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Pitching Ideas At Gen Con Indy

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the knowing-is-half-the-battle dept.

Role Playing (Games) 26

teknoviking writes "Gen Con Indy is coming up on August 13-16th, and if you are planning on attending, especially if you have an idea you want to pitch to one (or many) of the vendors, artists, or developers at the Con, you should check out this great series of articles by writer and game designer Jess Hartley. She covers the basics of proper planning and making a good impression, and she has some practical tips about how to promote your idea, and what you should do to follow up afterward."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29003509)

ladies, get your pussies ready!

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29006591)

Parent is not entirely off topic. It is Gencon after all...

i've been wanting... (1)

pinkj (521155) | about 5 years ago | (#29003613)

to play a game where you're an insect in a realistic physical 3d environment. like being a fly in a bus. or an ant on a kitchen counter. i don't really care for goals other than having to eat, breed, compete for both and whatever else insects need to do. i'm sure someone has thought of this already.

Re:i've been wanting... (3, Informative)

jeblucas (560748) | about 5 years ago | (#29003721)

Yep. Been done. Mr. Mosquito [] is actually very good.

Re:i've been wanting... (1)

fooslacker (961470) | about 5 years ago | (#29004409)

Kinda like being a member of slashdot? ;)

Re:i've been wanting... (1)

Yuioup (452151) | about 5 years ago | (#29008377)

Here's a game for your PC: []


Re:i've been wanting... (1)

pinkj (521155) | about 5 years ago | (#29009481)

thank you! those two suggestions seem worthwhile.

Re:i've been wanting... (1, Troll)

ThinkTwicePostOnce (1001392) | about 5 years ago | (#29008453)

Here's my free idea for GenCom:

Next time you bother to put together a web page for your convention, bother to include the location.

(It's Indiana, tho the art makes it look like Russia.)

Re:i've been wanting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29010381)

I can see where your confusion comes from. Failure to read.

It says "Gen Con Indy" all over the place, has prominently displayed information on the Indiana Convention center, and also has a very easy to find link in the very first menu to a comprehensive "travel and housing" page.

Follow your own advice and think twice before you post once.

Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (2, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 5 years ago | (#29003677)

Almost anyone can have a "great idea" in gaming, but unless you have a proven track record with profitable games to your credit or have your own suitcases full of cash (or backers with same), why should they pay you simply for having an idea that probably isn't all that original? Its a bit cheaper when working with homebrew self-published pen and paper games; but competitive computer or console games cost tens of millions of dollars to produce and with credit being tougher to get now than at just about any other time since the modern game industry was founded, nobody wants to pay simply to hear your "great idea" for a game.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#29003801)

Do you really need tens of millions of dollars? Sure, there are games that cost that, but plenty that don't. And we're talking indie games here, so presumably more of the latter. World of Goo is one recent example of a very successful game made for peanuts (supposedly $10k, plus free labor from the two founders). This year's Indie Game Festival winner, Blueberry Garden [] , presumably didn't cost tens of millions either.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (1)

ZosoZ (1603973) | about 5 years ago | (#29004781)

For a taster of the sort of games small teams (from one person up) are producing, including the aforementioned World of Goo and Blueberry Garden, Steam are offering a 10-pack of indie games on sale this weekend [] . World of Goo is absolute genius, more than worth the price of the whole pack itself in my opinion.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | about 5 years ago | (#29009425)

i played the demo of Blueberry Garden. Trippy... but awesome.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 years ago | (#29003807)

It doesn't have to cost a lot. World of Goo [] cost only $100,000 to make. Which sounds like a lot of money to some people, but is way less than the tens of millions of dollars that other games cost.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29003895)

This is the exact reason why I started making my own game. Ive spent so much of my life playing games and wishing that they had such and such features, and so much of my life wishing that a such and such type game existed, I figured I might as well try and make it happen. Considering the near-impenetrability of the big games market and the scope of my own vision (Which probably wouldnt mesh well when having to deal with deadlines and marketers and such anyway) combined with my close to zero start up capital, ive come to the conclusion that it is the only way.

