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Board Game Trailers
We're used to seeing epic movie-style trailers for video games. They feel like million-pound productions that were directed by a famous Hollywood director with a cast of blockbuster actors. Of course, these are all animated sequences, often showing in-game footage, which makes sense, because modern 3D video games look very realistic and are often set in an epic conflict of some sort. Board games are a bit different though, but because CGI and 3D animation have become so highly accessible these days, many crowdfunding campaigns and some board game marketing campaigns feature these amazing looking videos.
In short, the video, which probably cost $1000 to make (maybe $2000 with free beer for the bar) kind of kicked ass and used a tried and true formula for getting people to purchase. The game looked pretty awful.
I'm just surprised you don't see more of that kind of video in this industry, particularly for games like Magic where the club scene is such a big part of the draw. Three guys with a Go-Pro and some release forms could knock one of these out in a weekend. Seems like such fertile ground.
Love this topic by the way. Looking forward to seeing other people's recs for casual viewing.
I had absolutely zero experience with this kind of thing. They put exactly zero dollars behind it. I literally learned how to use Windows Movie Maker in order to produce a simple "trailer" that was really just some art stills set to an open source piano track, and some titles. The end result was certainly nothing special. Kickstarter was still not a thing, so I wasn't competing with CMON.
Certainly "saturday morning cartoon" (a moment of silence for this long abandoned cultural ritual) commercials to sell games as toys to children gets a bit of a pass since kids are kids but no functioning adult should be swayed by a fancy movie of a board game.
But I think that a trailer is generally the wrong way to market a board game, because most of the action, as it were, is taking place in the minds of the players, and that doesn't translate at all to a visual medium. However, a trailer might work for a game with a heavy social aspect, some actual physical action (like a flicking game), a party game, or maybe a game with colorful and interesting physical components.
For some examples of why trailers don't work for most board games, check out one of the numerous tv commercials for Magic: the Gathering. Hasbro incidentally acquired Magic when they bought the North American distribution rights to Pokemon, but they had no idea how to market Magic to a wider audience.
I do wonder at the exclusion of anything related to the actual cards and game. A passerby on the street would reasonably assume this was for a movie or tv series, not a game. Would a sixty-card pile of cards seem a little ridiculous juxtaposed to those production values? Arena’s digital environment can even be a lot flashier than someone shuffling or rearranging their hand.
Msample wrote: Call me old man yelling at the clouds, but the overwhelming majority of gaming video "content" is just way too fucking long for the amount of actual INFORMATION it conveys. Unboxing videos lead the charge in this category of course, but the few videos I've watched in other categories like playthroughs are just as bad. I click on the link, see the run time is some obscene amount of time, and just close the tab.
Same here. I skip both videos and podcasts about games, because they waste so much time getting to the point. I prefer reading, because I can read quickly and a writer might even do a nice summary or at least some bullet points to emphasize the important stuff.