A Year of Making Indie Game Trailers - 2017

Once again, 2017 was my busiest year so far. In 2016 I made 12 trailers for 8 games, and this year I made 21 trailers for 18 games! I worked with so developers whose work I've long admired, and new developers that I'm excited to see more work from. As I write this, I'm already working on trailers for a number of new projects that will be out in about a month. Thank you to everyone I worked with, everyone who gave me a referral or recommendation, and all of you who read my posts about my work; I'm indebted to you all.

Some things that I accomplished in 2017 that I'm particularly proud of:

I can only hope that in 2018 I continue to be so prolific, and that by the end of next year I have an entirely new body of work to be proud to call my own. Thanks so much!

1. Pit People Early Access Launch Trailer

This was a challenge because I wanted to improve upon the previous trailer, and also avoid it feeling like we were retreading old ground. Some difficulties during production also threw in a wrench that had to be overcome at the last minute.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

2. Thimbleweed Park - Ransome Trailer

This was the third character-centric trailer for Thimbleweed Park. I really liked this one because I got to flex some editing muscles that I don't usually get to when making game trailers.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

3. Ooblets Teaser Trailer

I got this gig via Chris Dwyer with whom I worked on the console version of Gone Home, and A Boy and His Blob.

Ooblets is by far one of my favorite game trailer projects to date, and it's not just because of how ridiculously cute it is. If I could use one game as an example of the ideal conditions for making a game trailer, it would be Ooblets.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

4. The Occupation - Announce Trailer

I got this gig through via a referral from some developer friends of White Paper Games (I forgot to ask who it was). I got excited when I received this email because I was familiar with their previous game Ether One, and I'm a fan of first person narrative games in general. 

This game was very early development when I had to work on this trailer. When making an announce trailer, it's very important to communicate as much about the game as possible, but when you have very little, you often have to custom manufacture things to suggest what the game will be.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

5. Thimbleweed Park - Launch Trailer

The final trailer for Thimbleweed Park! I had more creative freedom for this trailer than any of the previous trailers, so that meant digging through a 16,000 line text file of dialogue, and also getting to apply some newly learned design skills for the first time.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

6. The Wild Eternal - Launch Trailer

I got this gig via referral from Josh Cauller! The Wild Eternal is a first person exploration game where you play an old woman who is exploring a foggy land in her quest to escape the cycle of rebirth/reincarnation. You interact with a demi-god fox, and as you play the game you learn more about your own story and the fox's.

This game has a very meditative pace to it, so the challenge was being true to this while also keeping the audience interested.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

7. Cosmic Trip - Launch Trailer

My 3rd and final trailer for Cosmic Trip! This series of trailers was very much a learning experience for me since it was the first time I'd ever made a trailer for a VR game. For this last one I really wanted to pull out all the stops, and make it big, epic and shiny.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

8. Tacoma Launch Day Trailer

Another dream project! I love Gone Home (and first person narrative games in general) so as soon as Tacoma was announced I knew I wanted to make a trailer for it. When I heard Fullbright planned on releasing in mid 2017, I emailed Steve Gaynor to see if they needed help with their launch trailer (couldn’t hurt, right?).

That’s how I got the gig!

Of course, that’s not all it took to get the gig. I previously edited the trailer for Gone Home on console, and I’d talked to Steve multiple times at various trade shows. In fact while at GDC when I was eating by myself at a Vietnamese restaurant, Steve coincidentally got seated next to me during the middle of my meal; we talked a bit before he had to rush off to do some Tacoma promotion.

As someone who makes trailers, it’s never lost on me that a lot of the job is just reminding people you exist! Despite all the times we talked I never once assumed that I was a shoo-in to get to work on Tacoma. So I’m glad I sent the email, and everything all worked out. 

Read more about the making of this trailer!

