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Gameplay Footage - Dev vs. Viewer

Posted by Navyman, in Portas Aurora: Arrival 01 September 2012 · 742 views

Portas Aurora Arrival Video Space Ship Tips
In an earlier entry I shared the Portas Aurora: Arrival Fund Raising Pitch video. I asked people to evaluate it and provide feedback and list of points. Well after sorting through all of the feedback I realized that there is a huge difference between what I thought people would want to see and what the view demands to see.
The following are some rules for future videos:

1. "People do not want to see people, they want to see the game."

Okay there are a few exceptions to the rule. If the person developing the game, the person writing the story, the person scoring the game, or possibly the artist on the game is famous.


2. "People want to see gameplay footage."

My first mistake was to think that all game footage was equal.

People like action. Moving things are more attractive and exciting. It must be something primal.

Therefore, for a high chance at producing a successful video it needs to have sections with action.

Action does not include simple things a.k.a. setting up a multiplayer map. However, this is not always true.

If your game has a out of the normal way of doing or displaying the simple things showing it could be a plus.

Still you need to show a few different "streams" of action. Meaning the video should highlight different areas, characters, class, or any visual that is not constant in your game.


3. "People want more then just their sight to be engaged by the video."

What do I mean by this? Simple, the audio of the video needs to match the video. If you are making a tutorial video then having a narration with clear even tone and little to no music or disturbing noise in the background, but if you are making a trailer video or something designed to excite people you need to use something else then narration. Music is often the best solution for engaging and exciting people. Be sure that the music matches what is going on in your video.


Some Addition rules:


4. No one likes to adjust the volume each time you switch to something new in a video. Therefore, make sure the sound and volume are consistent, these things distract the viewer from understanding your message and often people will stop viewing.
5. Video about your project should for the most part be highlight reels. Show the key features and try not to spend 50 hours on things that you may find interesting. Give them a simple servings. This goes still is valid in the area of tutorial videos. Focus on one thing or a small well connected group of things to show/explain.
6. If you have some complex features in your project break them down into easy to understand steps. Make things as simple as possible. Your game may have complex systems but you want to make it "noob" friendly for them. This may have been partly as a follow up to rule 5.
7. People are always on the move. Therefore, no matter how much you have to explain "Keep the videos under 10 minutes". Unless you are doing a ultra review with some cinematics anything over 10 min is overkill, just do a second video.


My final thought for this entry is that this Dev Journal has become more of a series on what not to do in videos that Developers may produce, but I will hopefully get back on track.




I learned several of these early on. Although I dont agree with all of them, I can not contest that they are how people work. I might find something interesting but because it lacks action and story the player(s) will not. Once they associate boring with the video that can then relate that to the game and lose interest. Sad, but mostly the truth of things.
Do you have other rules I should add?
I have been working crazy hard on a new video that adheres to the above rules.
However, if there are more rules I would like to account for them.
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