Monday, September 28, 2009

October 2009: Pitching/Creating a High Concept

October 2009's topic, Pitching/Creating a High Concept, was submitted by game designer Tobias Heussner.

Tobias writes:

“It’s easily understood.”

Who doesn’t want to hear this, when he’s pitching an idea?

We as designers are usually faced with this problem of creating nice, colorful, easily understandable pitch docs every once a while. How to’s for creating these docs could fill entire books and it would still be comparable to the quest for the Holy Grail. Since it’s such a complex topic, I’d like to focus on a very small, but in my mind very important part of it within this month's Game Design Aspect of the Month.

The High Concept

The term, high concept or tagline, was developed in the early 1970’s in Hollywood for movie productions. In general it describes the idea of condensing your whole story, or in our case game, down to 1 or 2 sentences. This is usually very helpful; because it shows that you have a clear vision of your project and can serve as the core vision during the development phase. Also another benefit kicks in, which is that due to its shortness it’s easy to communicate.
  • How do you communicate your idea, if you only have 5 minutes?
  • Do you already use the benefits of a High concept?
  • How does a high concept fit in your normal design/pitching/development process?
  • What are your steps when creating an appealing high concept?
  • Do you have other, maybe better ways to communicate your ideas?
I’m looking forward to your answers, your comments and hope that it’ll help us all to create better games.

Tobias Heussner is a Game/Narrative Designer, currently working as an Associate Producer for Radon Labs GmbH in Berlin, Germany. He has been involved in professional game development for over 10 years, has worked in different design and management roles, and has worked on 15 different, published titles, including top-sellers like Paws&Claws: Pet Vet and the AAA-RPG The Dark Eye: Drakensang.


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