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Subject: Pitching a game to investors? rss

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Jessica Star
Belgium
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We have a couple of potential investors lined up to present out game to in the coming months. I'm wondering what exactly I should begin preparing for the pitch now?

Obviously we have the prototype ready, and I guess we need a planned budget. What else should I include, and how detailed, and any other advice?
 
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Philip Migas
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Welcome to the geek.

See: http://inspirationtopublication.wordpress.com/category/steps...
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Oliver Kiley
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Have a business plan.

Do you have a business plan? Are you looking for investors so that you can finance a self-published game? If so do you have a business that is capable of recieving an investment? You also should be pretty confident that you can actually sell your game and repay and investments.

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Jessica Star
Belgium
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Sorry, I should have been more clear. Yes, we're looking for an investor to finance us self publishing. What should be included in the business plan?
 
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Pierre Rebstock
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In addition to everything you might have already, I highly recommend having a "sellsheet" handy, a one page (one side) that summarises everything your game is about, including play time, target market, distribution avenues (Toys'r Us or smaller outlets?), RRP, etc. Flashy and memorable like a good advert but filled with useful info (as opposed to the usual BS).
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Mike Kollross
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Alberta
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There are 3 types of pitches you should have ready

15 second (or elevator pitch). What is the gane about in terms of major mechanics, how long, how many players and what age range.

2 minute pitch. A quick overview of components and an example of game play.

15 minute pitch. A more in depth look at compoments and how they interact with the game. A turn by turn exampleof game play and possibly playing the game a few rounds.

Each of these pitches can blend into the next with the top result being a full play of the game. Its important to be cognitive of your audiences time constraints and attention span. If they look impatient hit teh very high notes and wind it down. Ask for impressions and feedback. Keep the conversation going but don't do the hard sell. use leading questions. Don't ask "Did you like it?", ask "What do you think?" or "What are your impressions?" Don't ask a question that can be answered with a yes or no or the answer will be no 99% of the time and your pitch is over.

Walk the fine line between keeping the conversation going and monopolizing their time. It take spratice so get out there and pitch the game to someone. Doinga pitch outloud to yourself can feel dorky but will help you stumble past some language or phrasing.
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jefF, There are some who call me... DuneKitteh
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Twinklestar wrote:
Sorry, I should have been more clear. Yes, we're looking for an investor to finance us self publishing. What should be included in the business plan?


Yeah, MHO, you're in a different realm than just "design", you're looking for start up funds for a company. If I were and investor, ready to hand over cash to you to produce your product, here's what I'd want to see.

First, a complete product (game), ready to go. Most of us here on this forum look at basic design and getting a game to a prototype point (the base design perhaps, basic playtesting complete to make sure it isn't a disaster or pointless game, and maybe some graphics, but not always or even usually) to present to a publisher who will handle the final design, graphics, printing/manufacturing, packaging, advertising, distribution - but as you plan to "self publish", you're going to do all of that which the publisher handles, or have everyone and everything set in line to do it, so you better show me a complete tested and ready to go into production product and how you're going to handle all of that.

I'm going to want to see the final playtested and designed product people are going to buy - if your design isn't complete and you're at the prototype phase, you are NOT ready to "self publish", you're a designer with an idea, like hundreds of the rest of us on this board (look around BGG at how many users have "game designer" badges - now look how many have "game publisher" badges - yeah... there are a LOT LESS of those here, and for good reason). If you want my money to invest, you have to show me a completed product that you have all production costs complete on (estimates and quotes to get the game manufactured - who is doing it, and WHERE is it being made), what your selling price is (wholesale / MSRP), how many units you plan on producing with the money, how you plan to warehouse it, your advertising and promotion plans and ideas, your timelines on ALL of it, and what my return is going to be (investors don't give you 50k to get 50k back, they give you 50k, to get 60k or 75k-100k or more back, so show me your profit margins and that you've done the math on it). Not only am I going to want to see that I'm going to get my money back, and that there's a good chance I'm going to, but that I'm going to get something extra back for you using my money for a period of time.

Show me you're incorporated and/or a legal ready-to-do-and-go business in your country. Not ready with that, then you're not ready for my money. Show me that at least MY legal liability is zero and that if some kids end up with lead poisoning because you picked a low budget remote company in rural Mongolia to make your game and they sucked on the pieces and got sick that the game buyers won't/can't come after ME as the person that bankrolled you.

If you haven't thought about the liabilities and processes behind running a BUSINESS (producing or selling ANYTHING, not just a game), AND you don't have a product READY TO PRODUCE AND SELL RIGHT NOW then you are not ready to "self publish." Basically, you are going to have to show me that you've ALREADY done a/o are ready for every last thing you have to do as if you were starting your own company and making your game to hit the store shelves before the year is out and the ONLY thing that's missing at the point you're in front of me is the dollars to do it. Anything less than that or short of it, then you're not ready to run a company / publish - you're a person with a product IDEA... you're a designer looking for a publisher.

Sorry if this comes off as harsh, but there is a (world of) difference between making and having a game prototype ready for (other) publishers to look at and starting your own game company. Really, you need to do your homework on the costs involved in starting your own business and producing your product which, IMHO, if you've done then you probably wouldn't be here asking how to present it. You'd have all the ducks and dogs and ponies in a row and ready for the show and you'd already know exactly what you've got.

Last rule of thumb, If you're not excited enough, and ready enough right now to produce it with your own money and at your own risk, you're probably not ready to do it with mine then.
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Pierre Rebstock
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Welcome to Dragons' Den
All jokes aside, some very good advice I must say.
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Recognize that you are not pitching a game to investors. You are pitching a game, a publishing company, and your executives and employees.

1. The company. Have you created the company? Have you a projected budget? Who are the executives and what are they getting paid? Do you have biographies of the principles that shows their skills useful to a game company?

2.Sales staff and plans. Who are your sales staff? How much will they cost? What shows to you plan to attend? What are those costs? What contacts have you made? Do you have mentors?

3. Projected manufacture & shipping timelines and costs.

4. taxes, financing (loan interest) costs.

5. storage

6. Insurance and contingencies.

7. Advertising venues and expenses.
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Theresa Moore
United States
Oregon
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This isn't a true statement I made a game and my daughter turned it in at a grade school homework assignment, she got an A+ and all the kids in the classroom wanted to buy it, her classroom was made up of 90 percent rich kids and they all played video games. I TRIED to do something with my game I just don't know how, the company I was looking into ended up being a scam. They were on the TV. Radio,internet. Thank God I was smart and didn't give them any money. I was told that if they want money up front never give them anything they are not for real. I know my game would sell because every child who saw it wants one, I just don't know how to get it out there, my daughter is 26 years old now and still has the kids from grade school, still ask about the game. It is a one of a kind and I did Finnish the mane copy in wood.
 
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