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The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or “E3” for those in the know) is the video game industry’s version of the Super Bowl…if it were on Christmas.

It’s often the site of huge announcements and dropped trailers.

And as someone who games in my free time and makes things move for a living, I have some thoughts on the different routes developers took in their previews:

The “red, glitchy type” approach

Ever since Stranger Things dropped in from the Upside Down, everyone’s having a glitchy, glowy, red typeface moment.

Yet, some designers are putting their own spins on it. Redfall starts with a familiar credit sequence in its TV spot, but the end tag turns up the magic with solid animation and great effects. Creating small moments like this gives a fresh and memorable feel to an otherwise stale aesthetic.

It’s almost like lending a new take to a tired concept can do great things. Where have we heard that before?!

The “minimalism” approach

The trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild 2 only features sound design, limited gameplay, and one piece of type. Ah, minimalism.

It’s an important reminder that sometimes, your visual can do all the lifting. Keep paring back until you provide just enough information to invite all the intrigue.

The “honesty is the best policy” approach

The people at The Outer Worlds 2 hit us with a surprisingly short, witty meta-commentary. Sure, breaking the fourth wall isn’t new, but it’s certainly underutilized in game trailers.

The visuals here are great, both cinematic and design wise, but the writing brings it all home. (Ed. Note: Huh. Makes you think…)

The “blessedly free of Papyrus” approach

The makers of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, announced their entry into the space. And though it’s coming 10 years too late, IMHO, they at least had the wisdom to avoid using Papyrus. Kudos!

Video games and motion design meet at a beautiful intersection of Things That Are Fun to Look At, and oftentimes trailers’ intentions (to build all the hype and quickly communicate your premise) overlap with advertising.

All of which to say: if your boss catches you playing Trine 2 at your computer, just tell them you’re doing market research.

Have a leveling-up weekend, everybody!

– Your always-game friends at Brokaw

Exit pop-ups are .007% less annoying than intro pop-ups.

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