[Updated] Video trailer to showcase BfW artwork

Contribute art for mainline Wesnoth.

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Dave
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Post by Dave »

Excellent! :)

I think this is ready to be put on the front page!

David
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jro
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A few ideas

Post by jro »

Sorry for posting this late. I started writing it three days ago and just now got around to finishing it.

I think making a video to promote Wesnoth is a great idea, and I think you've done a good job of picking out relevant aspects of the game to highlight. I thought I'd provide some of my thoughts on the video, and how to possibly improve it. I've written a lot, but please don't take that as a slight.

I think the spinning sphere w/ the map of Wesnoth at the beginning moves too slowly. It's not like you can really see the map, anyway, so you're just kind of sitting there waiting for the sphere to roll on. I think maybe starting with the map on screen (undeformed), and then using the "growing flame" effect from the middle of the map with the Wesnoth logo growing out of it as now might look better and better fit the idea of what's happening (Wesnoth at war). You'd need a new transition into the story paintings, though.

I love the smoke effects in the still paintings. I think what would look fantastic is if the foregrounds and backgrounds of the paintings could be isolated from each other, so they could independently move as the camera pans, creating a parallax effect. This is certainly hard to do, but I'm sure it would look fantastic. I think the painting section could possibly also use some titles along the lines of "A land under seige / a King betrayed / a Prince called forth", just to establish the story a bit.

The copy "Runs on Linux/on Macs/and Windows" doesn't scan right, and takes what should be one feature of the game (compatability) and spreads it over three titles. To put it another way, none of the other titles break up a single "bullet point" over multiple titles (unless "multiplayer internet play" is meant to be one point, but it reads fine as "multiplayer / internet play"). Something like "For Linux, OS X, & Windows" on one title would be preferable if it could fit. If it doesn't fit, find a way to make it fit. For instance, putting the compatability text on the final screen might make more sense logically, while the "28 languages" part could go in the "features" section (w/ perhaps the game menu in another language underneath).

Should the "fully customizable" thing show some WML in the background maybe? It would have to be properly marked up and colored for it to look good. Maybe showing an onscreen change resulting from WML change (that might be too much too show in such a short time-- or just not worth the effort). Real geeks would probably flip out if you mentioned "fully scriptable", so maybe that would hook some people and give you some time to show the WML/game change.

What's the point of the big gray banner/fabric at the bottom of the screen? It really obscures a lot of game material. Could it be made smaller or eliminated? The only time when it isn't just obscuring what's behind it is during the sequence of portraits in the "ring of fire", but I think you could change that too. For instance, what about having the rings appear in different places throughout the screen, so that the portraits accumulate rather than disappear? I do like the pace and portrait selection in the latest version.

The speed at which the text at the end of the video appears is kind of agonizingly slow. Just upping the speed might look kind of silly, though. Maybe having the text appear through a vertical fade rather than horizontal fade would fix that. It could also appear quicker, with perhaps a sword slashing sound if you want to get really flashy. (I think the soundtrack could use some punching up in general.)

As for the text at the end, I do think the current description is kind of sterile. While certainly accurate, it doesn't leave much of a strong impression. It's like if someone called the NES Ninja Gaiden "A side-scrolling platform-jumping game with a ninja theme". What I'm saying is I think it's too focused on mechanics to serve as much of a "tagline" for the game. If you're looking for just a description and not a tagline, then I don't think you can improve it much. I'd probably move the jargon like "turn-based" to the "features" section, and just use a simple tagline here "[bigfont]Join the Fight![/bigfont]/ [empty space] / on Linux, OS X, and Windows at/ [bigfont] wesnoth.org[/bigfont]" (You definitely don't need to write "http://".)

Again, let me say that I do like the video, but I think it can definitely be made more dynamic and better represent the game. I know that ideas are cheap and work is hard, so if you'd like to run with any of these I'd be glad to help however I can.

Thanks!