9. Ooblets - E3  Trailer

Another trailer for Ooblets! In my post above, I talked a great deal about the great debug camera tools for Ooblets; things only got better this time around.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

10. Full Throttle Remastered Story Trailer

I keep saying this, but this was a dream project! I can’t help that there’s so much cool stuff that I want to work on! The story of all the events that lead up to me getting to make this trailer is probably even more interesting than a behind the scenes look at the production.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

11. Tacoma - Launch Teaser

About a week before Tacoma’s release, Steve Gaynor of Fullbright asked me if I had time to make a short 30 sec “available now” launch trailer. Of course I said yes, but I knew I’d only have a weekend to do it since at the time I was working an agency gig during the day, and on top of that I had another project I was already working on at night.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

12. Orwell - Ignorance is Strength Announce Trailer

I was very surprised to see this gig in my inbox because I really liked the the first trailer for Orwell by Marlon Wiebe. It turned out Marlon was unavailable, so my name was on the short list for people to contact! This was one of the rare trailers where it's SO early in development that I had to create virtually everything on screen.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

13. Figment - Launch Trailer

I got this project by a referral from Kert Gartner! Figment is an adventure game made by Bedtime Digital Games. I was immediately drawn to it by the mix of hand drawn art and 3D. This trailer was a unique challenge because I had to integrate songs with lyrics, dialogue and sound effects.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

14. Absolver - Launch Trailer

Another trailer for Absolver! The other trailers I cut for Absolver were the announce and PSX trailers. The process of working on this was the same as the others, where I was brought on strictly as an editor because they came to me with a rough draft and capture they did in-house. This trailer has a bit more of a central story to it than the other ones.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

15. Wheels of Aurelia - App Previews

I got this gig via Kert Gartner and my friends at Campo Santo! This was one of my most challenging projects this year because of the sheer amount of work it took to make 3 app previews for 2 aspect ratios translated into 6 additional languages! Don't worry, it was even more work than that sounds like. This behind the scenes got very long.

Read more about the making of this trailer here!

16. Paperbark - Release Date Trailer

I first saw this game at PAX East 2017. I loved the art so much that I handed them a business card; several months later they contacted me about making a trailer! This is a simple trailer, but there are still lessons to be learned.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

17. Guacamelee 2 - Announce Trailer

Another gig referral from Kert Gartner!

I was pleasantly surprised and excited to see this email, because previously both Kert Gartner and Marlon Wiebe did great trailers for Drinkbox Studios on Guacamelee and Severed. Just goes to show you that there's a LOT of work out there, and when people have so much awesome stuff to work on, eventually difficult decisions have to be made. 

Read more about the making of this trailer!

18. Dead Cells - Brutal Update Trailer

This was another gig that I was amazed to see in my inbox! I liked previous trailers for Dead Cells, so I assumed that they already had someone helping them out. When I saw their booth at PAX West this year I didn't even bother going to hand them a business card, because I thought I'd be stepping on someone's toes. Just goes to show you can never assume, but it all worked out in the end!

Read more about the making of this trailer!

19. Luna VR Update & PC Release Date Trailer

I got this gig via Kert Gartner! Luna is a game by Funomena which was founded by Robin Hunicke and Martin Middleton who were previously members of That Game Company. I won't spoil the story of the game, but it centers around a small red bird. The game has primarily been at trade shows as a VR game, but will have a non-VR as well! 

Read more about the making of this trailer!

20. Unavowed Teaser Trailer

I got this gig from Marlon Wiebe, and a nice recommendation from Jake Rodkin of Campo Santo; thanks everyone for hooking me up! Dave Gilbert also thought I'd be a good fit based on my Thimbleweed Park and Firewatch trailers.

I've known about Wadjet Eye for a while, but admittedly I've only played a couple of their games. I love point and click adventure games, so there's really no good excuse. Dave cut the trailers for all his previous games, but communicating Unavowed's unique design was giving him headaches, so he sought out help.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

21. Octogeddon Release Date Teaser Trailer

I got this gig via my website! The seeds of this project originally started over a year ago when George Fan contacted me to help with the teaser trailer for his new game Octogeddon. If you don't know him by name, George is the creator of Plants vs Zombies O_O. The art in Octogeddon is by Rich Werner who was the artist for Plants vs Zombies.

Read more about the making of this trailer!