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If you’re a developer, you should have a good elevator pitch for your project. A quick spiel that gets across the appeal of your game in the time it takes to ride a lift up a few floors. But if you’re a small indie studio headed to the upcoming Game Developers Conference, then you should work on your shuttle-bus pitch.
Publisher Devolver Digital announced today that it is returning to GDC in San Francisco this year with its Pitch Fork Parker initiative, a shuttle bus for indie devs to get a ride and pitch their games at the same time. Of course, GDC week (March 25-29) is crazy busy, so Devolver is also offering to meet with indies wherever is convenient for them.
Last year, developer Chris Pavia took a ride on the Pitch Fork Parker, which ended with him signing on to work with Devolver as publisher for his Dungeon Hearts role-playing puzzle game.
“Devolver Digital has given me opportunities that would have been nearly impossible to get on my own as a new, unknown developer,” said Pavia. “Dungeon Hearts wouldn’t be half the game it is now without their support. Also, they give the best back rubs.”
Dungeon Hearts is a match-3 puzzle game with RPG elements for PC, Mac, and iOS.
“Chris came on the bus at GDC,” Devolver vice president of marketing Nigel Lowrie told GamesBeat. “He pitched the game to us. We felt it was one of those unique ideas that we hadn’t really seen before, but it wasn’t just the game. His spirit and passion for it — we really latched on to that.”
They latched on to it so deeply that Devolver contacted Pavia later the same night to ask Pavia if he wanted to work with them.
“It’s come full circle because [Dungeon Hearts] is probably going to launch right around the same time as GDC,” said Lowrie. “So a year later he has a finished game coming out on Steam and iOS, and we’re really excited to gear up our marketing campaign.”
Devolver is hoping to re-create that same kind of magic at this year’s GDC, and it just started taking requests for meetings.
Studios interested in some face time with the the company can email Devolver’s chief financial officer Fork Parker at email@example.com. As with Dungeon Hearts and Hotline Miami, Devolver is just looking for something different.
“I was under the impression that being ‘developer friendly’ just meant buying them dinner, drinks, and possibly a sensual massage,” Parker said in a statement. “But our business development team is more in favor of honesty, integrity, and creative freedom so — you know — whatever.”