Sunday, December 31, 2017

Board Game Evolution - The Making of Millennium

Millennium lives on!

Yes, it's been a while since I posted an update on any of my board games since the holidays tend to sidetrack me, but here's an image you haven't seen for the new Millennium box.

As much as I like this design, I'm not sure I'll actually use it because it seems a bit unusual compared to so many other boxes in this genre. Maybe a bit too serious in tone when the ultimate goal is to use a fun image, but you never know, I just might go with it.

You'll notice on the upper left it says, "A Cooperative Game." I think this category and the overall theme fits better as a co-op game where players unite and try to reach a specific goal and survive as a team. That means that most of the rules and cards will go through another revamp.

As much as that hurts, I just can't ignore an improvement like this. It's just part of the game, if you will. The thing is that when you start a game you don't always see the big picture and sometimes you get caught-up in all the details that you don't want to miss.

The fact is that a doomsday theme lends itself naturally to this mechanism so why fight it. I'll have to roll with this punch in the gut but the game will be better for it. Besides, nobody really cares how much I suffer during the design process. It's all about the game and the (fun) experience it delivers. Period. Cry me a river.

Proposed Box Design

The board has also gone through major changes. It's now a six-fold board 18" x 27" so I can use the entire U.S. map from coast-to-coast.

This is an unfinished board (below) but you get the idea how the rest will turn out based on this graphic. I still have quite a bit to add to it; mostly destination points and locations as you see on the east coast. I'm trying not to clutter it too much.

Unfinished Board
Right now, as it stands, players start on the east coast, at the Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and disperse from there to one of three bomb shelters as a final destination. When all players reach a bomb shelter, they win the game. But getting to each shelter won't be easy and that's what makes this game a challenge.

..."even in its simplicity there is
always plenty of built-in chaos."

That's the general idea but I'm still working out all the obstacles and cards needed to make that all happen in a fun and interesting way. That's the hard part but I think I can pull it off. Hey, anyone can design a game. The trick is to design a great game without annoying mechanisms that slow down the game or don't make any sense thematically.

I'm working all that out as I go along because it's easier for me to see the work in Photoshop than on a notepad. Although, I've already filled two notebooks and counting.

Millennium has really taken a sharp turn for the better but it has a long way to go. It seems to grow by the day but I realize I must stick to the theme and keep it simple because even in its simplicity there is always plenty of built-in chaos.

Having stepped away from the board for several months gave me a chance to see something I had missed before. Namely, that I needed to design and build this game as a co-op game because that's the nature of a doomsday scenario. At first, I had thought that making a strategic and competitive game might be a good idea, but organically, a cooperative game is really the best way to go so why fight it.

I think cooperative games like Pandemic are quite popular and have global appeal so that's the new direction and a better choice for Millennium.

..."that's the new direction and
a better choice for Millennium."

I've also been working on an interesting backstory or backdrop that ties-in the End of Days scenario with the asteroid Bennu and it's near collision with Earth every so often. That's one of Andrea's (main character) biggest fears.

And so it goes, folks. There's so much to do and so little time to accomplish our goals but we must press on and keep moving forward at all costs.

I preach this to my kids as often as I can. Life is all about the glory. You must endure the blood, sweat, and tears. Nobody cares about all that.

People only care about the glory and so that's your main focus; the final outcome. And it better be good.

I hope the new year brings you closer to your goals, my friends.

There's simply no time to look back.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

How To Photoshop Your Board Game Box The Easy Way

Okay, finally I've been able to put together a short presentation about how to design a great game box in three dimensions the easy way on Photoshop.

Net Geometry for The Game

I'm designing my game on The Game so this is how they manufacture their boxes. They start with a black box and glue an image from your net geometry (like the one above) onto the black box, edge-to-edge and fold over the excess flaps, top and bottom. That means you get no side images for the left or right side of the box. (I know it sounds crude but it works just fine if they center the art properly.)

Using Photoshop, first cut out the center portion of the box and the top flap. Place side by side. Go to TRANSFORM and select CCW to flip it so your flap looks like the one below on the left.

Select the flap with the bounding box marquee tool, click on the move tool and move in any direction once to activate marching ants, then go to TRANSFORM select PERSPECTIVE and apply the effect as shown below for each image.

Notice I have each image on separate layers but you can keep them on the same layer if you want. Next, adjust (FREE TRANSFORM) the main image so it is not as wide, (almost by half) and proceed to join (move) the two images together (touching) or merge the two layers into one image.

