Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Target Audience
Explain who you are developing the game for and why you think it will appeal to
them. You can also specify which ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rat-
ing you are expecting to receive for the game: Early Childhood, Everyone, Teen,
Mature, or Adults Only.
Hardware Platforms
List the devices the game will be played on: PC, consoles, handhelds, mobile phones,
and so on.
Estimated Schedule, Budget, and P&L
Break out the major phases of development and the level of effort associated with each
to show how you arrived at the estimates in the pitch doc.
If you work for a publisher, he or she is likely to require a P&L (Profit and Loss) esti-
mate at this stage. This is an estimate of all the costs of bringing a game to market,
along with estimates of all its anticipated income. Your business division will have
templates for these calculations, usually in the form of plug-in spreadsheets that have
cells for wholesale costs, sales estimates, license royalties, and so on.
If you are an independent developer making a proposal to a publisher, you won't
know his or her cost structures and your royalties have yet to be negotiated. Instead of
a P&L, simply include your development budget. Make sure to break out the amount
you want to charge for the preproduction phase, however, because getting that fund-
ed is the whole point of this project proposal.
You can't come up with all the numbers on the P&L by yourself. Work with several
divisions of the company to come up with reliable estimates:
The development group supplies the direct costs of creating the game. This is
derived by multiplying the man-month estimate by the group's salaries, then
adding in equipment costs, overhead costs, and any external costs (technology
license fees, voice recording, Full Motion Video (FMV) shoots, and so on).
From the production group comes the Cost of Goods (COGS ) estimate. These
are the costs of the physical materials that go into the game box—the media,
the jewel case, the manual, the box itself, and so on.
From the marketing department comes the estimate of how much it will spend
to promote the game in magazine ads, TV ads, point-of-purchase displays, sell-
sheets, and so on.
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