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Tutorial: Making Android Game Trailers

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This video covers the making of the trailer that can be seen HERE.


When working on Lost Stars, it was always assumed that making a video trailer would be relatively straightforward, even easy. However finding all of the necessary tools and figuring out the steps involved was quite time consuming. There are a lot of steps involved, and many ways to go about it, but we wanted to get it done without going broke.


Being an indie game developer, we are a little short on capital. So we needed free to use software and other workarounds to make everything come together. The solutions that we came up with are by no means the only ones, but they worked well for us, and hopefully they’ll work well for you too!

There are several steps to making your game trailer,


1.You need to finish making your game!


2.You need a means of recording the in game footage


3.You need to be able to edit the footage down to short highlight clips


4.You need a way to stitch these clips together, add audio, add text and add image overlays


Finish Your Game, Make a Plan


This seems pretty obvious, but there is little point in recording sections of gameplay from a version of your game that isn’t ready for the public to see. Many things will change (hopefully for the better) as you continue to work on your game. It is best to get in game footage when your game is nearing completion so that it most resembles the final product. You need to storyboard your video and plan out the scenes you will have (this lets you get all the materials ready that you’re going to need). You’ll need everything from title/intro screens, backgrounds for text, art assets, music, sound effects, video clips…


Recording In Game Footage


This sounds easy, and I was shocked at how little support we could find for reasonable quality screen recording on Android devices. The highest quality footage we could obtain without purchasing expensive new hardware, was through streaming the tablet/phone screen onto our computer screen, and then using screen capture software to record the video. To stream the screen we used Mobizen. Mobizen allows you to view your tablet/phone screen on your PC via either a wireless network, or by direct usb connection. Mobizen also has a built in screen recording function, but the video quality was atrocious, and pretty much unusable for making a game trailer. To record the game, we used Icecream Screen Recorder. It allows you to select a portion of your screen to record, and saves the video at a reasonable quality. It does however save the recordings in .MKV format, which not all video editing software recognizes. Most software can use the .mp4 format, so we used this free online video format converter to put the files into .mp4 format.


Making Short Highlight Clips


Chopping up videos into small segments and discarding the unneeded bits is pretty easy to do in most video editing software packages. One which is preinstalled on Windows PCs is Windows Movie Maker. Mac users have access to iMovie. Either will work fine for this, you just need to chop the video up, and save all of the small clips you are going to use. At this point you have your video clips, and any other assets you planned to have in your game trailer.


Putting It All Together


For this, nothing beats professional software. I mean nothing. The free software is all either unimaginably complex (here complex means poorly designed from a user interface standpoint), or lacks the most basic features you might want (such as overlaying text over your videos, having more than one layer of canvas to work with, the ability to add sound effect AND music at once… the list goes on). Many professional packages offer free versions (generally with the disadvantage of placing a watermark over your video during rendering). The best solution we found was from the wonderful makers of Camtasia. They offer a completely free 30 day trial of the full program (all features unlocked) with NO watermark. After 30 days you won’t be able to use the software again until you purchase. If you can get your video put together in under 30 days, no problem (for comparison, ours took about 5 days from start to finish).


From there, you just render your video, upload it to youtube, and show it to everyone who’ll listen!

Hopefully you found this useful, I certainly would have liked to have had this handy when we were making our trailer.




Matthew Parker


Lead Programmer and Creator

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