Trailers – and how to make them – Dev Blog 39

So this week we launched our first official teaser trailer, before we get into the blog post – check it out!

 

So we had a lot of questions about the trailer, and how we went around making it. So we decided that this blog post would be about how we put the teaser trailer together.  All software used to create it was free, and we used the following programs :

The most important brief for this trailer is that it should be dramatic, mysterious and eye catching. We started by picking the music. This was quite a long process and involved looking all over the web for music that would not only fit the theme for Fringe Planet, but also was a correct length (between 25-50 seconds) for a teaser trailer.  Eventually we ended up listening to tracks on pond5.com that had certain keywords (demonic, trailer) and used it’s search engine to find songs that had the correct duration.

Big base

After selecting 15 or so different bits of music, the next step was to whittle this list down to a single track. This involved listening to them on a loop and mentally story boarding the events that would occur in time to the music. As amazing as a lot of the music was, once you started trying to fit trailer elements into it, it was clear that a lot of these were not suitable for our needs.

One track stuck with us, and eventually became the one we used. This track had exactly the sound that we wanted, as well as multiple musical queues that could be used in order to emphasis the visuals. The next step was to storyboard the trailer.

Story board

A storyboard is a bunch of little illustrations that show how you want every scene in the video to look. They also had notes next to them to indicate any specific things (symbols flash on beats) and arrows to indicate any movement in the scene. These were loaded into Shotcut along with the music, and a very ugly hand drawn version of the trailer appeared. This allowed us to line up any scene changes or action which occurred with the music, before actually recording anything. This also allowed us to get feedback on the trailer very early on – which lead to several iterations even before any footage was recorded.

Storyboard

The next step was to create a build of Fringe Planet which was suitable for recording. We wanted no UI to appear in the video – this included both pathfinding lines as well as the peon speech bubbles. So a new branch was created and everything like that was disabled in the code base.

Another view

After this, the fun bit – actually building the scenes. We had a list of storyboards with rough notes about how a scene would look, and wanted to recreate these in game. This involved mostly ignoring the peons needs and spawning in extra ones as and when they inevitably died from neglect. Using various console commands we could quickly spawn and cheat our way up the tech tree to unlock everything that was required.

Once each scene was set up, the next step was to use OBS Studio to record the screen. The setup here was having OBS running on a second monitor, while the game was being played windowed on the primary monitor. Hooking up OBS using the Game Capture mode, made this an incredibly easy process to record at a steady frame rate.

Once each scene had been recorded, everything was loaded into Shotcut, and using our storyboard track, we could very easily work out all the timings and transitions for the trailer. Once we had our first version, we started iterating on it, sending it to different interested parties to get feedback and opinions on it – we would then take the feedback into mind and change the trailer accordingly.

Shotcut

We’ve got to thank everyone who helped us produce this trailer – as well as saying a huge thank you to everyone who has watched it. It took a long time to make, but seeing the overwhelmingly positive reaction about it has made it incredibly worth while.

We’ve got the plan for another teaser trailer coming up in the next couple of months, along side a full gameplay trailer. Keep your eyes peeled!

There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try:

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