I was contacted by Dynamic Next on People Per Hour about creating an update trailer for their game, Downtown Mafia. The main goal of this trailer was to highlight the different features of the game, while giving insight into what it's like as a player. It is a text based MMORPG game for mobile devices (it can also be played on the web!) based around the gang / mafia world. There were a few considerations for a text-based MMORPG game that I immediately outlined. With a text-based game, you want to give a sense of the style of game that it is. The game does have animations and it's highly interactive and feature rich, but as a user, you need to also consider that text and static screen footage is difficult to make a trailer out of.
I wanted to give a sense of what it was like as a new player joining the game, and building their legacy. That was the core premise of the trailer, starting off small, following through the features as they become more key to your role in the game, and developing yourself in the MMORPG world. With so many features, we elected to focus on the gang building and turf wars that the game holds. These are very reminiscent of a lot of MMO games. The more ways you can get players interacting with each other, the more there's a sense of community feeling in a game, especially a text based one where there's no animated avatar that you move around, as such. I wanted to make the game feel alive with players interacting with each other, and building their crime empire and profile.
There were certainly many ideas that we could have explored for the game and how to go about producing a trailer for each of the different things you can do in the game, but I think introducing new players into the world this way gives them a great start to find it out for themselves. We introduced a lot of beginner content and some mid to late game as well, as well as introducing the MMO aspect with gang wars, so we really covered a lot in such a short trailer for an MMORPG. The characters and the store were forefront as well. We hired Ed Mace, who I also worked with before on the Tango Fiesta trailers, who brought a fantastic piece of voice over acting to the trailer. It helps introduce the style of the game further, and develop a story for the new players.
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