Hey Game Developers: Make Your Video Game Trailers like This If You Want Me to Buy Them

Hey everyone, this week I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite video game trailers and discuss why I love them.  Two AP English classes have made me fairly critical, and unfortunately/fortunately I overanalyze stuff now, which in fairness works with this post.

Before I get started, I’m going to briefly touch upon what types of games I like.  The first thing I look for in a game is a great story and characters, and it’s pretty rare for me to play/enjoy a game that doesn’t at least have some effort put into the writing and story.  The second thing I look for, or rather listen for (pun totally intended), is a good soundtrack.  If I’m going to be spending a decent chunk of time playing something, I want there to be a memorable score (or in some cases curated actual music) that is emotionally evocative and fits well with the purpose of a scene.  This explains why many of my favorite games have larger soundtracks, with each scene having at least a unique arranged BGM (background music).   After music, I look for graphics/gameplay.  A key part of a good video game is immersion, and clunky gameplay and graphics can easily get in the way of this.  I don’t care if the graphics are photorealistic, but I do want them to have effort put into them and fit the tone of the game.  Lastly, I look for replay value.  I don’t usually replay games, and I don’t really actively look for this in a game.  However, in the rare case when I do find a game with good replay value, that’s always a plus.  More bang for my buck.

Having discussed that, there is a difference between a good game and a good game trailer.  They’re two completely different art forms.  Video game trailers used to be an afterthought thrown together at the end of a game’s development cycle.  Now whole studios exist just for the sake of creating trailers, and trailers can sometimes make or break a game.  So here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite video game trailers:

  • Banner Saga (Launch Trailer)

A fine example of a cinematic trailer that showcases some of the game’s best moments without spoiling the plot.  Set to an evocative track (That unfortunately never made it into the final game.  At least the final OST is still fantastic) this trailer excellently portrays the dramatic contrast between bleak and beautiful that is the Banner Saga.

  • This War of Mine (Teaser Trailer)

The teaser trailer for This War of Mine does an excellent job of setting up your expectations and then dashing them.  Sure, it’s a “war game” but definitely not in the traditional sense.   While it’s absent in the beginning the end of the trailer does a nice job of showing off the pencil-sketch aesthetic of the games.  Also, the trailer is set to the beginning of Gyöngyhajú Lány, an iconic Eastern European Prog-Rock song, which conveys a sense of “iconic-ness” to aware audiences.

  • Tropico 6 (Announcement Trailer):

While this game may not be out yet, Tropico 6’s announcement trailer gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect without showing any actual gameplay footage.  More of the absurdist, satirical Dictator-Simulator gameplay and story, all the while subtly teasing new features.  It even manages to take a few subtle jabs at the current political clime, cementing it as “relevant” (of course who knows if they’ll be relevant when the game comes out, development cycles are rife with delays these days).

  • The Pillars of the Earth (Launch Trailer)

Several times this launch trailer reminds you of it’s narrative-based and novel-derived gameplay.  And while it could be argued that adventure games like this are basically interactive cutscenes, remarkably this entire trailer consists solely of actual gameplay footage (all of which looks great).

  • Telltale’s Walking Dead: The Final Season (General Trailer)

By not focusing on zombies, and rather on people, Telltale reminds the audience of what their series is all about.  It does an excellent job of making an ordinarily mundane nursery rhyme into something unnerving.  It also hints at the unsettling differences between our world’s childhood and that of the apocalypses’.   And finally, it ends with a “throwback” image, which immediately feels familiar to series fans, and frankly, anyone who’s ever been on the internet, raising hopes that it will be a return to form after the (mostly) terrible third season.

  • Sunless Skies (Early Access Trailer #2)

Fast-paced and filled with rapid-fire images, the Albion Region trailer for Sunless Skies shows off the games ability to balance the absurd and serious.

  • Final Fantasy XV (PS4 Trailer)

This trailer may have too much going on, but that’s exactly what makes it great.  Final Fantasy XV is a big game that mashes together a traditional fantasy world with realism.  The PS4 trailer does a good job of showing off the gameplay, story, major characters, and stunning graphics of the game.

  • Banner Saga 3 (Music Preview)

What, I’m not allowed to do the same series twice?  I can’t help if Stoic is really good at making trailers!  I love how this trailer focuses on the music of the game, all while managing to sneak a few fleeting glimpses of new footage in at the same time.

 

That’s all I have for this post!  Thanks for taking the time to read (and watch), make sure to link to or name your favorite game trailer in the comments!

 

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Eight Courses I Hope Are Taught in the Future

As those of you reading this may or may not be aware, I have a blog.  For those of you who were not aware of this fact, what you are reading presently is in fact a blog post.  My intentions have always been to post somewhat frequently, but due to many factors such as school, work, and an unfortunate number of good movies in theaters have lead to me neglecting this duty.  So what follows, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, is a blog post.

Some of us have fond memories of our favorite classes in high school and college.  Others completely hated school altogether.  And a few of us don’t even remember school at all.  Below (or up, if you are reading this whilst upside down) is a list of eight courses I wish were taught in school, most of which have no value whatsoever but would be fun nevertheless.

