Today we will introduce you to the 1 Page Pitch, a document that I have used frequently to help me flesh out game ideas. This document is great tool for communicating your ideas to the people on your development team, upper management, or a potential publisher. This document is broken down into the following components:
• Game Title
• Game Features
The main goal of your 1 Page Pitch is to sell your idea to others. You need to convince your team that this is a great game worth making and your publisher needs to be persuaded that this is a worthy project to invest in. This document will also be the stepping stone to the much more detailed High Concept Document. This quick and simple layout will help you fine-tune your creative thinking and efficiently present your ideas to your readers. Here is a quick break down of each element and the order they should appear in your document. (Sample Document Download)
The proposed name of your game. Don't worry you can always change it later, but it should get your audience excited when they read the title. Avoid being overtly generic. Avoid titles like Solider X: A Shooter or Mega Buster 5000.
What is your game's intended platform? Does it make sense to have a Wii and a 360 version in the same pitch? Or an iOS and PC combo? Think about your decision and the current climate in which your game will be released. Unless you are working for a big publisher on a well known title, your game will usually be specified to one or two similar platforms. In the event you are working on a major title, consider separate proposals for each platform. For example, your Skylanders 3DS proposal will differ from the 360 version because of hardware specs and user controls/limitations.
Easy one. Just name the genre of your game. New designers can easily make false assumptions about a specific genre. (Make sure you know the difference between a RTS and a TBS.) If you are unsure where your game fits in, look up other titles that are similar to your idea to see what genre they have been categorized in.
Besides the game's title, this is your first real chance to wow your readers. The summary should be a simple paragraph that visually communicates the game experience players will be playing. Take advantage of descriptive language and emotional statements to vividly describe your game idea. You will have the opportunity to describe the basic fundamentals and strategies of your game mechanics later, in the Game Features section of the document. The first 2-3 sentences should summarize the main elements of your game's story; if that is applicable to the pitch. The remaining space should concentrate on describing the feeling and engagement players will experience during the game.
Finally, the chance talk about the meat and potatoes of your game. What makes your game special? What is the unique feature set? Why would someone want to play your game? Your feature list should illustrate the top 5-6 major features of your game. Think about games that you have played in the past and what made them different from other games. For example, a major feature in Fallout 3 is the V.A.T.S. system, which allowed players to target specific locations on an enemy in a paused state. In Left 4 Dead you have to play cooperatively with 3 other survivors through a horde of zombies. The game is not designed around a single player experience. Avoid simplifying your features into generic categories like "Platforming" or "First Person Shooter"; you can talk about these specific elements but you need to sell the idea of why they are an important feature to your game. Think about Dead Space. We could imagine at one point that the game was a FPS, but the designers had to make the case for the third-person perspective. Your game feature are the defensive points of why your game matters. It helps establish the building blocks of why your game should be built and consumed by an audience.
That is the one-page-pitch. An easy document that will easily help you flesh out your ideas and provide a go-to document for those who might be interested in learning more or helping out with your game. You can download a sample document here
that can act as a template for your future needs.