Escapist Expo: Your Game Idea is Bollocks/Brilliant - Pitch It Anyway

Your Game Idea is Bollocks/Brilliant - Pitch It Anyway

You think you got a great idea for a video game? Come to the panel and pitch it to our illustrious panel of game developers and critics, and we'll tell you whether you are a crazy son of a bitch or a game design genius. There's no middle ground - it's either bollocks or brilliant. You have 30 seconds to explain your game idea, so make it count!

Participants:
Yahtzee Croshaw
Jim Sterling
Chris Hazard
David Moss
Greg Tito

Watch Video

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One image popped into my mind during the Alien/Dinosaur pitch. Man dinosaurs with lasers are awesome.

I'm a bit sad that the panel wasn't all that enthusiastic about the Holocaust pitch. Films and literature deal with heavy subjects all the time - games have the capacity to do the same.

Okay, I had to shut it off when that third guy came up. Tasteless and incredibly aggravating.

The guy at 13:30 talking about Arkham city + Assassin's Creed + Moral choice... Isn't that basically just Infamous?

Where did the ending go?

Wow. Of all the the choices, only one was actually good. I wonder how many people were bashing their heads against the wall after this, thinking their idea was too stupid to share?

The 11:06 guy is why radio talk shows have call screening. I know he's clearly just looking for shock value in the cheapest, least creative fashion[1], so the only proper response is "piss off, you unfunny twat".

Otherwise, I guess the evil minion idea is the only one I'd actually want to play. It's specific, lively, has great opportunity for satirical dark humor, and could go in all sorts of interesting art directions. The rest aren't terribly creative, with too many "X Popular Game, but with Y Other Overdone Setting" (even the first one sounds like what I heard Killer7 is kind of about[2]). Seriously, this is the place where you can come up with the most out-there, unsellable ideas just to see what sticks. If all you want to do is make a 2D Dark Souls, there are programs that will practically do all that work for you (or you could be lazy and play I Wanna Be the Guy).

Now I wish I had gone just to bring one of my creepy game ideas. I guess I now have a little under a year to write a perfect pitch and take acting classes or something.

[1] Although "females" brings to mind Mark Twain's awesome smackdown of Fenimore Cooper, so... I guess there's that.
[2] Jim Sterling's response to that pitch is precious. I once had a small online writing class where people had to pitch screenplays and one of my classmates had this utterly incomprehensible story. The professor spent about 30 minutes dissecting it while the classmate failed at clarifying anything, during which I tuned it out around the 10 minute mark, tuned in about 15 minutes later, realized the professor was still trying to make sense of it, and I barely muted my microphone in time to laugh hysterically.

AntiChrist:
I'm a bit sad that the panel wasn't all that enthusiastic about the Holocaust pitch. Films and literature deal with heavy subjects all the time - games have the capacity to do the same.

Yeah, that was me who pitched it. Or rather, I was pitching it for my brother Jason who couldn't come on that day to the Expo due to work. He works freelance in digital animation, and does a pizza delivery job to pay the bills. I can put my hand on the Bible itself and swear I'm telling the truth here. In all honesty, I thought the subject material itself was heavy like the panel believed, but my brother spent a good amount of his time in the evening prior to the last day of the Expo coming up with the idea and pitch. While I felt the subject would be difficult to be approved, I gave it to the panel anyways to be a good brother and of course since it seemed to be a subject my brother was very passionate about. I have no regrets pitching the idea for my brother. Only wished I had pitched it sooner on the panel, as it did kind of felt dark to end the whole panel and the expo itself on such as heavy subject. Can't exactly predict that I'd be the last one in the line to give a pitch, and I hold no problem with the panel for them turning it down. Though if my brother is still passionate about the game idea, I hope somebody will help him see to getting it created.

