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[PATV] Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - Extra Credits Season 5, Ep. 10: Demo Daze

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Posts

  • BuraisuBuraisu Innovator Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I think one of the best examples of a great demo is MAG. It's the full game, except they put a level cap and the players still gain experience after reaching the cap. MAG shows the players what level they would be if they bought the full game based on the experience they have gained so far.

    So basically, they pay to unlock the additional weapons and skill points they would have now, if they owned the game... and as their level raises, the more they want to break down and buy the growing treasure chest of skills and weapons. I ended up going thirty levels before buying the game and I find myself having a strong will to resist paying money. I ended up prestiging six times, feel a little dirty each time because what I ended up paying for (skills and weapons) got reset and I ended back at level 1 which from my experience was free-to-play territory.

    Universal Username: Naivedo
    GW2 Username: Naivedo.4617
    MinuteWalt
  • DreamingDreaming Registered User
    I may be old and jaded, but I refuse to pre-order these days. If you have a demo, I will play it and decide if I like the game. If you don't have a demo, I probably won't look at your game. If its a game I'm really interested in and there's no demo, expect it to get....uh....boarded on the high seas. I still buy the games I like from my boarded subjects, but I'm not gonna drop $60 to try something in an industry that is so hit and miss.

    SantaPrime
  • Wildcard608Wildcard608 Registered User regular
    Even in the PlayStation 2 era the demo's in PlayStation Underground taught me about a lot of games I ended up loving like MGS or Crash Bandicoot. Even Psychonauts. So demo's can have a great effect on sales. Metal Gear would at least have a few less sales if it wasn't hyped as a demo. Otherwise several people who subscribe to the magazine but don''t pay attention to the hype would not know of it.

  • caniscanis Registered User regular
    Why do these people always have to try and find a way to take a shot at the U.S.? Or the culture of the U.S.? If you think Japan is so much better with it's Confucius philosophy then go there. I enjoy my enlightenment era culture byproduct.

    Skagasm
  • aurisauris Registered User
    This information seems slightly worrisome for small indie developers looking to release games on OUYA.

  • thatguy6917thatguy6917 Registered User regular
    i bought brutal legend due to the demo. good demo meh game - i would buy a 2nd in hope of less bad RTS more open world,awesome music,funny dialog ect but i think brutal legend should have either made it a group slasher[ get sum NPCs to follow you like overlord] and go that route or make the RTS style more appealing like dif kinds of fights. 'lemmy explain that a bit'

    while playing brutal legend i started on the hardest dif - brutal - i played it 4 times.
    first playthrough - i went the reg route of mixed units tried to counter the NPC, this however hurt me in the end because the NPC would counter my units b4 i could get em which made the fights much more difficult.
    pt2 i just zerg rushed. won every time withing 5-7m

    p3/p4 i ended up just using the basic headbangers and girls and won with a win/lose.

    since the games RTS fights were all the same - 1 base each fight for the mines of souls. win after u get a good upperhand.

    my thought would be like the very first time u get in this type of fight and hold off wave after wave sorta like a RTS defense game. or like many other games capture and defense areas ect to pull off the main reason that the RTS fights itself was flawed :(

    idk if i just rambled or made a point but if enyone got sum extra points stories ect i would love to hear em i love stories haha

  • mekman 2mekman 2 a goober Registered User regular
    I was sold on the Theif games based on the demo alone. Without the demo I would have never even heard of those games. I think the problem of profiting off a game demo has to do with the expectations of a console game versus something like a game on a PC. On a dedicated game console a demo may seem more like (physical) game sharing rather than prompting a purchase, where as something like a PC game demo (even and maybe especially a smaller game) would benefit more on an "open platform" environment.

  • bibiz99944xbibiz99944x Registered User
    Outcome #10 : There's no demo but marketing department is awesome. Marketing makes you buy the game. Like to many games you've bought because of marketing, it sucks (or isn't worth the full price). So, you get frustrated and it lead to outcome #11.
    Outcome #11 : You download illegaly the game to try it before buying. If the games sucks or is just OK, you skip it and download the next game. If the game is awesome you buy it.

