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What Assets to Provide When Starting Your Game Trailer Production

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Starting Game Trailer Production

Once the game trailer production project has begun and it’s time to get started on the trailer, you will need to provide some things to your game trailer producer. The more you can hand over, the better the end product is going to be and the faster you’re going to get it. If you can give us everything, or at least most everything, then we can sink our time into the quality of the trailer itself rather than creating assets for it.

The Overview of Your Game

You’ll want to include the genre, a story Synopsis, the setting, the mood, art style, and objective of the game. We’ll learn a lot more about it once we’ve received a copy of the game and can explore it thoroughly, but you’ll want to set the pace to start. If you haven’t already given your target audience and objective (which should happen during the bid/proposal process), you’ll want to do that now.

Do You Have Quality Game Footage Already?

Whether or not you contribute footage is up to you. On the one hand, the production company is going to have robust systems that will capture game footage at a high resolution, smooth frame rate, and no stutter. Plus they have experience and are skilled at exciting camera work. On the other hand, capturing footage can be a very time-consuming aspect of game trailer production. Providing footage can reduce the time your production company needs to spend on that part of the trailer, freeing them up to focus on the other parts. Even if you prefer they capture all of the footage, it can still be beneficial to hand over what you have. In the past, I’ve received self-captured footage from the game studio that showed the kind of shots they wanted. Then I used that as a reference to capture all brand new 4K footage.

The Game & How To Play It

If you want us to capture the footage for you, we’ll need a copy of your game. If your game has a multiplayer version, you’ll want to grant several copies so we can have our digital crew along to help us capture every clip we need as often as we need to get it perfect. You’re probably pretty good at your game since you’re making it, but we have no idea what we’re doing when we first drop into your game’s world. Leave us with some strategies and best practices for playing. We’ll practice your tips and tricks repeatedly until we look like pros. If we have to start from scratch that’s going to take a lot longer to accomplish. And in that vein…

GameShark Me, Bro

If there’s anyone out there who neGame Trailer Production Tipsver had the privilege of using or has even heard about GameShark; during the SNES/Sega Genesis/PSX/N64 days there was a cartridge or disc that you put into your console before booting up the game called GameShark (also it’s competitor, GameGenie). This unlocked cheats and secrets for the game you were about to play. It took the magic out of the game, but damn it was fun for a short period.
Keep the spirit of GameShark/GameGenie alive and give us all those glorious console commands or secret button combos that grant us God Mode, weapons, items, powers, resources, or whatever goodies you have stocked away ‘in the back.’ We’ll also need console commands that allow us to hide the UI / HUD, separate the camera from the player-character, and disable the music track if that’s not already in your game’s options menu.

 Giant Squid Studios provided us with a way to separate the camera from the player character which allowed for unique angles and creative shots.

Artwork

Give us ALL the artwork – All of them. Ok, maybe not ALL of them, but a lot. We won’t use everything, but we can do a lot WITH a lot. Take our Azure Sky Project Game Trailer that we made for Burgee Games, for example. Brian gave us artwork of every weapon icon and all characters they had. Using that, I was able to make some fun graphics titles. We also used that to emphasize how many weapons and devices they had in the game which was a key feature of the game.
In-game artwork may not always cover what we need. Instead, original concept art and illustrations can be animated and used to build a story to drive the trailer. Bonus points if you can provide the project file separated into layers. Our Little Viking Game Trailer success was due in large to the fact that the game’s developer, Karol, gave us with every bit of artwork he had. First, we photoshopped the Viking character into different parts so that we could animate him. Then we used the environment and game art to craft an entire story of a bored little Viking who just wanted to bash some rocks. Who can’t relate to that?

Music & SFX

These two assets are only necessary to give if you (1) Have an original soundtrack and (2) Can’t isolate music or sound effects from the audio settings menu in your game. Otherwise, the game trailer producer will be able to have music composed for your game and/or trailer, or we can produce high-quality pre-composed music of your choice.

Game Devs usually come to us to help them craft the idea for their trailer. Every so often, they will have a particular concept that they would like us to execute on. Read on if that is or will be the case for you.

The Script

If you’ve written the script yourself, you’ll want to present this during the bidding/proposal process before the deposit and before any work on the trailer itself has begun. What you have in the script will affect the equipment, expertise, and time required to execute your idea. Let the game trailer production company know if you’re not sure what direction you’d like to take the trailer and they can brainstorm some ideas for you.
Sometimes a traditional script just isn’t enough. If there is little to no dialogue, monologue, or narration you’ll want to go to an A/V (Audio / Visual) script. The difference here is one half of the page says what we’re seeing while the other half explains what we’re hearing. In these cases, it’s strongly recommended you pair this with…

The Storyboard (or a Nice Chianti)

The storyboard is a series of drawings that show the critical frames of the video with a small description below each. If you’re providing a script for the trailer company to follow, then the addition of a storyboard gives them a sense of what you want to see in the visuals. You don’t have to be a crazy-good artist either. Simple stick figure drawings can really help put things into perspective. The storyboard isn’t always necessary since some game trailers are all about showing off the general gameplay rather than precise visuals or gameplay. If the trailer is very story-centric, then a storyboard is recommended in those cases.

Here’s the TL;DR list of things to hand to your trailer company;

  1. The game’s overview
  2. Pre-captured game footage (for trailer use or production’s reference)
  3. The game with tips and tricks on how to play it proficiently
  4. Cheat codes & shortcuts for quick footage capture
    • Weapons / Armor / Items
    • Powers / Abilities
    • God Mode
  5. How to access the console and its commands
    • Hide UI / HUD
    • Isolate the camera from the player character
    • Disable the music track if the option doesn’t exist in the game’s audio settings
  6. All the Artwork
  7. Music
  8. Sound Effects
  9. Script (If you’ve written one)(Optional)
  10. Storyboard (If you’ve made one)(Optional)
Once you’ve got this stuff ready to go, give us a poke, and we’ll get started on your game trailer production!

