It’s been a while since the last developer diary as we’ve been very busy in the past few weeks. Apart from the rollout of the Celtic Heroes Destiny Engine Beta Test, we’ve also been putting the finishing touches to our very first trailer! We started on the trailer a few months ago and by working with people who specialise in creating trailers for video games, we pitched a few ideas around with them. We identified some of the key elements that make Celtic Heroes so unique and put forward some ideas on how we’d portray this in the trailer. The world and setting are very important as are the players and the social aspect of the game but how to portray this in a video in a meaningful way?
We started by making a rough storyboard that covered our ideas for each scene and ran through it with various members of the team to make sure we were putting across the right message and that the timing was okay. You don’t want to bore viewers but you need enough time for them to absorb the information or story you want to get across.
Once we felt we’d hit the sweet spot with the storyboard we put together an animatic. An animatic is simply a very rough version of the trailer made up from placeholder images, text and audio to give people a sense of movement and timing for the finished product. This goes around for feedback and we tighten timings and the text as well as making decisions on what we actually want to see in the final version with regards to characters, their outfits, and weapons and where we want to place them in the world.
When the animatic is pretty much locked down we started assembling existing assets and thinking about some specific actions and set-pieces to highlight the game and its features. For example we had to create an overall world map from the individual maps found in the game for the book the trailer opens with. We also had several rounds of feedback to determine what characters would feature in the trailer, what they should be wearing and where we’d see them.
The programming team provided us with a special build of the game that gave us more camera control and the designers set up a dedicated server with some custom version of the game’s most notable mobs in order for us to control battles a little better. We then spent a couple of days orchestrating various action sequences amongst a group of us while the footage was captured direct from the game. It took a surprising amount of co-ordination and several hours of footage to get enough material for the one and half minute trailer we finally produced. We had some help from specialists who came to oversee the capturing the footage. Once all of the footage was in the can it was then passed to specialists for editing in line with the ideas in the animatic and the addition of the soundtrack and audio. We had a few rounds of feedback to really nail the pacing and timing and get us to where we are today and we’re really pleased with the end result. Take a look and feel free to tell us what you think on the forums.
View the trailer here: http://celtic-heroes.com/celtic-heroes-official-trailer/
In other news; thank you, our valiant beta testers, you’ve done a great job so far and given us some great feedback on bugs and features. We hope to extend the beta in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled for invite emails in your inbox. With your help, we’ll make the official release of Celtic Heroes Destiny Engine on iOS a roaring success. The feedback you’re providing will also help make the Android version even better so all of our players will benefit. The second stage of the beta should see us copying some of your existing characters over to the Beta servers so you can help us test some of the later game content in depth. Look out for news on this in the forums. Also keep an eye out in the beta test for OTM staff members lurking here and there.
Now that summer is coming to an end and the nights are beginning to draw in we’re aiming to keep you busy with some more Storyline quests that should give a bit more background to some of the characters you encounter in your travels. Oh and have you made any plans for Hallowe’en yet? 😉
See you in Dal Riata, brave heroes!