Game Trailer and Music Score

Game Trailer and Music Score

I wanted to bring the still beauty of Bantam West to life with motion...

It is hard for some people to imagine what is actually happening in the game, just by observing players interact with pieces of cardboard and plastic on a table. Although our team is very small, and our budget is out of pocket and even smaller, we had always emphasized the importance of a game trailer. 3D animation is quite expensive to produce, but it helps capture and convey the experience that Bantam West offers to the players.

We worked with A Shell In The Pit (link) to make this vision a reality. Using the 3D assets that make up the board art and miniature sculpts, ASITP was able to animate the board game components. They also have an incredible in-house sound design studio where they can compose their own original soundtracks.

Once all assets were prepped for animation, Jason McKinlay-their Animation Team Lead-and I set out to decide three things: 1) what story the trailer would tell, 2) what the music would sound like, and 3) what the voice-over would consist of. From the start, I wanted the trailer to stay true to the game. Players must be able to replicate everything that happens in the trailer in the actual game. We decided to focus the trailer on one of the four characters, and how the game might play out for them. Not saying we have any favorites… but the clear choice for the first trailer was Mika Mankiller.

When setting up the game, the instructions specify that Mika begins the game in Train Station, and it just so happens that the trailer starts with Mika arriving at the Gallow Springs Train Station in a boxcar with her hands bound. This gives a more detailed glimpse into how exactly she arrived. Now, the viewers are left wondering… How did she end up on that train? Why are her hands bound? What happened to Mika before the game started? All of those questions have already been answered, but will be revealed when the time is right…

Mika Steal Hat.PNG
Mika The Hat Thief (© Bantam Planet LLC)

The rest of the trailer showcases various activities you can do in the game, such as: foraging for herbs, looting a cabin, buying a horse, hunting down ancient relics, and even fighting cultists in the dark of night.

Mika Skull.PNG
Cultist Ambush (© Bantam Planet LLC)

To help set the tone for the game, Gordon McGladdery-the Studio Director Composer for A Shell In The Pit-had worked with us to compose an original score for the trailer. We wanted to break away from the traditional western soundtrack that we all so frequently hear and create a new feel for Bantam West. Our goal was to create a song that sounded foreign, foreboding, and ancient—something that helped the audience understand that this game takes place on another planet.

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The Mayor’s Speech (© Bantam Planet LLC)

The final piece of this cinematographic puzzle was the voice-over work. We decided to tell the story through the words of Gallow Spring’s Mayor, Francis Gallow. The day Mika arrives, Mr. Gallow just so happens to be delivering a speech from the front porch of the Town Hall building. During his speech, he notices Mika’s new face in the crowd. But as quickly as she appears, she fades into the crowd and vanishes. After stumbling on his speech then collecting himself, he continues to describe life on the Dethelm Frontier.

It was an absolute pleasure working with ASITP to make this game trailer vision a reality. I’m excited for you to see, hear, and experience what Gordon, Jason, and the team at ASITP produced when the Kickstarter (link) launches on July 13th!

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