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  • Request For Proposals: How To Respond

    - Pascal Luban
  • Many studios develop games on behalf of publishers who entrust them with the task of designing and developing a game for one of their franchises. Publishers start by selecting a list of studios likely to develop this project and send them an RFP, a request for proposal.

    The reply to an RFP is different from a pitch deck. The purpose of this publication is to share best practices for preparing it correctly, increasing your chances of being selected by the publisher and entering into exclusive negotiations with the latter.

    The content of an RFP response document

    There is no standard format, model that everyone uses. The studios are therefore free to put whatever they want in it. The content template that I offer you is therefore based on the best practices that I have observed among my clients.

    1) Introduction

    If there is a part that must seek to seduce, it is this one. The introduction is intended to seduce a possible senior official who will not read the entire document but who will want to make sure that the RFP is consistent with the franchise.

    The few pages of the introduction should therefore only include a few key points that will seek to demonstrate that the game project respects the main traits of the franchise. As an option, you can add a page listing the main features of the game.

    2) Marketing summary

    It is a summary table that allows a marketing manager to position the game project in relation to the market. The main headings of this table are as follows:

    • Genre
    • Game world
    • Platform(s)
    • Game mode(s) and number of players
    • Target audience
    • Languages
    • USP (unique selling point)
    • Economic model
    • Age rating
    • Game structure
    • Rendering
    • Camera type(s)
    • Type(s) of control
    • Main actions of the player.

    3) A comparison with competing titles (optional)

    Such a comparison takes a time to prepare, which is why it is optional, but it is interesting because it demonstrates that your studio knows the competitive environment of the game that it is required to develop on behalf of the publisher.

    4) Gameplay

    In this part, all game mechanics should be explained and illustrated. Artwork must show what the player will see on their screen.

    For games with a strong narrative dimension (action-adventure, action, RPG, adventure, etc.), I recommend developing a walkthrough describing the beginning of the game. Indeed, the simple description of the game mechanics does not always make it possible to understand what the player will experience. A walkthrough should be written like a novel. It can also describe what the player feels, thus making its reading more thrilling. Of course, a walkthrough must also be properly illustrated.


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