It took me a lot longer than I’d hoped, but I’ve finally released the first trailer for Arelite Core. I’m embedding a copy of the video at the bottom of this post, but what I actually wanted to do is take a step back and reflect on the process which led me to this result.
First off, I need to recognize that I had a lot of difficulty making this trailer, partially because of the material I had when I started the process, but also I wasn’t sure what "storyline" to give it. Earlier drafts of the trailer started with the word "Before" followed by names of legendary swords flashing by like the Excalibur, the Masamune, Durandil and so forth. I felt that since the emphasis was on a blacksmith, pointing out that all swords have an origin felt right. Yet the more I tried to temper with the concept and the presentation of those blades, it felt disconnected with the story of the game itself. Arelite Core isn’t about forging those weapons, that’s just something you do in the course of the game. So ultimately, I decided to go for more traditional text instead, closing with "Forge your legacy", which I feel encapsulates the game and is a line I may reuse for further marketing purposes.
One thing I did know from the get-go is that showing actual gameplay was really important to me. I always feel very frustrated when I see teaser videos or heavily scripted videos which do not reflect the game in any way. Maybe it’s because I’m too close to the industry, but I just feel it ends up being very misleading. I tried to get a bit of everything, including travelling, menus and battles, to show the variety in the assets as well as the more cinematic presentation of the game.
Thankfully, Arelite Core is a really diverse game and although I tried to stay within the confines of the first 25% of the game (with 2 segments being outside of that), I could still show a lot of how I intend to present the story and how interactive the environment can be. The game is filled to the brim with active story events, and along with the diverse environments, I feel it really brought the trailer together.
I think one of the main selling points for the game is the animated monsters, which is why I tried to include more than a few battles, all showcasing different monsters in different environments. I also wanted to display as many types of moves as I could, including Aurek’s Piledriver move which is very reminescent of Final Fantasy 6 Sabin’s Suplex, by design. Those are the kinds of touches I felt important to show, that Arelite Core isn’t trying to be another "indie jrpg" but rather add different visual touches.
As I gathered the footage, there was one more really important aspect to the game which I needed to grab the viewer’s attention, the music. Thankfully, William Kage, one of the composers for the game, gracefully offered one of his tracks to use. Although it wasn’t created specifically for this trailer, I think it really managed to capture the feel of the game and demonstrates the direction I’m aiming towards as far as the soundtrack goes. The entire track for Determination, by William Kage, can be found at Youtube.com
That about covers my goal for the trailer, it was a pretty difficult ordeal since JRPGs arn’t very action oriented by nature and I didn’t want to emphasize dialogue. Sadly, when I looked at what other games did, they seldom used game play as a focal point so there was little help there. Maybe it doesn’t make as much sense from a marketing perspective, but one thing I will say about the trailer I ended up with, it truthfully represents what Arelite Core currently is, and what it aims to be.
I hope you’ll enjoy it and I look forward to any comments (and criticism) which may be brought to it.