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Ever ask somebody or been asked about a game, what it's like, or to just go into more details? Ever have somebody go really long, or do so yourself? This isn't a rules explanation, but I've heard some go longer than it'd probably take to do the rules explanation itself (of which, I'm sure I've done this myself).

What's a good length of time for you here? It seems like the "elevator pitch" that they teach folks who are job hunting would work out well. 30 seconds or less. If not that, then definitely no more than a minute. I know some folks who create kickstarters, or work for pubs tend to be good at that on account that's their job, but yeah, they do need to be able to pitch games to get people's attention without losing it again. Some folks in my game groups that are otherwise good at this sort of thing... being brief, rehearsed, and otherwise knowing what to say and what to leave out.
 
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Pete
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If the person is a gamer, I can describe a game in about 20 seconds.

If he isn't that conversation will take a half hour.

Pete (thinks terms like "worker placement" are great shorthand)
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Trevor Taylor
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FARINGDON
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I give a game 'pitch' for games we will definitely play at our games group (in an email though, except for a couple of work friends who I just tell about the games anyway). This is usually a SHORT paragraph; 2 or 3 sentences at most. Say who you are (as the player) what you're trying to achieve and if it's not obvious, how you go about achieving that.

plezercruz wrote:
If the person is a gamer, I can describe a game in about 20 seconds.

If he isn't that conversation will take a half hour.

Pete (thinks terms like "worker placement" are great shorthand)


I agree that I can explain a game quicker to the 'gamers', but if you're explaining to a mixed group you can still explain a game 'concept' very quickly, you just need to avoid 'gamer' terms.
 
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mortego
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Lately I've sent YouTube reviews to friends who are coming over to play some games they've never played before. It seems to work out and has made explaining a game to them take about 10 min or.
 
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Dave Eisen
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Redwood City
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Elevator pitch as well. I generally specifically use this term when asking someone about a game he or she might have designed or recently played.
 
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Christian B.
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Frederiksberg C
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If I'm trying to briefly explain (as in not explaining the rules, only what the game is about and such) a game to a non-gamer, I'm definitely going for the elevator pitch. They don't want to hear me rabble for minutes...
 
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Depends whether your actually just explaining the game or also making small talk to fill time.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Florence
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That depends on whether I'm just telling someone about the game or if I'm trying to get it played at that moment.
 
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Dan Lokemoen
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In High Frontier you compete over and trade realistic technologies with other corporations while racing to build space ships to travel throughout the solar system to accomplish missions of your own design.

That's a pretty complex game described reasonably well in one sentence. I work in a games store, and we need to get the gist of a game across pretty quickly. I could add a sentence or two to communicate the complexity, length, and player count, and maybe one or two more sentences to attempt to convey the flavor, and bit of what's cool about the game.

I suspect that if I spent ten minutes telling you about this game, I would only be repeating what I have already said, or getting into the rules. In fact, in ten minutes I think I could get enough rules across to have someone be able to play the game, as long as an experienced player was there to answer questions and expound on details at salient moments.
 
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Billy Totty
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Krum
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Elevator Pitch. If you can’t say something that piques my interest enough to at least give it a try in 30-60 seconds, I’m probably going to pass.
 
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Some Guy
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It depends on the game. A game like Catan can sound mind numbing if you gloss over it. "It's great! You trade sheep for wood and build roads!" But if you go a little deeper can sounds pretty fun. "You gather resources to expand your reach on the board and score points. You can trade cards with other players and even steal cards!"

So I usually give the barest explanation I can and still have the game sound fun. I leave out buzz-words like "worker placement" if the person is a non-gamer.

A good example is a girl I work with asked me what games I was playing. She isn't a gamer but she played a lot of Catan with her brothers so she is at least interested in games. At the time I was playing a lot of Lords of Waterdeep so I explained it something along the lines of:
"Each player has little pawn like pieces that they can place on different places of the board to get resources. Then you can draft cards that tell you which resources you need, and how many points the card is worth. You can also use different cards to get more resources, or steal some from others and generally bend the game rules. Everyone basically just takes turns laying pawns and completing cards for points. Who ever has the most points after 8 turns wins."

She said that it sounded like a lot of fun.

A lot of people tend to info dump on people, I imagine they think the more info, and the more understanding people have of a game then the more they will like it. But I find you really don't need to say much about a game for someone to decide if they like the idea or not. If it's a gamer friend and they said it doesn't sounds very fun you can usually convince them to at least try it once, but if they are a non-gamer then just give them the bare bones and if they think it sounds fun, maybe they will look into it on their own.
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