To complete a time-sensitive mission assembling an announcement trailer for the DeathBound game using the client build, characters, animations and locations, technically and artistically modifying them.
So, this adventure started with a script draft, just 14 scenes long and a prayer voice-over. Picture a hero, battling enemies and in the heat of the fight, transforming into different characters. It's all about morphing mechanics, you see, depending on what's most effective for the battle at hand.
Our goal was to capture the dark game’s atmosphere, a mix of medieval brutality and add a bit of sci-fi through the setting. Oh, and let's not forget to showcase the key mechanics, revealing the main hero and bosses. We got a rough sketch of a script, which we jazzed up during the process. The first challenge was to whip up a storyboard ASAP so the client could check out the locations and characters and give us the final nod. Talk about tight deadlines! We also had a voice-over – the hero's monologue, to work with as our starting point. We couldn't leave it untouched. We worked our magic to make the voice more expressive. And let us tell you, keeping the prayer vibe while also leaving enough room for battle scenes was a balancing act, but we pulled it off.
Throughout the project, we had three big missions: keep it concise, make it beautiful and ensure it's easy to follow. Every suggestion we made was laser-focused on nailing one of these goals. If we felt something was getting too excessive, making the runtime go bonkers, we tweaked it, constantly keeping the client in the loop. But of course, the most massive piece of work was done during production.
After setting up the trailer's dramatic structure with music and voice-over, we went with the flow for each scene. You'd be amazed by the creative effort we poured into this – directing fight scenes, nailing lighting setups, crafting the ideal ambiance, strategically placing objects for those expressive shots, picking the perfect lenses and fine-tuning camera movements.
Colors played a major role in setting the tone and mood. We used complementary (or almost complementary) color pairs, but the key combo that stole the show was turquoise – the color of the afterlife essence and fiery red – the color of flames. The client loved it so much that they made some tweaks to their main static creative.
We amped up all the gameplay particles, making them more intense, with thousands of times more particles, complex simulations and brighter shaders that emitted light like nobody's business. We went all out on the lighting, using heavyweight and precise soft Rect Lights with volumetric trails and gentle shadows. We meticulously customized the lighting for each shot and let's not forget about the Volumetric Fog, which brought that cinematic or immersive magic to the frames. Oh, and the props? They were all over the place – we threw in everything to infuse the frames with depth and detail.
Let's chat about scenes, shall we? Gameplay scenes posed quite a challenge to nail down. The struggle was real in making those third-person perspective gameplay scenes look consistently beautiful. We strive for perfection and top-notch quality, so there were moments where we had both gameplay and cinematic versions and the client got to pick their favorite option. In the end, it all came together like a beautifully orchestrated piece of pixels and magic.