about, the better. 
3) Get to the Hook ASAP. Whatever it is that makes your game special is its hook, and as the name implies, it’s meant to hook your prospective publisher by piquing her interest. Get to the juicy stuff right away, otherwise you run the risk of your audience tuning out, or worse, cutting you off completely.

In one webinar, Matt Fantastic said his goal in a pitch meeting isn’t to get the game he’s pitching picked up (though I’m sure he wouldn’t say “no” to that), it’s to get another pitch meeting. The idea is that you’re building a reputation with publishers over time, which is a fantastic plan, indeed.

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  1. Due to where I live, I was only able to catch the first 2 hour session each day (and even that has left me on only 5 hours of sleep 😅). I thought they were so interesting, and it’s taught me a lot about what makes a good pitch and what makes a not so good pitch.

    Well done to all the designers who pitched to these professionals over zoom with an audience, that can’t be easy but they all did a great job!