Hovership Havoc A teaser trailer for Snow Day Software

This taser trailer was to be the very first video footage of the game in a trailer form. Colby (from Snow Day Software) had already done a great job teasing parts of the game throughout development on his Twitter, however, the trailer was to take a step forward and introduce the game in a milestone fashiom showing "here's where we're at, and this is when it's coming!"

We had a chat on Skype, and drafted up some loose notes on what the trailer would have in it. We settled on a script which ends up playing much like a standard game play teaser trailer, showing off many of the important features of the game. We decided not to include some parts of the game such as the UI, since a lot can change during the whole development process, and we wanted to keep it focused on selling the game through its core inception values 'A sci fi top down shooter with RPG and roguelike elements.'

The trailer acts as a piece of media which sells the game as a teaser product which was used on the main unique game website. Press, potential platform stores (Steam, Microsoft), and eager players had something visual to look at to get a better feeling of the pace, the styling and the story of the game.

I wanted to show off a little of the games aesthetics, as well as play on the whole 'bullet hell' riff the game hinted at by having freeze frame 'in scene' titles. I created these through motion tracking in both After Effects and Cinema 4D. I recorded the freeze frames from the game using a custom camera and recording setup that Snow Day Software created for me exclusively for the trailer, which they also used for debugging. Having custom camera availability helps push the production value up massively when creating a trailer. Once I had recorded the footage, I brought the scene into Cinema 4D, tracked the motion, set up a custom camera which used the x, y and z coordinates to create a 3D motion tracker in very quick time. I then created some titles which would be 'placed' into the scenes using Octanes incredibly fast rendering to preview the titles in real time. After rendering out the finished frames, they were brought into After Effects as a .png sequenced, and layered on top of the very same footage used in the tracking, and it presented the titles as if they were part of the scene.

The whole design purpose of the trailer was to give focus to the key features of the game, and create a sense of what playing it was like. It's important when producing media for an early access or in-development game that you keep the end goals of the marketing asset and the game in mind. You need to figure out whether you want to date the media and create something which has a very 'immediate' burst of interest (which can be come obsolete upon future updates), or create something which works timelessly to help push the game throughout development and giving longevity to the asset. Both methods depend entirely on your strategy for releasing the game, and how you plan on developing it in the future.

Credits

Website: Snow Day Software

Soundtrack: A modified edit from the game

You can also find out more about the game here on the official game website Hovership Havoc.

If you would like to work with me on your own game trailer, please contact me at info@hiadammarshall.com

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