Poll

Which of these entries is the best game pitch?

1. Return From Death - Future Vision!
2 (18.2%)
2. Vox Populi
3 (27.3%)
3. Acts
3 (27.3%)
4. Return of the Makkk
2 (18.2%)
5. Walk away and tell no one
1 (9.1%)
6. ReTad of the Jedi
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: 03 May 2020, 09:18

Author Topic: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!" - Voting!  (Read 1410 times)

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Game Pitch Competition – Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"

The object of the competition is to present the best possible "elevator pitch" for an original adventure game.
Come up with a cool idea, and explain it very briefly to someone in order to catch their interest and make them excited about it. (Check out the last round to see how it goes.)

The topic for the round — in honor of the return of the contest and the True Meaning of Easter™ — is Return. Interpret it how you will.

The contest follows the ancient ways...

Spoiler: ShowHide
Procedure
  • Submit your game pitch via this form.
  • I will post the entries (anonymously) as they come in, in order to inspire others to join.
  • Submissions close 26th April. I will then open a thread poll for voting.
  • Voting will last 7 days (until 3rd May). Discussion and feedback on the entries is encouraged, but make sure to maintain anonymity.
  • After voting is over, the results and authors of each entry become public.
Rules
  • The pitch should be for some kind of adventure game (under a broad definition of the genre).
  • Stick to the word limits: An elevator ride is not that long! (If you run over, as measured by the MS Word wordcount+common sense, any excess will be placed behind spoiler tags.)
  • You may submit only one entry in the round.
  • The entry should be anonymous. Do not reveal your authorship or discuss the authorship of other entries until voting closes.
  • Do not vote for your own entry. It's not cool.

I'm looking forward to your pitches!
« Last Edit: 27 Apr 2020, 09:19 by Snarky »

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Re: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"
« Reply #1 on: 14 Apr 2020, 10:24 »
Entry the first:

Return From Death - Future Vision!
Leonardo DaVinci, Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein fighting off Alien Threat!


The End of the world is near! A giant colony of an advanced Alien species attacks earth! All hope is lost! The terranian military force does not stand a chance against the extra-terrestrial army!

But destiny gives earth one last shot! In an awe-inspiring, fire-spewing and apocalyptic event, the one hundred smartest people who ever dwelt the earth return from the dead!

Will DaVinci, Einstein, Musk, Plato... be able to conjure up a plan to destroy the Alien fleet?

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Re: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"
« Reply #2 on: 14 Apr 2020, 10:26 »
Entry the second:

Vox Populi
A bumbling politician kicked up the steps of destiny.


You were a statesman in the Emerald City. Your lowly position was plain, comfortable and safe. Your mouth is bigger than your ambitions, however, and now you are in the deep end with the big fish and you are fighting for your life. Trials, mysteries, quests and duels awaits, and only your finest oration, politics and knavish tricks can save you. Restore the power of the Smaragdean Throne, or be crushed before it.

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Re: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"
« Reply #3 on: 14 Apr 2020, 10:40 »
Entry the third:

Acts
A rebel sect has a “Reservoir Disciples” facedown after their leader is killed


Fleeing the garden, fearing arrest, you stayed on the move until daybreak. Now, in the morning light, you set yourself three tasks: meet back up with the others, work out who betrayed you, and learn the fate of your leader, the prophet Yeshua.

In the days after the crucifixion, you and other disciples confront each other with different stories, accusations and interpretations of events, as you struggle to understand what it all means, and what’s next. Then, a stranger arrives...

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Re: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"
« Reply #4 on: 14 Apr 2020, 17:56 »
Entry the another:

Return of the Makkk
Aliens known as "The Makkk" were defeated two centuries ago... but now they're back!


200 years ago, your planet freed itself from the clutches of tyrannical alien invaders known as "The Makkk". As they approach it's clear their technology has advanced at a much faster pace than your own...

All appears lost, but a discovery is made that could change everything - then contact with the team working on it is lost. Your task is to find this discovery and work out how to use it before The Makkk enslave your people again...

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Re: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"
« Reply #5 on: 16 Apr 2020, 22:44 »
Entry the one more. Keep 'em coming!