Make sure both edges are touching. You can soften this edge next.

Now for a little Photoshop magic. Most people will keep this image or maybe add gray lines to all the edges but the box will look very unrealistic. To get good edges, I like to use the Dodge Tool set at about 65% with a small, soft brush and run it along each of the edges except the bottom one.

Soften and highlight all edges with the Dodge Tool.

See (above) how that adds a gentle highlight to all the edges of the box by softening and rounding them like a real box. You can run each edge up to three times or until you get an edge you're happy with. Trial and error here.

Almost finished box with reflection

I've also added a reflection of the box.

Follow these easy instructions to get that effect.

First, duplicate your box, flip it vertically and place as shown below.

Working with the reflection image, use the bounding box and activate marching ants only around the flap and then select SKEW. Grab the middle handle and skew it up until the angle matches the top flap. This won't affect the image as long as you don't move it.

Duplicate, Flip Vertically and position as shown above.

Now select the front of the reflection with the bounding box and skew it until you match the angle above it. (See below)

Skew the front of the box until angles match

Here's a close-up of the final version with the reflection in place. You can use any background color you like and experiment with the opacity for your reflection to get the best effect.

Don't forget to darken the left side of the box to give it a more three dimensional feel. Use the Burn Tool set at about 50% and experiment with it until you get the desired effect.

Here's the final version of the box with extra highlights on the corners for a worn look.

You can also adjust the brightness and contrast at this point to really make your box come alive.

I've tried many different things and this seems to work best to easily give product boxes the most realistic effect without buying expensive programs to convert to a three dimensional box.

Once you get the hang of it, it gets a lot easier and the effect is outstanding. Give it a try and email me your finished boxes and I'll post them here next time.

Any questions, please comment and I'll post an explanation in my next post.

Have fun!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Board Game Heaven - The New Millennium Challenge

West Coast / East Coast Game Box
We all knew it was coming. So after months of designing an East Coast game board, I've decided to add a West Coast board to Millennium, which in my opinion was not only necessary, but inevitable.

After all, who wants to play only half a game? As cool as the East Coast board is, adding a game board that starts in San Francisco, CA, makes it much more complete and satisfying to play. Especially if the board is set in another era (1800's and 1900's).

The East Coast board is about 95% done and the new board is about 50% done, so I have quite a bit of work before finishing up this game.

I can release the East coast version this month (November) as I had planned all along but I rather not rush into anything. I want too take my time and finish this entire game as I know it will work best so that means two 18" x 18" boards side-by-side, which makes the game board a full 18" x 36" inches of awesome game play.

"It's quite a contrast of events..."

I'm still debating on splitting these games in half and selling separate boards. As it stands now, I plan on offering the East Coast board by itself and offering the West Coast/East Coast board game separately. This way gamers have two options at different price points.

While the main theme to the East Coast board is survival, the theme of the West Coast board is historical exploration, namely, the Wild West and Wyatt Earp, and moving on into the 20th Century and the Disco era of the 70's and beyond. I think it will be lots of fun, which eventually leads up to a time-warp transporting you into the year 2158 and into the East Coast. It's quite a contrast of events that I think works really nice and builds up to a full, well-rounded game.

Who knows? Only time will tell how it all plays out, but it feels like I'm on the right track. I'm also refining the four characters with multiple roles and ideally I would like to include a set of custom dice that allows special moves for each player. Both are good mechanisms that add depth to the game. Although, including custom dice all depends on how much it will add to the final price. Margins with The Game Crafter are already low enough so we'll see.
West Coast Wild West Card

Lots to think about and even more to do but I know it'll be worth it because it's going to make a much better game overall.

"I'm going full throttle
with Millennium..."

I do have four other games in various stages of completion, but I'm only one guy with limited time so right now I'm going full throttle with Millennium while I have good momentum on my side so I can finish it and move onto to other things on the design and production side as Millennium hits the market and I tweak that end of it.

It's nothing short of a full time endeavor, but that's what I do. For years I've had all these ideas and finally I'm putting them out there and giving board games a shot for whatever it's worth. Everything I've learned about design and marketing over the years has led me to this and it feels like the right time to try something different.

As it turns out, or maybe it just feels that way, everyone is getting in on the board game bandwagon these days. So competition is fierce but the market knows what it wants and champions what it likes the most so that's really the challenge; to figure out what's popular and put a new spin on it because let's face it, most of it has all been done before.

West Coast Card
"One person's favorite game
might be another's nightmare."