  1. Meme Studies Honors: Unless of course you’ve never been on the internet or your Aunt’s Facebook page (wait, that’s still the internet), you are aware of the blessing and curse memes are on humanity.  In addition to being incredibly amusing, memes are also unnervingly influential.  Take the last U.S. Presidential election for example, certain Russian groups were able to instigate a whole lot of divisiveness with just a few poorly captioned images.  Or, that post of your Aunt’s Facebook page that used pictures of Minions from Despicable Me to convince you that climate change was a hoax.  As you can see, tomorrow’s leaders, wage workers, and tax evaders need to be equipped with the knowledge necessary to navigate the meme-saturated future.
  2. AP Lunch: Knowing how to make lunch is a relatively useful skill for those who enjoy not starving or for those who not John Cisna’s “My McDonald’s Diet”.  Spend 18 weeks mastering the art of sandwich-craft and microwave science.  Also, boost your GPA with an easy 5.0!
  3. AICE Cheating Skills: In the world of turnitin.com and intelligent teachers, our students are finding it increasingly harder to swindle their way to graduation.  Equip your students with the skills they need to succeed in a world where integrity matters!
  4. Math for College Readiness: Experience a math class so easy it’s designed for slackers and Seniors who’ve failed Standardized testing!  Sleep your way through two semesters as you engage in a rigorous day-by-day grind consisting of 20 minutes of review of the last three years of high school, followed by another 30 of sitting on your phone.  Oh, wait, you’re telling me this class already exists?  And it’s taught at most schools?  Never mind then….
  5. Google for College Readiness: Hail from an isolated rural community or super-strict home-school family?  Then this 101 class is just for you!  Spend one semester learning the basics of keyboard use, procrastination, and the No Internet Game.  Impress your friends back home with your newfound life skills.
  6. Pre-IB Pig Latin: Why bother learning a real language when you could learn a fake one?  Rearrange and replace those letters as your strive for an A!
  7. Values of Anecdotal Evidence in Speech and Debate I: Tired of losing in arguments?  Fed up with not getting your point across?  Then get ready to master making up statistics and quoting your childhood experiences in order to blow the opposition away!  Weave a complicated web of truths and half-truths as you bewilder your opponent in heated debates!  Now with integrated Trump Tweets in the second semester!
  8. AP Pop Culture References: Let’s face it, the only thing keeping most people from joining the top 1% is a lack of pop culture knowledge.  Buckle-down for a crash-course in everything from the MCU to the DCEU to Steam-Sale Culture.  Get ready to get learnt!

Welp, that’s it.  With these eight courses our education system could experience unprecedented reform the likes of which we’ve never seen before.  Are there any courses you felt were left out of this list?  Comment below to share!

 

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An Extremely Late, Less Serious Post

Hey, anyone remember when I said three weeks ago that I was going to be posting weekly again?  No one?  Well, me neither, but I figured Spring Break was as good a time as any to start.  So, as some of you may remember I promised a less serious post (which is a bummer ’cause I had a few very good serious posts in mind).  So today I’m going to teach you how to turn your handwriting in to a font.

Now, some of you may be wondering, why would I need/want my handwriting as a font?  Others, like me, are wondering, so how do I do this, I’ve been waiting my whole life to type in my handwriting on my computer.  I regret to inform the latter group, that you’re going to have to wait a little while longer.

For those who still aren’t convinced, here’s a few reasons as to why you need a handwriting font in your life.

  1. Bragging Rights
  2. Typing up handwritten notes
  3. Just because

Wait, that’s it?  I couldn’t come up with any other reasons?  If you can come up with any other reasons, comment below.  Now, on to the part where I actually tell you how to do it.

  1. First, go to this website.
  2. Second, download and print the provided template (PDF works best, and any standard printing paper should be fine).  It says you can do it in a paint program, but I would strongly suggest against that.  It won’t look anything like your handwriting.
  3. Using a thin sharpie or felt tip pen write each letter, symbol and character inside the form.  Don’t trace the letter, write them in each box as you would write the letter normally (unless of course you write outrageously large, then of course you may want to write a tad smaller).
  4. Now, scan the page onto your computer (depending on your setup this may be indirect or direct, you may wish to have a USB flash drive on hand).  Make sure you scan it black and white, and if your scanner has the option, scan it as 300 dpi and as a .jpeg or .pdf file format.
  5. Back on the same website as before, upload the scan we just created.  Give it a name.  Mine was called ParkerScript.  Wow, such an original name.  For compatibility purposes, you may want to convert it to a TTF file.  OTF works to, just not with some very old programs and computers (i.e. more than 10 years old).
  6. Download your font.  Double-click the file.  Congratulations, your handwriting is now a font on your computer!  Open up your favorite offline text editor and try using it!

Please note that this tutorial will probably not work for your phone, or any online text editor such as Google Docs or Office Online.

Whooh, that took me all of ten minutes to write.  It hopefully took you even less than that to complete the tutorial.  That’s all for this week.

 

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