Posted by Greg on July 15, 2011
As we near Bastion’s July 20 launch date on Xbox LIVE Arcade, we’re very pleased to present the all-new Launch Trailer. Check it out, if you’d like to know more about it, read on!
We built this trailer with our own bare hands (OK and some software), just like the game itself and our Reveal Trailer from last year. Our process for creating trailers is a little unusual so we wanted to take you through how we made it.
Step 1: Concept & Narrative
When it comes time to create a trailer, we start with the story. Story is an important part of our game, so rather than just spell out Bastion’s feature set or show a bunch of cool-looking clips from the game, we aim to capture the tone and atmosphere using original content. This way, those unfamiliar with the game should get a feel for it, while those already familiar should gain new insight into the world.
Once we decided on an angle for the story, I wrote the narration in collaboration with Amir (akin to the writing process for the rest of the game), then Darren recorded the narration with Logan our voice actor. We then had a narration track to serve as the spine of our trailer.
Step 2: Artwork & Motion Graphics
In conjunction with the narrative thread, we wanted to create original artwork for this trailer to express the look and feel of the world. Jen has long wanted to illustrate a more dramatic scene from the game, so she pursued the idea of an image where the Kid is squaring off versus a gigantic Scumbag, one of the more colorful creatures in our game. As this would be an animated painting, we wanted it both to reveal the look and feel of the gameworld while also showcasing some of our characters. Our friend Andre Mina did the motion graphics on this piece, in collaboration with Jen.
Step 3. Musical Score
With the narrative and art concepts in place, Darren then worked on creating original music for the trailer based on the tone we wanted. By this point we had a general sense of the timing and flow of the piece, though that really wouldn’t come together until Darren created the music. The music ends up being the real driving force of the trailer. As with our Reveal Trailer, the music in the Launch Trailer is an original composition written for this video.
Step 4: Gameplay Footage
We had much less to show when we were making the Reveal Trailer last year, but this time around we had a whole game’s worth of stuff to show. We wanted to make sure to show a greater breadth of content, to express that Bastion is a grand adventure that will take you to a wide variety of places. At the same time, we made sure not to spoil anything here, as we hate it when trailers give away a game’s coolest surprises. Lastly, we wanted to show more of the RPG systems at work. With all that in mind, I sat down and captured lots and lots of HD footage from the game, and cut it into clips, which Darren then used to cut the piece together.
Step 5, 6, 7, etc.: Rough Cut & Iteration
With the artwork, narration, music, and video footage in hand, Darren proceeded to cut the whole thing together into a cohesive piece. Once we have a complete piece to look at, we start reviewing and iterating. We got up to about version 9 before we decided to lock the thing down, with Darren tweaking and editing and mixing, trying to get each little moment to look and feel just right. We iterate until the level of our nitpicking makes us want to kill each other or ourselves, which is when we know we’re done.
There you have it! We had a great time putting this piece together, and thought it would be the perfect way to count down the last few days until our game is out.