Ooblets is an indie game being made by Rebecca Cordingly and Benjamin Wasser. I already followed Becky on Twitter because I saw the ADORABLE gifs she frequently posts for Ooblets, and at some point she followed me back (or was it the other way around?). We talked in November 2016 about me possibly working on a trailer for the game, but for reasons out of their control, they weren't sure when they needed the trailer by until about... a week before they needed it.
With a time frame like that we had to get the ball rolling right away! Good thing we were working with composer Calum Bowen who had some music ideas already. He quickly iterated on some ideas with Becky to hone in on the right sound. After he had a couple tracks, we did some back and forth where I would cut the music together according to how long I thought each section should be, then he would either change it to accommodate my edits, or let me know which edits would be too difficult to accommodate. Once we had the sections figured out, he went to work on fleshing out the instrumentation while I got to editing.
Because of the bountiful wealth of Ooblets gifs, I was able to use those in my sequence as an animatic to get my basic concept across so I could get the OK from Becky and Ben, and then do the high quality capture. Some very basic ideas like: when to show farming, when to show ooblets, how many ooblets, when to show NPCs etc. That went pretty quickly, and then it was time to capture!
This year I went to my first ever GDC, and I feel like I spent most of my time there gushing to other devs about the debug tools I had for Ooblets. Becky added in some great features that made the capture process smooth as butter. The best features by FAR were that I was able to offset the camera either by zooming, panning, rotating etc. but have it still be attached to the player! This meant I could do "steadicam" shots from any angle. Also there was an option to detach the camera from the player, so I could move her independently while the camera stayed static. There was also a toggle for camera speed, and lots of tools for managing ooblets. Becky quickly updated the build for me as I came up with new requests. All in all, it was the best capture experience I've had next to Quadrilateral Cowboy.
For the structure of the trailer it was important for me that we get the "cool" part as soon as possible. Kind of like how James Bond and Peter Jackson films have an action packed cold open. Same idea applied here, except for cute stuff! This meant showing Ooblets, and plants growing before showing the farming which is less visually interesting.
In film, there's the idea of a "line of rising action", but for trailers I think it's good to have a line that starts high, then comes back down, and then rises from there. Especially in this day and age, we can't afford to not grab attention as soon as possible! So the trailer goes from a quick intro, to plants growing, ooblets, and then back to the "how" part of the trailer which eventually ends in a TON of Ooblets. Then of course dancing for the grand finale, because the dancing in the game is some of the best/cutest I've seen in any game. I also really like the denoument, because it's a nice way to bookend the trailer. It wasn't my intention, but the trailer functions rather like an example of what might happen in one day of playing Ooblets.
Overall, one of my favorite game trailer making experiences so far, and the reaction to it made it all the better!