quick pitching guide

Bonjour !

Pardon my French but Dear Villagers is definitely based in France and Montpellier is our hometown – a nice Mediterranean city, you should come and visit when you can! We also have a smaller office in a bigger place called Paris if that’s an easier destination for you but be wary that it takes longer to reach a (colder) sea from there. And we even have a younger office in Shanghai, but that’s yet another story.

Anyway, we’re here to explain a bit more about our pitching and evaluation process to talented development teams who are looking for a professional AND convivial publisher to help them through the hardships AND joys of releasing a game in the 21st century.

First, a quick roundup about what we’re looking for, in case you reached this page without checking about us before (it’s OK, really). We often say that we crave for playful, distinctive and audacious projects with satisfying game feel, striking art style and surprising blend of mechanics/narration but that’s still a broad description.

Here’s a quick “do and don’t” factual list to make sure that we’re on the same wavelength. As with any rule, there’s always an exception but at least you’ll get a general idea of our goals. If your game does not fit these preliminary requirements, you might want to get in touch with our mothership company that has a different but more flexible publishing and distribution offer.

 

 

Pardon my French but Dear Villagers is definitely based in France and Montpellier is our hometown – a nice Mediterranean city, you should come and visit when you can! We also have a smaller office in a bigger place called Paris if that’s an easier destination for you but be wary that it takes longer to reach a (colder) sea from there. And we even have a younger office in Shanghai, but that’s yet another story.

Anyway, we’re here to explain a bit more about our pitching and evaluation process to talented development teams who are looking for a professional AND convivial publisher to help them through the hardships AND joys of releasing a game in the 21st century.

 

 

First, a quick roundup about what we’re looking for, in case you reached this page without checking about us before (it’s OK, really). We often say that we crave for playful, distinctive and audacious projects with satisfying game feel, striking art style and surprising blend of mechanics/narration but that’s still a broad description.

Here’s a quick “do and don’t” factual list to make sure that we’re on the same wavelength. As with any rule, there’s always an exception but at least you’ll get a general idea of our goals. If your game does not fit these preliminary requirements, you might want to get in touch with our mothership company that has a different but more flexible publishing and distribution offer.

We do focus our efforts on :

PC & Consoles

Mainly offline games

Single player experiences

Buy to play/premium business models

Midcore to hardcore audiences

We don’t put our beans on :

Multiplayer focused games

Complex/heavy/realistic simulations

F2P, game as a service, live ops

Mobile-first projects

AR/MR/VR

We need three things for a proper evaluation :

Playable build

Pitch deck

Development budget

Playable build

Anything that runs on a Windows PC is the best option for us, since it’s the most shared configuration among the team. Sending a standalone package is OK, sending a Steam/itch.io code to access a private branch is OK, sending a simple link to a public demo available online is OK. In case you only have a build that runs on a console dev/test kit, we can have a look at it but it will clearly slow down our process as our dev/test kits are mostly used by our internal producers, with limited access for other team members.

Letting us know about the state of your playable build is quite important and our order of preference would be something like: vertical slice > beta build > public demo > alpha build > dressed prototype. Of course, you can reach out before you have something playable ready to test the waters and get to know us a bit more, but we won’t be able to offer a concrete greenlight before we can get our hands on a build that gives us an already good idea of what you’re trying to achieve in terms of core gameplay, narrative elements and visual style. Please try to add checkpoints, saves and skips if your build has cutscenes and takes some time to go through, we often need to play it more than once!

Pitch deck

This one is a wild beast. There’s a ton of different ways to present your game to “business people” (don’t be afraid though, we’re “people” first) and every publisher has its own specific criteria. What we really care for is having answers to the Five (or Six) Ws:

Who you are, what you’re making, why you’re making it, when you’re planning to achieve it, how you are planning to do it and where are you heading once it’s done.

The tools and technical details of this pitch deck are up to you – even if it would be a good idea to avoid sending a 50 pages long document with only a few images or using the Wingdings font. You get bonus points for sharing concept arts, control schemes, GIFs, mood boards, online/printed coverage, screenshots, videos (trailer, gameplay footage, build playthrough!)… Feel free to add anything that represents the heart and soul of your project and team, including pics of your favorite pet(s) because we love them.

Development budget

We need to know about your global production budget for the whole project and more specifically what amount of cash you’ll need from us to finish your game.

We have a look at all pitches but if your funding needs are above the million dollar line, we might have to scout for an external investor to help us get there. Make sure to highlight and focus on your development costs in the budget document, we’ll make sure to evaluate all other costs (advertising, age rating, events, guests, localization, marketing, playtests, PR, QA and so on) once we’re settled on the main course!

Now that you’re ready to send everything over to us through our contact form or our sourcing email (publishing at dearvillagers dot com), let’s finish with a few words about our review process. Once we have received the whole package, we’ll need up to two weeks to give a first feeling on your project and up to a month to share a more detailed answer regarding a possible collaboration. Some cases take more time to inspect than others and attending B2B or B2C events can slow down our regular evaluation schedule but we’ll try our best to avoid letting you without news for weeks. Don’t hesitate to bump any existing conversation after two weeks or ping us on social networks in case our damn spam filter messed up with your email in the first place.

Thanks for staying up until here and let’s chat soon!

Matthieu, Scouting Wizard

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