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Early Friday morning, GameTrailers revealed the world premier trailer of Telltale Games’ long awaited episodic adventure, Back To The Future The Game. Back in June, Telltale released a teaser announcing the project along with a Jurrasic Park title. For six months, fans have been on pins and needles — and for anyone (including myself) following the hype, this particular trailer was supposed to be epic. Telltale themselves said, “it looks fantastic!”

All subjectivity aside, there can be an argument as to why the trailer fails or succeeds in delivering 1.21 jiggawatts of excitement. It lends itself perfectly to this next installment on what it takes to hype up a game right, or wrong. A bit of fair warning, this article bears potentially gruesome videos after the jump.  We’ll let you decide why they’re both gruesome.

First, lets look at the Back To The Future The Game trailer:

Not much is revealed about the story. From the meager amount of shots the trailer gave us, Doc is in jail and he was somehow able to bring the DeLorean back from the dead (remember the wreck in part III?) along with a very vague message for Marty. Now Marty’s heading to 1931.

Quality wise, facial animations are horrible. Albeit, the environment and art style are spot on with what Telltale was envisioning, according to their development videos.

Information is the main asset to this trailer. Instead of the story, fans and gamers alike now know when they’re going to get it, even though they don’t know exactly what it is:

  • December: Episode 1 “It’s About Time”
  • February: Episode 2 “Get Tannen!”
  • March: Episode 3 “Citizen Brown”
  • April: Episode 4 “Double Visions”
  • May: Episode 5 “OUTATIME”

If you’re able to forgive the bad lip syncing, the trailer perhaps makes up for Telltale’s misstep release of their Facebook Bejeweled rip-off Back To The Future: Blitz Through Time. Offering only a time suck and some sound FX from the movie trilogy, it was no way to truly engage gamers.  Here’s hoping that they fix those facial animations.

Now, with the hype for Back To The Future The Game back on track,  let’s remember why we’re here today — the larger discussion on how developers nowadays are promoting their games. In a previous article, we compared Telltale’s method to EA’s method for Dragon Age II and People Can Fly’s method for Bulletstorm. The bigger question arose – would gamers head over to Facebook to play cheap knock offs only because they bare the Back To The Future title or EA logo, especially when they’re obvious promo tools with little to no gaming quality?

In the end, it seemed the folks at People Can Fly were doing things right. Opting to stay out of Facebook gaming, they instead host all the main hype and promotions on their website. Aside from a nifty slot machine game that gave you the reward of seeing some sweet skill shot videos, they also have been posting religiously on their blog. There, they let the gaming world know their entire process and sometimes post some wild in-game footage.

Alas, that slot machine game has since been taken down. To make up for it, they’ve been hitting their blog full force in recent days. Among news that new skill shots are being added, they posted the following video on Friday along with an explanation on how they just keep making things better and better. “Mercy” is a skill shot where you shoot an enemy in the privates; and while he’s writhing in pain, you take him out of his misery by taking his head. Their most recent blog describes how the idea for this shot came about. Apparently, they put a lot of thought into this absurd, but wholly entertaining move.

Warning, this is a mature video not for the faint of heart:

  1. I think it is safe to say the back to the future trailer did not quite meet the jiggawatt levels most people consider acceptable.

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