Pitch Your Game Idea : Contest at PAX Prime

An interesting contest where people told their best game idea to a panel of judges. "Contra-ception" was probably the most interesting...

An interesting contest where people told their best game idea to a panel of judges. "Contra-ception" was probably the most interesting...

With all the different events going on at PAX Prime this weekend, there was plenty for the average person to see or do. A few brave souls got to interact in something a little different. “Pitch Your Game Idea” involved the contestants developing and delivering their best game idea to a panel of four judges who all work in the gaming industry. The judges would then pick the top three game ideas and the creators would each win their own prize pack. 

Round One

Round One was fairly simple in that each contestant had 30 seconds to deliver a funny overview of the game and what the game’s title would be. The main goal was to make the delivery as entertaining as possible and to have the title be funny in some way. The judges would then say either “Yes” or “No” to whether the game idea would make it to the second round or not. 

Some of the funnier game ideas that came from Round One were “Contra-ception”, “Big Bubble in Little China”, and “Super Villain Distraction.”

This game is kind of what Contra-ception would be like…mostly. 

A game that stood out in round one was, “Contra-ception” labeled as an “Ovarian Tower Defense” game. Seriously, I’m not even joking…I can’t even make that up. The judges started laughing almost immediately and the gentleman was given a “Yes” very quickly. More about the game in Round Two…

“Big Bubble in Little China” was another interesting game idea that centered on a person having dinner with their parents. The goal of the game was for the player to make shapes out of the oil in the soup while answering dialogue questions from the parents. If the parents found out that the player was not really paying attention then they would get angry. The judges again seemed unsure until the person gave out the title and then they all gave out a “Yes” in-between bouts of laughter.

And finally, “Super Villain Distraction” was a game idea about a villain who would use “superhero mishaps” to hide their nefarious deeds. This one was a little confusing at first but after some clarification in Round Two the game made much more sense.

Round Two

Round Two was a much more focused discussion about each person’s game idea, and each person had about 45 seconds to give more details about how their game would play, etc. The judges also asked questions to get an idea of whether they would support the game or not. This segment was meant to help the judges narrow down the field to the three winning ideas, and intended to be more serious than Round One had been.

The gentleman who thought up the game idea, “Contra-ception”, stated that there would be 28 levels to play through, and not surprisingly most of the audience and the judges started laughing. If you don’t understand what they found funny, then I must apologize because I am not going to help you figure it out.

After each level, the person could buy upgrades, (more laughter), that would help the player in the next levels. Then in an unexpected turn, the game idea took a serious turn as the gentleman said that the game intended as a fun way for teens and parents of teens to learn about safe sex. The judges laughed a little at this and joked about how the game was taking a “helpful” role.  The judges then said they had heard enough and it was on to the next person.

“Big Bubble in Little China” made its return and the judges wanted to know immediately why the player had to worry about angering their parents. The game’s developer had an answer in that if the parents were angry then you would not get as high an amount of money with which to buy upgrades. Money could be used for stencils that allow the player to make new kinds of shapes that would earn more points, so that was an effective way of having money be relevant. 

They don’t know he’s actually just making shapes in his soup…

The judges seemed satisfied with the developer’s answers and they dismissed him, so they could continue on with the other games of Round Two.

“Super-Villain Distraction” was already an interesting idea in Round One, so the judges wanted to know more about how the game would work. The idea was that the villain would plan heists and then trick the superheroes into doing something bad while trying to stop the heist.

For example, if the villain planned a bank robbery beside an orphanage and caused the superhero to accidentally destroy the orphanage and harm those inside. Also, the villain had to escape without anyone seeing them or the people would know why the superhero acted the way they did. 

If the villain escaped without anyone seeing them, then the superhero will look foolish trying to explain why the orphanage got destroyed in a heist that no one saw happen.

The Results

Every contest has to have some winners and losers but many of the game ideas that were given were very entertaining. For the sake of this article not becoming a dissertation, I had to limit the number of game ideas that were included in this article.  However, here are the game ideas that ended up placing second and first.

Second place was given to “Big Bubble in Little China” and the judges seemed impressed with the game developer’s poise and how he handled Round Two in particular.

And finally, first place was awarded to “Super-Villain Distraction” because of it’s interesting gameplay ideas and how the person handled the questions given in Round Two. Seriously, the pitch was so good that if it were actually developed I would totally buy it.

“Contra-ception” did not place in the top three which is kind of sad because the person’s pitch was funny and made the judges laugh.  Maybe it was because it was a tower defense game?

About the author


Public Relations major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Fan of all types of video games, old and new.