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Pitch Examples

Every pitch was the work of a large number of hugely talented individuals. Even those that I remember as writing almost entirely myself always had crucial sections, significant feedback or invaluable input from other designers, and every pitch relied on the excellent work of a succession of incredible artists. It was also  common practice to get other artists and designers from outside the pitch department to help out and become involved.

The ones I've put up here are really just the tip of the iceberg, and are a purely arbitrary and personal choice of some of those pitches that I led that I would really have liked to have seen succeed (there are many others I feel the same about).

 

Note that each thumbnail below is a link to a separate page showing the entire doc

I've done it this way rather than pdfs as it seemed the easiest way of showing them off .

It's worth remembering that these are only relatively small low-res jpgs (at 75dpi or less) , but despite this the pages are graphically intense and could be slow to load. The original pitch documents were often printed at 300dpi on A3+ glossy paper  - and were awesome. Pitches were also accompanied by additional schedule or costing documents that went into deliverables and cost in great detail - but I won't be putting those up.

It's not often that pitches like this get seen outside a small target group - so I hope they're of interest.

 

So here's  afew in no particular order - if I get the chance I'll add a few more from time to time.

Stargate

I was heavily involved with this pitch, and did the layout and construction on it, along with a lot of the writing, but it was really Nick Dixon's baby and he wrote the largest slice of text. The pitch was for a Stargate game that wasn't SG1, and which wasn't tied to any of the other Stargate spinoffs.

Although I had input into the idea the original Mayan-themed concept and plot was Nick's and the Stargate producers of the TV series loved it completely.

 

The pitch went down stunningly well and Blitz won the rights to develop the game, and the future looked rosy.

 

Unfortunately no publisher wanted to finance it, they all considered Stargate a spent franchise with limited niche appeal (especially considering the problems that other Stargate games had experienced).

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Other avenues for finance (such as completion bonds - often used in the film industry) were investigated, but the risks were considered too high and eventually Blitz gave up trying to finance the game.

 

It was a shame - I still love the Stargate concept and the chance to effectively go onto working on a team to create a whole new spin off was a hugely appealing one. We were also invited to pitch for a Stargate Universe game, but given the problems of financing the first we declined.

Walking with Dinosaurs

We had in fact been creating a Dinosaur-themed IP ourselves as part of a speculative educational pitch. This started out as a single sheet (one double sided sheet) pitched to Microsoft as part of an educational proposal. However, the idea seemed to hit a chord with whoever saw it and we were asked to pitch a version of it themed for 'Jurassic Park'  and then after later BBC Worldwide asked us to pitch something more detailed and tied in with their upcoming 3D film (created in conjunction with Warner Brothers).

 

The Walking with Dinosaurs pitch was frantic - the original was done in about a week and a half and the work was split between 4 artists - who did incredible work. We also did a couple of revisions and expansions over the following weeks as talks to BBC worldwide progressed.

 

Sadly (as with Doctor Who - see below) we  eventually lost out to SuperMassive who, with their ties into Sony, had pitched a concept based around their wonderbook proposal.

 

The pitch is still one I'm proud of, as I think we nailed it completely. I was also planning to move onto the project full time should it have been signed.

 

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Doctor Who

I can remember watching the very first episode of Doctor Who when first broadcast, and the series has since had an enormous influence on me since. I was therefore incredibly excited to have the chance to pitch for a game based on the IP.

We had two separate cracks at getting to do a Doctor Who game. In both cases, had we actually won the pitch, I would have moved over to a lead position on the project as it would have  been too good an opportunity to pass up.

 

The first opportunity came in 2009 and was simply called Doctor Who Interactive - after the name on the RFP.

I think the breadth and detail in the pitch overwhelmed them somewhat and we were told afterwards they were after something a bit smaller in scope with 'less ideas' - and a bit cheaper.

Despite this we came runner up to Sumo Digital - who went on to create the adventure game series.  Much as I liked the adventure game series - I think ours would have been better, but I'm biased.

 

The second attempt 'The Paradox Machine' was in 2011 a couple of years later.

