RedOwl wrote:terra0nova and I watched all the trailers you linked, and we were actually somewhat unimpressed with the first trailers, even though they were cinematic, complex, etc. - mainly because we just don't care much about those types of games. We weren't "converted."
I think that this gets at an important point, which is that AAA and indie tend to have different marketing goals.
Going back to the Battlefield example, Battlefield is marketing to an existing (and large) mainstream audience. They're competing against games like Call of Duty and Halo and Gears of War. This really becomes apparent if you watch the 99 problems trailer for Battlefield 3
, which is full of media quotes like "The most realistic shooter yet" and "shooter of the year." They even end with the slogan "above and beyond the call," which clearly calls to mind the idiom "above and beyond the call of duty," which is kind of a capstone on the commercial which is basically intended to convey the message, "This is why you should buy Battlefield instead of Call of Duty." If you're not already part of that first-person shooter audience, none of this is going to appeal to you. And that's okay, because the audience for those games is large enough that they are fine with just going after the people who already play realistic military FPS games.
AAA marketing is often about saying, "You already like these kinds of games, and we're the best one." Indie marketing often has to take the approach of, "You've never played a game like this, but here's why you're going to like it." It's not as if a game like Long Live the Queen is facing stiff competition for the "hardcore princess survival game" genre.
RedOwl wrote:I am still curious about what makes great promotional material for a more classic VN
I'm probably not the first one to make this observation, but pretty much all bishoujo games have the same opening. It becomes really obvious and recognizable when you see it; Key games like Clannad
and Little Busters
, and honestly I've disliked this style for a long time because everything about it always screamed "boring and generic" to me. But the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. The point of these openings is basically, "Here are all the pretty girls that you are going to romance," and for a lot of people, that is the point of the game. They're showing up so that they can see (and romance) a bunch of aesthetically pleasing characters), so for those people, seeing an image slideshow that shows all of the character designs over inoffensive pop music is exactly what they want. And if you're of the belief that visuals are what draw people to VNs, this might be the most effective way to present the game.
Incidentally, I think that I could be bouncing off of the Key trailers for the same reason you bounced off of the AAA trailers I linked in the previous post. It seems like the Key trailers are intended to appeal to the kind of people who are already into bishoujo games in a big way, and I don't really fall into that category. They're going after an existing market, rather than trying to draw new players in. I would assume that these kinds of trailers are
effective at capturing the attention of Key's "core market," as they probably wouldn't continue releasing these same-y trailers if they weren't at least somewhat effective.
So yeah. If your game is all about romancing pretty girls (or pretty boys), make sure that those images feature prominently in the marketing, I guess.
Otome games do this, too. Amnesia: Memories
at least starts with the premise, but it quickly descends into the same thing of "Look at all these pretty boys while you listen to jpop. Code: Realize
does it too. That being said, I do like those two trailers a bit more for the fact that they provide a bit more of a sense of place, and I think that is a big part of their appeal as well: I think that a game like Code: Realize sells itself on the steampunk setting just as much as the bishounen that populate it. Visual novels are a visual medium, after all, so perhaps it's best just to find the most visually impressive part of your game (be it character designs or airships) and make sure that comes across in your trailer.