Title: Railroad Tycoon 3
Strap: 20 words, with your name in. It’s both an introduction to yourself and the game, so make it funny if you can, but not at the expense of being relevant. Although a half page (or smaller) review won’t have your name in the strap.
Details: Certain key details at a glance. It must contain the following.
Due date: October 2003
Must see scene: A large screen grab and around 30 words describing one key scene that’s been demoed to you.
Developer box: Where has this game come from? Why is the developer important? You tell us… We need:
Developer: The name of the developer.
Web address: (for the game, not the publisher)
Image – one headshot of a lead designer/programmer/producer, with a short factual caption telling us who he/she is.
Who are they?: 70-80 words of brief historical overview with previous games and alumni from the studio.
What are they doing? Up to 80 words describing the company’s current work and future plans. Are they going to change the world of gaming with their vision? Or is this game all they will ever do?
1 page = 450 words
2 pages = 800 words
3 pages = 1,200 words
It’s a preview, so we don’t want to cast judgement on a game at this stage, but we do want the reader to finish the article fairly clear in his/her mind why this is an important enough game to be featured in PCF. We want well-written, in depth analysis, but you’re writing about games – they’re exciting and entertaining, and so should your copy be. We’ll spot lazy attempts at humour, though, so don’t try and fool us into thinking you’re clever with a couple of cock jokes. Our readers have a higher average age than any specialist games mag, so talk to them on their level. The reader is always ‘you’ (never the player or, god forbid, ‘Dear Reader’) and you are always ‘we’ (confusing, but you’ll get used to it). Having said that, first person comments may be allowed if you check with us first.
Press Pass: This boxout is about the marketing hype. It features a single dynamic screenshot accompanied by:
Strap: 20 words about the marketing campaign in general
They say: A 40-50 quote straight from the press release. As sensible or ridiculous as you like.
We say: Has the game got a hope in hell of meeting their expectations? 40-50 words describing your opinion as to whether this is a winner or not (Not too harsh though).
Boxouts: These can take several forms. Either:
– A large half page grab with title, strap and seven or eight incredibly interesting or amusing annotations
– A two grab box (one large, one small) with a title, strap and 100 words of copy.
– A three step walkthrough with header, strap and three grabs with a 30 word caption for each.
1 page – 1 short boxout
2 page – 2 boxes
3 page – 4 boxes
Images & Captions: Plenty of each. Work on the theory that we’ll need at least five per page to choose from, and caption ‘em all. For 2 and 3 page games, we’ll also need hi-res art – but we can probably source this.