May 5, 2018
Hey, what's up? My name is Henrik Chukhran aka "Neuton Mouse" and this is my blog. I'm planning to post here about game development, music production, sound design, gaming in general and other related stuff. Most of these posts will deal with my own projects but sometimes there will be exceptions. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on one of the social network pages placed below here.
May 5, 2018
Hey people! I'd like to talk about recent accomplishment towards Smintheus Beta that are worth to be mentioned - Smintheus Beta game trailer! Quite a late bloomer but finally it's out there! Totally worth it.
Everybody from the game development community knows that marketing is essential step in this business, especially in indie scene. That's also the weakest side for the latter. I happen to be in that scene and share the burden of marketing misuse. Although I try my best to progress through it, it's still not enough.
One of the most important marketing things is the game trailer. Smintheus Beta didn't had it on release and remained "trailerless" for month. The time was dedicated to trailer pretty recently and it just got to public yesterday. What a blunder! Still, better than nothing. Before the trailer people relied on screenshots and description. That brought me nearly 1,500 downloads throughout the whole month. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of visitors remained on the game page and ended that session with the download. With just two days with the trailer I can say that numbers grew to ~65%. I can just imagine what would it be if the game had trailer from very beginning.
Nevertheless, it's still a beta trailer released specially for testing. I think of it as a crash test before the real thing. By real thing I mean going commercial. That's topic for another day.
To be honest, making trailer was very boring thing to do. Even the challenge was not motivating. It all started with capturing my own game walkthrough several times. After completing game for the 5th time I ended with 3 hour footage. That footage was analyzed from A to Z. After that, I had to pick out the best moments. Such process already took more hours than I expected. After doing best cuts I realized that the result is 8 minutes long. A good trailer must be designed to be 30 to 90 seconds long so the big question was.... how do I squeeze 8 minutes of best moments into one and half?
Yep. I had to pick best moments out of best moments and that was somewhat painful. I've edited the video and shared it amongst friends including family. They all were asked to pick out the best moments and I'd simply picked the ones that intersect with most choices. Fortunately, there were intersections :)
Next, I wanted special track designed for this trailer and that idea inclined to put more effort into trailer. Enthusiasm levels were beyond the boundaries. I haven't touched my synths and DAW since the beta release so the itch was real and hard.
Challenge was about doing music in required length and putting best video cuts to proper positions. I decided to write music in 3 parts, each one would resemble musically different aspects of gameplay that I wanted to show - Explore, Solve Puzzles and Fight. As always I went with 80s style soundtrack. Exploration part had happy stab progression that translated into synthwave part and ended with aggressive rock guitar riffs. Additionally, one little fun thing was put on "cat gets scared by dog house" - distorded sync lead's pitch bends up thus imitating cat meow.
I think trailer turned out to be great. The idea was to show gameplay at its finest without all that unwanted jazz. Pretty much nailed it! You'll see how Gerald the Mouse moves here and there, the way he constructs gadgets and solves puzzles, little bit of inventory screen which shows all the goodies as well as how he fights and interacts with other characters. I wanted to show more detailed puzzles but those parts were simply too long. Cutting them into smaller pieces wouldn't make any sense at all. Oh well...
By the way, here is an interesting picture about one monster killer butterfly found in local forest. Big and beautiful if you ask me, inspires some gamedev related thoughts :)
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