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22cans COO Bradley Crooks分享远程推介游戏的建议

发布时间:2020-11-03 08:31:38 Tags:,

22cans COO Bradley Crooks分享远程推介游戏的建议

原作者:James Batchelor 译者:Willow Wu

2020年,随着各种活动被取消、商业机遇的消失,开发者向发行商、投资者和其他潜在合作伙伴推介游戏变得更加具有挑战性了。

虽然开发人员现在都没办法跟这些人进行面对面交谈,但还是有一系列的线上活动可以填补这一空白。就比如这周的GamesIndustry.biz主办的线上投资峰会,

通过Zoom或其它视频会议工具进行推介,意味着你应该最大限度地利用你的推介机会,并确保你可以说服那些能够帮助实现你的游戏&公司愿景的人,这一点比以往任何时候都更重要。

来自22cans的COO Bradley Crooks,他花了好几个月的时间来优化团队的推介流程, 并与GamesIndustry.biz Academy分享了一些建议——如何才能让远程推介产生跟面对面推介一样的效果。

他指出,这些技巧许多都可能——事实上也应该——已经是你推介工作中的一部分,随着对话形式从面对面变成了面对屏幕,你必须一丝不苟地做好准备工作。

1.清晰是关键

在准备推介时,一切工作的核心是确保发行商和投资人能够理解你所传达的信息,理解这些关键要素。

这在面对面推介时还是挺容易的。因为你们看的是同一块屏幕,开发人员能够轻松在屏幕上指出相关的东西,而且你可以很快地建立起一种融洽的关系。但是视频通话情景下,这就有点复杂了。

“当你在线上做推介的时候,你需要克服沟通壁垒,确保这些信息能够传递到位,”Crooks解释道。“关于演示的方式和材料准备,你有很多工作要做。

“以往的时候,你通常就是参加大会,走进一个嘈杂的房间,坐在一张桌子后面,然后实时展示游戏——但显然过去的几个月我们不能这样做。所以你还要思考一些其它需要做的事情,确保看完演示的人能够按你所期望的那样理解游戏。”

他说道在最近几个月,22cans在展示即将发行的企业家模拟游戏Legacy时,并不是每次都会得到预期的反应。当他们进一步追问时,得知对方在某些方面产生了误解,或者说22cans方已经假设倾听者理解了,但其实对方并没有。

Top Drives (from pocketgamer.biz)

Top Drives (from pocketgamer.biz)

2.在相关材料上多花些时间并早早寄过去

远程推介的关键并不在于你在推介过程中说了什么,而是你在这之前说了什么(其实对于哪种推介而言都是如此)。Crooks建议花尽可能多的时间准备相关材料——不仅是在演示过程中会用到的,还有那些可以提前发给发行商或其他合作伙伴的。

“我们花了相当多的时间确保人们浏览、看懂这些材料,它们在推介会议能够被提上日程之前就寄出去了,”他说。

“因为很有可能东西会延时送达,或者大家在调整工作日程上出现问题等等,结果就是你在对方了解得不太全面的情况下做完了演示,无法将演示的效益最大化。”

除了通过演示文稿介绍游戏主题外,22cans还借此机会阐述了游戏的主要特色。另外,他们还准备了一份关于盈利的演示文稿,清楚讲述了游戏的F2P模式、核心循环以及盈利决策背后的动机。

“你可能会准备很多东西,但我们确实是做得很夸张了,”Crooks说。“在制作更全面的demo之前,我们甚至还做了一个游戏玩法预告,让人们对游戏有个大概了解。”

3.了解你推介的对象是谁

在推介会开始前的谈话中,能够提早收集反馈和意见是非常重要的,这样你可以让演示文稿变得更具有吸引力。知道你推介的对象是谁也是很重要的。

通常,在安排会议时,听你发言的是发行商/合作伙伴中负责新业务的人。但如果你知道出席会议的具体有哪些人,你就可以去进一步调查他们正在寻找什么,以及你该把重点放在游戏或业务的哪些方面。

