Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pitch Perfect

Front cover of the Duffer Brother's original pitch - Montauk

It is #WorldMentalHealthDay, or #MentalHealthAwarenessDay depending upon which hashtag you're following on the various social media thingies... and I've just finished my last CBT seminar hoping to get me into a routine, sort my behaviour patterns out, and improve my mood.

I've been feeling better since my post at the beginning of September, but I need to keep to my plan to avoid social media. I've found myself slipping again and passing hours just staring at Facebook or Twitter, seeing if something exciting has happened. I do just need to get on with my own stuff.

So, as part of that "do my own thing", I've been thinking about my RPG - WILD, and acknowledging a problem I've had with it since I started working on it so many years ago. It's all about mental health, and motivation.

Very small sketch I did for the initial cover idea
for the corebook of WILD. The covers would fit
together with the supplements, uniting the middle image.
The problem is, I'm doing WILD for me. There are no publishers involved. No deadlines, no one to disappoint but myself. And, due to that, it has taken forever to get anything done with it. I'm so good at talking myself out of it, saying "No one's going to want to play it", "You can't afford to do it, not even with a Kickstarter", "You have no experience in publishing a game," right through to "People find hearing other people's dreams boring, why would they want to play a game of it?"

In the middle of #RPGaDAY2018 I had the revelation. I thought, if I could sell the idea of the game to a publisher, then I'd have the motivation to keep me working on it. If I didn't get it done, then I'd be letting down more than just myself. I'd be letting them down too. And I'm so good at letting people down...

I figured, if I wrote a pitch. A summary of what WILD is, explaining the setting, the basics of the system, how I wanted the game to be presented, and a sample of what I'd written, I could put it together in a document I could give to potential partners and see if they'd be interested.

After all, the Duffer Brothers produced this awesome little 20-page booklet called Montauk (the original name for the series) when they were pitching Stranger Things to various TV companies. Using aged photos from films and series that inspired them, they wrote a basic summary of what they hoped to produce, and it must have worked...

Example spread from the Montauk pitch by the Duffer Brothers, pitching the TV series that would
become the awesome Stranger Things.

A good friend of mine and ex-dayjob work colleague, Alrissa, for her final project for her degree produced a children's book. She had a few printed, only three or four if I remember correctly, but the wonders of digital printing means that you can do a very small print run as a sample and hopefully get people interested. After doing some research, and finding what can be done and for what price, I'm sure this is cool idea.

So that's what I've been doing with my time. I've been working on a pitch for WILD to show to potential game companies that have partnered with people for Kickstarters in the past. There's no commitment from them, but if they say they're interested and would do the game with me, I have the added motivation to actually get the darn thing finished.

Sample layout of a potential Harry Potter RPG, text by me, layout by Will Brooks
Of course, seeing how cheap you can print a decent sized hardcover book as an example has me thinking that this would be the ideal way of pitching for Harry Potter or James Bond. Just do as we did with Doctor Who (produce an example of what we have in mind) and show off just what we can do...

The original printed pitch given to the BBC for the Doctor Who RPG.
Very, very few of these exist. 

There I go, letting my thoughts get away with me again...

Until next time, look after yourself and each other.

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