Why do developers make bad videos?

It is a curious thing. You spend countless hours, blood, sweat, and tears creating something…so why, at the very end, when it is time to reap the benefits of the hard work, do you publish a poor showcase for your product? I’ve never understood this. Poor scenery, poor editing, poor soundtrack, jaggy FPS, bad composition…it doesn’t sell your product. And I’ve seen bad promos that totally undersell a good product. Still scratching my head over why this is so common…

The reason I brought it up is that I’m interested in buying the AOASimulations F-35 for X-Plane…but their promo video just…uh…makes me not want to buy it. If you are going to sell me on an airplane addon:


  • Get a computer that can run it at better than 40FPS
  • Make an attempt at flying the aircraft realistically
  • Don’t let bad scenery make your good product look bad
  • Buy a TrackIR so your cockpit shots don’t look stilted and, well…awful…
  • Contrary to what you might think - electric guitar is rarely a compelling soundtrack
  • Don’t try so hard to underwhelm me

And, of course, you don’t have to go totally the other way. You don’t have to hire Steven Spielberg to make your promo…nor do you need to add effects in the video that aren’t there in-game (extra war sounds and ATC that doesn’t happen).

I don’t even sell these things…I just write about em’…and I think I sometimes make better promos than the developers. A curious thing.

Sorry if I’m sounding whiny. I’ll take my beatings like a man.



It’s an afterthought.

A proper video requires a story, something you want to tell or show. A storyboard with timing and motion indicators to show the shot you want. It needs a world to set it in. And a target audience.

that’s a serious amount of effort, which honestly they should give that to someone else to do. The disadvantage is is that it requires money and time.

Perhaps Aerosoft is coaching their developers? I think I’ve seen a lot more slick promo’s from addons sold by them.


I can agree with that to the extent that you are making something awesome. If you’re just making something to showcase your product well (as opposed to the not so great that beach is referring to) it really doesn’t take much.

They’re just kinda lazy about it. Or they don’t understand.

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Honestly its not just vids, there can be many things that a game developer should try and bring extra help in on. Working in the print industry, I get my nose out of joint on some document layouts, ED is pretty good, but I have seen some where it would have been much better to get help in doing so. I have to believe it comes down to either cost, or just not appreciating the talent some of these extra things take.

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I’ve got no real insight on promo videos other than I find videos infinitely more difficult than stills to make, and I earnestly believe that if you don’t have an intuitive knack for it, you should find someone that does. Glowng Amraam can always use more money.

But no, let’s cut to the real dope here.

What is it with Xplane developers shooting non CATOBAR aircraft off of catapults?

Between this and the F-16 I’m beginning to think the X-Plane community does not understand how one carriers.


I think you guys are right…it just isn’t really thought of that much…perhaps it is beyond their level of expertise.

And yeah…Aerosoft does some slick advertising.

Thomas Rasmussen does a really good job for X-Plane add-ons:

It’s because the skills to make the thing aren’t the same as the skills to market the thing.

In one-man operations, or small dev places, they don’t place that much value on that side of things and just have their best go. Just like marketing people don’t tend to understand why the aircraft even need to have pretend rivets, the software people tend to adopt a ‘But I would buy this, so all I need to do is tell people it exists and they will surely come’. It’s pretty rare to have people who are balanced enough to be good at the left and right hand stuff.

Usually these promotional things looks more like a software attempt at the business strategy of the movie The Producers. I’m convinced some of the bad marketing I see is a tax write-off scam. :slight_smile:


This. Often, this.

Good coders do not necessarily make good video producers/directors. If they have someone on their team with those skills, then good videos get made otherwise developers look at the learning curve of the various choices in editing software and trade it off against spending more development time making the module better.

And, to bug @near_blind, I have no idea what this means:

Perhaps it requires insight? :smiley:

shush you. There was no grammatical error. We have always been at war with eastasia. Hail Big Brother.


Pretty funny. I’ve been binging on everything F-35 lately, and when I read the thread topic, I had a mental picture of exactly the same video. Does not do the product justice.

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Did you get it?..LOL…wink wink…nudge nudge…get it man…get it and report back! :smiley:

I might get it. But I will probably wait for a sale. Sim aircraft are like my equivalent to a shoe fetish. Sigh.


Sim aircraft have been labeled as a shoe fetish by the World Health Organization … at least as far as this site is concerned :slight_smile:


I bought the IndiaFoxtEcho one for P3D first, because I wanted to try getting on the boat in VR, but then sort of fell in love with the whole F-35 project (it had me at sensor fusion) and ended up buying the X-Plane offering from AOA. That version doesn’t quite look as detailed as the IFE one, but it’s surprisingly good. I like the documentation format and how the HMDS works in the AOA. They are both fun packages, IMO, but obviously need a more thorough comparison.

As everyone knows, the project has been obliterated by negative press for quite some time. So much so, that I went from being critic to rooting for the underdog(?). Add to that fact that I’m pretty sure that even if you discount the Pentagon and Capital Hill’s procurement process, that Australia, Italy, and Great Britain must have done some due diligence. Then to paraphrase a certain article MudSpike, “…the project has gotten too big to fail…”.

Lately, I’m finding myself more and more cheering for the project and enjoying moments like Gen. Goldfein’s pep talk to the home team after Red Flag 16-3, the critics and the F-35’s competition be damned. That’s right, the Kool Aid is tasting pretty good right now.

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I’m generally positive on the F-35…and really think it is a cool platform that I’d like to learn more about.

Weighed against my kid’s 50 year old school that is falling apart…I’m torn between my love for military technology and our crumbling infrastructure. It’s complicated. But I’m in awe everytime I see F-35 videos…

I think the F-35 is shaping up to be a competent aircraft. What irks me is the ridiculous procurement process that puts a damper on how much can be ordered. I think they went the complete wrong way about that and any negativity concerning that is totally justified.

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I’ll defend the F-35 until I’m blue in the face because:

  • Pierre Sprey is my blood enemy
  • The A-10 mafia/cult rustles my jimmies
  • I think the aircraft legitimately receives a bad rap.
  • It’s so fugly I can’t help but like it. Silly stupid looking stealth Hornet.

The development program however… Literally the worst thing since the A-12 fiasco.


Glowing Amraam makes the sickest video. That’s always a VERY valid choice.
I hardly believe it’s not worth pay him to sell more…


Thanks for getting us back on course @komemiute! I was about to go off on a crumbling infrastructure rant, but you saved me.

I enjoy those from Thomas Rasmussan’s channel as well, albeit he is perhaps more civilian aviation focused than Glowing Amraam.


@chipwich :wink: Much obliged

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I agree with TheAlmigtySnark. Promotional videos need to do just that - promote the product, not just show it. “Telling a Story”? Yeah - somewhat - I think that works well with a single aircraft…a bit harder for other products. A video needs to be well paced and features of the product clearly delineated. Music helps but needs to be integrated into the video sound for some scenes. And the video needs to be short - I aim for around 3 minute…give or take. Nine minutes for a single aircraft?

One of the hardest things to do is to cut that really cool scene you recorded because it just doesn’t “fit” with the rest of the video - bite the bullet and leave it “on the cutting room floor”

This is my product promo - not great but OK think.