Humility: Quick Tip (The Mortician’s Tale)

[Transcript from the Video above:]

The gameplay trailer for A Mortician’s Tale is brilliant for one easily repeatable reason: Humility.

Welcome to Game Trailer Quick-Tip. I’m M. Joshua. I make game trailers, but I also like to celebrate other’s great trailer work. Today we’re looking at one quick tip that’ll be helpful for you making your game’s trailer.

Trailer Quick Tip: Humility

Humility might be the weirdest ambition of a hype-train. But I would suggest it’s the most powerful tool in making a game trailer. Just humbly offer a transparent representation of your game. This will speak volumes on what your game is actually like. No superlatives. But no self-deprecation. Just an honest look at what your game is actually like to play.

We’ll take a look at the trailer now. Then we’ll explore how that can translate to your game’s trailer. Cool? Let’s check it out!

So, not every game is as simple as Mortician’s Tale. The game clocks in at just over an hour, and only has three or four different scenes—to really show different variety of gameplay. But that’s the brilliance of the humble approach: you show the simple core interactions of the game and as long at they look readable, it reads as “real”

And let’s be honest, that’s what players want from a video game trailer: for things to feel as real to the experience as possible

Who’s This Approach For?

Since this is a simple point and click adventure, it translates well to the humility approach. If your gameplay isn’t easy to read, you might need a little more of an elaborate explanation of what the game even is and why people want to play it. But once you get them there, you can continue to build on that core—and stick to the humility approach. This lets your audience draw their own own conclusions. And that’s the core. You want to build an environment that lets people draw their own conclusions about your game.

Again, this isn’t for everybody. And sometimes you need a way more “over the top” kind of approach. Because let’s face it, game trailers aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” kind of thing.

A key to the humility approach is to just observe how players naturally experience your game. And if you can just represent that as faithfully as possible—without getting in the way—this can work really well.

That’s it for this quick tip. 

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I’m M. Joshua. Find my trailers at mjoshua.com. And feel free to subscribe, for the next time we look at a Game Trailer Quick Tip.

DOOM piece & trailer review

We love playing Heavy Metal Messiah in DOOM, but why? I rip and tear into that question in this article. A snippet:

DOOM gives you messianic rights; it tells you you’re the chosen one—and gives you all the guns you need to rid the world of sin—one Glory Kill at a time. DOOM overwhelms the senses with satanic imagery and the most Ultra-Violent challenge anybody could ask for, yet ultimately DOOM is still too easy—too doable to express the unnerving tensions of the true messianic self-sacrifice that we’re invited to. And that’s why we love DOOM so much: it makes messiahship easy.

Read More

DOOM Trailer Review

DOOM’s Fight Like Hell cinematic trailer does something rare: it inserts us into the game’s brainspace without showing any gameplay. The only on-screen verbs are reproducible in-game. Notice the shots of the Doom Marine’s armor. Those shots tell us the most important thing about the game’s story: your demonic clashes are the story. Your actions matter. DOOM’s first-person gameplay showcases this, but this trailer shows us what the player looks like.

Keep this in the back of your mind when you think about your game’s trailer: how do we show the player? How do we show that their actions are the story?