So while Post Apocalyptic games are not new, my spin and flavor is, so all I can hope for is that gamers identify and embrace it with fair reviews. That's always the hard part because like anything else, games are subjective. One person's favorite game might be another's nightmare.

That being said, if you design games you would like to see but can't really find out there, maybe that adds something to the gaming world. You never know until you put it out there and that takes a good investment mostly in time.

And as we all know, time is precious and in short supply, especially the older you get so you have to make the most of every day.

I think that by the spring of 2018 I'll be ready to release both editions of Millennium after several (hopefully favorable) reviews. 

Successfully marketing a game is really an uphill battle unless it has a viral element that key influencers can relate and latch on to. Big companies rely on bestselling books to base their games on and that always helps because they have a built-in audience to work with. And that makes marketing almost effortless.

East Coast Illness Card
If you don't have the luxury of basing your games on bestselling books or video games, stick with universal concepts that are already familiar to gamers and try presenting your games in the most unique way possible. Everything counts in gaming, even great and consistent artwork is a plus because there are plenty of collectors who appreciate that kind of stuff.

Okay, that's for another post. Meanwhile I've got to get back to work on my games. It's a bit overwhelming with so much to do but I take it one day at a time and keep on going until there's nothing left to do.

And then of course, there's always something else to do until it all bottoms out and then you move on.

For my next post I'm going to finally post my easy Photoshop tips for making product boxes like the one above. It's not perfect yet, but it's getting there.

Till next time, keep on gaming!

Your move.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Terra Nova's Next Move - Ask The Godfather?

New Millennium Game Board
Okay, I'm the first to admit that this blog is by no means a play-by-play documentary of the machinations Terra Nova has in mind for Millennium and beyond. That would take an encyclopedia of information and every minute of my time to document it in every minute detail.

As it stands now, Millennium is moving forward at a steady pace and scheduled to launch in November, as planned all along. A soft launch, because I can't go all out with multiple advertising and promotional outlets. Not that any of that will guarantee sales, which most likely it would not, but it's nice to dream that it could.

"Let's get real here."

Let's get real here. Advertising doesn't work that way. You have to win the trust of your potential customers first. And that comes about with great reviews, positive customer comments, influencers and key buyers who champion your product and help spread the word like wildfire, etc.

Besides, if you advertise without a good offer to back it up, you've got nothing really except a ton of money that goes into advertising with little results if any. In short, advertising is no magic bullet.

In reality, Millennium is now going through a developmental growth spurt and still in its second stage of prototyping, which means it's not ready for the consumer market, yet. And what is just as true, is that it must still undergo a good round of player testing before it reaches the point of putting it on store shelves.

"Advertising doesn't work that way."

That said, there's no reason why the game can't go on sale after another month of tweaking and more play testing (by family and friends). It will in November, but with very limited advertising and promotional support at that point in time. Anyone can buy the game if they find it either through The Game Crafter website, or this Millennium Blog. There is always a possibility that hard core gamers might take a chance on a game they've never heard of or know little about. Then again that depends on the landing page, for instance. And let's face it, proof of concept is everything.

I have to work it this way because I am only one person with limited resources. And inching Millennium along at this pace is all I can do right now. I have 6 other games I'm developing and in the middle of each of them. This stage of development takes time and patience to get through. Most of it is developing the artwork and game mechanics. Getting the core concept in place and tweaking it to the point of a working prototype with many details unresolved up to that point.

Back of Millennium Box
It would be so much easier with 2 or 3 people in the mix who could help me but I'm on my own and that's probably the hardest part. No regrets, though. Too many cooks can also be a nightmare. For now, I'm doing fine and plugging away at a steady pace with all the games in my queue.

Luckily, some of these games are much simpler card games, easier to design and play than Millennium. This game (Millennium) has grown and branched out even to the point of multiple expansions in the works because the concept and themes are far reaching.

The main difference in the current prototype is in the game's mechanic's, how it works and how it feels when you get to the end of the game. You want gamers to feel as if they are reaching another level and attaining their ultimate goal with a good sense of both tension and relief along the way.

Millennium in particular is a game of survival and sacrifice, so there is a sense of strategy and planning to achieve your goals as you journey from point A to B, on to C, and so on. You feel there is a sense that something bigger is at stake (besides your life) and you must go on against all odds.

It is this tension that must build to a climax and finally a resolution so that the game is successful at each level and beyond.

