Video: 5 Kickstarter trailer takeaways from Blasphemous

Here’s five trailer takeaways from ‘Blasphemous‘ — especially for those making a Kickstarter video game trailer:

[Transcript:]

Blasphemous just launched [on Kickstarter] not even two weeks ago and it’s already tripled its goal. So it is definitely successful. And even though the trailer might be off-putting to some (okay actually, most) — I still think it’s damn-near perfect. Now, bear with me. You might not dig this trailer and that’s totally alright — there’s some absolutely key takeaways in here for game marketing. So, hang in there.

Let’s check it out.

Now here five key takeaways for anybody who’s making a Kickstarter trailer:

1. Disgust everybody—EXCEPT your target audience

Rally your tribe around what makes you you. Don’t be afraid if that puts anybody off.

Blasphemous knows exactly who it’s after: the kind of folks who see black-metal twisted imagery and go, “Hell, yeah!” Maybe they like Dark Souls, but would like more gore. Gory and twisted things don’t work for everybody, but for those that it does work for, it says to them, “Hey, this this game is just for us!” That’s the thing that makes them click “back this project.”

2. Show mechanical substance

The action in your Kickstarter game is by-definition not complete. But when we see it in motion, we can have grace for it if the audio-visual feedback isn’t quite there yet. As long as it looks cool and there’s some solid tension in there, we’re with you.

Sharp editing — where each player action is linked in separate scenes — that doesn’t hurt, either.

3. Establish your unique setting

We all know in this descending shot is that this is a weird-dark world with graveyards and bloodshed. And just like that, Blasphemous sets itself apart apart from the rest of herd. With kickstarter trailers, your world should draw us in more than anything else. Nobody knows anything about your game. Nobody knows anything about your world.

Suck us in!

4.Distinct musical composition

Notice this song, how there’s this juxtaposition of two kinds of metal at once: the slow droning of Doom and the incessant Black Metal march. There’s even moments where this ultra-gloomy jam gets straight-up triumphant! Nobody else has this kind of music in their game. You can tell the composer created something new and unusual just to match the vibe.

If you can afford an original composer? At the very least, people are going to buy your soundtrack!

5. Land on your theme’s PUNCH

Whatever your game is really about? Be that twisted bloodshed, or rainbow-laden-peacemaking. Stick hard to that tension. And make it the most-important thing that we see the last thing.

thumbnail_blasphemous

Once again, those Kickstarter trailer takeaways are:

  1. Disgust everybody—EXCEPT your target audience
  2. Show mechanical substance
  3. Establish your unique setting
  4. Distinct musical composition
  5. Land on your theme’s PUNCH

I’m M. Joshua. Find my trailer work at mjoshua.com [which has nothing to do with this trailer]. And? Feel free to subscribe — for the next time we look at a damn-near-perfect game trailer.

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?