    All the outcomes presented in the video are, IMHO, short sighted from a dev/editor perspective. As a customer, If I'm not satisfied with the product or service or if I feel ripped off, I won't buy anymore from you. On a single game statistics, demos might decrease sales. But on the long run, I wouldn't be surprise it increases sales.

    RyanGatts
  • AdmiralMemoAdmiralMemo Trekkie Extraordinaire Baltimore, Maryland, USARegistered User regular
    mekman 2 wrote: »
    I was sold on the Thief games based on the demo alone. Without the demo I would have never even heard of those games.
    Technically, that's not a plus side for the demo, though, even if the demo is excellent and made you buy the game. That's a negative mark on their marketing. If you didn't hear about the game without the demo, that just proves their marketing sucks.

  • R3DT1D3R3DT1D3 Registered User regular
    I whole-heartedly disagree with the conclusions of this episode. First, the whole premise of the the outcomes presumes that the developer should do anything they can to trick the customer into buying a poor or mediocre game. Justifying this by saying they could lose sales is like saying no one will buy your product if you tell the truth. The only meaningful outcomes are the mediocre-great games that have demos vs those that do not.

    Second, I never play the demo of a game I know I'm going to buy unless it's specifically demo-only content. From this perspective, the only thing a demo can do for me is get me interested in a game as I'm not going to go out of my way and buy the game without trying it first. There have been several games that I never would have even taken a second look at were there no demo.

    Lastly, it's sickening that the marketing for a substantial portion of games is based solely on trailers, hands-off previews, and sizzle-reels. I don't want to call it unethical to have a demo (as some studios barely get the game out at all), but it's really asking a lot of consumers to blindly buy on hype and expectations rather than evidence. Sometimes I feel like AAA marketing is more like putting on a good infomercial than actually selling the product on merits.

    All that being said, the dollar will trump anything else so long as they can get away with it so I don't see any change happening.

    aLmAnZo
  • Dr.FeverDr.Fever Registered User
    I think the death of demos is more about development in general. Right now, I can only name a few really great titles that I want to own on one hand. In my 25 years or gaming, I can say that this is probably the least "want" for gaming I've ever had.

    What I mean to say here is that there are only a nominal amount of truly money worthy games. Replayability is usually manifested as some sort of tacked on multiplayer experience, and the single-player meat is whittled away to make room for this.

    How demos factor into this, is that developers are making mediocre or short games. A perfect example of this is Ashura's Wrath. I must have played that demo over and over again, relentlessly pounding away at that giant. It was fun. The game looked like a supercharged version of Street Fighter 4. But then the reviews came out. "Short" they said. "Meh" they said. I didn't buy it, nor did I rent it, thanks to Blockbuster's demise in Canada a few years ago.

    Although, I must admit, the demo for Kingdom of Amamamama-lur made me buy it. It was a solid 40 minute chunk of game, let me try out some of the mechanics, got me introduced to a very small portion of storyline. Bam, I bought it, and I'm not one for the sword and sorcery set.

    Also, I find they typical dissemination of information about a new title is killing it as well. By the time a new AAA title is released, I've read the IMDB entry to see if Nolan North is voicing the male lead, Gamespot has a trailer from the latest "Leipzig DevConn X4 2012" and IGN is generally making it sound like the best title on the planet. I know more about the development of the game than the developers do. Why would I need a demo at this point? I've already made an educated decision as a consumer. I'm not buying it.

  • DreamifismDreamifism Registered User
    Seems to me games need to be less simplistic; if you've experienced enough of a demo that buying the whole game is pointless, your game is to simple. ultimately, most games are lacking in engagement, but really, make a good demo if u want to give a good impression. this perspective in the video i find silly, because the majority of negative outcomes are a result of a company making a less than great game, and if they've done that they already have issues.

    you may as well say that the odds of making a great game ppl like, that stands out from the rest is difficult, so you may as well not make games. A true creator should have his eyes set on delivering a fantastic experience, whether creating a game or a demo.

