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Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#31
Gazz wrote:
Tom wrote:Color me impractical and maybe even quixotic but for such a personal endeavor shouldn't conveying the excitement and urgency of the original vision take precedence over a slick sales pitch?
If that "excitement" can be used to prop up the sales pitch then yes. But when you have a finished game, you have to sell a finished game. Not a vision.
As indicated, the view I expressed was not borne of practicality. Then again neither is Limit Theory, itself. Mileage varies greatly regarding "the vision thing".

If the aim is to optimize sales then a targeted marketing effort - presumably outsourced to an established entity - consisting of surveys, media outreach, etc... would be the sensible course.

In the end, it is up to Josh how much effort he wishes to put into hawking the game (and how or whether to prioritize its promotion).
I know not what life is, nor death.
Year in year out-all but a dream.
Both Heaven and Hell are left behind;
I stand in the moonlit dawn,
Free from clouds of attachment.
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Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#33
Flatfingers wrote:I've had a bit of a think today, and to keep this conversation going I'd like to suggest one possibility for the primary Limit Theory trailer.

This one would run for about one minute and thirty seconds. I assume that it would be accompanied by an appropriately space-like score with a five-second pause where indicated.

(Note: I've formatted this in a vaguely screenplay-like style because I think that structure is helpful for understanding the trailer I'm imagining in my head. But I don't do this for a living, so no need to ding me if I failed to follow some formatting rule used by the pros.)

Please bear in mind that this is just an idea meant to suggest one direction the trailer might go. I welcome constructive feedback, and I'd be very happy to see other suggestions that capture what's great about Limit Theory in other ways that would excite potential players.

Code: Select all

THE INKY BLACKNESS OF SPACE, WITH APPROPRIATE MUSIC

                      NARRATOR
           In the beginning, there was a theory believed by many game developers that people would only ever want to do one thing in a game.

           Many games based on this theory were very good, but then someone proposed a different theory.

FADE IN:

CLOSE-UP OF STAR IN BLUE STAR SYSTEM

                                                                   SLOWLY PULL BACK TO:

MEDIUM VIEW OF BLUE STAR SYSTEM WITH AN EARTH-LIKE PLANET

Numerous small-to-medium-sized NPC ships engaged in commerce swarm the planet and a nearby space station.

                      NARRATOR
           What if this limit on what you could do, on who you could be, wasn't necessary?

                                                                   CONTINUE SLOW PULL BACK TO:

DISTANT VIEW OF BLUE STAR SYSTEM WITH NODE MAP OVERLAID

                      NARRATOR
           What would happen if you built a game based on a different theory, a theory of removing limits?

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

WHITE STAR SYSTEM WITH FREQUENCY MAP OVERLAID, THEN RESEARCH NODE TREE

                      NARRATOR
           You could explore the depths of space and the frontiers of knowledge.

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

GREEN STAR SYSTEM WITH SHIP COLLECTING ORE FROM NORMAL ASTEROIDS, THEN ICE ASTEROID FIELD

                      NARRATOR
           You could locate and gather riches from the remains of shattered planets.

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

BLUE STAR SYSTEM WITH NEARBY PLANET, WITH MARKET SCREENS OVERLAID

                      NARRATOR
           You could seek wealth from supplying the needs of many worlds.

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

PURPLE STAR SYSTEM WITH PIRATES ATTACKING A MERCHANT CONVOY

                      NARRATOR
           You could exploit the weak, taking what they have for your own.

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

GOLD STAR SYSTEM WITH NUMEROUS FIGHTERS ATTACKING A SMALL CAP SHIP

                      NARRATOR
           You could protect the weak, expertly defending the universe.

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

RED STAR SYSTEM WITH MANY DIFFERENT-SIZED SHIPS ENTERING FROM A JUMP HOLE

                      NARRATOR
           You could command vast fleets, bringing far-flung worlds under your authority.

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

MONTAGE OF OTHER VISUALLY-INTERESTING GAMEPLAY FEATURES

                      NARRATOR
           A theory based on removing limits would let you do all of these things.

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

BLACKNESS AGAIN

MUSIC PAUSES

                      NARRATOR
           That game exists.

