Joggernauts makes you yell at your friends like nothing else. When I met Tommy and Zachery from Space Mace, I knew they struck gold when they realized players yelling “switch” at each other was the best way to showcase their unique co-op switching mechanic. But I knew we wanted to dive into the game’s fiction instead of reminding players of the real world. So we decided to Spaceballs it: that is have the characters from the game, playing their own game. This call miraculously let us do all the things we wanted to do: explain the mechanics, while also making fun of how off these crazy little aliens are.
The conversation has changed for indie games: the first question is no longer, “What’s your game about?” Now that first question is, “Is it on Nintendo Switch yet?” GameDrive leaned into that for the announcement on Nintendo Switch. But, then Nintendo had a lot of brand standards they needed the announcement to live up to. So I took the reigns, linked up the brand standards between all parties, and also updated the previous trailers we’ve done for Tricky Towers to appeal to the new platform!
Pre-order Tricky towers on Nintendo Switch: Launching October 11th!
Devader harkens back to the pure chaotic simplicity of Robotron—with the added tensions of “DEFEND THE MATRIX!” Typically I lay down a scratch track for timing in prep for a real voice actor, but Mark liked how I sounded. So Matthias slapped some processing on me to make me sound actually good! I love how it has this 1997 vibe about it. Devader does some really awesome things with set design: the color and shape of the level comes from the blood of your enemies!
I never imagined I’d get to cut a trailer for Risk of Rain. The game came out on PC—before I was even cutting trailers. So now having crafted it and seeing it go up on Nintendo’s channel today is still pretty surreal.
Get it now on Nintendo Switch.
I couldn’t say no to Rapture Rejects, but I didn’t have the bandwidth to write, direct, and edit it myself. So I teamed up with Vanessa Williams, who handled all the editorial heavy lifting while I stood over the construction site and called shots. Her rapid-fire work carried over beautifully: embodying just what it feels like to play this eccentric take on Battle Royale.
Get in on the Rapture Rejects Alpha.
YIIK captures all the tensions of Y2K panic, something I’ll forever associate with MTV in 1999, just because that’s how I spent my time back then. Brian Kwek at Ysbryd wanted a quick trailer for the game, but unfortunately I was too busy to edit, so I wrote him a quick script instead: Let’s take that song from the game that Undertale’s creator did, and make it feel like a music video?
Dig it? Wishlist YIIK on Steam.
Redwall’s library of books approach the status of literary classics, and for good reason. Their tales of bravery and honor paint a world that’s deeply relatable, but equally tragic. As we sought to capture the tensions of this first episode (or Act), I stuck close to the biggest Redwall staples: feasting, camaraderie, and standing up to tyrannical despots.
I love how The Messenger deceives you into thinking it’s just a simple retro-inspired game, and then pulls the wool off your eyes, that you didn’t even know was there. The most important thing to me in this trailer is that we really sold that moment of, “There’s more to it than you realize.”
The Messenger hits Steam and Nintendo Switch on August 30th.
About twice as much work goes into shot selection for a teaser. Even more when you’re dealing with a roguelike. The first thing to do after laying down the sound for your teaser: go for readability. This first pass will ensure that viewers can read what they’re seeing, but it will lack a keen sense of danger. The second and third rounds of captured footage are required to elaborate on that danger, so the enemies on screen feel like they’re going to kill you at any moment. We achieved this through low-sensitivity player camera, and making sure the player verbs linked between shots.
Paul is always a treat to work with. Risk of Rain 2 is something really special. If you’re at PAX West, stop by the Risk of Rain 2 booth (#859) at the Indie Megabooth.
King Under the Mountain makes you feel like a king.
That had to come through in our Kickstarter trailer. I sat down with creator, Ross Turner to figure out how to capture that “Feel Like a King” spirit: he wanted to do that through showcasing the new farming & food systems. I agreed. Nothing feels more regal than telling your people to farm for you — making them think you’re feeding them by making them do all the heavy lifting.
I can’t take credit. There’s something quietly majestic to building a settlement over time — seeing it become something uniquely your own. Jordan Chin’s sound design did much of the heavy psychological lifting. His musical composition puts you in the “Your Majesty” mood. His sound effects make your subconscious trust these folks to obey your royal decrees. This game will generate volumes of rad player stories.
King Under the Mountain is a sure thing. Still, it has 17 days left to work on those stretch goals! Back it on Kickstarter!