So far I've included many new playing cards, I solved the big problem I had with the train tokens because Game Crafter had discontinued some of the train tokens included in my game. My solution was simple enough. I found tokens that look like train cars (long rectangles) and included 5 in different colors to represent each of the train cars accordingly and assigned them each a score.

Engine Train Card
I think this works better than having the train in one color and still uses tokens that you can run on the train track north. It's a visual thing and by adding more cards (18) I can include some of the cards that were missing from the first prototype.

These new train cards are a bit of fun with hobo hitchhikers, dogs, and other sorts of strange humanity you might come across in an Apocalyptic setting such as this.

Levity is important, as you know in life and in gaming so I made sure to add a good mix of lighthearted happenings in the midst of all the turmoil. Not unlike real life, whereas Texas, Florida, Mexico, and Puerto Rico are experiencing their share of hardships even as we speak.

These events are certainly heart-breaking to say the least and hopefully each of us who has been more fortunate thus far can help in some way those in dire need. Please contribute to the Red Cross if you can. Every dollar counts.

If anything, events such as the devastating earthquakes and storms this month have been a wake-up call for so many who were already living in duress. Here in northern Florida, we had our own concerns and storm damages, but nothing like we've seen elsewhere.

We need to be prepared at all times and that's not always possible. Sometimes, carrying on is hard to do when loved ones and other families are in trouble. Our prayers are with the afflicted.

Please Help The RED CROSS

Speaking of the Red Cross, here is another one of the new cards I added to the deck. It's a mercy of sorts card if you can help a friend in need out of the rubble and help nurse them back to health before you continue your journey northbound.
Red Cross Token Card

This is not a coincidence, but thematic of the game and so I had included these cards originally. There are many other cards along these lines and as I have said, this Millennium game will only get better as time goes by because its themes are indeed a sign of the times ahead.

The Red Cross link above is real, however. Please visit their site and help however you can. I plan to give again soon and wish I could do more.

At any rate, I am pleased with the evolution of Millennium and I think it will be a great success. For me that means that the game itself works as intended and that a fair amount of interest will accompany its journey among other collectible board games you enjoy.
There is so much more to say but I realize I must keep these posts short. Since I showed an update to the bottom of the box, maybe I'll talk about how I went about designing it and my reasoning behind each element.

You'll notice, there is a fair amount of tried and true sales techniques (gimmicks) used here. Namely, the free gifts, although they are a good quality and desirable. Remember, they are part of an offer that's been around since Cracker Jacks, for example.

You have to throw in the kitchen sink if you can. Take no chances and always make them an offer, as The Godfather said in a strained voice, "make them an offer they can't refuse."

More about offers next time.

Till then, stay safe and keep on gaming!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Game Box Design - How to Give Your Game Box Sex Appeal

Current Millennium Game Box Design

When it comes to your game box cover, think of it as a house with great curb appeal. When you pass by that house, it catches your eye and stands out from the rest. Your box cover is no different. It needs shelf appeal or sex appeal, whatever you want to call it, the cover of your box has to knock 'em dead at first sight.

Each game, of course is different and I can only talk about how I went about designing the Millennium box cover. But here are the basics you need to know about any design.

Audience demographics are key in determining what potential buyers specifically look for in a product or a board game, what kind of books they read, movies they watch, etc.

Keep in mind that there are always variables, however, you are looking to highlight the main concept of your story so when prospects are shopping for new games and if they have not heard of yours yet, the story that your box cover tells, speaks to them on a deeper level.

"I'll admit up front, I designed Millennium, especially the box cover to appeal to women."

I'll admit up front, I designed the Millennium game, especially the box cover to appeal to women. My reasoning for this is simple. Most board games are bought and played by men but women love to play board games too (numbers increasing) and by featuring a woman as the game's protagonist, it gives the game another angle from a female POV that young Millennial women can identify with.

When it comes to board games, that is rare and hopefully my gamble will pay off by appealing to women who know they matter. Millennium is not the first game to focus on women, of course. But it is one of the few that feature a woman as a fierce fighter and survivor. Women, after all, do not enjoy being objectified. Pandemic features a woman on its cover and has attracted many new buyers this way and so have other games.

That's not to say that males will not identify with this game, but instead, both men and women can relate to Millennium on another level. Besides, once you start the game, it is evident that men play a large role in the game as well.

I think that's the best of both worlds, plus it makes playing Millennium with both genders more interesting and certainly more engaging.

"Sure she's hot, (said the male chauvinist in me) but more importantly, she's in control and she is powerful."

