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First Crits: Gameplay Trailer

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Disclaimer: I believe this topic is appropriate for this forum, but I am not 100% sure - please delete if I am wrong in posting this. Intro: I'm a closet artist (painter) posing as a C++ game dev. I have never put together a video before, but recently had to do a trailer for our online game, Roblox. I thought it was a lot of fun and I'd like to do some more and get better. So I would like some feedback, the more specific the better. One of my profs told me a story about how a critique is not considered successful if nobody cries, so don't hold back :-) Expo: Low quality - Google Video YouTube (still processing as of this moment...) Medium - 34 MB downloadable .wmv file High - 60 MB downloadable .wmv file [Edited by - Telamon on November 10, 2006 3:28:57 PM]

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Clarification: please critique the video, not the game itself. Trying to work within the constraints of what video I could lift from the game provided an extra challenge.

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right off the bat i noticed its too long. i lost interest after the first two minutes. te hard part about making a trialer is that you need to fit in enough of the right footage to give the viewer a good idea of what your game is about. you on the other hand have just taken quick clips from a lot of your levels. add in text on the screen that gives us an idea of whats going on, choose levels and video clips from those levels which give a good idea of the gameplay, and if possible try to get some music that flows better with the events. trailer music is different than in-game music. and try to keep it under 3 minutes.
lol, after reading bakc on what i have typed i might as well say redo it all ;-)
but a good trailer will get a good amoutn of people interested in your game whether its good or not.
goodluck.

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If you are trying to create a video to show off your game, I would suggest you approach it kind of like writing an essay. Pick a few bullet points for your game that you want to focus on, and find the best clips you have to support each point.

For example you have a lot of cool environments, so I would suggest inserting a quick title screen saying "create unique environments" or whatever tagline you want to use, then fade it out to some short and sweet clips focusing on good shots displaying the levels only (no action) you have some cool shots at cool angles like that already scattered in there. Then after you show off a handful of short clips of that switch to another point, something like the multiplayer aspect part with short clips of you shooting other people, or the destructive aspect and clips of blowing up buildings, etc.

Main points are:

a video needs structure just like a paper or anything else really.

take all the clips you have and choose the best 1/4th of them, then cut those to the best 1/4 parts of those clips. Just like constructing a portfolio, your trailer is only as good as the worst shot you show. When you first learn to put together video there is a big tendency to make things longer than they should be because it's neat just to put it together so your attention span is much much longer than a potential viewers. So try to err on the side of shorter and sweeter. Stay focused!

by the way, your game looks really neat. I love block building games.

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Yeah those are fair comments. I wasn't thinking that most trailers were shorter - I guess I was operating under the assumption that if anyone is willing to sit and watch my gameplay footage on YouTube for ten minutes while they chug a beer, I should encourage that. This thought was mainly inspired by Will Wright's Spore video (45 min!) - but that was more of a talk than a trailer.

One thing I thought I did well was I had several vignettes in the trailer that continued through the movie interspersed as 5 sec clips. Maybe it would be more effective to ditch continuity and show different stuff.

Next time I'll shoot for 2 minutes, I think.

How do you feel about the hard cuts between scenes? I steered away from transitions, being reminded of the Simpsons episode where Homer is making a home video and uses star transistions every 2 seconds.

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I agree with above poster 6 minutes is too long. IMO, it's not too long because it's 6 minutes but because all I saw was the lego man blowing up lego buildings for 6 minutes.

So other than blowing up legos, what else is your trailer supposed to show? Or a better way of putting is: what do you want your trailer to show us, your audience?

The music is nice though [smile]

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-The film is way to long.
-The cutting between scenes is not synced with the music.
-There is no thread or story to follow.
-Many scenes seems random and are porly excecuted, i.e you let the camera cut through polygons in the scene, and many of the scenes are too long.
-I liked the music :)

Some advice; take your time and look carefully at a music video, or a commercial tv ad. Count the number of cuts. (you will be surprised). Better make a normal-length film ( about 35 secs for TV commercials ), and really put your heart into it :) If you can use more than one camera, then cut between them. You can do pretty cool stuff with that!

Some harsh critique, but you asked for it ;-)



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Thanks for the critique everyone. I think for my next video I will focus on the combat aspects of the game and try to put together a high-energy 25 second clip of people owning each other with lots of fast cuts. It still won't have a story, but if it has enough explosions I'm thinking no one will care :-D

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