The video game industry is expected to reach $82 billion in sales by 2015. To take a piece of the billion-dollar pie, your video game needs to get users interested and excited. How do you do that? Gamers are visual people, so a great way to get them excited about your game is a video game trailer.
With today’s technology, you don’t need millions of dollars or professional equipment to get thousands of fans. Here’s how to get started on creating an exciting game trailer with a few inexpensive tools:
Tell Your Story
Whether it’s an action-packed 3D thriller or a 2D game like Angry Birds, there is always a story to tell. People connect with stories, and once they are invested in the story they will keep coming back for more.
Most video game trailers show the setup, the scene, and the situation with audio voiceover to generate extra excitement and suspense.
To start developing the story, you need to get organized:
- Create a storyboard or a draft of all the different cuts and shots you will use. When choosing your shots, think about the pace you want your video to run. If it’s a fast-paced game, use many short clips and different angles to keep the rapid pace and general feeling.
- Write a script and include voiceover, audio, and a brief description of the scene. Unlike the storyboard, more is not necessarily merrier with the script. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Your audience will have a hard time remembering long sentences while taking in all of your visuals. Try to stay away from conjunctions.
- Begin thinking about audio. Audio includes the type of voice, ambient sounds, and music included in the video. They should all match the feeling that you want to demonstrate to your audience.
What to Shoot
When deciding what to shoot, remember these three things:
- Establishing shots: When you want to set the scene, use an establishing shot. Establishing shots are distance shots that show the entire area of your scene. It establishes the location in which your story takes place.
- Medium shots are used to establish and show dialogs of characters.
- Close-ups are just that – close. Filming close on a character or object creates drama and feeds the emotion of the video. There should be at least 10 close-up shots for every one establishing shot.
Now that you know what the shots are, you need to know what kind of footage to capture. Answer these three questions to decide which footage to use:
- Which footage sets the scene?
- What footage visually shows the situation?
- What footage is the most engaging?
Take all of those shots, include their relative close-ups and there you have it.
You picked your shots, organized a storyboard, wrote a script, and now it’s time to shoot. Unlike traditional video shoots, you’re filming a program, so the equipment is much different.
Here are several different options to shooting video from your computer.
- Fraps: Fraps is a PC-specific Windows application that can record up to 2560x1600 and 120 frames per second (perfect for slow-motion editing).
- Dazzle: Dazzle is a Pinnacle product that can capture video from camcorders, digital cameras, phones, DVDs, and gaming consoles. This is an inexpensive choice for recording video on game consoles.
- Hauppauge HD PVR Gaming Edition: More expensive than Dazzle, the Hauppauge HD PVR Gaming Edition recorder captures full 1080i resolution and is much more robust than Dazzle. The HD PVR has low latency and can record straight to your computer during game play.
The whole point of making a game trailer is to share it with the world and generate interest. Hosting your video on the 2nd largest search engine, YouTube, is the best way to get eyes on your video. Along with your YouTube video, include a title, keywords, and a brief description that introduces the game--focusing on what makes your game special.
Linking your video to your other websites, forums, and social media channels will increase your searchability and keep your viewers connected to all channels.
Thanks to your social media strategy with YouTube and your professional-quality video, your game is in a better position to gain the interest it deserves.
Intel Software Premier Elite Partners and Premier Partners in the Intel® Developer Zone also have access to Wooshii, a video and animation production service.