Okay. we need a woman on the cover. Not just any woman, but a woman with an Uzi sub-machine gun. Wow, she's in charge! Sure she's hot, (said the male chauvinist in me) but more importantly, she's in control and she is powerful.

Millennuim's Andrea Poster (Artwork from DeviantArt)
These are characteristics that appeal to modern women and let's not forget this story is set in the year 2158. If history is any indication of female power and influence, it is safe to assume that women have certainly come out of the dark ages and into positions of power and self reliance.

One look at the Millennium cover and it spells, future along with all its uncertainties. What will Earth be like 140 years from now? Its government? Its military? It's religious beliefs?
Society at large?

If you don't feature a woman on your game box, make sure to feature and focus on your protagonist, or the star of the game. It doesn't have to be large, (but can be) but it must be the center of attention. Include all the important elements (2 or 3) that tell an exciting story at first sight.

Don't clutter the front of the box with too many details. That's what the back of the box is for. Think of the front cover (top of box) as an advertisement with a primary focus on the star of the game. Keep it simple and use powerful images that enhance your story. Stick to theme and concept.

Right now this Millennium game box could change altogether, meaning I might try a close-up of Andrea in an action position with the bright cityscape in the background.

Anything goes and it's a matter of experimentation at this point. For this box, I opted to focus on the landscape and the futuristic world with Andrea as a secondary focus. I want to immerse gamers into this unknown world right away. But if I can find artwork of Andrea in action, I'll post the alternate box to compare. (More about DeviantArt later.)

To briefly summarize this cover, I was aiming for something hopeful. I wanted to say or to convey that Earth's future will be bright despite so many societal upheavals, wars, and racial tensions that (man)kind has wrought upon us throughout the generations.

Despite the evil misdeeds and all the destruction that comes with it, humans, both men and women have managed to survive and hope to thrive into this new Millennium. Now, and beyond the ages.

Amen to that.

First Prototype of Millennium Game Box
Here's a shot of the first prototype box. Notice the printing is a bit off and the word Millennium and the ribbon have to come down about half an inch. ( I think this was a mistake on the printing end. My specs seem ok).

It's not a good photo without flash and lost its contrast here. The actual box is printed a bit too dark but otherwise shows great contrast and sharp. The colors are quite good and vibrant.

I'm working on tweaking this entire box design for another try at a better prototype soon.

So far, I'm very pleased with the results from The Game Crafter. I'll post a full review of this first prototype next time. Overall I'm very happy with how the whole game looks at this point. Stay tuned for that article because if you make games of any kind on The Game Crafter, you're going to want to hear this.

If you're working on a new game and would like it featured here, please send me your photos and a brief article about how you went about your design and I'll post it here.

Next Time on Board Game Nerd Alert:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next Post, I want to show how easily I go about designing a 3-D looking box like the one above on Photoshop and all the cool tips and tricks to make it look like the real thing.

Friday, July 28, 2017

How To Stay In The Game

Overcoming Your Setbacks

There's no getting around it. Just when you see the finish line, it turns out it's a mirage and the end is really no where in sight, or so it seems.

Ever get the feeling that succeeding and meeting your goals is an illusion? Don't despair, you are not alone. Most of us set goals and often find ourselves in the middle of the desert with no water in sight.

Yes, life is tough and often the unexpected hits you right between the eyes more often than not. Here's where the line, 'Believe in yourself,' comes in. Or to be exact, believe in your idea.

Ideas come to us in so many ways and by so many means. They come to us in dreams, in the shower, during moments of reverie, upon awaking, in the news, via images or comments we've seen or heard throughout the day. Sometimes good ideas just happen to us while we are in the middle of something else.

Believe in Your Idea

The important thing is to recognize that the idea is good and marketable. Don't worry about how you're going to get there, just start moving towards your goal, one step and one day at a time. You're going to come across problems and obstacles, of course, because there's no easy road to success and in reality the road to success is usually paved with epic failures.

The difference between people who find success and those who don't is in how you process your failures and setbacks. Do you give up on an a good idea because it is difficult to achieve? Because you've stumbled into an obstacle that at the time seems insurmountable.

If this sounds like a pep talk to myself, well, you could be right but it is far more than that. It is a process of reaffirming everything you believe and everything that you are hoping for in your venture. Because getting to the finish line is half the fun. Finding your way through the labyrinth is part of the journey.

This past week I cheerfully opened my email as I do every morning, only to find an email with hard news, to say the least.

