Posted On: 2019-11-18
Recently, I attended my sister's wedding (which was quite wonderful*). During the reception, I reconnected with old friends (also wonderful*), some of whom were not familiar with the project I am currently working on. Talking about it reminded me that I still don't quite have an elevator pitch for the project, but the combination of talking about why it interests me and hearing which parts resonate with others' interests has been quite helpful for narrowing the focus quite a bit.
One of the things that turns out to be quite useful is that the thematic goals of the work and some of the aesthetic choices (setting, art style, etc.) have a significant amount of contrast. This seems like a useful detail, as I can juxtapose those elements to create surprise, which is often a useful way to generate interest*. More useful still, this is actually a common joke structure ("I wanted [one thing], so, naturally, I did [something unrelated]") , so that creates the possibility of starting the elevator pitch with a joke.
One aspect of the pitch that hasn't been working out as well is describing the genre. While "narrative action platformer" is both pithy and accurate, I have found that it tends to require further explanation. Depending on the audience, I may need to go two or three levels of explanation deep* before understanding can be achieved. Considering that game genres vary widely in specificity and utility**, I am considering whether it might be better to dodge the question of genre altogether, perhaps in favor of a short (~1 second) clip of gameplay.
It's actually a bit of luck that I noticed how to improve the pitch. At the time, I was focused entirely on the conversation and event. It was only later (while thinking about what to write for a blog post) that I was able to notice how my recent experiences could be useful for the project. Hopefully hearing about this accidental pitch improvement has been useful (or at least interesting) for you. As always, if you have any thoughts or feedback please let me know.