Making the Super Crate Box iOS Teaser Trailer

Making this trailer came up quite by surprise. I had no idea that Vlambeer was working on an iOS port of Super Crate Box for iOS, but I’m so pumped that they are! Rami shot me an email out of the blue and basically said, “Hey We’re announcing Super Crate Box for iOS in a day or so. Would you be able to whip up a trailer for our announcement?” I love the Vlambeer guys and everything they do, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help get the word out about their game.

Considering the tight turnaround, we didn’t have time to shoot any new live action footage… I thought about using some old live action footage I had kicking around from Data Dance Level 3 and a few other events the Winnitron had been at recently, but Rami wanted to keep it even simpler than that. Logos, Gameplay, iPad, Coming Sept 2011. That was the plan.

Rami shot me the logos that night, and early the next morning, I started cranking away on it. All told, we went through 4 versions, and tweaked things a bit here and there till we came to the final version. I was pretty happy that I finally got to use a bit of Cinema 4D in this spot, and used the free iPad and iPhone models rather than trying to model them from scratch. I think I worked on it for about 6 hours, and most of that was spent capturing good gameplay footage.

I wrestled with trying to get my gamepad working with OSX Lion for a bit, but couldn’t get it to work, so I had to use the keyboard, which was pretty punishing, lol! After I captured all the footage and put it all together, Rami noticed that all of the footage had the same character in it. Total fluke, but we needed to show more diversity, so back to capturing more footage I went!

Capturing gameplay footage is pretty easy, but capturing GOOD gameplay footage takes a hell of a long time. Especially in a game where you die every 30 seconds or so. Finding good ‘moments’ is really tough, and you can play for 10 minutes to capture a small 1-2 second clip.

Fortunately, I had an archive of the old Super Crate Box Versus trailer, so I was able to resurrect some of the elements I used for that like the particle smoke effect. I tweaked it a little from the old version to work with the trailer, basically adding more smoke particles and a bit more velocity to them to help them spread out over the screen a bit more.

One little trick I like to use to make gameplay footage look a little cooler is to always colour grade it just a tad. For whatever reason, using Magic Bullet Mojo on the SCB footage looks just great. It seems to give it a bit more of a cinematic feel and make the game feel a bit larger than life.

After releasing the trailer, it looks like the news was picked up by Touch Arcade,, Kotaku, Joystiq and!

Thanks again to Rami for thinking of me and letting me make this trailer for them! I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, considering the quick turnaround. Let me know what you think!


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