Hi, hello, hey there. I’m not sure if we’ve met? I’m Johan, and I do scouting at Raw Fury. I’ve been here for a year now quietly enjoying the pitches you’ve been sending, making sure you get a reply in a reasonable manner, and signing a game or two. I’ve also spent some time traveling and chances are we’ve had a beer, a cup of coffee, some mezcal, or all those things (in rapid succession) while you showed me what you were working on. One of the questions that tends to come up in these conversations has been a very simple one: “What should I put in our pitch to Raw Fury?”
So what should you put into a pitch to Raw Fury?
I’ll sort you out with a laundry list of items (TL;DR down below) and I’ll also try to delve a little bit into the logic behind that list.
- A playable PC build that you feel captures enough of the essence of what you want to build and conveys that in a way that makes sense for people outside of your team.
- A budget that shows your development related costs for 1 PC build in USD. No need to add marketing, ports or so on – we can figure that one out together later on. Basically, what we want is your burn rate times the months left in your development.
- A deck that helps us understand who’s building this, why you are building this, when you think it will be done, and a high level description of what you’re building.
- Anything that helps flesh out the pitch including GIFs, videos, a GDD, concept art, story documents… Anything that helps us better understand what you want to do and how you’re getting there.
That’s about it, really. If you’re here for the laundry list, here you go!
A Playable PC Build
The reasoning behind this is fairly simple – if we don’t have a build, we can’t play it and we can’t make any concrete decisions. The part that is slightly trickier, and something that gets brought up in conversations a lot, is “What do you want in a build?”. I’d love to be able to do a bullet list of what we want in a build with concrete steps that are easy to follow to ensure success. However, it’s not that easy – what we want in a build is quite frankly impossible to tell. It’s what you want in that build that matters.
We want a build that _you_ feel conveys the essence of what you’re trying to make in a good way. That might be exceptionally tight movement mechanics in a white-boxed level, if you’re looking to capture the sense and weight and thrill of running down a street, trying to get away from someone. That could be one brilliant sequence of puzzles, dressed in art that are close to where you want the full game to be. It can be the core systems playing together so well that the fact that it’s represented by a red square and a blue ball in a grey room doesn’t matter at all. Or it might be something else entirely. The important part here is that you’re sharing what _you_ feel confidently shows off what you’re doing and where you want to go.
That said, there are a few concrete things that are good to see in a build:
- Skippable cutscenes/intro. We replay things a lot, and rewatching or re-reading stuff is likely not why we decided to go back in.
- Checkpoints you can load into in different parts of the build. If the build is +10 mins, having some checkpoints We can load into helps out a lot.
- English subtitles (if the spoken language isn’t in English)
- Control scheme (can be a separate doc as well)
These are all reasonably minor things, but they do help me do my job faster and more efficiently – which means We can get back to you quicker.
When it comes to budgets, in relation to us at least, what we want is something that tells us your development costs for 1 PC build. This means that you don’t need to take into account marketing, events, PR, etc etc – only costs related to the actual development of what you’re building. It can be as simple as your months left of development times your monthly burn rate, and it can be more granular if you feel like that explains your process better. The reason for this is that we structure our budgets into Development, Marketing and Service budgets.
Development is your studio, what you need to take this to a releasable state. Marketing and Service budgets contain stuff like digital/physical advertising, external PR, external QA, events, localisation, porting, VO talents, etc. We have a lot of good external peeps and partners that we work with, and can estimate about what would be a reasonable amount of money to allocate for both the marketing budget and the service budget. Since we also don’t put in internal work hours into these budgets (our work is our risk to carry, only stuff that comes with an invoice from an external party goes into these budgets), it becomes really hard for you to estimate the budget outside of your development costs. Thus we only really need a budget that gives us an understanding of what you need to bring this to a full release, as we will discuss marketing budgets together later.
There are a ton of guides, hints, tips and lots of diametrically different opinions on what constitutes a good pitch deck. Is it a 10 pager, 20 pts Arial text, built to last about 30 mins (with questions) if you run it live? Or is it a 30 pager, filled to the brim of 12pts Times New Roman? Should you detail the length of every team member, the current amount of lines of code produced? Should there be any numbers in it at all? Suffice to say, there’s likely enough ideas of how to build decks out there for it to be a reasonable field of study if you’re heading down the PhD route. So let’s toss all that out and look at the basics Raw Fury wants to have in a deck – and leave the rest of it for you to decide if you want to put it in or not. Personally, we subscribe to a very simple philosophy – it’s six questions we want answered in any sort of pitch deck.
What are you doing, Why are you doing it, Who are you, Where do you want to go, What do you need to get there, When will you be there?
If all these questions are answered, we have a high level understanding of what you’re building and why you think it’s worthwhile. We will have learned a little bit about your team and your background. Lastly, we will also know what your ambition is, what you need to fulfill that ambition and approximately how long that will take. If you send me a PowerPoint with 6 slides, and you answer one question per slide, I’m all good and happy. If you then feel that you want to stretch out and add more things, that’s perfectly fine – you can add whatever you feel helps increase the likelihood of a total stranger grokking what you’re about to do. Just make sure you’ve answered the six questions above.
Anything That Helps Flesh out the Pitch
If you have a GDD that you feel can help us project where the playable will be in 18 months, add it to the submission. If you have some snazzy gifs that can be used to explain mechanics, show off the mood/art, or just happen to be hilarious? Add them. Do you have a video playthrough of the build? Get it in this here pitch (while we do play everything, it’s great to have something you can fast-forward to a specific spot of cool stuff that you want to show off). Concept art, story docs, poems, recipes for good food or recommendations for metal bars in your town – anything goes. As long as it helps us build a clearer picture of where you will be by the end of this project.
Well, yeah. Send us all of this in an email to Magic@RawFury.com!
And that’s about it! I hope this helps! and if you have any questions or feedback – feel free to reach out via email, at conferences/expos or on twitter! In the end, this is built to be useful to you, so if there’s something missing I’m happy to either update or answer more thoroughly in other mediums. 🙂