16 July 2015 | 15 Comments
You can use the main project video to show some key moments of the product being used, but that video isn’t the best place to go into detail about the product (it serves a different purpose as described here).
Rather, the gameplay or how-to-use video should be as long and detailed as necessary to visually convey exactly how the product works. Because of the length, it should be a separate video located about midway down the project page.
Usually it’s necessary for the project creator to film the video, but sometimes reviewers will provide the equivalent before they get to the review portion of their video. That was the case when Bower’s Board Game Corner reviewed Between Two Cities.
But it never hurts for the creator him/herself to settle down with a camera pointed at the product and explain exactly how it works by actually using or playing it. The last part is key–this isn’t just a rules overview. This is a video that puts the backer in the position of a user so they can see if it’s something they’ll like.
The nice thing about these videos is that you don’t have to explain every little aspect of the product. You can simply set the scene and start playing, explaining key elements as you go. If you’re a tabletop game creator, Rahdo does this exceptionally well through his runthrough videos (see an example on the Dale of Merchants campaign).
Alternatively, you can point the camera at yourself to gain more invaluable face time with potential backers–they more they connect with you, the more they’re going to connect with the campaign. There’s a great example of this midway down the project page for Terratiles.
I took a similar approach recently when filming an introductory video to Scythe. It doesn’t show the game in action, but I try to paint a picture of what Scythe is, some of the unique elements to the game, and the types of things that happen during the game.
Something I learned while filming this is it takes multiple attempts to hone your pitch. My first attempt was 50 minutes long and ended up being a full rules explanation. My next attempt to focus on just the broad strokes was 20 minutes long–I was still being too specific. So my final attempt got it down to 10 minutes, which is the video you see below. I’m hoping to try again soon to get it down to 4-5 minutes.
What do you think about gameplay and how-to-use videos? Do you have any examples of projects where that video was key to compelling you to back it?