The title is a bit of an overstatement. But recently we were thinking about what the ads for Braid would be like. (It’s actually a requirement of Xbox Live Arcade for a game to have some bitmap ads made, which can be placed on the Live dashboard and on the web site).
I deeply dislike ads, but I took this as an exercise to come up with something simple that communicates useful things about the game in a straightforward way; that is faithful to the nature of the game, without being base in the hope of attracting peoples’ attention; and that is respectful of the viewer’s attention. After some back-and-forth with David we came up with the following:
We did not put a huge amount of effort into these; we feel it’s more important to put the real effort into the game. But I think they’re relatively sophisticated and communicate a lot about the game in a simple fashion. (For example, most people who have played platformers will probably understand the genre just from this picture).
One thing they don’t communicate, unfortunately, is that this is a sophisticated puzzle game about time manipulation. But that seems like the kind of thing that is difficult to communicate in a bitmapped ad like this, without resorting to lots of verbiage and betraying the aesthetic of the game, or else just being ineffective.
So we’re settling with conveying the art style and the conflicted sense of emotion, and from there people can download the free demo and see if they like the time stuff.