My Tip: Avoid Teaser Trailers

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by arn, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. arn

    arn Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    Dunno if this holds true for other sites or other reviewers, but unless you are id software or some other major publishing name.... don't do teaser trailers.

    There have been a few games that have published teaser trailers without any gameplay, and I am quickly bored and will certainly not post a news story on it. But I've later noticed that when the game is released or an actual video is published, I tend to gloss over it because it's not brand new to me. So, for me, a teaser trailer is always a bad first impression of a game.

    just an fyi. I think people would do much better with actual gameplay videos or screenshots as their initial promotion. I think the teaser stuff is counterproductive, at least from a publicity standpoint.

    arn
     
  2. THEDeliriumTrigger

    THEDeliriumTrigger Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2008
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    I agree, it gets me frusturated when i cant see any gameplay. I mean, if youre proud of your game, show it off! Being able to actually see how a game controls and looks is 10 times better than any written review could give me.
     
  3. Thanks for the tip. I will make sure to post video ONLY when it is ready enough to show off the gameplay.
     
  4. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5 Well-Known Member

    Gameplay videos bore me to death, so I rarely watch them anymore...5 minutes of watching some guy fiddle around with his iPhone does nothing for me. I'd much rather see something at least mildly entertaining, that gives an idea of the gameplay highlights without dragging on too much. But yeah, teasers that don't show any actual gameplay footage are pretty useless.

    --Eric
     
  5. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member

    #5 CommanderData, Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
    My trailer for Rogue Touch kind of fell in-between. It wasn't really a teaser, but it wasn't a 5 minute gameplay video either.

    I agree that pure gameplay videos can be very tedious. Especially with less action-packed games. Roguelikes in general are meant to be played a bit more slowly and carefully, so we decided to do quick-cuts of gameplay features and animation to get the point across without boring anyone to death.

    I think that was probably the best compromise... if you do a video, be brief but interesting, and definitely make the majority of it cover actual gameplay. As a consumer of iPhone games as well as a developer I don't want to see a minute of 3D cutscenes and 5 seconds in-game :D
     
  6. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5 Well-Known Member

    Yep, something like that is what I'm talking about. I think that one was actually a little too brief--it could have been longer and showed more of the game, but at least it didn't kill my brain off by showing the game launching on the iPod followed by 30 seconds of poking around in the options screens, etc. (With the obligatory terrible lighting and bad camera angle.) :)

    --Eric
     
  7. dannys95

    dannys95 Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    i agree. those teasers that show the icon or boot screen and then say coming soon just leave me with a negative start up pov. i end up hating most of the games.
     
  8. Kamazar

    Kamazar Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    The typical game trailer/gamplay video:

    1) The guy is at the springboard, and he's pressing the icon (edit this part out moron! I don't wanna see this!)

    2) Fiddles around with options to display...? (that's what app descriptions are for. you don't see this kind of crap in 360 trailers)

    3) Starts talking in a boring montone voice (get a chick with a seductive voice to explain the game :D)

    4) Shows 5 minutes of boring boring gameplay with no seductive voice :mad:


    Watch some PS3 trailers. Hell, so DS trailers. They link gameplay videos together with really short cutscenes to form a quick synopsis of the plot. It's amazing! It's marketing! It doesn't sound and look like some guy in his basement.
     
  9. jakooistra

    jakooistra Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2009
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    Video Game Designer
    Canada
    Yeah, I'd have to agree with that. Why not at least start at the splash screen for the App?


    While you're critiquing style, can you tell me what's right/wrong with my edited videos?

    Blue Attack:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQqh8Jns-Pg

    Robot Rex (XBLA Contest, '08):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGM8L0YqgXE


    My own criticism: Blue Attack gets a bit too slow during the lull in the music, and cuts are sometimes too fast to see what's going on in gameplay. Robot Rex has the same fast cut problem, but maybe that's okay with today's ADHD youth. :) Rex also has a lot of voice clips - I was proud of recording them, so maybe I included a few too many.
     
  10. jakooistra

    jakooistra Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2009
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    Video Game Designer
    Canada
    Also, I called the Robot Rex video a "Teaser"... is that incorrect? Perhaps it's not teasing...

    but maybe it is, since I'm not actively developing it...

    bah.

    is there a technical definition for a "teaser"... a set of guidelines? Come on, I'm an engineer, I need rules... rules!
     
  11. polyvision

    polyvision Member

    Feb 27, 2009
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    I agree, teaser vids are crap. But also game play vids should be short and powerful.

    In games, I hate it to click through hundred of starting and loading screens.
    Max. 3-5 clicks until the game starts ! I has to be fast and intensive.

    Bye,
    Alex
     
  12. 3 taps to get into the action on mine- and that's using career mode too! Quick play 2 taps if you use the random settings button. So mine should be ok. I agree- I don't like wading through menu to menu just to get to the game proper.
     
  13. arn

    arn Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    my definition of teaser video was one that shows no gameplay.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=O2TTiReOtBU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYrq_V88Oc8 (this one actually turned out to be "gameplay" I suppose but was not apparent at the time)

    looking back, here's one that does show some gameplay video at the very end but I never made it that far before
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaZXhh0fJc0

    opening sequence only: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ29WEvHReY
     
  14. jshmrsn

    jshmrsn Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Thanks for the insightful thread. I agree that videos without any game play can have very bad results. Experienced gamers will know full well what to look for in a game, and they aren't going to get in a cinematic. That said, mixing them in with actual game play is industry standard and probably works pretty well.

    Personally, I think trailers should snappy. They don't have to be short, but should never go for more than a few seconds without introducing new information. I think the trailer for Sway is one of the best out there. Hopefully I'll be able to do something like that for my next release.

    Good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA7R9vn5AHo
    Bad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcCqXe47L0A
     
  15. NickFalk

    NickFalk Well-Known Member

    I think the problem isn't necessarily teasers as such. I think the problem is that most video-game teasers, as well as gameplay videos are just too boring. While the technical quality is normally second to none it seems the "democratization" of filmmaking has led to a lot of people with the technical know-how but without the necessary understanding of what makes a good film/teaser/commercial.

    I agree that in most cases you would need to display some part of the gameplay if you're dealing with an unknown IP. Part of the problem is of course that the developers also make the videos and they want to show of as much as possible. The reality is that most people aren't that interested and you need to keep it short. (Unlike this post).

    Short is sweet.
    Shorter is sweeter...
     
  16. Appy_Entertainment

    Appy_Entertainment Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2009
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    Brand Director
    Carlsbad, CA
    Like anything else, filming and editing a good game trailer takes skill, time, and money, and many of the one-man operations making Apps just can't afford to do it right.

    For our first App, we're filming both promos and demonstration videos, and we're watching our budget, but it is still costing us more than most devs could afford to spend.

    I agree that I don't want to waste time on a video that doesn't show me what I want to know about an App, which is one of the reasons we don't say or show anything about what we're working on until it is available for purchase. In our console days you needed to build awareness for titles months in advance to drive customers into the store to spend their fifty bucks, but this market is much more about impulse buying -- in most cases, getting someone excited about a game that can't buy yet is just wasted effort.
     
  17. arn

    arn Administrator
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