I really need to start making more videos for marketing purposes, but the following story demonstrates why that has been difficult for me. The following story happened to me earlier this week while testing Orc Schism. These types of things happen often in our games since they have very dynamic worlds. I think this is one of the most compelling parts of our games, but I have no idea how I would every capture such a thing in a video.
So I'm doing fairly well in this particular game. My clan, Heart of Gold, and Order of the Moon are all allied together, which is good because Order of the Moon is much bigger and a higher level than me. I'm slowly getting the world under control. My biggest problem is that I'm a little low on food.
I'm allied with 2 clans and War Blades had already been destroyed so I figure there is probably only 1 or 2 undiscovered clans left. I decide to seek out the rest of the clans in the area so I can figure out the best path to victory for this world. After a little exploring, I discovered the last clan, The Mutants. They were less powerful than my clan and wanted to be friends. They were easy to ally with and once allied with me, I introduced them to my other allies, started a few rumors so that they would all be headed towards allying with one another, and then I went back to fixing the problems with my own clan.
Now my food supply has gotten low enough that we are rationing, so I sent out a hunting party of 5 NPCs (2 with foraging skills, 2 with trapping skills, and most of them had combat skills). I was going to go with them, but the town came under attack almost immediately by those pesky Dark Orcs. As I'm dealing with the Dark Orc attack, zombies (I forget which kind) also launch an attack. And then as if that wasn't enough, a 2 on 1 fight breaks out in the middle of town with some of my NPCs. All of a sudden my town is complete chaos!
While I'm frantically trying to get control again of my town, I don't notice that my hunting party is getting slaughtered by some powerful monster. By the time I notice, 4 of the 5 members are dead. I managed to recall them in time to save the last member. Apparently those 4 people were very well liked in my clan because just about everyone in my clan got really unhappy.
I managed to stop the town attacks and NPC fights, but now everyone is so unhappy (most of the clan was below -100 happiness and above 60 insanity) they are basically openly rebelling. They are selling town secrets, creating gates in town, poisoning people, starting fights, causing more town attacks, and more. I did all I could to try to contain the happiness: solved as many quests as possible, kicked out the members that I felt I could get away with, gave away all my gold and much of the remaining food, and even gifted all my gems to the various NPCs. I kind of held it together for a little while, but eventually all but my most loyal NPC fled the town or went insane, I have more problems than ever, and my town is under attack again.
Things look really bleak now. How can I recover from the disaster? Out of the blue, mostly because I was really distracted, my initial plan finally payed off. The rest of the clans had allied with one another and I got a Diplomatic victory!
So the conditions of my town when I finally won:
1) The town was on fire
2) I only had 1 clan member left (I originally had 17 I believe)
3) My last guy was infected and dying from the Zombasite
4) Two different groups were attacking my town
5) My last guy was pretty unhappy but amazingly enough no insanity problems (I'm going to attribute this to his brewing and painting skills)
So how do I get things like that across in a video? And who would even watch the resulting 2 hour video? I should just make simpler games. Our next game is going to be a Tetris clone. :)
As always comments are welcome!
Well, the story is there (introducing a setting, building up tension and a surprising ending). What you need is to support the text with pictures.
For this you could use in-game footage and a narrator (e.g. clan leader pespective) to interpret the yet unknown game mechanics for the audience. If it's cut to keep up with the pace of the text it may fit in less than 4 minutes.
Example: "I decide to seek out the rest of the clans in the area so I can figure out the best path to victory for this world" -> camera starts from hometown and goes over the already discovered landscape including other clans while the off-voice explains what kinds of victories are possible. Camera stops the moment the Mutants are discovered, then switches to the power graph ...
I know the market cycle for this game is past, but I figure this could be an ongoing challenge with each release, so I thought I'd chime in anyway.
Crowdsourcing and contests:
You could hold a video creation contest and have players create trailers with some sort of incentive. Just being the creator of the game's trailer (if the winning video meets quality requirements) might be enough, but you could also throw in some free game keys to the winner and runners up, maybe being featured somehow in the game or credits, a straight up money reward, or who knows what. You provide the direction in the form of guidelines as to what features of the game you definitely want included in the video and maybe some direction as to the style. (Of course, you want it to be open-ended enough that more people are interested and can leverage their creative talents). I would suggest reserving the right to apply or hire out further editing to refine any trailers submitted. The contest itself might generate some interest in the game on its own, depending on how enticing the incentive is, and how fun the results are.
In fact, occasional community events like this (story contests, video contests, fanart contests, or even simply featuring fan works in news posts occasionally) seem to be a good way to inject and maintain life within a game's community. Space Engineers seems to have a thriving fan video scene. Of course as a creation game it lends itself particularly well to that, but it is helped along by the regular themed video contests held by the dev team. It's like having hundreds of trailers tuned for different viewers floating around.
The Fiverr shotgun approach:
Going in another direction, some Youtube videos I've watched have indicated to me that sometimes you can get surprisingly good results by contracting people on Fiverr. For instance, although these are short highlight videos from shooter games, they demonstrate the potential for quality video editing results, and within surprising timeframes:
You could record footage until you had a good set of vids, images, sound effects, and music that contained everything you wanted to show off about the game, then supply those to multiple editors along with your requirements and guidelines in a shotgun-style approach. There is a luck aspect (as is the case within your games ;.D ), but you could potentially get one or more quality results relatively inexpensively. Sometimes the town gambler is the best vendor. :)
At the same time I can understand if your philosophy is to do it yourself, in which case fbo's reply has some good guidance. If you'd like some random inspiration, I think the release trailer for Rimworld and this other short video story documenting a fort in Dwarf Fortress might supply ideas for how to condense things down:
Anyway, if this is a challenge that you're still seeking answers to, I hope this post helps! ;D
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