Teaser Trailer

As the game gets closer to release, it’s time to start dividing my time between marketing as well as development. So much has changed since the last time I did that with a new game (it was 1999), but one obvious difference is that games have trailers.

So here’s ours:

This is a “teaser trailer,” which to me means there are no spoilers about  the story. That was a pretty big constraint on selecting art and game play, but I think I managed to get a good selection of artwork in.

My design phase also tried to embrace the fact that the game is very different from the typical game on the market. So the trailer needed to stand out a little, while still being a decent video. This meant no gratuitous animation (lots of trailers these days seem to add animation to static images) and avoiding the portentous announcer voice many trailers have.

Rather than get good at video editing, I found someone who could do that. One thing I did have to figure out was how to actually distribute the video. “Upload to YouTube” isn’t necessarily as simple as saying it, and YouTube has  changed things so that it’s hard to annotate the video with clickable links. (That’s why it helps to subscribe to our YouTube channel, which will let us level up and enable that.) My impression is that YouTube is not at all oriented to game developers (as opposed to game players who want to share their play sessions).

As usual, the product went through several refinements, including QA noticing artifacts in the voiceover track.

It’s nice to be able to show a little more of the game, and it’s going to make it easier to work on the next videos.

P.S. No, we have not announced a release date.

Logo Development

When I talked to a marketing consultant, she advised that I needed a logo as soon as possible. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t follow up on that for over a year.

Last month I met with Pixel Parlor, a local design studio. I showed some of the art from the game and discussed my overall goals (e.g. it’s unlikely that we’ll have a physical box, which drove the King of Dragon Pass logo). In the meeting they asked me two questions I didn’t have an answer for: what were some logos I liked? And what were competitive games?

It turned out that was an interesting search. There are an awful lot of clichéd logos for fantasy computer games! So I broadened my search to include paper & dice RPGs and board games. For digital games, I thought the Monkey Island and Legend of Zelda series worked well. I liked the current Dungeons & Dragons logo, with the draconic ampersand (though it doesn’t work as well as D&D, since the three glyphs smudge together without enough contrast). The Fate logo also stood out. And the Scythe boardgame had a good logo.

As for competitive games, since Six Ages will be similar to King of Dragon Pass, there’s really nothing else like it. I suspect it will appeal to people who also like Sunless Sea, 80 Days, Sorcery, Banner Saga, Out There, and Reigns. But I also wouldn’t say they’re competition.

Pixel Parlor presented six design approaches. Here’s a representative subset:



I ran the designs by the Six Ages team and Chaosium (licensor of the setting). There was no clear consensus, so I asked Pixel Parlor to iterate on the two favorites. Here’s a couple examples from round 2:

Again I asked what the team thought. Again there wasn’t a definite favorite. I zoomed out to see all the logos at the same time. When they were small, it seemed like the carved style font was the most recognizable at small sizes. Which would be important in say a Steam listing.

I didn’t really like the E that looked like a greek Σ, however. So I asked for another set of variations. Again there wasn’t a clear winner, but I finally picked the one that wasn’t likely to be confused for a game about ancient Greece.

Hopefully this will prove distinctive and help suggest what the game is about (one of the artists noted that the lettering reminded him of the Gloranthan runes). At any rate, it’s nice seeing in the game.


Update: I just noticed that Pixel Parlor also wrote about this.