“有些人只给你半个小时的时间,所以尽可能地做好充足的准备,这是很关键的。”Crooks说。

4.发送一个可玩版本

在推介前把游戏的可玩版本发一份给潜在的发行商合作伙伴或者投资者,这样他们就有机会更早、更进一步地了解游戏。如果你的游戏是多人联机游戏,你就需要架设一个服务器,让一群人一同玩游戏,展示游戏的社交部分。

22cans会用分析工具来跟踪人们的游戏情况——发行商和投资者在收到可玩版本时会被告知这一点。这样他们就能了解对方玩了多久,进度如何,在推介会开始前对这个游戏熟悉到什么程度。

“如果他们只玩了三分钟,他们可能只过了新手教程,”Crooks说。“如果他们玩了几个小时,我们就可以推测他们获得了不错的体验,看到了游戏的不同方面。当你进行实时演示或面对面交谈时,这些信息是非常有用的。”

Crooks指出,人们收到可玩版本之后的反应可能会各不相同。有些人会立即上手,基于自己的游戏体验,到推介会再提出自己的疑问。有些人则很难抽出时间来玩游戏——“而这些往往就是你最希望他们玩游戏的人,”他补充道。

他继续说:”部分问题在于,像我们一样,很多发行商和合作伙伴都有技术方面的问题,因为他们也都在家里。所以,你把可玩版本发过去,有些人能够轻松解决技术问题,但也许一个发行商的高管会为如何启动、运行某个东西而烦恼。因此,尽量确保他们拥有所需的一切和足够的时间,这样遇到情况的时候他们才能获得组织人员的帮助,这很重要。”

5.确保实时演示做好了万全准备

如果你推介的某个阶段需要发行商或投资人跟你一起玩,那么确保实时演示能够顺利进行就显得尤为重要。在自己的后端架设服务器可能很简单,但如果你需要借助其他公司的平台,你得在会议之前做好准备。

“如果你的实时演示的是手游,那你就要搭个服务器,还得过苹果那边的审核,”Crooks解释说。“这不会耗费很多时间,因为你只是设置一个测试用的服务器,但你仍需要考虑到这一点。如果你提交了,审核队列不太长的话,往往24小时内就可以获得批准了,但也有可能需要好几天。这就是你需要注意的事情之一。”

你甚至可能发现你每次演示都要再走一遍这个流程,因此请务必花时间做好万全的准备,以确保在那个重要的日子尽可能进展顺利。

6.练习推介

在将时间倾注在所有的相关材料、可玩版本和其它方面之后,你要确保那场极为关键推介能够将所有这些内容整合成一份清晰易懂的信息,这是至关重要的。

“你或许会一股脑把所有东西都寄出去,但对方要么直接忽略,要么就会对细节感到迷茫,”Crooks说。“确保尽可能简洁但关键信息一个都不能少,找到这其中的平衡非常重要。”

Crooks建议对你的推介内容进行多次迭代,并向在团队内部,甚至是在家人和朋友面前做模拟演示,获得表达方面的反馈。这也能帮助你掌控时间,确保你能在规定时间内讲完所有内容。

关键就是要多审视你的稿子。你需要确保它涵盖了游戏的所有重要细节,因为视频会议可能没有办法像面对面时那么灵活。

“当你与某人面对面时,你有更多的机会来回应他们所说的,你可以更轻松地回答问题,”Crooks说。“当他们说‘不,我已经见过类似的东西了,能让我看点别的吗?’,处在同一空间中时你很容易就能做出反应,迅速切换,而当你在Zoom上一对多时,就会稍微有点困难了。

“所以,你的演讲内容顺序要经过深思熟虑,确保所有关键东西都会覆盖到,这是非常重要的。”

7.不要独自推介

Crooks建议如果可能的话,让同一工作室的人陪你一起做线上推介,因为这样在你进行演示时,还有第二个人可以在旁边帮你回答问题。

有别的团队成员在场也能进一步确保在限定时间内所有的要点都能讲到。

8.确定好后续的行动计划再结束会议

最后要说的是,要确保推介之后你们有后续计划。

“你可能拿到了这样一次机会,如果你是在GDC或他们的办公室或其它地方开会,记住一定要充分、反复沟通,”Crooks说。

确保参与视频会议的人一致认同下一步行动,并在推介结束后通过电子邮件再次确认。要罗列清楚大家同意了哪些事项,你的团队或者发行商或者投资者还需要哪些后续行动、信息。

“这是很常见的——尤其是使用Zoom或其它什么会议工具推介的情况下——他们很容易会产生‘我已经完成了这个半小时的任务,我已经给了他们时间’的想法,并认为这就结束了,”Crooks说。“你必须要遵循行动计划,确保你知道如何推动事情的发展。”

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

Pitching to publishers, investors and other potential partners has become even more challenging in 2020 with widespread cancellation of events and other business opportunities.

