Creating an effective gameplay video is imperative in order to get an accurate reading of the marketability of your game concept. Before publishing a hyper-casual game, a prototype concept needs to achieve certain benchmark metrics set by the mobile games publisher. Some of these metrics are found directly from a market test, where a gameplay video helps to determine the potential success of your game.
As a developer, you’ll have 15-30 seconds to impress your audience through this gameplay video to convince them that your game is worth downloading. For many, this may seem like a simple task of throwing together a few different scenes of your game together. However, it’s a process that’s easier said than done. While your game concept may have potential, it’s ultimately how you present it that can result in your game being published.
At Coda we have spent countless hours reviewing thousands of gameplay videos for various games. Along the way, we’ve discovered a number of best practices that have been proven to create more effective and engaging gameplay videos.
1. Include a Fail Scene
The best way to show a user how to play your game in a short period of time is to include a fail scene. A fail scene quite literally involves a video clip that shows the player failing a level. Including a fail scene in the first 5-10 seconds will set an example for the user of what not to do and will have them wanting to continue watching to see a subsequent win. It will also add a sense of difficulty to the game and have them questioning whether or not they could play the game themselves.
2. Use Eye-Catching Levels & Artwork
In your gameplay video, it’s important to catch the user’s attention. Most market tests are conducted on social media via the Facebook Ad network, so they are likely to appear in someone’s feed, rather than a viewer being forced to watch them as an interstitial. For this reason, best practice is to showcase levels that have eye-catching artwork or backgrounds and colours that are visually appealing.
3. Include a Callout message or Mission
You may have seen many market test gameplay videos that include a callout banner of some sort: “Save the Girl!”, “Harder than you think”, “I couldn’t reach level 10” and so on. While it may seem like a strange marketing technique, including a statement or callout engages with users and prompts them to view the video and understand the context behind the callout. Furthermore, specific messaging that challenges the user (“No one can reach level 94”) is also another technique that may encourage users to install the game and try for themselves.
4. Keep it simple!
While we want to grab the attention of users and have them install the game, it’s important to ensure that the overall gameplay is kept simple and uncluttered. This means editing out or cropping the gameplay recording so that the screen is not distracting with unnecessary UI elements or buttons.
Examples of effective market test videos
So now that we’ve given you the best practices to create an effective market test video, let’s see these techniques and tricks in action. Below is an example of an effective market test video that incorporates different elements we spoke of previously.
In this first video, we see a number of elements included that make it a great gameplay video. Immediately we are presented with an eye-catching level filled with colourful artwork and graphics. The overall gameplay is simple without any distracting UI elements seen and a strong callout message listed above. In the first 15 seconds, we see the user fail the level and in doing so now understand how to win the level.
In this second video, we see the effective use of a level that has a bright and eye catching design without being distracted by too many UI game elements. The video in its entirety is a fail scene accompanied by bitmoji visuals to create a sense of emotion for the audience. It also features an effective call-out message that prompts users to question whether they could get further than the user in the gameplay video.
Creating an effective gameplay video for your market test is essential to effective decision making in the publishing process. By using these best practices and techniques listed, you can be confident knowing that your audience is getting the best look into your game before they’ve even played it. Discover how the Coda Platform can help you to create and launch a successful hyper-casual game by creating an account today.