Part of my day job is to review game pitches. They come in all types from both veteran game developers and eager rookies. In every case, one question I always ask is, "Why does this have to be a game?"
We've all played our share of games that shouldn't actually be games. These are the books, movies, performance art, or other kinds of artistic expression that somehow lost their way and ended up as games. Which, by the way, doesn't always mean they're bad games. Hideo Kojima, for example, obviously wants to make a movie. But, he can't. So he makes a video game. And, generally, gamers thank him for it.
But, at the pitch stage, I try to weed out the game ideas that aren't honestly game ideas. I ask myself how essential is the player input in this game? Is the pitch's strength in the interactivity or in the story? And if the strength is in the story, does that story need to be told by a game? Is the pitch all art/graphics and no substance? In short, why does this need to be a game?
The answers to those questions often lead to more refined pitches and, ultimately, games without an identity crisis. Unless, of course, you're Hideo Kojima.
Just beat Frozen Free Fall. Let the eye rolling and derisive finger pointing commence!
// 17 Sep 2014 10:26pm
CommanderVideo, Feb 24th 2014
Mario Kart 8 [Wii U]
Cannon Fodder, Jul 07th 2014
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