The unofficial pitch
Seinfeld and its properties are not affiliated with us in any way.
Hello, the internet. We are Jacob Janerka (who made Paradigm, played by the likes of PewDiePie and Jacksepticeye) and Ivan Dixon (who directed the animated clip for Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer” and pixel intros for The Simpsons, Adventure Time and Rick & Morty), and we would like to pitch to you a game about nothing, set in the Seinfeld-verse.
You may be thinking, “You idiots, why would you make a game based on a sitcom that last aired over 20 years ago and potentially incur the wrath of lawyers like Reddit user Dingdongs313 warned you about?” But yes, OK, actual lawyers also warned us to not touch it. (Although some of you may also suggest it’s worth us taking the risk of huge financial debt as long as you get to play the game.)
Turns out Seinfeld is actually still an incredibly relevant show whose relatability is timeless, with the show’s streaming rights bought by Netflix recently for half a billion dollars.
We want to do this the official way. However, we believe that pitching to the internet will show the demand for such a game, which will provide a better chance of this becoming a thing than us just sending a cold email. We want our email to be warm, if that makes any sense.
Is this a cash grab?
Honestly, we are just huge fans of the show. There is an incredible list of better scams and cash grabs that are less of a long shot. We could live like kings and commit mail fraud, however we'd much rather follow our hearts.
We both currently work full-time, Jacob in game development and Ivan in animation. However, this game is something we’ve been talking about for years and, in fact, it’s how we met. Our friendship is forged through a popular ‘90s sitcom. We can’t think of any bond stronger than that, not even the one between an infant and mother.
Why pitch to the internet?
We need actual, real internet people to show that there is a demand for it. In the past, Jacob has shown snippets of the concept to great public reception with articles on IGN, Nerdist, and reaching the front page of Reddit twice. However, this is a full pitch rather than a few screenshots. We need you to share this far and wide if you would like this to happen.
The ‘90s were ripe for video game cash-ins on popular franchises. In this game we imagine, “What if there was an official Seinfeld point-and-click adventure game that was never released?”
Why Seinfeld as a point and click?
For a “show about nothing” Seinfeld has a surprisingly rich world. There are so many memorable recurring characters, plot lines and locations as the four protagonists navigate new relationships, jobs and rivals.
The show existed during the time of iconic adventure games such as Monkey Island, Full Throttle, King’s Quest and many more.
Point-and-click adventure games often involve some sort of task or mission that requires a mix of conversational skills, puzzle solving, item collection and use. In Seinfeld, conflict also arises regularly from miscommunication or involves novel items (think episodes like The Pez, The Junior Mint, The Statue, The Calzone, The Fusilli Jerry, The Couch, The Big Salad etc). All this melds perfectly with the point-and-click formula!
Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer all have such strong voices, allowing us to write dialogue that feels distinct. Hopefully when you read the dialogue you can almost hear their cadance and delivery, without the need for full voice-overs (depending on the practicality and interest from the original cast.)
What kind of game are you making?
Well, firstly, here’s what we DON’T want to make. We don’t want to just create a fan service game that repeats jokes or plots that people already are familiar with. We will write a brand new story revolving around the Seinfeld characters designed to work in this medium, remaining faithful to the tone and themes of the show.
Like the show’s running length, we intend for the game to take roughly half an hour. This is ultimately scaleable and multiple half-hour episodes can be made or added later as DLC. Also like the show, the story would take place over three separate acts. In each act you will assume the role of Jerry, George or Elaine as their stories interweave and overlap with one another, just like the show. Similar to the game Day of the Tentacle, you will be allowed to play multiple characters. Kramer appears throughout the story, but will not be playable, as he works better narratively as a “wild card,” someone who can influence the story but not be controlled.
Who’s the audience?
While Seinfeld finished its run over 20 years ago, it remains a relevant show that is still incredibly relatable for today's audiences. There is a reason that Netflix bought Seinfeld for half a billion dollars. It will appeal to original fans who watched the show on air as well as the younger generation of fans discovering it on streaming services who, if they can stream it, probably have a device on which to play the game. However, its main focus will be 20-35-year-old millenials who grew up with technology and watched Seinfeld.
Would Jerry & Larry want new content to exist?
We’re aware that Jerry and Larry are not interested in doing a reunion show or making more episodes. This game would allow us to introduce these characters to a new generation in a novel way that doesn’t conflict with the creator’s wishes, keeping the Seinfeld legacy strong for many years into the future.
What is the plot?
We’ve brainstormed countless episode ideas, however if we were allowed to make any episode, it would be this one.
Episode 1“The Email”
Jerry is dating a publicist who accidentally reveals his email address to Kenny Bania through a group email. Now Bania fills Jerry’s inbox with a flurry of spam emails asking for feedback on his new stand-up set. Jerry decides to break up with the publicist over this, but he doesn’t want to deal with the interaction face-to-face. Kramer suggests ending the relationship via email and avoiding it all together. Jerry does this before Elaine reminds him that the publicist was supposed to get them all tickets to the opening night of the new movie “Rochelle, Rochelle 2”. George devises a plan to corrupt Jerry’s girlfriend’s computer before she can read her emails so that they can still collect the tickets. Kramer says he knows who can help. Someone with a sworn vendetta against email. Someone who has devoted their whole life to analogue mail and sees email as a threat to his livelihood. Someone named Newman.
We just really like Seinfeld, OK. Like, really like it, enough to push friends and family away by bringing this idea up at every social gathering. However, we do have the experience to back it up.
Jacob solo developed the point-and-click adventure game “Paradigm” which was played by the likes of PewDiePie and Jack Septic Eye, and has been featured by the likes of IGN. Currently working on a new first-person narrative adventure game, “The Dungeon Experience,” he has experience in all avenues of development, whether it’s art, marketing, programming or unhealthily obsessing about the Seinfeld adventure game.
Ivan Dixon is an animation writer/director who co-directed the Childish Gambino music video “Feels Like Summer,” created pixelated intros to The Simpsons, Adventure Time and Rick & Morty, along with working on a long list of projects from popular IPs such as Fallout, Wolfenstein, Game of Thrones and The Watchmen. He is currently co-running Studio Showoff, a Melbourne-based animation studio.
Together, we meld into a powerful entity that spends what little spare time we have to pitch a long shot to secure the Seinfeld rights. Somewhat more relevantly, we both have worked together to develop a TV show pilot with a team. With all our experiences combined, we could build a Seinfeld dream team to make this game a reality.
What do we need?
We need an official contract providing us the rights to create a game based on the IP. Even a “Yeah cool” from Jerry or Larry would help. Without it, even releasing a “free fan game” can get us into deep waters if they so choose to target us.
Yadda, yadda yadda, we got the rights?
So what are the options if we receive the rights? What can we do? We hire a team and make this a reality, we either fund the project through the rights holders themselves, through Kickstarter, or partner with a publisher, or a combination of all the above.
Thank you for listening to our crazy idea. Please share this far and wide if you would like it to happen. Use the hashtag #seinfeldgame and share and watch the pitch trailer. Just remember, it is a game if you believe it is.