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Game Trailer Case Study - 16 BIT NIGHTS

A topic by 16bitnights created 31 days ago Views: 167 Replies: 3
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Hi folks,

I am writing a case study regarding our trailer debut in hopes that it will help some of you in your game development endeavors and cast another positive light on my branding.

Our first goal was to have a high production value and at the same time to mix multiple elements during the development of the trailer such as:

- Trailer content(actually its more of a teaser)

- Game startup menu(where the player chooses new game bonuses)

- Intro cinematic

- Credit screen

Bassically our debut teaser should cover the exact first minutes of the game.

Now, everyone to whom I talked said the trailer should not be longer than 1 minute, and I agree I had the same opinion but this time I wanted to experiment outside the box and take a leap of faith.

So the trailer ended up having 4 minutes, and I must say right now: I have no regrets about this decision.

Considering that the trailer is more cinematic and shows very little gameplay this was because we aimed it more for our already existing fan base, "Welcome Back, Commander" is the last game from our "Chromosome Evil" franchise.

As to the funding, we had 0 funding.

Now you are going to ask how can we make a high-value production with 0 funding.

Well, it's simple, I did the design, coordination, and artwork, my partner did the core animation and programming and then we searched for volunteers for voice acting, we received much support from the Mud&Blood community, Newgrounds, and some content creators friends.

For music, we found free-use music from the internet.

Work on the trailer took 2 weeks of full-time.

Now on to some bad news, we synchronized the trailer release with the release of the coming soon page from Steam, the problem is we did so at the same time Steam Next Fest started.

And results:

As soon as we released the trailer on YouTube we started getting traffic and the traffic immediately went high.

After 6 days we reached these stats:




- + 60 new subscribers to my channel

- + 300 Wishlists so far

32% of the people watch the video until the end.

87% of the video visibility came from organic YouTube recommendations

10% Impressions click-through rate 

And the stats still keep growing

For me, these results are fantastic considering that we are a small 1+1 game development team.


What I think caused it:

- Community boost: after the trailer got released we posted about it on our Discord community

- Thumbnail colors/design: I think using bright colors in the YouTube Thumbnail helped a lot and the yellow/orange combo was often used in movie poster design for a reason

- voice acting: I am not sure but I suspect the YouTube algorithm detected multiple voices in the video which automatically boosted the quality perception

- video length: I read somewhere that videos longer than 3 minutes tend to also boost the YouTube algorithm

Kind regards,

Cristi P. - 16 BIT NIGHTS

What data are you using about player behavior, in game transactions, and play time, etc to help you develop this game?

we don't have in-game transactions.

For everything else, steam provides all the data needed