I went to Academy of Art University’s Pitch Night last year (2014) and thought it was a cool way to pitch a game idea and possibly start a collaboration class to make that game a reality. I didn’t join any project officially because I had signed on to join another collaboration class but I did manage to help one project unofficially as a game designer. I wish I had dedicated time to focus on the unofficial project but I need to focus on the classes that I am enrolled in first.
This year, on the last day before the deadline to present a game idea for Pitch Night 2015, I decided to sign up and pitch my current game. I spend that entire day creating the documents that were required to be allowed to pitch. On the day of the pitch, I was a bit nervous but who wouldn’t be? There were only about eight students who signed up to pitch and most of them were pretty cool (three pitches (including my own) dealt with virtual reality). I had prepared my PowerPoint presentation at home and had a video that showed my gameplay progress with spells, enemies, and the core mechanics of the game. When I switched to the second page of my PowerPoint, I noticed everything was not formatted correctly! I made sure that everything was perfect on my home Windows laptop but I didn’t make sure it was perfect on the Mac that was used for presentations. It was quite a disaster but I managed to quickly run through the presentation with the basic information on each slide and finally landed on the video that I had prepared. I knew that the video would provide the best example of what my game could do and the potential it contained.
A week later, I received an email stating that I had been chosen as a finalist from Pitch Night 2015! Two finalists have been chosen (the other finalist is another virtual reality game but includes the Leap Motion hardware) but only one project will be selected to be turned into a collaboration class. The strength of the documentation, a realistic and achievable scope, student enrollment, and faculty judging will be the factors that, I believe, will determine which project will be selected.
It’s only been a few days since that email and while the due dates for documentation and Leads recruitment are three weeks away, I’ve been working pretty hard to create strong documentation that will specify everything that my game will need in order to be made.
Lastly, I’m planning to start a KickStarter campaign if I believe the class has created enough material for a successful campaign. Of course, that isn’t the only criteria for a successful campaign; good marketing, awareness, incentives, and overall fun needs to drive crowd-sourced funding.