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Tips for making a good trailer for youtube

I often like to browse around on youtube looking for WIP (work-in-progress) videos or gameplay videos for indie games. I find it interesting to see what others are doing. But I find a lot of mistakes being made.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your intro short. Don’t talk for half the video or show credits for the first half of the video. Get to the action quickly.
  • Make your video as short as possible while still showing all the salient points. Don’t show the same thing over and over.
  • Don’t show me character selection screens or loading screens (unless you’re explicitly trying to demonstrate something about them).
  • Related to the above, I don’t want to see the contents of your Start Menu, or the code in your IDE. Basically, edit your video so I don’t have to watch you start your game up.
  • If you have on-screen text that explains something, make sure it’s visible.
  • Audio is good. But no obnoxious heavy metal music, unless it really fits what’s being shown. I’ll often come across a video of someone showing their game editor accompanied by thrash metal. What on earth?

And some additional tips to keep in mind if you’re showing off something that you actually want to publish/sell:

  • If this is an “official trailer” and not just a dev log, don’t do voice-overs yourself! Hire a professional.
  • Pay for the full version of fraps so you don’t have the logo sitting there.

 

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