Walk away and tell no one
When doing nothing is a crime... again


You thought you've forgotten about Zach Brzezinski, that pale looser boy from your school who everyone was making fun of, when ten years later you meet a seemingly familiar man at a bus stop.
He claims he's back for revenge and make everyone pay.
Is he for real? What he's up to? And are you going to do anything about it?

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Re: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"
« Reply #6 on: 21 Apr 2020, 06:22 »
It's another entry!

ReTad of the Jedi
Tad is mad.


Self-proclaimed Jedi Tad Turdwalker is mad. He's been mad all summer, for on the last day of school three months ago, some bully (under the influence of a Sith lord, no doubt) stole his vintage twelve-inch Chewbacca doll.

Now, finally, the first day of school has arrived, and Tad is back. Help Tad figure out who stole his precious Chewbacca and how to exact revenge all while navigating the start of the new school year.

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Re: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!"
« Reply #7 on: 26 Apr 2020, 05:54 »
Very last chance to submit an entry!

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Bump because voting is now open (poll at the top of the thread). So take another look at all the entries and pick your favorite!

You're also encouraged to leave feedback (please maintain anonymity, though, by not revealing which — if any — entry is yours, or speculate about who may be responsible for any of them).

Some interesting ideas here, I've gone for Acts because it just seems to have that extra bit of intrigue and fascinating possibilities.
 

I would definitely play some of these but my favourite has to be Return of the Makkk.

I was working on one but I didn’t get to finish it. Maybe I’ll turn it into a story for FWC or something.

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Hope to see some more votes before it closes! (We currently have a tie for first place.)

I found it quite interesting how the entries this round all seemed to pair up. Two games about foiling alien invasions, two about geeks getting revenge, and two that seem vaguely noir-ish in exotic settings.

Here are 12 cents, to be divided equally between the entries:

Return From Death - Future Vision!
It's an interesting premise for a story—though really, Musk? I have to wonder about the "apocalyptic event" that brought the dead to life. If we have God on our side, surely the aliens don't stand a chance? As so often in this contest, what I'm missing is an idea of what the game is actually like. For example, it's unclear who you play as. With 100 boffins to manage, when I try to imagine it, it's less of an adventure game and more some kind of tactical game like X-COM, where you put together squads of eggheads to go on missions.

Vox Populi
"Emerald City" made me think Seattle (and Wadjet Eye Games), so I got a bit thrown when I got to the bit about duels and the "Smaragdean Throne." I like the concept of playing as a corrupt and inept politician. Bit of a film noir vibe, and the pitch hints at some unusual gameplay mechanics. I have a lot of questions, but I like what I hear so far!

Acts
So… Jesus? I guess the inevitable question for any game with a Biblical theme is: Who is this for? Or more bluntly: "How Christian is it?" Because appealing to the devout (undoubtedly the biggest potential market for any disciple-based game) will require very different story choices from anything I would find interesting. The "Reservoir Disciples" tagline is promising in that respect, and I like the idea of playing it as a kind of mystery. (Let me guess: The traitor is Judas! … Right?)

Return of the Makkk
Is this an extraterrestrial branch of the KKK? (You said you'd never turn on me. You lied to me!) So, we have a setup for a "find the missing science team and their discovery" story. That's fine, and I think we're all familiar enough that we can fill in a lot of the blanks. Still, I'd like to know something about where we're going and who we are. I'm also a little unsure of the tone. The title makes me think it's jokey, but the pitch reads pretty straight.

Walk away and tell no one
I really like the title. At all inspired by the movie? It took me a while to work out the premise, because I assumed that this was an "I know what you did last summer"-type situation where you're one of the targets he's trying to get revenge on. ("How is doing nothing a crime?") But I think I've got it: he's not threatening you, he's asking for your help, isn't he? Assisting someone with their revenge spree, or stopping them… that's actually a very cool concept. Would seem to offer a lot of potential for Unavowed-style moral dilemmas.

ReTad of the Jedi
This reminds me a lot of No-Action Jackson, and that's an AGS classic that I definitely wouldn't mind a spiritual sequel to. It will stand or fall on how funny it actually is.

