Prismata’s History in Videos (and how *YOU* can be in the next one!)

Hey, guys!

First up, a quick announcement: our Impending Doom contest ended Saturday, and we received the first answer just over four hours after the contest went live. Congratulations to MasN, who completed the challenge first. All of our top 10 finishers, alongside their finishing times, are listed here.

With one contest out of the way, we’ve decided to announce another. We’re calling it Prismata in 60 Seconds, and the goal is simple: make the best 1-minute Prismata video you can. Details are given near the bottom of the article, but the prizes include an ambassador badge, the chance to design your own emote, the much-coveted first edition Prismata t-shirt, and over $100 in Prismata rewards.

Before we get to the rules and prizes, let’s take a look at Prismata’s history, according to the various videos and trailers released on our youtube channel over the past year. Whether you haven’t watched any of them, or you’re a dedicated subscriber who literally watches every single video the hour it’s posted, there might be a few little things you never knew about these videos!

Remember our first trailer? Well, we do. It looks like it was filmed with a potato, the text looks like a high school student made it in Windows Movie Maker, and the game art has almost all been replaced (though note that some units, like Gauss Cannon, remain relatively unchanged). You can also see our first attempts at skins, including the ever-tasteful Doge Drone and first-ever Pirate Drone:



The trailer wasn’t really meant to be good—it was a low-effort test to see if we could get people actually interested in our game. We used it to gauge responses and build some initial fans and friends on Twitter and Facebook. It didn’t impress anyone (trust us, we knew it sucked), but it was one of the first times we had publicly exposed any aspect of our game at all. It was also the first video we posted to YouTube. Our very own Elyot Grant composed the soundtrack.

We ended up redoing the trailer a few months later with better art, nicer text, and no more Doge Drone:



This video is largely a mix of old and new art. The weird, pixelated skull you see above was temporary art from opengameart, which was later replaced. The Engineer is also old art, and Steelsplitter formerly used Xeno Guardian’s art. The square ‘card backs’ also look very different.

Alongside the trailer, we released a 10-minute “How To Play Prismata” video, which was linked at the end of the trailer:



The goal of this video was to give people a way to learn more about the game and become more interested in it, but it was a bit too long-winded. We later shortened this to a 6-minute version and renamed it to “What Is Prismata?” Though not perfect, it served for a long time as the definitive introduction to the game for most players. However, now that we’re looking to attract more casual players and expand our audience, we hope that new players will be able learn about Prismata by watching a much shorter video, which is where the Prismata in 60 Seconds contest comes in. We’ll get to that in just a moment.

More recently, a lot of the coolest Prismata videos online have been created by people streaming the game. If you’ve paid attention to our Kickstarter or followed along with our blog, then you’ve probably seen videos featuring Elyot, our co-founder. Here’s a clip from the first Twitch stream he ever did, all the way back in September 2014:



Our first Twitch stream was a milestone for Prismata. We chose to stream after we hit the front page of Reddit, and there’s a bit of a story behind why. Elyot explains it best:

It was Friday, September 12, 2014 when we hit the reddit frontpage for the first time. That Friday night, I went to a party hosted by my good friend Mike “Timex” McDonald. Many startup types and web entrepreneurs were there, and the first thing I did after getting there was ask every single one of them, “I just made the front page of Reddit. What do I do now?” They told me two things:

1) “Get on Kickstarter.”

2) “Find a way to engage your audience. NOW.”

Before anyone had the chance to offer me a drink, I left the party early and rushed home. I stayed up all night figuring out how to stream on Twitch. I got Alex to lend me his webcam. I emailed everyone who had signed up for our mailing list the day before, and told them I’d be streaming the game that night. And then around 7pm on Saturday, September 13, 2014, the first ever Prismata stream went live.

Since then, we’ve been continually uploading stream highlights and other random update videos. However, there’s one huge video that deserves a special mention: the Kickstarter video. Kickstarter was a huge deal for us, partly because we weren’t really sure if our game, with its lack of visual polish, would be capable of earning much. The video featured poker player Mike McDonald (the same Mike who hosted the party mentioned in Elyot’s quote above), and was partially filmed in Mike’s house, as well as in our own office.


Our videographer Steve shooting footage of TC and Mike for our Kickstarter video.

The video itself took one and a half days to film, and we spent roughly 1% of our Kickstarter budget on filming costs. Editing was done by Alex over a period of a couple of weeks. Dozens of scenes were completely discarded and hours of footage was compressed and shortened into the final, four-minute video:

This trip down memory lane has shown us that video media can be very powerful and persuasive, particularly when introducing Prismata to new players. But it highlights some shortcomings of the video content we currently have. You might notice the following things:

  1. Prismata is pretty cool.
  2. Prismata is best when shared with friends.
  3. None of these videos are really that great when you just want to show Prismata to your friends. The current how-to-play video is too long, and the trailers and Kickstarter video don’t explain enough about how the game works.

This is where Prismata in 60 Seconds comes in. We want to build a bank of community-created videos that you send to your friends when you want to show them Prismata.

Need an example? Take a look at this excellent community-made 60-second introduction to TagPro (another independent online multiplayer game with a great reddit community). We really like it:


This video is just about perfect. It’s short, funny, and explains just enough so that you understand how to play, without going into too many details. It’s been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and has been a tremendous help in growing the TagPro community. Videos like this can make a huge difference in how people perceive games like TagPro and Prismata, which are otherwise hard for people to hear about. We know that the best way to grow Prismata is through the community (that’s you!), and the best way to do this is for us to encourage the creation of tools and content that can help you share Prismata with your friends.

Hence the contest. Here’s the banner again:

What awesome prizes, you ask? See below:

Grand Prize (one) A limited edition Prismata T-shirt, and a Grand Centurion supporter pack valued at over $120.
Winners (up to five) A chance to “design your own emote.” Get your own personally designed emote added to Prismata.
EVERYONE Anyone who makes a serious effort at a video will receive an Ambassador badge to display in Prismata.

The rules are simple:

  • Create a newb-friendly Prismata video and upload it to youtube.
  • Your video should be about 1 minute long. A few seconds over is OK, but try to keep it as succinct as possible.
  • Send a link to your video to by on Wednesday, February 18th.
  • We’ll post our favourite entries on reddit.
  • Collaborations are welcome and encouraged.

A few tips:

  • If you wish, you can use any video or audio footage from Prismata itself or the Prismata Youtube channel, including the Prismata soundtrack.
  • If you’d like to capture video footage of Prismata, our favourite software for doing that is OBS (and as a bonus, you can also stream using it!)
  • Quality counts, but content counts more. You don’t need 1080p HD quality, a top-of-the-line microphone, or fancy editing.
  • Have fun with it and get creative!

We look forward to seeing your entries!