PS. I know I'm a Wesnoth noob, but I think I've demonstrated some video/promo savvy here, so please don't bite my head off.

torangan
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Post by torangan »

I think some of your comments have merit. I won't judge about the purely graphical things since I'm not good at this stuff but I disagree about the Linux, Mac and Windows part. In my opinion it's a nice emphasize that it's running on all three in the current way.
Showing WML isn't the right thing for a trailer, it's too specific and won't appeal to pure players. Might rather push those away.
The only graphical thing I'd support is to reduce the size of the banner (waves I'd say?) a little. It does differentiate the game part from the text appearing in the bottom.
WesCamp-i18n - Translations for User Campaigns:
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jro
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Post by jro »

torangan wrote:I disagree about the Linux, Mac and Windows part. In my opinion it's a nice emphasize that it's running on all three in the current way.
I agree that emphasis is important. I think the best way to emphasize it would be to put it at the end of the trailer, where it's on-screen for longer. If design-wise it's kept the same, it should definitely be changed for textual clarity to either "Runs on Linux / Mac OS X / and Windows" or "Runs on Linux / On Mac OS X / and on Windows"
Showing WML isn't the right thing for a trailer, it's too specific and won't appeal to pure players. Might rather push those away.
That is a concern, for sure. What I was really trying to find was a way to represent the idea of "fully customizable", because what's going on in the background at that point has nothing to do with being "fully customizable".
The only graphical thing I'd support is to reduce the size of the banner (waves I'd say?) a little. It does differentiate the game part from the text appearing in the bottom.
Initially I thought so too, but at the end, the banner is pulled down and you see the text on the game in the background, and it's still perfectly readable and recognizable. I checked the other screens that are shown, and it doesn't seem like any of them would have a color conflict with the text (generally the background is the dark menu screen). As you say, maybe a reduction would work best-- right now the banner takes up about 1/3 of the screen. Maybe half of that could be tried.

torangan
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Post by torangan »

jro wrote:That is a concern, for sure. What I was really trying to find was a way to represent the idea of "fully customizable", because what's going on in the background at that point has nothing to do with being "fully customizable".
I think people who're willing to go down this route are used to taking a deeper look at documentation. Showing them WML won't tell much and confuse others - is this part of the game as in seen while playing?
jro wrote:Initially I thought so too, but at the end, the banner is pulled down and you see the text on the game in the background, and it's still perfectly readable and recognizable.
I've noticed that as well but the difference is that it seperates the screen in two parts making it obvious that two different things are going on. You're shown in game scenes along with text. Not to forget that it's simply flashing and visually appealing - you need this kind of stuff in a trailer. Optimizing the size is a different matter but I'll let radoz judge this.
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quartex
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Post by quartex »

I'm really impressed by this video. I think it's great promotional material. I just sent it to a friend who has been unsure about Wesnoth to try to convert him. Thanks for including a shot from UTBS, the desert battle looks really nice.

radoz
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Re: A few ideas

Post by radoz »

jro wrote:Sorry for posting this late. I started writing it three days ago and just now got around to finishing it. *snip*
jro, thanks a lot for your indepth feedback and thoughts on the video.