While the ability for developers to physically meet with these people have essentially dried up, there have been a series of digital events to help fill the void. This week’s GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit Online, for instance.

The inherent restrictions of pitching over a Zoom call, or whatever your video conferencing tool of choice may be, means that it’s more important than ever to maximise your pitching opportunities and ensure you can win over the people who can help them realise the ambitions for your game and business.

Bradley Crooks, chief operating officer at Peter Molyneux’s studio 22cans, has spent months improving his team’s pitching processes and shared advice with GamesIndustry.biz Academy on how to pitch remotely just as effectively as you would in person.

He notes that many of these tips may — and indeed should — be part of your pitching process already, but with conversations shifting from physical events to digital, it’s vital to be even more rigorous about how you prepare.

Clarity is key

At the centre of everything you do when preparing a pitch is ensuring that publishers and investors understand your message, the key elements that you want them to understand.

That’s easier to do when you’re face-to-face as you’re all sharing a screen, developers are able to point things out on said screen more easily, and you can quickly develop a one-on-one rapport. Over a video call, this is a little more complicated.

“When you’re doing it online, you need to fill in the gaps and make sure those messages are landing,” explains Crooks. “There’s a lot of work that goes around the setup of the demonstration and the materials that go with the demos.

“Whereas normally you turn up to a conference, sit down at a table in a noisy room and show the game live, obviously we haven’t been able to do that over the last few months. So it’s about thinking about the other things you need to do to make sure people coming away from that demo come away with the right understanding of the game.”

In recent months, he notes that there have been times 22cans didn’t necessarily get the reaction it expected when showing off upcoming industrialist sim Legacy. When they have pressed further, the studio has learned that certain aspects were misunderstood or that they “made assumptions that people had understood but they didn’t.”

Spend more time on supporting materials – and send them over early

A crucial part of a remote pitch — or indeed any pitch — is not what you say during, but what you say before. Crooks recommends spending as much time as possible preparing supporting materials that can not only be used alongside your live demo, but submitted to the publisher or partner ahead of the meeting.

“We’ve spent quite long periods of time getting those materials across, making sure people understood those materials, that they had been sent to the relevant people before we got to the point where we could arrange a live demo,” he says.

“Because what can easily happen is people don’t send stuff on, or it’s difficult to coordinate diaries… stuff happens and you end up going into the demo with people who don’t understand enough to get the most out of the demo itself.”

In addition to product decks that spell out what the game’s about, 22cans also used this opportunity to give an introduction to key features of the game. The team also prepared a monetisation deck to clarify the free-to-play model, the core loops and the motivation behind the monetisation decisions taken.

“A lot of this stuff you might do anyway, but we’ve gone overboard in the amount of stuff we’ve done sending stuff ahead of time,” says Crooks. “We did a gameplay trailer ahead of time to give people an idea of the game before we did a [deeper] demo.”

Find out who you’re pitching to

During the conversations ahead of the pitch meeting, it’s important to gather feedback and comments early, so you can better tailor your presentation. It’s also important to find out who you will be presenting to.

Typically, when arranging a meeting, you’re speaking to the person at the publisher or partner who handles new business, but if you find out who will be present at the meeting, you can learn more about what it is they’re looking for, and therefore which aspects of your game or business you should be focusing on.

“Some of these people you’re only going to get for half an hour, so it’s important to prep as much as possible,” says Crooks.

Sending a playable build ahead of the pitch meeting gives publishers and investors a chance to experience your game first hand and come up with their own questions
Sending a playable build ahead of the pitch meeting gives publishers and investors a chance to experience your game first hand and come up with their own questions

Send them a build

Sending out playable builds ahead of the live demo can give your potential publisher or investor a chance to better acquaint themselves with your game ahead of time. If your game relies on online multiplayer, you’ll need to set up a server with a variety of people playing to demonstrate the social aspects.