Done and voted! It was not easy to choose. I like all of these ideas.

Now, I mean to leave more detailed feed-back on all entries, when the voting is over. To be on the safe side. There is quite a lot to talk of!

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OK, very last chance to vote now!

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The winning entries are Vox Populi and Acts. Congratulations to the winners!

If you'd like to give more feedback now, or discuss the various entries, please go ahead. You can also start guessing about who is behind each entry, given that the contestants are (in alphabetical order):

CaptainD
Crimson Wizard
Durq
Reiter
Snarky
TheManInBoots

First of all, thanks for reviving and hosting this competition Snarky!  ;-D


Hmm... I'll take a stab at working out one or two writers but obviously not all or it will be obvious which one I wrote!!


I think Return From Death - Future Vision! might be Durq?

Have a feeling that Walk away and tell no one could be Snarky.

Maybe ReTad of the Jedi is by Crimson Wizard?

A Snarky already mentioned, it was strange that the ideas seemed to almost pair off naturally - in fact as soon as I'd posted mine I noticed how similar it was to one of the existing entries, which I hadn't read before posting.
 

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First of all, thanks for reviving and hosting this competition Snarky!  ;-D

Thanks, CaptainD. There doesn't seem to be a ton of interest in it, or maybe the forums are just going through doldrums (spring weather getting everybody out of their quarantine digs?), but it's an activity I always enjoy.

It's a negative on your guess for me, BTW.

Return from Death Crimson Wizard
Vox Populi Durq
Acts Reiter
Return of the Makk Captain D
Walk Away and Tell No One TheManInBoots
ReTad of the Jedi Snarky

I’m not too confident about these guesses but I hope to narrow it down by one or two.

You got me Stu. Pump up the world!
 

You got me Stu. Pump up the world!
I knew that you’d be back.

No one guessed mine yet :).

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Hmm... did Snarky deliberately throw us off the scent - is Acts by Snarky?!
 

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There doesn't seem to be a ton of interest in it, or maybe the forums are just going through doldrums

I read the entries but I didn't find them interesting or I couldn't imagine what gameplay would be like. I only liked ReTad of the Jedi but forgot to vote.

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Hmm... did Snarky deliberately throw us off the scent - is Acts by Snarky?!

Did I? I was worried that it was too obvious, since it was the only entry I didn't express skepticism or real confusion about in my feedback, just posed questions beyond the scope of the pitch itself. (Which could arguably be considered a sneaky way to suggest more detail than the word-limit can accommodate.)
You are correct.

I read the entries but I didn't find them interesting or I couldn't imagine what gameplay would be like. I only liked ReTad of the Jedi but forgot to vote.

 :~(
But hey, that means someone preferred each one of the entries!  ;-D
« Last Edit: 06 May 2020, 17:10 by Snarky »

So we have:

Return from Death - ????
Vox Populi - ????
Acts - Snarky
Return of the Makk - Captain D
Walk Away and Tell No One - ????
ReTad of the Jedi - ????

Unknown authors:

Crimson Wizard
Reiter
Durq
TheManInBoots



@Snarky - I guess it was this comment "will require very different story choices from anything I would find interesting" that made me think at first it was someone else, then looking at it from another angle I thought "Aha!"
 

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Well, I know some of the answers, and think I can work out the rest by process of elimination. So, for example, I'm fairly sure Vox Populi is by Reiter. Congrats!
(That was also the one I voted for.)

Is it time to share the complete list?

@Snarky - I guess it was this comment "will require very different story choices from anything I would find interesting" that made me think at first it was someone else, then looking at it from another angle I thought "Aha!"

Haha, yeah. I've long been fascinated by what actually happened at the founding of Christianity — that point, some time after the death of Jesus, when his followers started to believe that he had been raised from the dead. Interestingly, the earliest account of this, in 1 Corinthians 15:4–7, differs notably from the version in the Gospels, and in the Gospel of Mark (thought to be the oldest and the source for Luke and Matthew) that part seems to have been added later. So there's a lot of room for speculation — if you don't take the Gospels as gospel.