This proposal was for a much smaller game, and we actually had very little time to do it as we were simultaneously working on another high-profile pitch for Sony. Consequently we ended up having to put it together in only slightly over a week with very little art resourcing - which meant that we resused (with revisions) a bit of artwork from the previous pitch and from another pitch entirely.

This time we came second again, losing out to SuperMassive  (and ironically a pitch put together by Nick Dixon who used to be in the Blitz Pitch team a few years earlier) with their similarly named proposal 'The Infinity Machine' and their proposal to create 2-player cooperative gameplay.

Again, I'm biased, but I think our proposal would have been a more fun experience.

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Dune

After a pitch trip to the states that visited several film studios we were invited to pitch for a few Paramount film tie-ins. These included World War Z, Star Trek 2 and Dune.

 

We were going to tackle them all, but started with Dune because as a long term fan I already knew the story and setting well, and information on the other two films was very sketchy. Paramount wouldn't tell us anything about World War Z or Star Trek 2, which is not unusual, but it does mean you are completely in the dark and have no idea what they're actually after.

 

To be honest they didn't tell us anything on Dune either. We couldn't even discover if it was more heavily based on the original book, or twas to be a remake of the David Lynch film. What information we did get was hugely contradictory, on the one hand talking about going back to the book, but in the same paragraph discussing the weirding modules that were invented for Lynch's film.

But at least we had the original books, so I decided the best approach was to simply go back to the source material. I also wanted to take it in an unusual direction and deal with it almost as a first person RTS - it was in some ways Possession revisited as I redesigned the control scheme for that game and modified it into something I thought would work better..

 

This approach paid off and Paramount really loved the pitch. They thought we had hit the nail on the head. They were impressed that the pitch covered every aspect of the game in a way that they thought would work well with the film. They were also keen to move forward and go into preproduction.

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Unfortunately the only problem was that they weren't willing to fund the game without Blitz itself co-financing the preproduction costs, something they hadn't mentioned earlier. They had adopted this 'partner' approach after being stung a few times and basically wanted us to pay for the preproduction with no guarantee that the film would ever actually be made. Needless to say Blitz didn't have that kind of money, and besides it would have been a huge financial risk that work-for-hire studios don't normally get into.

 

So we had to pass on it - probably a good choice as the film still hasn't entered development several years later (and is probably in development hell right now) - but that apart it would have been a great project to work on.

After it was clear that Paramount's approach to a pitch was always (at least for the foreseeable future) going to require that their partner invested some money themselves in a game the other potential pitches looked less attractive and we never got around to creating  detailed proposals for Star Trek or World WarZ.

 

I had however started on a proposal for Star Trek 2. Although we had no idea what the story was going to be I came up with the idea of pitching a game called simply 'Redshirts' which was set aboard the Enterprise and where the player was just a simple security guard who accompanied the away team. We could then tell any story we wanted (including the film's) purely from the point of view of the player (and that security guard) . We could add extra scenes , overheard conversations in turbo lifts, anything we wanted - while giving the player a unique experience. I still think it would work and would be a perfect approach to a Star Trek game.

 

More to come? - If these prove of interest I'll add a few more pitches here occasionally.

Pitch copyright

Note however (and here comes the disclaimer) these pitches were all copyright Blitz Games Studios and (unless original IP) the relevant IP holder. With the closure of Blitz Studios I make no claim for any of the intellectual rights within these (unless specified) and if any relevant rights holder would like them removed at any time just let me know.

 

Also - some images in some of the original IP pitches (e.g. Possession) were simply sourced from the net and were intended for internal development and discussion use only - and not publication. It would be incredibly time consuming to try and track these down now, and pretty pointless, but if there's any objection to the use of any of the images please let me know.

 

Pitch team closure

The pitch team was disbanded in Sept  2011 when Steve Bruce, the head of the team left Blitz due to ill health.

I moved into Blitz's Tech department to work on improving their SDK and user interface. Other pitch team members moved into game teams or were absorbed into Marketing and PR.

In truth at the time there were reasons to believe that Blitz wouldn't need a pitch department in the form that had previously existed, but within a few months that had changed again and pitches were back to being created - but they no longer had a dedicated team. This meant that pitch production became far more inefficient and not always as polished or original as it could have been,

I still think pitch team's closure was shortsighted and not one of Blitz's better decisions.