Saarai-fan:

AntiChrist:
snip

Yeah, that was me who pitched it. Or rather, I was pitching it for my brother Jason who couldn't come on that day to the Expo due to work. He works freelance in digital animation, and does a pizza delivery job to pay the bills. I can put my hand on the Bible itself and swear I'm telling the truth here. In all honesty, I thought the subject material itself was heavy like the panel believed, but my brother spent a good amount of his time in the evening prior to the last day of the Expo coming up with the idea and pitch. While I felt the subject would be difficult to be approved, I gave it to the panel anyways to be a good brother and of course since it seemed to be a subject my brother was very passionate about. I have no regrets pitching the idea for my brother. Only wished I had pitched it sooner on the panel, as it did kind of felt dark to end the whole panel and the expo itself on such as heavy subject. Can't exactly predict that I'd be the last one in the line to give a pitch, and I hold no problem with the panel for them turning it down. Though if my brother is still passionate about the game idea, I hope somebody will help him see to getting it created.

That game, if done well (like any game), could be amazing. I don't know of any developers that would be able to pull this off though. I'm not even sure if telltale could make this game with enough sensitivity and skill, I think they could, but this is just a tough subject to make a game of. I think videogames are still just viewed as a toy to many people, so a game like this would raise a lot of controversy.

I liked the one where you have to save Hitler the best. I assume the idea would be that you would be getting to Hitler so that he could be arrested and taken to an international court.

Am I the only one who is having a lot of trouble understanding what anyone is saying? I've got a decent hi-end headset and I can barely hear the panel, let alone the pitchers?
Last year from memory was ok, at least I can easily understand what people were saying.
Please improve this, cause I am interested in whats going on, or what I think is going on.
And am I really the only one, I feel so alone... so cold...

Why the sound quality of this so horribad? I would've loved watching this but I'm straining to make up what's said and even then...

I'm mildly saddened by this.

I had to turn it off after ten minutes. The problem is the audio. The whole footage is shot from a balcony and the only audio captured is from the capture device's mics itself, resulting in a mess of room reflections and indirect ambience sound. What they should've done was to capture a separate audio feed from the house mixer. With minimal effort it would've been great but right now it's just an unintelligible mess, unfortunately.

Valagetti:
Am I the only one who is having a lot of trouble understanding what anyone is saying? I've got a decent hi-end headset and I can barely hear the panel, let alone the pitchers?
Last year from memory was ok, at least I can easily understand what people were saying.
Please improve this, cause I am interested in whats going on, or what I think is going on.
And am I really the only one, I feel so alone... so cold...

I have the same problem.
I am kind of dissapointed in the sudden drop of audio quality in the Panel videos...i suppose that's what i get for not being able to go to the con myself.
We get it , Escapist, you resent us.

Omecha:
With minimal effort it would've been great but right now it's just an unintelligible mess, unfortunately.

I am in the same boat, it's really hard to understand what they're saying as a non native english speaker.
That saddens me because the panel itself was probably great :(

Well, I just started watching this video and I was expecting something really silly and light hearted, people coming up with self-consciously dumb ideas but with a few seriously good bits mixed in here and there to give some real discussion. You know, like the kind of weird game ideas Yahtzee chucks around in his Extra Punctuation columns, that kind of thing. Then the first guy came up and sounded super-sincere about this completely incomprehensible game idea.

Oh God, this is going to be so awkward...

I'm glad Fraunk & Stein won. That one was my favorite.
I've got some though

1) It's a multiplayer horror game. You and a random lobby of players get thrown in to a procedurally generated haunted house (Or scary maze type thing) and no one can communicate with each other. There are monsters and ghosts, If you stay in a group or move around too much the monsters have an easier time finding you, if you are alone or stand still (or hide) too long the ghosts have an easier time finding you. Monsters physically attack you and the only way to get away is to run and hide. Ghosts possess you and drain your health and the only way to get away is to find another player with more health than you and the ghost will jump to them instead (Then you have to get away from them before their health drops below yours or the ghost will jump back to you, but running and being near other players attracts monsters, so... be careful. Once there's only one player left the front gate unlocks and if they make it outside before they die they win.

