19 Aug

Thoughts and tips from the Big Indie Pitch

moWOW Big Indie Pitch 2014

As you know, last week we attended the Big Indie Pitch in Cologne.  If you have not heard of this event before, it’s a great way to present your game to a lot of journalists in one single event.  Although Twitter and Facebook are cool for making new contacts, there’s nothing better for starting or building connections and relationships than meeting the person directly.

This edition was pretty exciting as there were over 20 indie games competing for the prizes and the media attention.

We didn’t take home any prizes this time. We did however meet a lot of people and had a great time. Now, here’s some tips if you ever attend such an event:

  • Squeeze your pitch in half the allotted time – We had a total of 4 minutes (3 for presentation / play + 1 for questions). We had the pitch and presentation down to 2 minutes. However, you also have to add to that the journalists’ play time and the questions at the end. Add to that the time required to move from one table to another. We ended up pitching in 1.5 minutes and left the rest for play time and questions.
  • Your game matters more than you at the tables. Your names and the studio’s is enough. You are giving them business cards anyway.
  • If possible, leave any bag or backpack out of the pitch. It just gets in the way
  • Learn to play and explain your game upside down. With emphasis on the explaining part.
  • If you have some story or details to tell before the play, don’t show or hand the demo while doing it. Naturally, instead of listening to you, everyone will want to play.
  • If possible, have a special test build or demo build for the pitch with enough resources unlocked or powerups unlocked for all the media + for showing additional press and other devs after the pitch.
  • On the same topic of special build, make sure that the demo can be easily restarted for the next table. Otherwise you will lose time
  • At each table there are usually 2 journalists so if possible have 3 devices.
  • Have business cards ready. Use the presentation time to also hand them out. Two birds with one time stone. If you want to hand out more than just business cards, have them prepared in stacks ready to hand out, especially if you are pitching solo.
  • Don’t count on the wi-fi working. It usually does not. Find a workaround for this.
  • A portable battery to recharge your devices really comes in handy and ensures that you can show your game to a lot more people.
  • Always check on Mobile Mixer party and other parties happening around the Big Indie Pitch (especially before it). Extra connections, extra networking, plus a lot of fun.
  • Stay for the pirate party after the Pitch. A lot of the quality networking actually happens after everyone is a bit more relaxed. Also, a lot of people come to the after party to meet all the devs who pitched. And what’s not to like about a pirate themed party.

It’s true the tips are skewed a bit towards mobile game showcasing but hopefully our problems and tips will help you discover potential details that you haven’t considered. Good luck on your next pitch!

P.S. You can check out the winners on Pocket Gamer.


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