MUSIC RESUMES QUIETLY

                                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

BLUE STAR SYSTEM WITH STAR ECLIPSED BY DARK SIDE OF VERY CLOSE EARTH-LIKE PLANET

                      NARRATOR
           Welcome to the game that's designed to let you be who you want to be.

                                                                   SLOWLY PULL BACK TO:

BLUE STAR SYSTEM WITH EARTH-LIKE PLANET

                      NARRATOR
           Welcome to the game based on the theory that you set your own limits.

                                                                   CONTINUE SLOW PULL BACK TO:

ONE HIGH-POLY CAP SHIP THAT ECLIPSES THE BLUE STAR TO SHOW OCCLUSION/LIGHTING EFFECTS

                      NARRATOR
           Welcome... to Limit Theory.

The cap ship engages its jump drive to showcase that graphic effect, leaving behind the planet floating in space.

When the flash of the ship jumping appears, display the title "LIMIT THEORY" for five seconds.

FADE OUT

When i first seen the title for this thread this was the kind of thing i was thinking off regarding a trailer, but in a sped up galaxy view from the beginings to an advanced stage with factions colliding and at war at the end. Along the timeline this sped up galaxy would have pauses with something like the above coming into view of stages of progression and gameplay features and then at the end it zooms in and you are one of the major factions with a massive fleet about to go into an epic battle then it fades out with a tag line something like 'now you decide your own fate'

This to me would show the scale of the game along with gameplay features in a story that you could be part of or make your own story how you want.

Cheers,
Kraydon.
Post

Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#34
Kraydon, I once suggested something pretty similar to that for how a game of Limit Theory might start:
Flatfingers wrote:When you're done selecting all the options you want and you click the button to start a new game, you begin in the inky blackness of space.

Slowly a glittering expanse of points of light fades into view [the node editor cycling from 100% to 0% transparency, and filtering on star systems at the multi-sector level]. Then, one by one, flashes of light as self-aware civilizations awaken on scattered worlds [system + political identity categories turned on].

As these civs discover starflight, they expand their political territories to other systems [time running at a higher-than-standard speed to animate this process of expansion], and some of the individual points of light in the galaxy begin to bloom into small patches of color. Where these colors meet, there are sprays of light where ships and their crews fire on each other and are destroyed, or slow mergences of color where diplomatic voices create peaceful unions.

Time then slows to the standard speed of gameplay, and the node display is zoomed into the corner of the universe where your game begins.
I still hope for something like that.

What I'm not sure about is whether that works as a "here's what will persuade you to buy Limit Theory" trailer. I like it as a way to start LT, but in fairness it's pretty hands-off -- I suspect most gamers will expect to be shown what they can look forward to actually doing in the game.

That said, showing the origin of the world could be a fun way to start a longer (4-10 minutes) trailer, especially if you sped it up slightly. On the other hand, maybe you don't want to give away the intro, and instead let players see it for the first time when they start a game. (Or watch it on YouTube.)

Finally, Tom and Gazz are both raising an important question: at whom should the LT video be targeted? I'm sort of in the "something for everyone" camp -- especially since I prefaced this thread by asking what one trailer to rule them all might look like. But maybe even that trailer needs more focus.

If a choice has to be made, what feels more right for selling copies of Limit Theory: an emphasis on the vision of the dynamic world of LT as a sandbox? Or a tight focus on exciting gameplay mechanics?
Post

Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#35
Flatfingers wrote:Kraydon, I once suggested something pretty similar to that for how a game of Limit Theory might start:
Flatfingers wrote:When you're done selecting all the options you want and you click the button to start a new game, you begin in the inky blackness of space.

Slowly a glittering expanse of points of light fades into view [the node editor cycling from 100% to 0% transparency, and filtering on star systems at the multi-sector level]. Then, one by one, flashes of light as self-aware civilizations awaken on scattered worlds [system + political identity categories turned on].

As these civs discover starflight, they expand their political territories to other systems [time running at a higher-than-standard speed to animate this process of expansion], and some of the individual points of light in the galaxy begin to bloom into small patches of color. Where these colors meet, there are sprays of light where ships and their crews fire on each other and are destroyed, or slow mergences of color where diplomatic voices create peaceful unions.

