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Level Three: Presenting
Beat 3. Documents
What You Provide
This is the easiest part. You need to prepare a well-designed handout for your pitch that doubles as a proposal document, possibly around 15–30 pages long. The good news is, you already have two master documents from which to extract your handout—your pitch preparations and, for details and data and documentation, your game treatment itself!
Your handout should contain all the material that you compiled for your pitch during Level Two: Polishing. It should contain your demographic breakdown, your competitor breakdown, your value characteristics, and all your background figures, your target audience, your market research conclusions, and your time and cost projections, all fairly detailed. It should also contain all the screenshots, artwork, illustrations, and diagrams needed to understand what you’re talking about without having attended your pitch. Make enough high-quality copies for your presentation (when in doubt, ask in advance how many people will attend), put them in pocket folders, and keep a print-quality PDF handy to send around.
Don’t distribute your handout at the beginning of your pitch if you want the audience to listen to your presentation. But to preempt mental distress, it’s a good idea to put your stack of handouts visibly on your desk when you start your presentation, and hand them out after you’re done. That way, everybody can give your presentation their full attention in the knowledge that all the data and all the details will be available to them in written form.
There’s absolutely no need for your handout to look and feel like a slick upmarket magazine. But like everything else you provide, your handout should look and feel professional, not like something spawned in the layout and typography hell of a singularly unsuited word processor. Use professional tools, either yourself or a designer from your team, or someone you hire for a fee. It’s the form that makes difficult matter legible, comprehensible, and exciting.
In case you have a digital and playable prototype, that is the final type of “document” you need to care for. See to it that your audience can try it out after your presentation.
To wrap it up, put your prototype online if you have one, and also your walkthrough video. Provide links or download links, and protect them against unauthorized access.
This is the end of our journey. But a subsequent, grander journey is waiting for you, right after your pitch and your contract negotiations. That grander journey is the development cycle, and that’s where our ways part. But look around, and you will certainly find another helper to accompany you across that next magical threshold and beyond.
So goodbye, and good luck.
Your great adventure has barely begun.