Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Using game trailers as RPG campaign teasers

So I was wondering how to entice players to play my games, or how I could get them excited about what they could do, or give them a taster of atmosphere... you know, there is nothing you can write that will get them all on the same page because everyone will imagine something different from what is written and in many respects expectations will be either too high or too low. Either way there's a good chance my game won't work, might not even take off.

One way to get them on the same page is to show them visuals, and recently I've been perusing some computer game trailers.

Let's say I wanted to run a gritty, dangerous fantasy game. Well, of course, I'd show them the live action Skyrim trailer - not that they'll be playing in the Elder Scrolls setting, just to invoke some atmosphere.



Then I thought about a World War Three post-apocalyptic military game. MW3, anyone?



Science Fiction horror? Dead Space is pretty perfect.



Like I said, it's not the game setting I want to use, just the atmosphere that the trailer is trying to invoke. Game trailers really try to push the envelope with imagery whereas movie trailers can sometimes feel stilted and forced. Game trailers also tap into the part of you that just wants to play and have fun, makes you want to experience what they're advertising instead of being a passive observer, like in a movie.

Roleplaying games want exactly that - involvement. Yeah, I think game trailers are pretty cool for advertising the kind of game you want to run.