The Game Pitch Process

Daniel Chamberlin7 October 2016

It begins. Many of you are excited about the idea of pitching your own games for the club to work on this year. The pitches are going to be given and voted on in a few weeks, but in the meantime you should be thinking about a game you would want to pitch, and start working on your Game Design Document! We will have tons of information on the October 7th meeting ,but this post should act as a reference guide.

GDA's process for making yearly projects is intended to replicate that of a professional studio. Therefore we divide the process into three parts (one for each quarter).

Pre-Production: This is the time where your game idea is formed and fleshed out. An idea or premise is where pre-production starts, but pre-production ends with a complete Game Design Document that will explain and showcase what the game mechanics will be and how they will function in the minute-to-minute gameplay. A GDD is a guide for your studio to understand and build your game. Unfortuntatly, the industry has no set format for GDDs, but we have referenced a few examples, most notably from a great book on game development but we have modified the format to most accurately fit the needs of GDA. During pre-production all of the teams want to write music, create characters, and program core mechanics that will help define what the game will feel like. The production side of the team will be creating schedules and lists to help make production run smoothly.

Production: This is the bulk of actually making the game. You should be aiming for your game to be able to be made in a quarter ( 10 weeks ). During this time, the teams work together to create the actual game. We aim to make a complete "level" / section / vertical slice of your game first, and then replicate that process to create additional content. More info about production will come in the Winter Quarter.

Post-Production: The focus of this period is to polish the game and create publicity for a release. Polish is the most visible part of a game. Polish helps refine what the game is like to play, resolve bugs, improve the visuals and perfect the sound. This is what takes a good game to a great game. The other focus of this period is to publicize the game on tools like indieDB, the GDA website and perhaps Steam Greenlight! The more publicity time we have for each game, the more impact the game will have on your resume and portfolio. With the ever-growing indie market, these are skills that should be useful for any game you work on in the future.

This is a lot of information, but don't be afraid! We are here to help guide every game through this process and it's still only week 2. The year will fly by faster than you could ever imagine but the first step is to pitch your game ideas. This is completely optional, but if you're interested in pitching a game, start looking at some previous pitches for an idea of what our winning pitches looked like.