Luckily, there has actually been alot of progress made in the area of tools available to expedite the game making process and to lighten the scope of the workload to a level manageable by a single person. Gamemaker, ( for instance. Which saves you enough work, while still being flexible enough, to far outweigh its limits as middleware, combine it with a nice community of helpful people and i'd say its the best bet for anyone with dreams of making a high quality near zero budget game in any reasonable timeframe.

The only hurdle ive found with my own game is in the area of art content. Which is saying alot considering im an artist by trade. Its still a struggling point in my own game, so it may be even more so for people without an art background. However, there are alot of tools to expedite that as well. 3d models prerenderd to 2d sprites using open source materials, for example.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 5 years ago | (#29004033)

I agree. Getting "big time" in any business takes a lot more than an idea. It takes a lot of determination and putting your own work into it. And frankly, a lot of ideas seem good to the person that came up with it. Sometimes there are problems with it not apparent to that person.

It's one thing to offer suggestions on how to improve their product, but they're probably not interested in hearing project ideas. For one, it opens up liability issues, they don't want to fend off claims that they took some shlub's idea when they might have had a similar one in the works already.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | about 5 years ago | (#29004343)

If ideas are a dime a dozen, why are games still full of utterly uninspired gameplay elements? (fetch quests for instance)

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29004751)

Money to effort ratio most likely. Big game companies are trying to do the minimum amount of work for the maximum amount of money, and adding creative elements requires lots of work. Even in game companies with tons of creative people, the chances of them being able to realize that creativity without marketers or higher ups saying "its fine, ship it", is extremely low.

Re:Ideas are Cheap but Development Costs Money (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 5 years ago | (#29011045)

The issues isn't that ideas are worthless, but that its really hard to pick the good ideas out of all the crap that is out there. So people prefer to stick with ideas that somebody else has already proven in his product instead of trying something original themselves. A bad idea that is broken in known ways is just easier to work with then something completly original where you have no idea how it will impact the game.

Way too late (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about 5 years ago | (#29003837)

Planning for Gencon started many months ago. Anyone changing plans now will screw themselves.

Re:Way too late (1)

FlutterVertigo(gmail (800106) | about 5 years ago | (#29004207)

> So if I change my mind and decide to drive there - it's 20 miles from home - I'm screwing myself? ;)

Re:Way too late (1)

dissy (172727) | about 5 years ago | (#29005249)

So if I change my mind and decide to drive there - it's 20 miles from home - I'm screwing myself? ;)

Yup! You just jinxed yourself into getting delayed in traffic a number of hours, and that guy you always hated at high school who makes sub-par games is going to land the contract you should have gotten if only you hadn't changed plans :(

Don't attack the company employees! (0, Flamebait)

Spobody Necial (917248) | about 5 years ago | (#29005041)

Uhhh . . .. If you are planning on going to Gen Con and pitching an idea cold, you're setting yourself up for failure. The major corporate employees that are on site are heavily booked, and heavily assaulted by people with the same "great idea" on how to get their game mass produced/published in the marketplace. If you want to "play this game", use Gen Con (the player focused event) as a chance to make and create contacts, not a sales opportunity. Origins is the company focused event, in theory, but it doesn't honestly run much differently than Gen Con does. Now, if you have previously made the contacts, then you can progress into asking them if they are willing to hear your pitch. If you have to force your pitch on them, you won't sell your game. I've been a booth monkey at both conventions for several years. Trust me, assaulting people with your "big idea" IS assaulting them. You are handled the same as any other rabid fan.

Re:Don't attack the company employees! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29005097)

Actually, despite the title of the Slashdot post, that's what the article is about.

Re:Don't attack the company employees! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29005235)

That's just one of the issues she discusses in the series. Did you even read it?

Summary is worthless (3, Informative)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 5 years ago | (#29006539)

TFS is very badly written, and misleading, FYI. TFA is actually about making some contacts at GenCon, in the hopes of finding a future job in the industry. It's not about "I have a cool idea for a game, who do I talk to?".
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