Five years ago, Kerbal Space Program fan and modder Shaun Esau released his own trailer called “Build Fly Dream” for the rocket-science game. In February, I talked to Esau about the making of that project, which I consider the best gaming-related video ever made. To celebrate its anniversary, Esau has gone back to re-create it with the help of the Kerbal fan community.
Where Esau focused on the game in the original trailer, this time around he has turned the focus more on the people who play it. He call it “Build Fly Dream — Community Edition,” and you can watch it below:
The new trailer takes footage from dozens of creators who played Kerbal on Twitch and YouTube, and like the original, it revels in the carnage of mislaunches and miscalculations but also in what Kerbal enables players to become: virtual rocket scientists. You can see that spectrum of experience reflected in the footage, but it comes to a head near the end of the trailer when Esau brings in messages from the Reddit community.
“It wasn’t easy, but I got accepted into an Aerospace Engineering Program,” one Reddit post reads. “Thanks, Kerbal.”
I’ve watch the video multiple times now, and I keep tearing up as that post scrolls onto the screen. It’s evidence for the thesis of the original trailer. You build and you fly, but all of that is in service of something bigger: your dreams.