Before I reply to each of your paragraphs one by one, let me say that I don't think we should change the video any further at this point for these reasons:
  • - Your are too late ;)
    - If I start editing again at this point, I guarantee you that the video will never be finished, we'll always find ways to improve it, discuss this or that, likes and dislikes
    - The overall feedback of the community is very positive regarding the current version
    - The boss (=Dave) already gave a "Go"
    - It's definitely good enough for a start. BfW hasn't had a video like that before to my knowledge, and some of us - including me - already have some other ideas for videos regarding BfW. We couldn't possible put everything into one 70 secs trailer and make everybody happy.
Since you put a lot of effort into your remarks, let me try to do the same replying to them:
jro wrote:I think making a video to promote Wesnoth is a great idea, and I think you've done a good job of picking out relevant aspects of the game to highlight. I thought I'd provide some of my thoughts on the video, and how to possibly improve it. I've written a lot, but please don't take that as a slight.
It's very nice to get detailed feedback like that, don't worry.
jro wrote:I think the spinning sphere w/ the map of Wesnoth at the beginning moves too slowly. It's not like you can really see the map, anyway, so you're just kind of sitting there waiting for the sphere to roll on. I think maybe starting with the map on screen (undeformed), and then using the "growing flame" effect from the middle of the map with the Wesnoth logo growing out of it as now might look better and better fit the idea of what's happening (Wesnoth at war). You'd need a new transition into the story paintings, though.
I disagree here completely, I think the speed of the sphere along with the music to introduce the logo and map is quite nice for the first seconds of such a clip. Also, introducing the idea of "Wesnoth at war" is exactly what I think is happening when you see the map (world of Wesnoth globe) move into the fire. Plus, I think the idea of a map and logo and then following a burning fire shouldn't be done anymore after the sixties series "Bonanza" ;)
jro wrote:I think what would look fantastic is if the foregrounds and backgrounds of the paintings could be isolated from each other, so they could independently move as the camera pans, creating a parallax effect.
Sure that would be cool, tried that already three weeks ago. Result: Can't be done without the original artist, would require at least three layers of new images created by the artist, would not be worth the effort for a few seconds onscreen, this is not Disney studios, we would fake (even more) imagery/video sequences which does not exist in the game itself, you would create a very high level of expectation which can't be fulfilled with the remaining video sequences.
jro wrote:This is certainly hard to do, but I'm sure it would look fantastic.
Yes, it would look great. Don't think I haven't drifted away from reality many times when editing and started fantasizing about what else would be really cool. Like ask one of my buddies if he can do the globe in real 3D including bumpmap, real shading etc. (he will when he finds the time, btw.), ask for a high-res logo and do that in 3D, too, etc. etc. All this is nice and fine, but there's a point where you need to say "No, but maybe next time... This should get finished before christmas."
jro wrote:I think the painting section could possibly also use some titles along the lines of "A land under seige / a King betrayed / a Prince called forth", just to establish the story a bit.
Yes, would be nice. But don't you think we already have quite a lot of text squeezed into such a short clip? Also, I think the pictures are so well done, they tell the story by themselves.
jro wrote:The copy "Runs on Linux/on Macs/and Windows" doesn't scan right, and takes what should be one feature of the game (compatability) and spreads it over three titles.
There's simply no way it would fit into one, with all the action in the background, we should keep each phrase as short as possible. One word preferably.
jro wrote:To put it another way, none of the other titles break up a single "bullet point" over multiple titles (unless "multiplayer internet play" is meant to be one point, but it reads fine as "multiplayer / internet play"). Something like "For Linux, OS X, & Windows" on one title would be preferable if it could fit. If it doesn't fit, find a way to make it fit. For instance, putting the compatability text on the final screen might make more sense logically, while the "28 languages" part could go in the "features" section (w/ perhaps the game menu in another language underneath).
All of this makes sense (except for the "If it doesn't fit, find a way to make it fit"). You sound like a veteran TV boss here ;)
jro wrote:Should the "fully customizable" thing show some WML in the background maybe? It would have to be properly marked up and colored for it to look good.
Do you think a game trailer should display code? Marked up code in colors might look appealing to nerds like us, but certainly not for a general audience :)
jro wrote:Maybe showing an onscreen change resulting from WML change (that might be too much too show in such a short time-- or just not worth the effort). Real geeks would probably flip out if you mentioned "fully scriptable", so maybe that would hook some people and give you some time to show the WML/game change.
As you said - too much too show in such a short time. Nobody would understand that.
jro wrote:What's the point of the big gray banner/fabric at the bottom of the screen? It really obscures a lot of game material.
*meep* Actually, it obscures blank, black space below most of the ingame screen captures.
jro wrote:Could it be made smaller or eliminated? The only time when it isn't just obscuring what's behind it is during the sequence of portraits in the "ring of fire", but I think you could change that too.
As said, it obscures unfilled space almost throughout it's existence in the timeline. Also, it makes a nice backdrop for the text.
jro wrote:For instance, what about having the rings appear in different places throughout the screen, so that the portraits accumulate rather than disappear?
There's no room for 4 portraits at the same time, plus I think it would not better the "drama". One of them would be onscreen really long compared to the last one to come in, don't you think?
jro wrote:The speed at which the text at the end of the video appears is kind of agonizingly slow.
I think I questioned this slow speed some pages ago in this thread, too. But on the other hand, don't forget that first-time viewers are quite overwhelmed with all the imagery, copy and stuff anyway.
jro wrote:Just upping the speed might look kind of silly, though.
Yep
jro wrote:Maybe having the text appear through a vertical fade rather than horizontal fade would fix that.
Well...
jro wrote:It could also appear quicker, with perhaps a sword slashing sound if you want to get really flashy. (I think the soundtrack could use some punching up in general.)
Mentioned adding additional sound effects, too, some pages ago. Now, we could do a lot of things with sound effects, but I felt like cheating here if the actual game does not provide those sounds, as opposed to the music used which really is from the game.
jro wrote:As for the text at the end, I do think the current description is kind of sterile. While certainly accurate, it doesn't leave much of a strong impression. It's like if someone called the NES Ninja Gaiden "A side-scrolling platform-jumping game with a ninja theme". What I'm saying is I think it's too focused on mechanics to serve as much of a "tagline" for the game. If you're looking for just a description and not a tagline, then I don't think you can improve it much. I'd probably move the jargon like "turn-based" to the "features" section, and just use a simple tagline here "[bigfont]Join the Fight![/bigfont]/ [empty space] / on Linux, OS X, and Windows at/ [bigfont] wesnoth.org[/bigfont]" (You definitely don't need to write "http://".)
Well, as said before neither is English my first language nor do I work in the BfW marketing department, so I can't say much about actual tone of copy. But it was my impression that the language used on wesnoth.org is (and wants to be?) different from a NES Ninja game. Anyway, I simply copied it from the webpage of BfW.
jro wrote:Again, let me say that I do like the video, but I think it can definitely be made more dynamic and better represent the game. I know that ideas are cheap and work is hard, so if you'd like to run with any of these I'd be glad to help however I can.
I don't think ideas are cheap, but in this concrete case I simply don't know what to make of them given the current, first video trailer.
jro wrote:PS. I know I'm a Wesnoth noob
So am I
but I think I've demonstrated some video/promo savvy here, so please don't bite my head off.
Nah, not bite it off... :D
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scott
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Post by scott »

