The Igloo Gaming team has had the pleasure of working with many clients who make games in many different styles and genres. Word games, casual games in fantasy settings, and pirate adventures, it’s exciting to work on such a variety of games that allow us to exercise our creativity.
While each project can be wildly different from the last, we have several key steps involved in the production process of creating videos and animations. Working on video content, like user acquisition commercials, for these gaming projects can be a slightly different process from working on trailers!
It all starts with meeting the client. This is crucial so that we can understand the target audience the client wants us to attract and the game we’re going to be promoting.
In this meeting, we also like to see if the client has any ideas of their own. It’s great when they do as this can inspire our creative process and help us come up with pitches. The client’s suggestions can feed our work, and in turn, our work at every stage can help the client view their game in a different light, with new ways to convey it they might not have previously considered.
After much discussion, we create some work and get some ideas together for what we call a creative pitch presentation. In these presentations, we like to present our clients with multiple possible creative directions.
We try as much as possible to incorporate a game’s distinctive visual style into our video content. This can create a sense of familiarity with fans of the game and engage them quickly. In a video we made for Zynga, we decided to use Lumbo the Lumberjack from Farmville to tell a fish out of water story of him finding himself in an unfamiliar urban environment.
These presentations typically include sketches and written pieces to help us and our clients visualize what our finished video might look like. Igloo Gaming’s Creative Director, Producers, and Animation Director are directly involved in this stage of the process.
Writing the Script
Once a direction has been agreed upon, we move on to writing the script for the video. This is a critical step in the production process because script writing for our purposes is different from the traditional script writing format.
The script is important to coordinate what we see with what we hear. It establishes the visual elements of the video, as well as audio elements like voiceover and its timing. Timing is everything, and this document helps put all the pieces we need into place.
We don’t limit the script-writing phase in terms of revisions. We believe that there shouldn’t be a hard limit on how many we do because, ultimately, we only want to move forward to the next stage if the client is completely comfortable. Our clients are always open to participating and giving feedback to help the project move forward in the best way possible.
Design & Visualization
The next step is a leap forward in helping our client get a glimpse into what the final video will look like. Next, we create storyboards to present to our clients so that they can get an understanding of the direction the video is going in. We like to use materials provided by the clients directly, such as key art, to represent the video.
We present a full design of the video to the client for approval, which is an opportunity for them to comment and provide feedback. Whether it’s the text that doesn’t look right, if an in-game element can be represented better, or if the copy should be tweaked, we’re happy to get any feedback and make adjustments accordingly.
In the design phase, we have to keep in mind that the video will more often than not need to be created for a variety of aspect ratios. It’s not uncommon for us to make them for 1:1, 16:9, and 4:5 for some social media platforms. By keeping this in mind early in the process, it doesn’t become a potential issue later on!
Once our client has approved the storyboards and we have addressed any feedback we received, we can then move ahead with the full production phase. At this point, animators receive the script, and aspects of the production such as available resources, camera angles, and motion, are considered.
We kick off production with a meeting between Igloo Gaming’s Directors, Animators, and Designers before the Animation Director breaks it down and assigns Animators to different scenes and shots.
We’re always as detailed as possible with our visual descriptions, but they should be open to interpretation without straying too far from what was agreed upon with the client. Our main goal is always to deliver the client’s vision, but we should try and be creative where possible!
While the animation work is in progress, the voiceover audio is recorded. We keep in communication with our clients through production, including twice-weekly updates with examples of the work we’ve completed. This is to ensure that if any changes are required, they’re spotted quickly, so we can then act on them as soon as possible.
Once the main production is finished, we send the client the project including voiceover audio and music. At this stage, we can tidy up the video based on any feedback the client provides, as well as add sound effects and any other required minor changes.
Thanks to our consistent communication with our clients throughout our projects, they’re never startled by anything we send them. We like to bring clients with us on the journey of making videos for their games, and they’re kept in the loop every step of the way.
We make a concentrated effort to keep our files organized for use during production, and also after. It’s not uncommon for our clients to want to iterate on user acquisition videos. Often, a client might want to show different gameplay, have gameplay come in sooner, or change the flow of a video to suit different needs, and this is something we prepare for here at Igloo Gaming.
This approach has helped us establish lasting client relationships and helped us create the best possible videos for their games. Our prioritization of communication has been a common element of our best work. Check out the video that we completed for Farmville 3!
If you require a game trailer or video ad, we’re here to help. We can also provide cinematics, full-cycle development, and many other services. Get in touch today, we’ll be happy to bring magic to your project!