In any case, Jesus' death was clearly a huge crisis of faith for his followers. And if you do accept the basic Gospel narrative that the disciples fled and went into hiding when Jesus was arrested, and that they were betrayed (or at least suspected they had been betrayed) by one of their own, you also have the setup for a really tense, Reservoir Dogs-style thriller drama.

At the same time, I've also been toying with the idea of a sort of Rashomon-like game, with a playable narrative told retrospectively by different unreliable narrators, creating a story made up of many different conflicting versions, full of holes and inconsistencies, and leaving it to the player what to believe in the end. That seemed like it would go well with this setting and theme. A lot of the gameplay would be in choosing what attitude to take to the different other disciples: who to trust, who to ally with and so on, as well as in picking up clues in the playable flashbacks, and perhaps interrogate other witnesses. At the end, you may denounce someone as the traitor (presenting the evidence you've gathered), or be denounced yourself if you've alienated too many other people.

The title, "Acts," has at least a triple meaning. As for "the stranger" that appears, it was meant to hint at the resurrection appearance of Jesus. I added it mainly to fit the contest topic, and I'm not sure I would actually want to include it. (If so, only second-hand.)

Done and voted! It was not easy to choose. I like all of these ideas.

Now, I mean to leave more detailed feed-back on all entries, when the voting is over. To be on the safe side. There is quite a lot to talk of!

Please do!

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OK, since there isn't any more activity in this thead, let's have the list of the authors for each entry:

TheManInBoots:   Return From Death - Future Vision!
Reiter:   Vox Populi
Snarky:   Acts
CaptainD:   Return of the Makkk
Crimson Wizard:   Walk away and tell no one
Durq:   ReTad of the Jedi

Superb work everyone! Lots of creativity on display here, and congratulations to Snarky for doing such a good job moderating the competition! I would have loved to take part/weigh in on the voting but some unexpected things kept me away. I would definitely take part in another if it were to materialise, it seems like wonderful fun!

I delayed my vote to see which pitches would stuck with me. Then I forgot, sorry  :=

I think I would have chosen Snarky's.

Quote
So there's a lot of room for speculation — if you don't take the Gospels as gospel.

The period is poorly documented. This speculation is the starting point of many books / comics :
- Da Vinci Code.
- Le Triangle secret: I just read the first comic but learnt that
Spoiler: ShowHide
Jesus had a brother.

- le Décalogue : it's about Islam. The last episode - which is the first one chronologically - takes place just after Mahomet's death. They discover
Spoiler: ShowHide
a new surah.

- The Third Testament.
...

In many of these books, they like to switch between past and present to show the impact of a discovery that "will challenge everything we believe in".

After reading "Acts", I wondered if the game would involve anything supernatural and if the prophet Yeshua would come back (the stranger?)
« Last Edit: 20 May 2020, 00:44 by Creamy »
 

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- Le Triangle secret: I just read the first comic but learnt that
Spoiler: ShowHide
Jesus had a brother.


Thanks Creamy!
According to the Bible, Jesus had at least four brothers (James, Judas, Joseph and Simon) and several unnamed sisters. Most churches try to explain this away because they're fully committed to Mary's magically pristine vagina, but the references are quite straightforward and the rationalizations far-fetched ("maybe they were all adopted!"; "maybe 'brother' actually means 'cousin'!"), and scholars tend to dismiss such religiously-motivated obfuscations.

After reading "Acts", I wondered if the game would involve anything supernatural and if the prophet Yeshua would come back (the stranger?)

In my head, there wouldn't be anything unambiguously supernatural in the game, but miracles and supernatural events could be portrayed as the subjective experiences of the disciples. I'm influenced by this article, which argues that if we read the Bible into its original context, it's plausible that the episode where Jesus and some of the disciples walked on water "actually happened" in some sense, as an ecstatic religious trance.

A decade ago I attended the Passion Play in Oberammergau (an immense production which is only held once every ten years, to celebrate how the town was spared a 1633 plague: it was supposed to be held again this summer but is being postponed to 2022), and it had a really interesting interpretation of the resurrection: Mary Magdalene and the other women go to the grave and find it open. They enter the cave (off-stage) and disappear for a while. Then Mary comes back out with a beatific look, carrying a lamp or torch, and proclaims the resurrection. She speaks to the disciples, and one by one she lights their torches, and they share the light further, lighting more and more torches until the stage is full of them. And then Jesus emerges from the grave. (Check out the video here for some snippets.) It's ambiguous enough that each viewer can choose to take it literally or as a symbolic representation of faith.

