Earlier this month, Evolution's Nigel Kershaw rallied against gamers disappointed with Motorstorm's failure to mimic the 'concept movie' shown in 2005, saying that 'target renders don't matter'. Here, Axis Animation MD Richard Scott offers his opinion of why target renders do indeed matterâ?¦Target renders, X-movies, trailers - whatever you call them, this is one of the ways that Axis as a studio delivers animation to our clients in the game industry. We are proud of what we do: for us it’s an exciting opportunity to be involved with some of the best developers and publishers in the world, on some of the best titles for current generation gaming.
We get to do what we love: produce incredible high quality animated films that make people sit up and take notice. It's this element of being able to get people to take notice that makes me say that, hell yeah, target renders do matter.
Target renders are a massively important tool for communicating, inspiring, exciting and quite simply selling. They allow whoever uses them to clearly get across their vision for a game and get people to buy in.
That means if you’re a development team you can excite your publisher, you can give your team a clearly expressed goal of what to aim for in terms of visuals, gameplay and pushing the boundaries of your platform. In our experience we have also had some great collaborative moments where developers have asked us about how we achieved certain render looks or styles with a view to incorporating that into the game itself, which is very rewarding for both sides.
If you’re a publisher you can excite your management and marketing teams internally, even your board of directors or worldwide partners – and all of this can ultimately culminate in you getting it out there into the gaming community and exciting the game-playing public too.
This seems to be where people feel the can of worms can be opened: should these movies be released to the consumer? My first reaction is yes, of course. If you want that same level of excitement that is being felt internally at the developer and publisher to transfer into the gaming community then it makes perfect sense.
We live in a world where everyone is hungry for content of any type and if you have great content and an exciting product people will be all over it. Are there some risks? Yes. There is the much-discussed matter of making sure you don’t misrepresent the animation as any type of in-game content but, if we have both done our jobs correctly on the creative and the trailer works delivering on all fronts, people will be too busy salivating at the thought of what the playable experience will feel like to get caught up in that.
Do consumers hate to feel like they have been misled? Of course they do, but the days of 2005 and the questions about the ‘realism’ of trailers are long behind us. We should be comfortable with promoting and differentiating a game in whatever way we think will raise interest and, dare I say it, create hype.
However, if on release your game doesn’t deliver as a form of interactive entertainment, we all know that the consumers out there in the community will make sure you soon know about it.