We recently visited big indie pitch at Apps world London and pitched our latest game to some journalist and publishers. While we did not win any prices, the experience was something new and positive to us. Plus we met a lot of interesting developers and people from gaming world.
So first of all what is big indie pitch? We had no idea either until we visited one and presented our game. The event explanations were a little vague on the website. The Pocketgamer website describes big indie pitch as a speed-dating with journalist.
We had no idea how to prepare before going to London, specially since we got enlisted three days before the event. We prepared a slideshow and practiced getting our presentation under three minutes. All we knew was that we have only three minutes to present our game.
At the event there were four tables to present your game at. Two juries, journalists and/or publishers, were sitting at each table and each developer would wait for their turn. Once it is your turn you will sit at first table and you have three minutes to sell your game to the juries in front of you. You will get an extra minute to answer questions to juries. Then you switch to next table and the same happens until you have presented your game to all juries.
So at each table we tried to explain as good as possible what it is that we are making and show the features of the game. We had prepared animated Gifs to quickly show the unique mechanics.
However, as I mentioned earlier we were not prepared well for this event since we had no idea how the big indie pitch works.
The first mistake we made was to create a slideshow of our game and trying to explain the whole game in under three minutes. Unless you have a very simple game, three minutes is not going to be enough to explain your whole game. It will only make your game look less than it is since you will probably forget to mention some mechanics. Or not give enough attention to parts of your game as it might deserve.
It would have worked much better if we would have only give attention to the unique mechanics of our game.
We also did not give the juries a chance to ask questions or use the extra minute to play the game for themselves. This was extra troublesome since we were there with a still in development unbalanced game and no tutorial.
The important lesson for such occasions is to only put together the most important USP of your game and find a way to really nail down those point in your presentation. Make them excited about your game. Exclude all other little features from your presentation. They will come to find out more about your game if they like what they have seen. This is the most important and your main goal after all. Creating awareness for your game.