Video: What makes Flinthook’s trailer Damn Near Perfect?

Here’s five takeaways from Flinthook’s ‘Damn-Near-Perfect’ gameplay trailer:


Flinthook! It’s wooing gamers (and game devs) everywhere! Why? Well, it can’t hurt that the gameplay trailer is damn-near-perfect.

Let’s check it out.

Here’s some takeaways, from Flinthook’s trailer, for your own game’s trailer:


Notice these Flinthook™ color bars! We haven’t even started the trailer yet! And already the game is subconsciously establishing its unique voice.

Here’s a quick test: can somebody look at any screenshot from your game and instantly tell that it’s your game?

2. Try a sweet one-shot opener!

Notice how in the first fifteen seconds we’re treated to everything we need to know about the game: the genre, Flinthook’s unique-take on the genre: specifically, the sweet hook-shot! And, killing enemies to bag the loot! If you can show everything that your game does in one shot? Do it right away!

3. Use a bit of “outside” voice

You’re biased and your opinion doesn’t matter. What others say about you, though? Yeah, use it if you got it. The more variety and big names here, the better.

4. UNIQUE FRIGGIN’ GAMEPLAY (This is important)

Nobody else out there has sweet hookshot action like Flinthook. I mean — it’s in the name: flint-hook. But what’s most important is that this one-of-a-kind hookshot action is front-row-center. The trailer opens on hooking. And the trailer ends on hooking. 

Make sure you tattoo this on your forehead: your unique gameplay is how you stand out against the SEA OF STEAM RELEASES.

5. Sneak some player motivations in there.

Notice when the trailer says, “Become the greatest space pirate,” and then shows some action. Then it’s all “Plunder randomly-built spaceships.” This is great too: I love how this line addresses the roguelike structure of the game.

These little statements say so much about why you wanna play the game. And they speak to you kind-of on a subconscious level.


Once again, those key takeaways are:

  2. Try a sweet one-shot opener!
  3. Use a bit of “outside” voice
  5. Sneak some player motivations in there.

I’m M. Joshua. Find me at mjoshua.comwhere I’m available for trailer consultations and trailer projects. And? Feel free to subscribe — for the next time we look at a damn-near-perfect game trailer.


Super-good marketing training materials are like secrets in Mario games—abundant, but you just gotta know where to look. My trailers are on the right track, but I know there’s a lot of room for refinement.

Justin (not me)

Justin Carroll (not me)

Meet Justin Carroll.

Fortunately I come across rad folks like Justin Carroll (of Monastery) who have sage advice on how to super-charge your stuff. Here’s what he said:

Do your homework.

Add these key resources your news feed (I use Feedly) and read up, son!

  1. The SeanWes Podcast.
  2. Copywriting masters at
  3. Ramit Sethi at and
  4. Reddit’s r/gamedev group also does Marketing Monday giddyups.
  5. Everything on
Me (not Justin — though I realize all white guys with beards and fauxhawks look a lot alike)

M. Joshua (me)

“Start a blog,” he says.

Yes. I’ll do that.

Teach how to do what I do (make game trailers).

Indie game devs are DIYers at heart. I can’t under-estimate this. They only pay for two things: how to learn, and services that are better/faster than they can do on their on. I think I got the latter of these things, but it’s time to gear-up for the former. SeanWes made a killing off of teaching people how to do hand-lettering. There’s a good chance I could slay folks too if I sell training on how to make game trailers (especially ones that capture the player’s heart). To use an old cliche, I could catch fish or teach fishing.

Email-market the snot out of this

Forget every other form of social media and just focus on building your email list. Then send the best and most valuable stuff you’ve got. Be lavish. The easiest way to do this is to build tools that offer value to indie devs who are making DIY trailers. So this is what I’m gonna do. You want good free stuff?

“Oh, and don’t forget call-to-actions!”

Great idea: Sign-up!

(Receive M. Joshua’s trailer tips, tutorials, and insights).