This article is part of the game-dev advice newsletter Levelling the Playing Field by Rami Ismail. If you want to know more about the art, craft and science of game development, you can subscribe here.
Well known indie dev (Vlambeer) Rami Ismail developed a ready-made pitch template, with the help of several indie studios of all sizes, and professionals working at two dozen publishers. Following his template for a presskit, Ismail has now created a template for a pitch deck. Especially for the first-time pitchers the template is an invaluable tool that takes you by the hand while building a strong pitch deck.
“Pitching is one of those things that only gets easier as you do it, but before you do it it’s basically one big opaque box of mysteries. A ton of developers in my consultancy are basically stuck in this catch-22, and I have had the idea of putting together a pitch template for years, but Levelling The Playing Field, the subscribers, & the generous support of folks donating to the newsletter have finally given me the time to properly do it.
So for the past few months I’ve been taking my consultancies and turning them into a free, shareable, usable Pitch Template. A lot of the available existing decks are made by publishers to benefit publishers (ie. starting with the budget) to help them filter faster, or they’re just super complicated and complex by trying to shove everything into a single deck. This one is optimized for developers on their first or second game and focuses on developers having the most opportunities to prove credibility and ability to execute on the idea.
Informed by my approach to creating presskit(), I’ve been running the deck by publishers for feedback and criticism, and by developers to get feedback on how easy it is to use and understand. This means the Template balances both interests – it features everything publishers need to know, and encourages devs to not make common mistakes.
It is focused on newer developers, allowing them to establish credibility quickly, use that credibility to showcase the strengths of their game, and then prove that they have a realistic production mindset. These are common red flags publishers named for pitches, and the Template is designed for you to avoid those pitfalls.
Designed for a 10-15 minute pitch that has 15-20 high impact slides, which is generally agreed to be the sweet spot for your pitch. Remember that the goal is to generate interest and further conversation, not to be exhaustive nor to sign the contract right after the presentation.
Basically: using this Pitch Deck Template will give your pitch a snappy, to-the-point structure that will optimize your ability to communicate your game and its opportunities to publishers. Now it’s up to you to fill it with a great game & matching business case. If you need help with the business case, don’t forget to check the Actionables at the end of this article for relevant links.
You’ll find the Pitch Template linked to as a Google Slides file – which should allow you to open it on most computers. If you want to use the file as a basis, I’d recommend you click “File”, then “Make A Copy” or “Download” to be able to edit your own copy of the Template. If you want to use it as a guide, which I recommend, just open your favorite presentation software, put it side-by-side with the Template, and get going.
If you have praise, concerns, thoughts, or feedback, please do put them in the comments below. And if you happen to pitch a game using this template & it works out, please do let me know. Good luck!“
- Check out the Pitch Template, and do feel free to forward this post and the Template to anyone you think could use it. If it is useful to you, please do consider subscribing (it’s free!) for more useful resources and tips.
- If you haven’t yet, read the articles on Budget Viability, Milestones, Anti-Bullet-Points, and A Good Pitch. These are good primers to keep in mind as you’re writing your pitch and can generally help you understand the process of pitching.
- My recommendation is to use this Template as a guideline rather than as a base file – write your pitch into the Template, and when you’re done, make a new presentation and copy-paste your content over into a presentation that’s built from the ground up to really spotlight your game.