The primary goal of this trailer was to showcase the new dance battle system. Previously, Ooblets had a Pokemon style of combat where the Ooblets are pit against each other in battles where they hit and scratch each other. Becky and Ben realized this didn't fit tone of Ooblets, so dance battles were the answer!
Their idea was to open the trailer with a "duel" between Ooblets that turns out to be a dance battle. Beyond that, they wanted to show some farming, and the variety of new features in the game like: furniture, plant life, cakes, and machines.
I spent a lot of time worrying about the look and feel of this trailer, because I didn't want the trailer to feel like a rehash of the previous ones. I think if a trailer released a year after the previous one doesn't look significantly different, you can't help but wonder: "Is there nothing new to show of this game?" At the same time, the core features of the game have to be included to accommodate people unfamiliar with Ooblets.
This is why I like trailers to feel very different or tackle separate features. I think as a trailer campaign progresses either the scope has to expand, or it has to go in deep on something very specific. Fortunately, there was a LOT of new stuff going on in Ooblets.
I wanted to make the game look much bigger than before. I researched Ooblets forum and YouTube comments to see if there was anything people were looking forward to which I didn't cover in the first trailers. The Animal Crossing style NPC interaction is what I chose to highlight.
In the previous trailers, there were a lot of shots of the player running around, but they didn't feel connected to the world. To make the world of Oob feel like an inviting place, I thought it would be cool for NPCs to wave at the player when they run by. This is one of many features Becky implemented into the build I used to capture from.
The other stylistic choice I made were the series of what I deemed "Wes Anderson montages" where I center framed quick montages of plants, machines and cakes. A handy debug tool Becky added was the ability to copy the camera's current position to the computer's clipboard, then paste it back if I needed to restore its position either to its global position or one relative to the player. Without that function it'd be virtually impossible to get the camera back to the precise position necessary. (I've since added this option to my debug tools post)
I've watched enough duels in Ennio Morricone films to have a general sense of how to film the Ooblets dance off, but I watched a few clips to refresh my memory. Becky made a special build that allowed me to use the freecam in a dance battle an some hotkeys to trigger the boomboxes, dance lights and Ooblets rushing in to watch. She also gave me hotkeys to control the Ooblets' idle states. In my early rough cut I used another function she added to freeze time and move the camera around.
Petting Ooblets is a feature a lot of people (myself included) wanted to know about, so of course I had to include it! Becky put in some custom animations for the Ooblets, but I only had time to feature a couple.
A very handy tool I had was the ability to automatically till the soil in the farm. I had options to till it all, or in rows or columns. Then I could press a button to grow a bunch of random crops. That saved me a TON of time.
In my outline cut I used this clip from the anime "Dai Mahou Touge" (aka Magical Witch Punie-chan). I only used it as a placeholder to indicate I was going to show Ooblets sprouting out, but Becky made me an amazing tool to grow a bunch of random Ooblets and then press a button to make them hatch all at the same time. I expanded that section because it looked so good!
The furniture section was inspired by some screenshots posted on the Ooblets devlog. Becky rigged up a bunch of themed furniture sets that I could swap out by clicking on some buttons. I originally tried capturing them separate and hoping they cut together, but the axes wobbled a bit, so they never came out perfect. I realized the backdrop was perfectly even, so instead I slowly rotated the platform and clicked between the sets live, match up the cuts to the music, and later erase the visible buttons and cursor by covering it with a purple matte.
Becky also wanted to show some of the interiors. I only put a fraction of what was in the build, but she built them up with NPCs so they'd look lively as I walked through them. The Dance Barn was another new place in the game. I used it to show a mix of more dance battling and just NPCs dancing together.
The final shots and also the balloon shot from earlier in the trailer are there to show how big the game is. I really wanted to have more wide shots in this trailer, and the new environments made it very easy to do. The very last shot has the camera offset a little bit so that by the time the camera is very wide, buildings fill the entire screen.
That's it! Becky and Ben loved it, and I got a lot of positive feedback from Double Fine after sending the cut in, and it received a fantastic response when it was released at E3!