Time then slows to the standard speed of gameplay, and the node display is zoomed into the corner of the universe where your game begins.
I still hope for something like that.

What I'm not sure about is whether that works as a "here's what will persuade you to buy Limit Theory" trailer. I like it as a way to start LT, but in fairness it's pretty hands-off -- I suspect most gamers will expect to be shown what they can look forward to actually doing in the game.

That said, showing the origin of the world could be a fun way to start a longer (4-10 minutes) trailer, especially if you sped it up slightly. On the other hand, maybe you don't want to give away the intro, and instead let players see it for the first time when they start a game. (Or watch it on YouTube.)

Finally, Tom and Gazz are both raising an important question: at whom should the LT video be targeted? I'm sort of in the "something for everyone" camp -- especially since I prefaced this thread by asking what one trailer to rule them all might look like. But maybe even that trailer needs more focus.

If a choice has to be made, what feels more right for selling copies of Limit Theory: an emphasis on the vision of the dynamic world of LT as a sandbox? Or a tight focus on exciting gameplay mechanics?
Nice, we think alike :D

I also don't think it will spoil anything by having the galaxy view along with the gameplay aspects as part of the timeline like how you laid out above.
So as you are viewing the galaxy (maybe from an angled view) and watching as the lights of life emerge and start spreading throughout the galaxy it occasionally pauses and zooms in to a scene of a craft mining, then goes back to the galaxy view then a bit later a craft hauling, then a screen showing the market/trading screen layout, then a ship getting pirated (this can be laid out with different aspects of gameplay in a sort of timeline of advancement). The last screen as the galaxy is filling up with factions ships etc would be the final zoom in of a nodal display and all the ships in your command ready to fight another amarda of ships.
The galaxy view could also have aspects of the nodal display with info poping up as the timeline advances at a rapid pace which would look pretty cool

I think that having the galaxy view in the trailer and also a part of starting a game would actually tie in nicely from what you experienced in that epic trailer, for me it would give a buzz. As others have said i find it bad when you watch a trailer and the game is nothing like what you experienced in trailer and it's a massive let down.

Just my opinion though
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Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#36
JoshParnell wrote:The only thing I will say is that I would much prefer to see some (minimal) descriptive text than to hear my voice :lol:
Sorry, Josh -- what would (and did) immediately grab my attention was the first 15 seconds of Development Update #14. I (somehow) hadn't come across LT until a few days ago, and I found Dev Update #14 before 15. Why was it perfect?

The camera was static, but the image was not. What am I looking at?
I hear a voice. A voice actor? He sounds good, but it's not Nolan North. Who is it?
He draws attention to what I'm looking at—ice in space—and then the camera begins moving and the video is introduced.


Somehow, that 15 seconds did more for me than any YouTube pre-skip ad time ever has. <shrug> I'unno. Do that. :D
Spoiler:      SHOW
I guess I don't know BBCode. I'll test my URL tags down here.
Development Update #14
Why isn't this working!?
Thanks, CommanderDJ!
Last edited by Fourhundred57 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Post

Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#40
Something I thought about was to take one big event, lets say a trade depot of fraction A being surprisingly attacked by a capital ship + fighters of fraction B and show this from all possible perspectives.
Maybe at firts a little miner, a bit further away. The soothing humming of the mining beam, than a distant explosion and an orange glow in the distance.
Zoom over to what is left of the station, the big ship releasing lasers in all directions and fighters and bombers fighting and bombing each other.

The time reverses and the camera jumps into the hud of one of the traders, as he skips through different lists and graphs sells and buys stuff. Then a warning on the hud. He switches over to the map. You see all sorts of ships buzzing around, one big red ship and a red dot followed by a thin line moving towards the station. He closes the map and in the very next moment, you see the projectile hitting the station. Chaos breaks free, as you flee. Other ships fly towards the station in formation.

Time reverses again. Now you are in the cockpit of a fighter. You follow the Order to move to what was the tradedepot. Some intense fighting stuff. You get to see the capital ship close up.

Time reverses the last time. You ar the commander in the capital ship. In the background a completely different gorgeous nebula. The fleet gets prepared for the big jump. You precharge the main gun, enter the warphole and release hell.
It fades to black.

