5 tips to make a teaser trailer for your game

Trailers and teasers are one of the most demanded and useful actions in any PR campaign. A trailer can be a powerful asset when a marketing campaign starts or when a company wants to show a new game. An efficient trailer must be entertaining and very clear about what it wants to show to the audience, but also short and not too overloaded. These concepts are evident to someone who works making trailers and promotional videos, but for someone who wants or needs to save the money of hiring a professional and tries to make it by himself, it may not seem that simple. That’s why we are giving you five tips to create a good trailer for your indie game!

Aim for the highest quality

Usually, a video game trailer consists of a representative animation where you can find details of the game or its assets (e.g. an intro resume or pieces of static art) and some gameplay footage. Don’t be afraid of capturing too much footage: take your time playing, and force engaging and appealing gameplay situations that display the mechanics and design of the game. Both video pieces must have a high standard video quality, which means two important considerations:

1. When making the animation, you should set up the video quality taking into account the final resolution and in which platform it’s going to be displayed (e.g. Youtube). You should aim for the highest video quality trying not to jeopardize its weight (and therefore, its loading time): if you are going to upload the video on Youtube, you don’t need a 4K resolution, 1080p is all right. You would only make it too heavy to load comfortably.

2. When capturing footage, you have to keep in mind the cinematic setup and capture the gameplay with at least the same quality that you will use in the final video. We recommend a hardware capture solution like BlackMagic Intensity or alike.

These trailer was created by Kaia Studios for their game Dynasty Feud

Entertain or die trying

What is the primary purpose of a trailer? Maybe you think it is just to show your game, but the correct answer is to sell your game. Based on this, your trailer should be very entertaining, so the audience wants to watch it till the end. You won’t have so many chances to convince potential buyers about how good your product is; the worst thing you can do is deliver a promotional video that doesn’t reflect the quality of your game. Once someone clicks Play on your video, you better have something that shows how cool and funny your game is.

Make a good music choice that reflects the rhythm of your game and drives your audience’s attention through its highlights. You have to follow the pace of the images: if it is a fighting game, the highs of the music and its beat should match the kicks and punches; if it’s a point ‘n’ click adventure, maybe you should make a smooth editing that shows a more elaborate footage.

Make it clear

As we said at the beginning, an effective trailer must be short. A study done by Visible Measures in 2010 with stats of 40 million videos, showed that 19.4% of the video audience quit after 10 seconds and the 44.1% loses interest after 60 seconds. Thus, the optimal length varies between 1 m and 1m 30s – and never more than 2 minutes. This can be a problem when you want to show many interesting highlights of your game in the trailer because you consider every art asset to be relevant, or the mechanics need to be shown in detail. Well, here’s my advice: show less, but better. Don’t lose yourself picking the most beautiful frame or trying to explain a very complex puzzle – that has nothing to do with a trailer. Try to synthesize the essence of your game with a few shots where you show the story, the art, the mechanics, the most appealing points… in the simplest and clearest way you can.

These trailer was created by Charlie Oscar for their game Gremlins, Inc.

Information can wait

Usually, a trailer contains valuable information about the video game release date, its developers and publisher, game displays, etc. All this information must be placed at the end of the video. Once you have sold the game with an impressive trailer and the audience have reached the end, you have to place the information in a way that is clear and readable in a quick look. A proper succession of appearances could be: video game logo, then release date plus game platforms (e.g. Steam, PlayStation, etc.), then the studio and publisher logos.

Test your audience

This may seem obvious, but it will be both helpful (and entertaining) to observe how people reacts to your trailer before launching it. Pick friends and relatives who don’t know anything or very little of the game, make a test screening with them and ask them the follow questions:

  • Is the video attractive? What does it make them feel?
  • What have they understood about the story?
  • Do the mechanics/puzzles/levels seem challenging, simple, hard…?
  • Based on what they have seen, would they play it? And would they pay for it? How much?

Make as many questions as you need to be sure that the trailer achieves the effect you want to reach and if it is understandable and coherent with your game.

Having this simple 5 tips in mind you will be able to create a good trailer that sparks interest in your game and keeps your potential audience engaged. If you have any questions or you just want to share your game trailer, don’t hesitate to ping us in the comment or in our social media accounts!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.