Development Diary #11: Making a Trailer

We just posted our first trailer for Cally’s Caves 2, and since we were figuring it out as we went along, nothing seems more appropriate than a dev diary on how we made it.  You can use it as a cautionary tale, or get some tips that may be useful for your trailer, it’s really up to how you judge our final product.


When we made the trailer for the first Cally’s Caves game, we used a very popular screen recording software called Fraps to capture our footage.  We then used an editing software named Proshow Producer to edit the clips together and make our trailer.  While this was a decent way of doing it, we had problems with the overall video quality.  Fraps recorded high quality footage, but when we stitched together the .avi files that Fraps makes, then rendered the project again in Proshow Producer, there was a severe decline in video quality.  Add Youtube’s compression to the mix and we ended up with a pretty grainy trailer, as you can see for yourself above.

One thing we think worked out nicely for the Cally’s Caves trailer was how the footage was edited to the music, and ramped up as it went along.  We knew we could use some of the techniques we had learned making that trailer and make the trailer for Cally’s Caves 2 way better.

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Cally’s Caves 2 OST now available on Bandcamp!

Since we had wrapped up our soundtrack work on Cally’s Caves 2, we figured we might as well put it up on Bandcamp and see what happens!  We will be linking to the Bandcamp in a “support the developers” tip in the game.  It’s pretty much our “donate” button for Cally’s Caves 2, since the game will be totally free.  Enjoy the tunes, and if you like them, there’s 21 full tracks for only 3 dollars.  Also, if you don’t want to pay, there’s always our Soundcloud, which has a decent number of the tracks available for free.

Development Diary #3: Music Beginnings

I started working on the music for our second game before we knew we would be making a sequel to Cally’s Caves.  This is mostly due to the fact that I’ve always been into making music using Propellerheads’ Reason software, as well as playing guitar and piano in my spare time.  In the lull between games, I knew I could be productive by just making some songs and experimenting with different sounds and chord progression ideas.  I was proud of the music from Cally’s Caves and wanted to continue to make tracks since I find it very creatively satisfying, even if my ears are the only ones hearing it.


The general feel of the soundtrack in Cally’s Caves was not exactly coherent, it was a melange of upbeat, hyper tracks, and ambient, atmospheric ones.  I liked the way the music evoked different moods in the different levels, but I know I can do better this time around, and give the soundtrack more of a coherent feel.  That being said, my musical process remains the same, and it always begins with a guitar or piano.

(note – this diary links to my soundcloud for the tracks I’m writing about, since WordPress doesn’t like audio files)

“Lloyd’s Theme” was one of the first tracks I composed for Cally 2, and I came up with the idea while noodling on my guitar.  I eventually came up with the verse and chorus riffs, which are incredibly simple (and not very well-played in the recording).  Lloyd is a character that helps Cally learn the systems of the game, and appears at many different points throughout Cally 2.  He’s always sitting there, playing guitar, and I wanted a guitar-based theme to play every time he shows up, so the player hears it and knows a tutorial is sure to follow, a Pavlov’s dog kind of situation.  After recording the acoustic bits, I fed them into reason, sequenced them, and created a simple drumbeat, bassline, and synth melody to round out the track.  It’s very simple, but that’s the feel I was going for, and I hope that it will come across like Lloyd is playing the guitar in the final product. Continue reading

Development Diary #2: Art Style

The art in Cally’s Caves was done entirely by my good friend Dave in an open-source pixel art editor called Aseprite.  Well we were very happy with the art as a first effort – Dave taught himself how to do it in just a few short months – there’s always room for improvement, and some of our reviews commented on the art in a not-so-positive way.  I know that with Cally 2 it is incredibly important to have the art be amazing, and comparable to the best art on any iOS game, in order to have the best chance at success.  Things evolved naturally when Dave moved to a different city and let me know that he probably wouldn’t have enough time to do the art on another game (he will be staying on in a design/level editor capacity).

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I posted on the TIGsource forums about looking for a pixel artist for Cally’s Caves 2, linking the first game and hoping and praying someone would answer and want to collaborate with me on the game.  Enter Pablo, an artist who emailed me asking if the position was open and sending me a portfolio of some of his work.  I instantly jumped at the opportunity, recognizing his work as exactly what I was looking for.  The first actual work he sent me for Cally’s Caves 2 was this promo image, which you may have seen before on this blog:


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