Serial Homicide Unit–Back Cover Copy

04Dec08

I need three things before I can open Serial Homicide Unit for preorders. I’m excited!

1. A photo of the game components (that’ll just take a few hours this weekend)

2. Write up the copy for the back cover.

3. Order and evaluate a test copy from the cd duplicator I plan to use.

I HATE writing back cover copy. Salesmanship is not one of my strong suits, it feels too much like bragging. Anyway, that’s why I’m turning to YOU, faithful blog-reader. Here’s what I’ve started as far as back cover copy for SHU. What’s good? What’s bad? What else should be said? Is the bullet format good or not?

SERIAL HOMICIDE UNIT

* Track down a killer. Bring a rampaging serial killer to justice as you portray investigators of the elite Serial Homicide Unit. Thrill to the terror as you follow the lives of the killer’s next victims.

* Single evening play. A single game plays in less than four hours, with high replay value. Three to six players.

* Pick-up and play! No preparation required. No rules to read. Just play the enclosed CD and listen as the game is explained to you step-by-step. All you need to play are a few normal, six-sided dice and pens or pencils. All other materials enclosed.

* You create the killer.

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6 Responses to “Serial Homicide Unit–Back Cover Copy”

  1. I’d go for something sparse and evocative on the back cover itself. The real trouble instead is writing the copy that goes with the sales-listing on a website.
    For the back cover I’d simply say something like:
    A killer is on the loose.
    Lives hang in the balance.
    You have one evening to bring him to justice.
    Do you — and your colleagues in the Serial Homicide Unit — have what it takes?
    Clock’s ticking.

    • Sparce and evocative is a good point. One of the issues that SHU faces that most other games do not is that it also has to answer the question: “What IS this thing?” since it’s going to be a role-playing game sold in a landscape-formatted DVD case. The photo of the contents will help, but I don’t know if it will be enough for someone browsing the IPR shelf at a convention or, someday, retailer.

      • 3 Anonymous

        Consider the board game format, used so well with Zombie Cinema, of symbols for duration and number of players. You can convey a lot visually and save some space, too.
        I like Fred’s blurb – it is evocative and interesting.
        If somebody is browsing it through IPR your job is much easier – they know they are looking at weird games in weird formats. Regular retail will be harder. Looking at how DVD cover art and copy are arranged is probably instructive.
        The audio instruction is unique and interesting and worth highlighting somehow.
        –Jason M


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