We Have a Payment Plan

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Yep - We Do

Spoiler Alert: Yes


Budgets Suck

But seriously, they do. There are plenty of game engine options out there to choose from, but what are your options for creating a trailer?

  1. Do it yourself (because you aren’t busy doing anything else, right? Say….game dev?)
  2. Hire someone on craigslist to do it. No one has ever had a bad time going that route.
  3. Convince a student or someone who’s learning video editing to do it for cheap.
  4. Get a well done and professional quality trailer, and have zero money left for actual game development.

So basically you can use your valuable game dev time doing something other than game dev to save your budget, hire someone that you’ll have no confidence in and therefore have to stress while you micromanage them, or use your entire budget on getting something of quality.

We have the ‘Goldilocks’ option

You can still get that professional quality trailer without getting hit by the costs all at once. Winter Fox offers a “Pay When You Ship” payment plan option for your game trailer and video production needs. Here’s how it works:Foxy Lady

  • You’ll make a deposit to get on the schedule and your trailer underway.
  • We go through the entire process: concept, scriptwriting, game capture, graphic creation, editing, voice over, sound design, and anything else you might need
  • You get the final product and can use the trailer or promo for your marketing right away
  • Once your game starts earning revenue, you begin the payment plan of equal monthly payments to finish paying off the remaining balance as well as an additional month to cover accrued costs
    • Kickstarter
    • Early access
    • Release
    • Etc

Is this Payment Plan For Me?

PWYS is ideal for those who need marketing materials to sell their game by sticking out from the others in this overly-saturated marketplace. It’s for those who need an option for obtaining a trailer or promo that doesn’t use their own valuable time or the entire development budget.

This plan isn’t going to be for everyone. If you would like to use our service and can pay for it all up front (50% to start and 50% upon completion), then you’ll save a bit of money overall.

 Contact us today to ask us about our “Pay When You Ship” payment option

How Much Does a Game Trailer Cost?

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How much $$$

Chances are that a game trailer will fit into your budget. It all just depends on what you would like to go into it.

Mountains!

Knowing what your game trailer will cost…

While an important question, “How much will my game trailer cost” is about as easy to answer succinctly as “How much does a house cost?”. The answer is the same for both: It depends on what you need and what you want from it. That is not the answer you want, I know. You want a hard dollar amount or some sort of chart that you can use to find a close range. Even to get a ballpark number, you would need to contact a production company that specializes in game trailers like Winter Fox to discuss the details of your game. Here are some quick guidelines on what affects the project’s costs and how to discuss the budget with your chosen production company.

Pricing a Trailer

The reason it’s so difficult (and basically impossible) to price a game trailer is because there are a ton of variables. If you go into a Lamborghini dealership and ask how much a car is, you’re going to get a vastly different answer than if you went into a Honda dealership. They’re both cars and they both get the job done but in very different ways. The same can be said for video production.

You can go with the “Lamborghini” and get a 2-minute video full of custom 3d animations, gameplay footage interweaved with live action 4k footage scripted and shot specifically for your trailer, graphics composited on top of the 4k footage (a la Iron Man interacting with his augmented reality UI), an original soundtrack written by a composer, and all original sound effects -OR- you can get the “A-to-B” and get 15 seconds of gameplay footage with no effects, a single graphic for the game logo/splash screen, and stock music. If you need a simple solution, I’m not going to quote you the “Lamborghini” price, and vice versa.

Game Trailer Cost Influencers

A quick list of some things that can affect production cost.

I’ve been car shopping before…

When you get to the point that you decide you need a game trailer or promo, you’ve likely already got a budget that you want to stay within. Though you would prefer to come in under that amount, you have already decided what your limit is. When you approach a game trailer company about costs, you put yourself in the same mindset as you would when buying a new car – you’re hesitant to give them that max number. “Even if they can do it for cheaper, the project will just so happen to cost that much,” you think.

You Should Feel Comfortable

Upon meeting with a production company for the first time, they will ask what your budget is. It’s very important that you feel comfortable enough to tell them this information; at least a range. It’s one of the big pieces of information that we use to figure out the best approach to take with your project. There are a TON of possible solutions for every video; all with different associated costs. Some are very budget-conscious and others can be more costly. The goal for you and the production company should not be to spend your entire budget because it’s what you’ve set aside for this project but to find a solution that squeezes every ounce of potential out of your project in the most cost-efficient way while staying within your budget.

When interested in buying a house, you speak to a Realtor. They always want to know two things; What do you need in a house and what’s your budget? When you tell your Realtor that you need a 1600 sq/ft, 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house, and your budget is a million dollars, your Realtor would let you know that you don’t need to spend anywhere close to a million dollars to get a house that meets that description. At least, any Realtor that has an ounce of integrity in them and would like to stay in business would tell you that. Your production company should be the same way.

Let’s Talk Budget

If you come to me and tell me what kind of video you’re looking for and you have a $10,000 budget to do it with, I’m going to give you a few solutions to choose from. I’ll give you the fully-loaded version that may use your entire budget if I feel that it’s appropriate for what you need. I will also offer you other solutions that fit your needs, but with fewer bells and whistles. This way you can see what’s going into your project, what is affecting the cost of it the most and allows you to make an informed decision on how much of your budget you use.

Contact us about your project today and we’ll create a solution that fits you.