“Mary's Magically Pristine Vagina” is going to be the name of my new band.

On 'Vox Populi'.

I had the closing days of republican Rome in mind. The Emerald City is a city-state, governed by wizards, but now endlessly torn in political intrigue and on the brink of civil war. The more powerful you are, the greater the danger from your rivals becomes. I am rather fond of the idea of a man with no great ambitions to power being forever pushed into its arms (along with the increasing peril), where every attempt to get off of the wheel of fortune just heaves him up higher.
As for 'Emerald City Confidential', I did not know of it. I shall have to play it some day. Why, their idea was better than mine!

On 'Acts'.

I did vote for this pitch, for I liked it the most. There is a lot of possibility in it. Indeed, it reminds me rather of the film 'Risen'. Not to mention, old Jerusalem would be a most fascinating setting.

However, as you noted yourself, it is a game irrevocably attached to the Greatest Story. It is a very brave proposition, for that creates a vast amounts of obligations to consider. It must be done with no small deal of tact, care and finesse. Particularly if the idea is to distance itself from the Christian faith. As I would undoubtedly be in the 'devout' section of potential buyers, I would say that such a thing can be done, and done very well indeed, but it is most difficult. Frankly, if it were to be reduced to a tired old 'Ha! Loony hippie!' story, albeit with an intriguing sect mystery plot, then it would be quite a waste. Those were some terrifying days and nights, and all manner of hopes and despairs and regrets weighed upon the disciples left behind. Indeed, the very nature of Judas Iskarot and his part in the death and ressurection is fascinating, and the relation between him and the faithful disciples. Many things can be found there, hideous and beautiful, and tracking him down in the narrow streets of old Jerusalem and through the haze of despair is a very exciting idea.

In brief, there is a magnificent and rewarding story to find here, and so much can be done beyond the scope of traditional gospel, with liberties taken. However, that makes obligations. To pointlessly profane or dismiss it would be disappointing, cheap and a heart-breaking waste.
That is, however, a reservation I would have towards all such games. 'Acts' rather looks like a much better sport than that, and a much more promising project. Most excellent!

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I think I slightly misunderstood the pitch for Vox Populi, but I like your idea. An unambitious person who "has greatness thrust upon him" is a nice storyline.

I've seen a trailer for Risen, and thought it looked pretty fun. Something like a detective mystery take on the crucifixion/resurrection. "Someone has stolen the body!" Not much of a mystery for the audience, is it? (laugh)
But yes, the potential similarity did occur to me.

I think there's room for a lot of different takes on the subject, from something like Risen or Ben Hur to The Last Temptation of Christ to Life of Brian. While I'm not a believer, and that would no doubt be reflected in the design and story choices I'd make, I wouldn't aim to make a game that's gratuitously offensive or provocative to Christians. To be interesting to me, it — this entirely hypothetical game that I will never make — would have to strive for historical accuracy and plausibility. That requires, at any rate, acknowledging that at some point after Jesus was crucified, the disciples had some sort of religious experience that convinced them that he had been resurrected, and that was compelling enough for some of them to devote years (and possibly the rest) of their life to proclaiming this belief.

As for Judas, that whole bit has always intrigued me (as it has innumerable writers). Personally I'm skeptical of the narrative of Judas' betrayal, with the shared supper and return at the head of a posse later in the night. There wasn't really a need for a traitor among Jesus' followers to arrange for his arrest, and I suspect (though this is pure speculation) that Judas was simply an apostle who left the movement either shortly before or shortly after Jesus' death, which was seen as a betrayal by the others, and that he became a scapegoat for the arrest and execution itself. If there is any historicity to the others fleeing when Jesus was arrested, or Peter's denial of Christ, they probably felt a great deal of shame and guilt, which assigning a particular betrayer would help to relieve. In a game I might at least present this as a possibility.