Archimedean Dynasty Trailers

Re-theming game trailers

Dave Newson - October 26th 2011

Back in mid-2007 I set about starting my own Let's Play thread for Archimedean Dynasty (also known as Schleichfahrt in Germany, meaning “silent running”), a game from 1996 where you play Captain Emerald “Deadeye” Flint, set in a future world where a nuclear war has made the surface of the earth uninhabitable, the survivors having fled to the depths of the oceans.

I wanted a good way to introduce people to the world of Archimedean Dynasty and show them some of what they could expect from the Let’s Play thread, so I figured i could create a snappy little “trailer” using ingame footage. My love for Battlestar Galactica meant the first thing to leap into my mind was the Battlestar Galactica intro sequence; especially as they share some thematic qualities.

Battlestar Galactica (2003)

This turned out to be quite easy, simply lifting footage from my recordings of Archimedean Dynasty, ensuring they fit the theme and feel from the original BSG trailer, then matching up the timings to give the same shot-for-shot flow.

Being one of my first attempts at video editing, this started in Adobe Premiere and was then migrated to After Effects somewhere down the line. Simply editing and splicing footage together allowed me form a basic workflow in After Effects and get to grips with video encoding, dabbling with very simply effects and practicing editing. If you were to start out learning AE, I would highly recommend this approach!

Unfortunately after the BSG intro was done, life interrupted and the Let’s Play thread idea fell by the wayside. That was until, of course, 2010…

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I was staying cautiously optimistic about Deus Ex: Human Revolution (edit: and it turned out to be awesome!), however I was completely blown away by the cinematic trailer and fell in love the music for it, created by Michael McCann. I immediately remembered this previous project and want to follow it up with a second trailer - this time in the theme of Deus Ex 3 - and this time with a few more visual and audio tricks.

Due to needing some “pre-war” scenes, I lifted a few seconds of footage from Children of Men, Terminator 3, a Russian military documentary and footage of the Iraq war. I also used a still from “City of Ruins“, plus some random Youtube videos for things like the underwater lightrays.

The under-sea logos were created as 2.5D scenes in After Effects, with high-resolution assets lifted from websites, and text recreated using the Eurostile front to match the original.

As the trailer evolved in editing, I decided I wanted to add the actual backstory over the top to more closely match the Deus Ex trailer. The voiceover for the trailer was taken from a range of cutscenes in Archimedean Dynasty, plus the official trailer for Archimedean Dynasty which has audio not featured in the final game. This was all filtered and trimmed down using Adobe Soundbooth.

I still havn’t created the Let’s Play thread, but one day I might get there.


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