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Trailer asset question for devs


Izuno
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I'm trying to a sense from devs at various studios how studio management works with publisher marketing departments. I know from my days in-house both on the marketing side, and then working at an internal studio, that getting trailer assets (renders, footage, builds, etc.) for purposes of marketing/PR was just about always a tense process. Usually it was the marketing guys complaining they weren't getting enough from the studio and the studio guys would say "what's the point?" or "we don't have time/resources to get you what you need" and etc.

So any dev's have a perspective on this? This is more of a game development cultural question. Some of my clients are good about this, and some are absolutely terrible. Would love some input if anyone has good war stories of success/failure in this area.

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Well, since Rockstar does their own PR and marketing they're kind of in a unique position. Often times marketing requests will come down the chain of command, and they'll ask for certain debug functionality to do various things, like toggle things on and off, change time of day and weather, etc. Nothing really outlandish and often times the stuff they ask for debug functionality-wise has already been implemented at some point during development for debugging purposes, so it all works out. But for the cases where it's not already done, we do it. To us, the marketing/PR guys are God. They're amazing at their jobs, they do an incredible job selling the game to the public, and we deeply appreciate that kind of positive exposure. So unless it's impossible to implement or its implementation could have adverse affects on the actual development of the game, we make it happen. If marketing is happy, then they make our game look good, and so we’re happy.

So I'm not sure if this is really pertinent to your question since all the marketing and PR is done in-house.

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It all depends on whether you're working in house with the publisher (Rockstar, Ubisoft, EA, etc) or if you are an indie partnering with a publisher (Crytek, etc).

In my days at Ubi, there would be a department set up to collectively shoot the material they wanted to use for their own marketing. Montpellier had a marketing artist that would produce the marketing bullshots. Montreal had an entire video studio making those, which sometimes would get accepted, other times thrown away as someone from the team came up with a much better concept.

Here at Crytek it's mostly been EA sending orders out to our team for us to produce this and that shot for them, and we also have our own department that does other presentations and marketing related assets. Mix of both really. Depends on who has the IP rights for what really.

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All the stuff we do at UWE for NS2 is done in house and takes anywhere from a few days to a month or two where everyone chips in suggestions and ideas. We have a cinematic editor that we shoot all our reveal videos in and seeing as we don't have a publisher, because you know, they suck, we are free to do whatever we want how we want. The only downside is it slightly takes away from other tasks seeing as we're so few and have no dedicated PR/Marketing guys. The only real annoying problem we've had is actually getting it on any major game site to be seen. They are REALLY snobby about indies.

This was made by about 5 guys over 2 months.

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The only experience I've had with marketing is when horrible screenshots of whatever I've worked on show up on kotaku or shacknews. That's often followed by the entire level design team standing around a computer watching them, while simultaneously pulling their hair out and screaming until the windows shatter. After that we usually have a coffee break or go for a refreshing cigarette. Also you need to alert the janitors to switch out the windows, and the hairpiece-maker needs to be alerted to create a new hairpiece. My hair is now 70% horse-hair.

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I remember when I was working on a DS game for a major game company and the marketing department asked for screenshots. The story goes like this: We provide them a bunch of raw images (256x192, which is DS's screen resolution), marketing team in another country thinks the screenshots are too low res, upscales them to 2000x2000 and adds lens flare to make pics look better.

My recommendation to the above company: Hire someone who actually have a culture in games to do your marketing :argh:

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