2) It's a Telltale's Walking Dead style framework. You're infiltrating a high-security area full of classified intelligence (like the pentagon or whatever) with no super spy gadgets or forged documents or any secret agent skills whatsoever. Your job is to steal some classified shit in some room somewhere. The only way you can get passed security checkpoints is by lying to the guards and telling them what they want to hear in order to get through. (You can find hints about what to say by exploring without looking too suspicious, because if you get caught looking suspicious you get sent to Guantanamo or where ever)
There are different types of guard (it goes from grunts and rent-a-cops at the front gate to the cops working the front desk and the metal detectors all the way up to the guys in black suits and dark glasses who stand around stoically with scowling looks on their faces at the highest level) who all need to be told different lies to let you pass. The deeper you get into the building the higher the chances that guards from different levels will be within earshot of you while you're trying to talk your way past another checkpoint. If one of them catches your lies, Guantanamo. You can vamp until the coast is clear but if you start to look suspicious, Guantanamo. You could vague up your story to satisfy both guards. but then you need to be prepared to answer followup questions. You win by stealing the classified MacGuffin without being Guantanamoed.

3) It's just a spunkgargleweewee shooter. Brown, cover, gun, rinse, repeat. And if you can play through the whole stupid 4 hour long campaign without dying you get the end credits....
BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT If you die in combat It starts you on a narrative thread where the player character realizes that HE CAN'T DIE! At first he thinks it's PTSD where he's just getting really vivid hallucinations of himself dying so you start talking to military physicists and they tell you it's only natural and they prescribe anti-psychotics and anti-depressants and all these drugs to keep you more clear headed in combat. Then if you die again the plot continues and you start realizing that the military doctors and the brass are in on the whole fucked up situation.
The gimmick is the plot only advances every time you die, but every time you do die the difficulty of the enemies in the spunkgargleweewee part of the game ramp down so it gets harder and harder to die in combat. So if you get wrapped up in the plot you just end up running out into the open and waiting for the enemies to take you down. If you die enough times the plot shifts to you trying to take down the military industrial complex that's trying to monetize the "immortal soldier". By that point the enemies can give you permanent death just so the game isn't completely without the possibility of threat.

Saarai-fan:
Yeah, that was me who pitched it. Or rather, I was pitching it for my brother Jason who couldn't come on that day to the Expo due to work. He works freelance in digital animation, and does a pizza delivery job to pay the bills. I can put my hand on the Bible itself and swear I'm telling the truth here. In all honesty, I thought the subject material itself was heavy like the panel believed, but my brother spent a good amount of his time in the evening prior to the last day of the Expo coming up with the idea and pitch. While I felt the subject would be difficult to be approved, I gave it to the panel anyways to be a good brother and of course since it seemed to be a subject my brother was very passionate about. I have no regrets pitching the idea for my brother. Only wished I had pitched it sooner on the panel, as it did kind of felt dark to end the whole panel and the expo itself on such as heavy subject. Can't exactly predict that I'd be the last one in the line to give a pitch, and I hold no problem with the panel for them turning it down. Though if my brother is still passionate about the game idea, I hope somebody will help him see to getting it created.

I don't deny that it would take real skill to implement your brother's idea in a satisfying way - not to mention the huge amount of controversy it would spark to even attempt something of that nature. But out of the ideas pitched to the panelists, the one from your brother was - in my opinion - by far the most interesting one. It's something a game has NEVER tried to do before and that intrigues me.

saxman234:
That game, if done well (like any game), could be amazing. I don't know of any developers that would be able to pull this off though. I'm not even sure if telltale could make this game with enough sensitivity and skill, I think they could, but this is just a tough subject to make a game of. I think videogames are still just viewed as a toy to many people, so a game like this would raise a lot of controversy.

According to my brother, there's various websites and of course a few articles on Wikipedia that give historical info on various individuals who hid Jews during WWII. A great deal of the game's storyline could be taken from bits and pieces of those particular individual's lives with the decisions they made. There's also a lot of information of drama, betrayal, and other interesting stuff with their stories. It probably have to get slightly worked on so it's not too heavy in it's subject material for those sensitive to it, but thanks for your thoughts.

AntiChrist:
I don't deny that it would take real skill to implement your brother's idea in a satisfying way - not to mention the huge amount of controversy it would spark to even attempt something of that nature. But out of the ideas pitched to the panelists, the one from your brother was - in my opinion - by far the most interesting one. It's something a game has NEVER tried to do before and that intrigues me.

Thanks man. I'll be sure to tell my brother that some on the forums thought the idea was interesting. 8-)

 

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