CS/INFO 3152: Introduction to Computer Game Development

Communication Lab 14
Free Work Day

Due: Not Turned In

As with a previous communication lab, this lab will focus on improving your documents for Final Document Portfolio. Once again, there is no formal activity for this lab. You can also work on improving your game. The main purpose of lab this week is to give you time to talk to the instructor and the TAs. This is your time; use it wisely.


Promotional Materials

With only one more week to go in class, we are starting the PR push for Showcase. That means talking to the various local press to make sure that we have good attendance. And when we talk to the press they always love to have things to show off. That means screenshots and video trailers.

Screenshots

Screenshots are pretty straight-forward. If you art is close to being finished, you could probably create some really good screenshots now. The key challenge with screenshots is to capture something interesting. Think about the core mechanics to your game. Can you make a screenshot that will make that mechanic obvious to anyone who has never read anything about your game? If so, then you should do that.

Video Trailers

Video trailers have always been optional. We mainly like trailers as they are something to show to people who are deciding whether or not to come to Showcase. For the past two years, we have had over 15 groups make trailers. Not all of them were made this early. Some were made two days before Showcase. But we get a lot of trailers.

The main advantage of the trailers is that we will be showing them on the projectors during Showcase. We do not let games show off on the projectors, as we have found that this is way too unfair for audience voting (a game that can be seen on a projector always gets a lot more votes). Instead, we use the projectors to show off the trailers in a loop.

Trailers do not have to be fancy. They can just be a video capture of your playing. Or they can be a bit more involved. Here are a few examples from the last two years.

B33p

The children's game B33p won Most Innovative Gameplay in the 2013 Showcase. Their trailer is very simple. It is a video capture with no sound. If you do nothing else, this is still a very effective way to advertise your game.

Dash

By this point, you are probably tired of us talking about Dash. But they have an amazing trailer. They have some custom music (taken from the game) super-imposed with a video of someone playing. The video cuts between levels, giving you a very good idea of the game. This is a gold standard of trailers in this course.

Black Friday

And now for something a little different. Black Friday was the Audience Favorite in the 2014 Showcase. They won because of their irreverent humor. You can see that in their trailer, which combines live action acting with video from their game.

Whatever you decide to do with your trailer, please follow two important rules:

  • The video should be in the MP4 format
  • The video should not contain any unlicensed music

These will allow us to post your trailer on the GDIAC website without Cornell's legal office getting mad at us.


Submission

There is nothing to turn in for this communication lab; this is just a day to do work. However, if you do create a game trailer we would like a copy of that. Please send game trailers to your instructor via Cornell Dropbox. You have to send them this way, because campus e-mail cannot handle mailing large video files. There is no deadline for a trailer, as long as we receive it the day before Showcase. However, trailers that are submitted early get shown to the press.