Can we start putting this on places like youtube.com and the like?
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radoz
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Post by radoz »

quartex wrote:I'm really impressed by this video. I think it's great promotional material. I just sent it to a friend who has been unsure about Wesnoth to try to convert him. Thanks for including a shot from UTBS, the desert battle looks really nice.
Thanks :D I have to admit that I simply forgot about certain terrain, like the desert, before torangan pointed it out to me. I live near the Alps, I guess I was too fascinated with the mountains and woods in BfW ;)
scott wrote: Can we start putting this on places like youtube.com and the like?
At this moment I'm uploading a practically lossless version for torangan in H.264 640 x 480, 30 frames per second, 192kBit audio. File size is 45 MB (down from 2.2 Gig original video). Would that be any good for youtube?

Please note that from the beginning I tried to make the video look okay at 320 x 240, too. That's only a quarter of the original size, thus saving a lot of bandwidth. Maybe we should offer two different sizes for viewers? As you can see in my last post I also created a 480 x 360 version in Flash video (as youtube uses), that resolution seems like a good compromise of filesize and quality, too.
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scott
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Post by scott »

The limit is 100 MB. Maybe I could start small with the 10 MB 640x480 then update it with the higher quality version?
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radoz
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Post by radoz »

As long as it's the 10 MB H.264 file I'm sure it's good enough for youtube.com, should you need any other file format or size just let me know. I just read their upload how-to, too bad they wouldn't accept an original Flash video (or do they?) like they use themselves, because I have the software here to produce that without them re-encoding it.
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scott
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Post by scott »

It gets shrunk down to 320x240 anyway. I will try the 5 MB version and see if the compression comes out better for the smaller size.

Edit: Ugh. The 320x240 compression was horrible. I'll go back to the 640x480 size and leave it.
Last edited by scott on April 25th, 2006, 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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torangan
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Post by torangan »

Would be nice if you'd wait for the Matroska file with Theora/Vorbis video/audio for upload. Promoting a Free game should be done in Free formats if possible.
WesCamp-i18n - Translations for User Campaigns:
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radoz
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Post by radoz »

As far as youtube is concerned, it doesn't really matter since they'll re-encode it, anyway. Different story on wesnoth.org, I assume.
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scott
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Post by scott »

Well, it's up. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIt69vznegs

Comment, vote, tell your friends, etc. Maybe we can get this thing on the front page of the favorites.
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Wesnoth acronym guide.

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