A Year of Making Indie Game Trailers - 2018

Somehow, 2018 was even busier than last year. I made 21 trailers for 18 games and in 2018 I made 24 trailers for 21 games!!! This doesn’t even include a trailer I finished, but has not come out because the game was delayed.

Again, I had the opportunity and privilege to work with so many amazing developers, many of whom I worked with for the first time ever, but also a bunch of welcome familiar faces either for new versions of the game or new studios formed from old ones! This year I heard from numerous people my name is mentioned regularly in indie game circles when asking about trailers, so I’m forever grateful for anyone who’s worked with me or had something good to say about me and my work. I seriously could not do it without you!

This year is also the first ever where I did 100% indie work, with no in-office work for trailer houses in Los Angeles!

Some things that I accomplished in 2018 that I'm particularly proud of:

1. Subnautica - Launch Trailer

I got this gig via Ryan Clark from Brace Yourself Games which was doubly flattering because I've never worked with Ryan before. This is one of the biggest games I've ever worked on as an individual freelancer. I had some major missteps at the beginning of the project, but it all worked out.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

2. Dead Cells - Console Announce Trailer

Motion Twin re-hired me a little last minute to make this trailer for their console release. Dead Cells is so much fun to play, the music is always epic, and they have great debug tools so I couldn't say no.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

4. Octogeddon - Launch Trailer

George had a very clear idea for this trailer over a year before the game was finished, so it was up to me to take his vision, and make it nice and shiny.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

5. Orwell: Ignorance is Strength - Launch Trailer

This trailer was pretty much put together entirely based on the voiceover. The tricky part was to keep it engaging when the whole game is full of UI and reading. The editing was pretty straightforward since the voiceover was pretty locked down. There were some sections that I removed either because of redundancy or I just didn't think they were relevant to the trailer's narrative. 

Picking visuals for this was pretty much just finding moments in the game that matched what was being said on screen as best as possible, and using a lot of zooms and pans to keep the images moving. I did my best to keep shots a short as possible because when there's text on screen and it lingers for anything longer than a moment, I feel like the audience will think they're expected to read it. Whenever possible I kept text to a minimum like during the call surveillance shot.

Originally we started the trailer with the questionnaire that starts the game, but we decided it was slowing things down too much, so we skipped straight to the voiceover. For the majority of the footage I captured at 4K to reduce any blurriness that might occur from upscaling 1080p footage.

6. Way of the Passive Fist - Launch Trailer

I immediately fell in love with this game when I saw it at PlayStation Experience 2017, and handed them a business card in hopes they'd contact me to make a trailer, which I'm happy to say they did! This was one of those rare trailers where the idea for how to make it came to mind almost right away, it was just a matter of executing it.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

7. Thimbleweed Park - Ransome DLC

This was just a quick little trailer to make. Ron sent me a lot of footage of Ransome swearing, and some title cards to structure the trailer around. I sorted the swears based on whether Ransome was insulting someone, using "fuck" as an intensifier, saying "fuck you", or using it to describe nouns. I treated it like a supercut, and re-organized the swears in a way that sounded pleasing to me. It'd been a while since I edited any supercuts, so it was fun to play around with.

8. Pode - Teaser

I've been following the development of Pode for a long time, and I got to play it for the first time at The MIX at PAX West 2017. I made it through the entire demo and handed them a business card, and they responded to me! This trailer was pretty simple to execute, but it definitely helped that I had outside forces controlling the scope of it.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

9. The Adventure Pals - Launch Trailer

I got this gig via Ben Wasser from Glumberland. Thanks Ben!

The Adventure Pals is an action platformer game that is juicy/crunchy as all heck. Ironically it was very difficult to figure out what this trailer would look like.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

10. The Stillness of the Wind - Announce Trailer

This is another game being published by Surprise Attack Games who I worked with on Orwell: Ignorance is Strength.

The Stillness of the Wind is a full game based on the small game Where the Goats Are which you can play for free on Itch.io. From playing the free Itch.io game I was instantly intrigued by what I could possibly do for the expanded game. 

Read more about the making of this trailer!

11. Tacoma - PS4 Launch Trailer

This is the third trailer I've made for Tacoma. Making a second or third trailer is always a mix of feelings because being forced to find new ways to tell a story is challenging, but at the same time having constraints can be freeing since you can narrow your focus.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

12. The Forgotten City - Announce Trailer

The Forgotten City is a game based on the ambitious award willing Skyrim mod by Nick Pearce who found me from my work on Firewatch. This trailer debuted at the PC Gaming Show at E3 2018!

Read more about the making of this trailer!

13. Neo Cab - Announce Trailer

I got this gig because its lead Patrick Ewing was a programmer on Firewatch. Neo Cab is an emotional survival cyberpunk game set in the near future where you’re the last human driver on the road. This games trailer also debuted at the PC Gaming Show!

Read more about the making of this trailer!

14. Bravery Network Online - Announce Trailer

Bravery Network is a turn based online multiplayer game similar to Pokemon being made by Gloam Collective, and published by Untitled Publisher, a new indie game publisher co-created by Chris Dwyer with whom I worked on A Boy and His Blob, and the console release of Gone Home. This also showed at the PC Gaming Show!

Read more about the making of this trailer!

15. Ooblets - E3 2018 Trailer

My third trailer for Ooblets, this time feature DANCE BATTLES! You might notice a pattern here, but this also debuted at the PC Gaming Show. That was a busy couple of months O_O

Read more about the making of this trailer!

16. The American Dream - Launch Trailer

I got this gig via a referral from Kert Gartner all the way back in April 2017. I talked a lot to the team about some early trailers, but this is the first one I made for them. The American Dream is a VR satirical look at gun culture in America.

17. Dead Cells - Launch Trailer

My final trailer for Dead Cells as they reached version 1.0!

18. Anamorphine - Launch Trailer

I got this gig via a referral from Nels Anderson who worked on Firewatch. Anamorphine is a surreal first person exploration game dealing with depression.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

19. Morphies Law - Launch Trailer

I got this gig after Cosmoscope saw my GDC talk about game capture! I’d seen this game many years ago, so I recognized it immediately when it came into my inbox. It’s a team based multiplayer game where when you shoot the limbs of other players, the mass of those limbs gets transferred to your own.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

20. Guacamelee! 2 - Launch Trailer

The final launch for Guacamelee! 2. A no nonsense, crunchy gameplay trailer.

21. Spelunky 2 - Gameplay Trailer

I got this directly from Derek Yu via Twitter! Spelunky 2 is the sequel to Spelunky, and it’s way more Spelunky. I like Spelunky.

Read more about the making of this trailer!

22. Agent A - Console Announce

23. Subnautica - Console Launch

24. Firewatch - Nintendo Switch Launch

Bonus - Bloodroots Reveal Trailer

This is my first consultation job where I helped take a rough draft, and guide it towards the final project. I didn’t touch a single game build, and no footage ever entered my timeline, but knowing where it started from the first email, I feel good knowing I helped it reach its potential.

Congrats to Raphael Toulouse who I worked with on this trailer!