Be good
Be evil
Be -different random Professions and other stuff flicks through-
Be what you want
Be a part of it
[hypes internälly]
Post

Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#41
Here's something interesting from YouTube, on Dev Video #19:
Afroswine Hoggintons
1 month ago
Are you planning on putting this game on Steam Greenlight? I'd imagine this game would skyrocket on steam

Limit Theory
1 month ago
Yes, I'll put it up as soon as we have a solid enough trailer to confidently skyrocket!
So... What constitutes a "solid enough trailer"?


Also: Brilliant article, Flat. :thumbup: That was definitely worth the read.
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Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#42
Well what sold me on this game was the way it is being developed, Josh has got the best design philosophy I have ever seen. Everything is in service to reinforcing the central ideas of Limit Theory.

I would focus a trailer on the greatest strengths of the game: Exploration. Everything in the game seems designed to reinforce that fundamental. You have freedom to play how you desire and go where you desire. Infinite variety and endless opportunity.

Secondly I would stress how easy this game will be modifiable. Strong modding communities have vastly increased the popularity and shelf-life of some of the best remembered games.

And as with any good game: show don't tell. A trailer shouldn't tell you what you can do, it should show you some of the things that could be done.

so, based on these points, I would make a montage of a player ship travelling through all kinds of different systems (sped up) with the player ship gradually replaced with different models. (show off the editor) Speed it up near the end to show just how many options there are and promise no limits. (faster appearance of different systems and ships as the music swells to crescendo and fade to release date.)

You don't have to show every detail of the game, just the key points that would draw your target audience in.
Post

Re: The Limit Theory Trailer

#43
Well It's been a while since we last discussed this, but perhaps now is a good time to revisit the subject.

As much as I think the mechanics should be shown, as much as I think the endless things you can do should be shown, I think what will really sell Limit Theory is it's dynamic, living universe. To that end, Here's my concept.

Begin with a bang, a Big Bang.
Spoiler:      SHOW

But in 3 seconds instead of 25
From the flash of the Big Bang, comes your universe.
Spoiler:      SHOW
Image
With a Cinematic camera, you spiral around as it expands. The camera then slowly dives into the universe and you fly through enormous sparkling clouds of dust and stars.
Spoiler:      SHOW
As the camera slow down and passes by different clusters, you see empires in a political view rise, expand, and fall, gobbling each other up and only lasting only seconds
Spoiler:      SHOW
The camera slows down further and you're clearly headed straight into a cluster, and then straight into a star system.
The camera bursts into the system and in front of you is a (staged) 500 vs 500 ship battle raging. Carriers, capitals, battleships, fighter squadrons, drone swarms, missiles, beam weapons, ballistics flying in every direction as the two sides fight it out. The camera comes in close and swings around long enough (5-10 sec) for you to get a real sense of the excitement taking place.

The camera moves away from the battle and flys over to a station clearly in panic, outside are holographic displays flashing red and showing a tanking stock market graph as civilian ships start fleeing the station in the opposite direction of the battle. The camera comes in very close to one of these ships to show the details before panning over to the Warp Rail it's headed towards. As gets closer, large military vessels drop off the rail and quickly head to the battle. As the civilian ship hops on the rail, the camera zooms out and follows the rail as it wraps around to the other side of a ringed Earthlike planet.

At the other end of the Rail are assembly yards churning out parts and ships as fast as they can. Flying over them, you see dozens of cargo and mining ships heading back and forth to a nearby asteroid field. The camera flies over and into the asteroid field as you watch miners with their lasers and drones harvest materials. Flying out the other side of the asteroid field you see a Research station send out several couriers as red alarms begin to flash.

You follow the couriers when a surprise ambush takes out one ship and then another and another, the couriers take evasive maneuvers until only 1 escapes. The courier approaches and then enters the wormhole. While in the wormhole, the words Limit Theory fade in. Cut to black.

At the end appear the words: "A living universe where the only limits are your own"

The whole thing should last 1.5-2.5 minutes. There's no narrator, just music. And at the bottom of the screen, displayed the whole time is "Actual Gameplay Footage"
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