Your game has to be instantly recognizable. The same of course goes for movies, children’s books, comics, any visual medium. When you see any game, you want to *know* for certain it is that game. It’s very difficult to find a unique, intriguing style.
So far, the best way we have found is to enhance the qualities unique to your game, through gameplay, but also through your art.
And if you see any game, and don’t know the name, we want you to want to find out. You need a look for your game, such that if the viewer does not know the game’s name, they’ll still remember the look for next time that they see it. And hopefully they’ll actually find out the name, and want to learn more.
Ask yourself: What is the thing in my game, that when player’s see it, they’ll know it’s my game? Is there something unique? What exactly is it? Can it be improved or enhanced?
“I want to do that”
When someone sees your game, you want them to say: “I want to do that”. It’s a very simple goal for your trailer or gif. When they see a movie trailer, they should want to watch more. Games are different–people should want to do, to operate, the very thing they are watching in the trailer. It should get them excited to do the thing you are showing them. If you can’t communicate that, you’re doomed. At the end of the trailer, does the person know the cool thing to do in your game? Do they want to be in your game world?
“I have not done that”
*You* know your game is fun. You are taking for granted that they, the viewer, think it is fun. Meditate on this: The viewer does not think your game is fun. They have no idea. This is the hardest part–the ephemeral part. You have to communicate the fun parts of your game, to a cold person–someone who has no impression of your game.
I love running and shooting in games. I love shooting monsters. I love jumping on platforms. But I have played many of these. It’s very common for me to see a game, that has these components, but the video has not convinced me that it has something unique to offer.
Is the game hiding something cool? Perhaps. But I will never know. If the game ‘spoiled’ a cool looking thing in the trailer, I may have gone for it, and played the game. But as it stands, I will never play that game. Maybe if it didn’t hold back, and showed me the cool thing, I would be more interested.