Puzzle Post co-founder Will Hall discusses what the team likes to see in a product pitch

Puzzle Post, Will Hall, Mojo Pitch, Play Creators Festival

Will, we’re looking forward to welcoming you to your first Mojo Pitch. Why is 2024 the right year for you to start doing this?
Puzzle Post is four years old now. Although we’re still a small, independent publisher we’ve grown dramatically each year. We’ve now got a great base of customers who love our games, we’ve got a great distribution network and trusted relationships with large retailers and brands, so we feel we’re now in the position to work with great inventors to take their ideas to market.

Excellent. Thank you! What’s your ethos at Puzzle Post?
Make games that people enjoy playing as much as we enjoy making them. It’s no more complicated than that.

And I appreciate that! Few things make me more nervous than a games company that has a mission statement like a Tolkien novel! For what kind of product are you looking?
We’re looking for group games – playable by four or more people – for adults or families. They could be card games, quiz games, word games, social- deduction games, challenge games, party games… We like games that are quick to start, with a simple set up. We’re always looking for contemporary themes and real-world storylines, and shy away from sci-fi and fantasy themes.

Perfect. Of course, any inventors coming to you will be able to see your formal wish list. Is there anything else, though?
It’s worth saying that there’s one thing we think is crucial… And that’s a brilliant hook: anything that gives you good bragging rights among your pals!

And in regard, Will, to pitch structure, is there any particular order you like inventors to unpack information in?
Not really – the only thing we want to hear at the start is the hook. We want to know what question is asked at the start of the game that will be revealed at the end of the game?

Adam Carson, Fat Brain Toys, Play Creators Festival, Mojo Pitch

What makes a great sizzle video for you?
I think sizzles should be short and sharp. The focus should be on the crux of the game or the idea. It doesn’t need to explain the whole game, but it should explain how players will enjoy it.

Are there any other tools you think inventors could be using when pitching to you? Sell sheets, for example?
Yes, sell sheets are useful. In general, anything that helps communicate the idea concisely and gets to the essence of why it’s enjoyable to play.

How did you come to be in the industry, Will?
It’s a fairly straightforward story really. The other co-founder of Puzzle Post is Bobbie Jackson. Bobbie and I both liked games and decided to have a go at making one. We sent it to friends and family who enjoyed it, we started selling it online… And even more people enjoyed it.

We quit our jobs, we made more games, we sold them into retailers and then even more people enjoyed them! Four years later, and Puzzle Post has grown to have a full range of games and an amazing team making sure as many people can enjoy our games as possible.

What’s your background?
Before that, I played basketball professionally for four years before working in a couple of healthcare startups in London.

Oh, come on now! Interesting. That’s a couple of huge shifts. Let me finish with a question I haven’t asked in awhile… What’s the most interesting object in your office or on your desk?
It’s a disappointing answer for you, I think, Deej. We hot desk in offices all over the place so my desk is essentially empty!

Awwwww, no! You know what? That had to happen one day! Anything at all you could point to?
Currently there’s a long list of anagrams we’re testing for a specific moment in a new game we’re developing. Three of them are proving too tricky for me!

Well, that’ll do nicely! Thanks, Will.

Puzzle Post, Will Hall, Mojo Pitch, Play Creators Festival

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