After releasing We Were Here (2017) and We Were Here Too (2018), Total Mayhem Games is working on their next title: We Were Here Together. I wrote the text for the voice-over in the game’s reveal trailer.
The trailer was released on the 12th of September 2018 and can be viewed here:
After they supplied me with a greybox trailer and a lore document for the games’ universe, Total Mayhem Games presented me with the following task:
- Write the voice-over text for the cinematic trailer;
- The text should reveal or allude to (secret) plot points from the game’s characters and storyworld backgrounds;
- The trailer is approximately 1:20 minutes long; the text should fit that length when read aloud;
- Delivery of the text is intended to be dramatic and the text should accommodate that;
- Rhyming is preferred, but not required. ABABCBCB was included as an example scheme;
- The intended tone of the trailer is tense and ghastly;
- The style should have a Lovecraftian feel.
During my writing process, it was my goal to:
- Use a rhyming scheme that is uncommon, preferably even unorthodox, to amplify the uneasy feeling present in the text;
- Insert a twist, reversal or menacing flourish at the end of the monologue to send chills up the viewers’ spine;
- Include a select number of archaic words, since the speaking character is supposed to have lived for centuries, but not too many as that might alienate the audience.
The main challenge I faced was how to combine the Lovecraftian style with the required story content. Lovecraft’s stories feature colourful use of language that builds atmosphere and paints eerie scenes. As a writer of prose, he had ample opportunity to indulge, rephrase, or simply to meander. He devotes entire paragraphs solely to evoke a sense of dread, or to deliver a description of some horrendous creature.
Since the trailer had to tell a story within a predefined (and strict) time constraint, this created tension. I was required to choose my words carefully and spend them economically, yet maintain the desired Lovecraftian flavour. I decided to prioritise telling the Jester’s story over gratuitous dwelling on rambling elaborations. Total Mayhem Games appears to agree with that decision; my first draft only required minor corrections before it was deemed fit for the trailer.
A more thorough breakdown of my writing process as well as the full text as delivered by me will be featured in a future blog post.
It is flattering and motivating to see how well the trailer is received! Total Mayhem Games and I look forward to cooperating more in the future, to supply their Jester with the appropriate voice.
The game is available for wishlisting on Steam and is set to release in 2019.