vrijdag 24 februari 2012

Game Trailer Quick Guide

Hi guys,

We're busy rounding up several projects. Which is good, because this means that soon there will be more new Xform games to play! And it means that it's time for: releases! Which also means: creating promotional materials.
Each of our game releases is accompanied by a game trailer. And I'm the lucky one to take care of this part. At this moment I have several game trailers on my task list. And because I simply can't spend full time on creating them I did set up a workflow for this.
Of course, when you have loads of time you can spend all your hours on little details, but we can't. But this isn't a bad thing, because more time doesn't always means better. With little time you can also create an attractive trailer that fit your game. But you have to know what to do and in which order.

So let me introduce you to my quick guide of creating a game trailer. I'm not going to talk about the technical stuff, but I lead you through the process step by step.

Step 1: Prepare
I first start with answering some questions, like:
- For what kind of game am I going to create the trailer?
- What's the duration of the trailer? (limit yourself!)
- Do I want to explain the gameplay or do I want to tease the audience? Or both?
- What are the strong points/unique selling points of the game? 
- Is there an outstanding element that I really want to show? (specific boss battle, environment, explosions, funny characters)

Step 2: Collect
After you have answered the questions above you can make a list of materials that you'll need for your trailer. Don't just think about gameplay footage, but also start collecting music, sound effects, logos and artwork.
If you want you can also make a storyboard. But I recommend to leave some open spaces. Because you're short on time, you most likely need to do some last minute adjustments. And this is easier when you don't stuck to just one idea.  

Step 3: Capture
Start capturing game footage. I always try to collect a lot of footage. But this can also be a trap, because you easily collect too much. And then it's hard to choose and you'll lose time. So be aware and limit yourself!
At least make sure that you capture everything that's on the list of step 2. If possible I ask some others to capture footage as well. By doing this you win time. And others also play the game on a different way you do, what will give you some surprisingly 'new' footage.

Step 4: Edit
When editing I first start with a framework. This means that I drag everything to my timeline that's needed. Most of the time this is: the music, the beginning (Xform splash and title screen) and the end (attractive image with link to the game). And there you'll have it: a framework.
Now all you need to do is fill in the blanks. Start with a nice opening shot.
When you have everything filled, cut and replace clips so that they do fit the rythm of the music.This will give the trailer more speed and it makes it easier to watch.
Congrats! You now have created a first version of your trailer. Watch it. And Adjust. Watch. Adjust. Watch. Adjust. Stop.

Step 5: Evaluate
Make an export of your trailer and let others watch it. Ask for their comments. At this point you mostly spend quite some time rewatching the same footage over and over again, so you might have lost clear view. Someone who sees it for the first time can give you valuable feedback, because he can tell you what is good and which points are unclear.
Allthough you might not like to hear that you need to change things: be flexible, because most of the time your viewers are right. Take their advice to heart and adjust your trailer. Even if this means that you need to remove your favorite part: kill your darlings. It will improve your work.

Step 6: When all is done...
Render your trailer.
Sit back.
And enjoy.

So, this is it. My way of creating an Xform trailer. It's not a fixed code to create the perfect trailer.
But these steps might definitely help you when you're short on time.
Have fun in creating trailers. I'm off to create some more!

You can check all Xform trailers here: http://www.youtube.com/user/xformgames


1 opmerking:

  1. I'm looking for a few bugs in my post. But I think I should have someone look and point out it.