22cans actually uses analytics to track how people play — and publishers and investors are informed of this when issued a build. This enables them to see how long they have played, how far they progressed, and give a better idea of how familiar they are with the game before the big pitch.

“If they’ve only played three minutes, they might have only done some of the onboarding,” says Crooks. “If they’ve played for a couple of hours, we know they may have had a good experience and at least seen various aspects of the game. That information is really quite useful when you come to do your live demo and have your face-to-face chat.”

Crooks notes that reactions to distributed builds can vary. Some people will dive straight in and come to the live demo with questions based on their experience. Others will struggle to make the time — “And it’s often the people you really want to see the game,” he adds.

He continues: “Part of the problem is, like us, a lot of publishers and partners have their own IT and comms issues, because they’re all at home as well. So if you send a build out, certain people won’t struggle with it at all but maybe a head of publishing will struggle to get something up and running. So try to make sure they’ve got everything they need and enough time so they can be helped with people at their organisation. That’s important.”

Make sure the live demo is ready to go

Ensuring everything is prepared for the live demo is especially important if your pitch involves the publisher or investor playing with you at any stage. While it may be simple enough to set up a server on your own back-end, if you require another company’s platform you need to make sure this is prepared well ahead of the meeting.

“If you’re demoing live demos for mobile games, you need to set up a server and you have to go through approval with Apple,” Crooks explains. “It doesn’t take that long because you’re essentially just setting up a test server, but you still need to figure that into your equations. If you make a submission and things aren’t too busy, it can often go through in 24 hours but it might take a couple of days. That’s something you need to be aware of.”

You might even find you need to do this for each presentation you make, so be sure to spend the time needed preparing to guarantee everything runs as smoothly as possible on the big day.

Practice your pitch

After pouring time into all the supporting materials, playable builds and other related aspects, it’s vital to ensure that the central pitch smooths all this out into one digestible message.

“It’s very easy to say ‘Well, we’ll just throw everything in there,’ take the kitchen sink approach, but people either don’t read it or they become a bit lost in the details,” says Crooks. “That balance between making sure it’s as succinct as possible but gives the key information is really important.”

Crooks recommends iterating on your pitch several times, and doing mock presentations to the internal team — or even family and friends — to get feedback on what’s coming across. This also helps you practice your timing, so you can ensure you deliver everything in your allotted time slot.

Thinking about your script is key here. You need to ensure it covers all the main details of your game, because a virtual meeting may be less flexible and dynamic than a face-to-face one.

“When you meet someone face-to-face, there’s much more of an opportunity to play off what they’re saying, you can answer questions more easily as you go,” says Crooks. “You can switch quite quickly if they say, ‘No, I’ve seen this, can I see more of that?’ — that’s much easier to do in person than if you’re on Zoom with multiple people watching.

“So having a well thought through sequence to ensure you’re covering off the key things is really important.”

Don’t pitch alone

Crooks recommends having multiple people from your studio on pitching calls if possible, if only because a second person will be on hand to answer questions while you are delivering the demonstration.

Having multiple people from the team also improves your chances of making sure all the key points are covered, given the limited time publishers have to spend in Zoom sessions.

Don’t leave a meeting without agreed action points

Finally, it’s essential to ensure there are plans to follow-up after your pitch.

“You’ve probably got one shot at this, and that’s probably true if you were meeting at GDC or their office or whatever, but you need to almost over communicate,” says Crooks.

Make sure everyone on the call agrees on what the next steps might be, and then as soon as the pitch meeting is over, confirm these via email. Make it clear what was agreed, and whether further action or information is required either from your studio or from the publisher or investor you were talking to.

“It’s very easy — especially when it’s done over Zoom or whatever — for them to walk away from those calls, thinking ‘I’ve done my half an hour, I’ve given them my time’ and assume that’s it,” says Crooks. “You’ve got to follow through on what the action points are, make sure you know how to move things forward.”

(source: gamesindustry.biz)


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