Creating a mobile video game trailer

We’ve been doing quite a bit of research on successful mobile video trailers as we start focusing on the final pieces of the BioBeasts project, a task we know will take quite a bit of time to create and is extremely important. Our team is pretty tied up in terms of tasks, so we are getting the help of other AE staff to animate and composite our video. The best way to convey what you want in a video is by creating an animatic, which is basically a visual guide the animator receives when you brief them on the project.

We took a lot of notes, watched a lot of game trailers, and learned a great deal when designing the BioBeasts animatic. If you’re a game dev or one in the making we thought you might find this information useful. If not, well at least we provided our thought process on the video trailer aspect of this project.

Pitch a story
The first 10 seconds of your video will most likely be the most important aspect of your entire project. If you fail to engage a user at this point you won't be seeing a download in your future.

Start out with an attention grabbing intro. In BioBeasts, the player controls Beasts in a secret research facility. Unlike other mindless bio-weapons, the beast becomes self-aware and breaks out of a containment unit, battling through the different sections of the facility in order to escape.

The opening scene is there to set the mood of the Beast breaking out of the laboratory. Expression is key here, in order for the audience to form an emotional attachment to the beast and to care about it; we wanted the player to first sympathize with him. Feeling pity is a basic human response most people can relate to. When the beast eventually escapes the laboratory, an emotional switch happens creating the player to feel empowered.

Whichever route you take with your video’s story, make sure you can relate to the player. Ask yourself what emotions you want to convey. This is usually the perfect place to start developing a concept for your video.

Show gameplay footage
Gameplay footage must leave a lasting impression on why your game is different and fun to play. Show what the player can expect from your game. In BioBeasts we will focus on the strategy, atmosphere, mechanics, and collection features of the game.

Right now we have a place holder screen highlighted in green for where we have final gameplay footage to add in. Because we want to use the most polished build of the game possible to show, this will probably be the very last element we will composite in.

Keep it short
An average mobile video trailer is 15 - 30 seconds. Most mobile game trailer ads services require a short length in order to submit to them. If you have a longer video in mind, you can always submit a longer trailer version for your video hosting site, but still, keep that video under a minute in length.

End with Call to Action
If you’ve done your job right, the player will want to know where they can access the game. At the very end of your video, show the player where they can download the game. Also include any branding, game logo, company brands, awards, and game ratings if they apply. Be wary about adding reviews, since most people see them as fake or subjective.

Video Specs:
Always hit for the top end specs, you can optimize and cut the video shorter if need be. Standard Youtube aspect ratio is 16:9 in 1080p HD or 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Don’t rely on sound
Most mobile users tend to play games muted or on a very low setting. While sound is very important, all the important information should also be conveyed as if you had the sound turned off. Include in your video bold captions outlining key features of the game.

Share with a test Audience
Before you go live with your video share it with a test audience, first. Ask for feedback and make sure all the information is correct before sending it live. The worst feeling in the world is having a spelling or grammar error slip in. This is also a good opportunity for fine-tuning and timing adjustments for maximum impact.

We hoped this was good insight into what is considered when designing mobile video game trailer. Thanks for reading and joining us along this creative journey! Remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! We are always adding new and interesting things to read and see.