One of the parts to my game (Millennium) had just been discontinued. That means that supplies of this particular part are low and once those parts are all gone, they are no longer available. And that means I will need to find a similar part to take its place, or eliminate the part and its mechanics, along with its intended effect and re-do all the artwork and instructions that went along with it and so on.

A small nightmare. My first thought was that this was an inevitable end to Millennium because this part is integral to the game and in many ways the game is structured around this particular part, which happens to be multiple parts. In this case, a set of five train cars.

Quitting did cross my mind, but not for long.

Sure quitting is an option. Sometimes quitting is necessary because it will save you countless of man-hours and dollars spent for almost nothing to show for, except for an extrapolation of an idea, which might lead to something better than your original idea.

Hmm, not a good trade off after six months of hard work. So it's back to the drawing board to see if I can save Millennium. For now, I will exchange the wooden train cars with flat tokens. That will have to do unless The Game Crafter keeps these parts, which they will not.

What to do? Don't panic. It's not the end of the world, although it feels like it at times, but it is an opportunity to make the game even better. At least that is what I'm telling myself.

I'm not happy replacing these parts with tokens but it will have to do because I checked with TGC and in fact they are going to discontinue these parts. Lucky me. Good thing this is just a prototype.

I'm still ordering the prototype this coming month to see how it all plays out and I hope to find a better solution. Although I know that not having these parts diminish the game in so many ways. I mean the parts were very crude wooden parts anyway with no detail and ideally I want metal parts with great detail, similar to the Monopoly game. I know, dream on.

I could set out to cast these metal parts myself (by the thousands) if I need to but it's way to early to tell. Once I get the prototype in house and play-test it, I'll have a better idea whether to find a die caster to make these train cars or just scrap the train idea altogether.

I doubt that scraping the trains is a good idea. I'll just have to dig a little deeper and either find these parts elsewhere or manufacture them myself. It's a heck of a spot to be in after eight months of work.

No worries. I'll figure out something great.

Fingers crossed.

(This is where I sob and utter the dreadful words,  Good riddance cruel world!)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Video Teaser Secrets - A Crash Course

Video teasers for your board games are important because you need to bring viewers and players into the world you have created. Once we put gamers inside the this new world, we must give them an emotional reason to stay there and an end goal to accomplish.

Think of board games or video games just like a movie or a good novel. We need to immerse viewers, readers, gamers into an unfamiliar world and we must strive to give them something or someone to root for.

Millennium Promo made with Filmora
Teasers are all about teasing viewers or in other words, enticing them with a scenario they want to be in and take part of or a character they would like to play or pretend to be.

It's a tall order for a short 30 second teaser, but it is precisely the teaser's brevity that really helps hook viewers because when a teaser is done right, it leaves them wanting more.

How do viewers get more? They visit the game website, they become curious, intrigued, and inspired to buy the game to see how it all plays out. The bottom line is simple. They know something about the beginning of this game and after seeing the teaser (or a longer video) they become more curious and consequently they need to experience the ending of the game. It's like an itch they need to scratch.

Let's break down the process of
creating an effective
30 second video teaser.

1. Your opening image or text should provoke questions or make viewers curious to find out more.
2. Follow with images that build your story.
3. Introduce your hero and his or her quest.
4. End your video in a fresh or unexpected way.
5. Don't give away the ending.
6. If possible include a free promo offer.

Like I said, this list is a tall order to fit into a 30 second teaser but it can be done, of course. First gather all the images you're going to use (about 15 to 20) and upload them to your favorite video editor. I recommend either iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, or Wondershare's Filmora.

Get your images in sequence and set the timing of each image accordingly. Give viewers enough time to process an image (about 1 or 2 seconds). Based on these time limits, 30 images would run for about 30 seconds. Although, most images should run for less than a second.

Make sure that your sequence of images tell a story or part of your story to be exact. Your story line can be linear or random. The point is that by the end of the video, viewers are intrigued enough and inspired enough to click for more because you have teased them just long enough for them to want to know the rest of the story or the end of the story.

Keep in mind that it's all about emotions. Your video should strive to evoke emotions and to provoke questions. You must keep your story a mystery. Reveal too much at your own risk. Remember this video is just a tease. It must raise questions, not provide answers.

Too many details will ruin your video. Keep it vague with a sense of mystery. Provoke thought and inspire viewers to click for more because they need closure.

For an in depth overview about producing effective videos, visit
Book Teasers Pub for much more.