    Finally, im not exactly clear why making a demo is so much work when all the code and assets is already present. ive heard there is some legitimate issue here, but if a team fulfills their goal of creating a great experience, they should be able to figure out a bite sized experience that intrigues the audience. They should be designed just as much as a game is. If this is too much for them....maybe they shouldnt be in charge

    im maybe a bit harsh, but i love games, and i dont want excuses getting in the way

  • Indigo DarkwolfIndigo Darkwolf Registered User regular
    @R3DT1D3: A demo has the possibility of exceeding its game, just like a trailer. And devs do try to make their game look its best in demos just as they do in trailers. Call it "trickery" if you really feel that devs are heartless machines who only care about the depth of your pockets. I guess I just don't know how to convince you otherwise.

    But it's just as "false" in a demo as with a trailer. A demo is just a different, more expensive (in AAA games at least), riskier medium: a medium where every case that doesn't "trick" players instead turns them away. The only exception is when the game is fantastic, at which point even the equally fantastic demo is completely meaningless to whether the player buys the game or not.

    The indie scene on PCs may differ. Budgets are smaller, teams are smaller, demos may be easier to release, or some indies may consider demos their only option. However, no one has that data to compare against. So on the indie scene, it's all supposition, superstition, and black magic. It wouldn't surprise me, however, if trailers were still more successful in that arena, for complicated reasons beyond the scope of this reply.

    The conclusions in this video are not just speculation, either. The video flashes the EEDAR data very briefly at 1:13, and EEDAR themselves presented the data publicly at PAX Prime 2009. Demos, on the whole, do not work.

  • MagmarFireMagmarFire Registered User regular
    @Dreamifism You'd be quite surprised as to how often assets created for a demo end up getting scrapped in the end. The code and other stuff may be there, but oftentimes, complications come up. The code needs to be adapted to account for the build being a demo (the game ending in the right places, preventing crashes from referencing content present in the actual game that's not in the demo, etc.), and if it's against the original design (which it probably is), that results in a greater development time, especially if it's been long since production's begun. Software Engineering 101: Changes in requirements made farther along in development, nine times out of ten, cost more than if they were made earlier in production.

    They actually address some of this in their Working Conditions episode.

  • DasilodaviDasilodavi Registered User regular
    I'm with the people who think this episode over-generalized the outcomes of demo/game quality and sales. But I haven't seen the Eedar data, so maybe it's simply what the facts say. Still, the "era of demos" isn't dead. I feel like they come up all the time on XBox Live.

    Of course, the most recent demo of a AAA title I played was Resident Evil 6. The demo was awful, I won't say all the things I hated here because it's not the point. The demo sucked and I had no interest in buying it afterward; my guess is Capcom would've been better served not releasing it, though depending on who you ask, apparently the full game sucks just as much and the demo reflects that.

    And I wish there was an Outcome #10: the game is good/bad/great/awful/whatever, but there's no demo. Outcome, a lot less people buy the game because their trust in the quality of the product isn't being validated. But tell me Halo 4 even needs a demo. Again, I haven't played it, but 4 million other people bought it in a week, good or bad.

  • aryan_mannaryan_mann Game Designer Registered User
    I played the demo of Castlevania : Lords of Shadow and bought it the next day . The game did the demo justice .

    " I am a game designer " - Aryan Mann
  • SlappyMeatsSlappyMeats Registered User new member
    "If the game is terrible, but the demo is-" Stop right there. If the game is terrible, the sales SHOULD be poor. Maybe great games don't need demos to sell, but we want them as consumers so we can be protected from spending money on shit games. Are we disincentivizing terrible devs from releasing demos? Sure, but for all wrong reasons. Basically, what this video seems to be suggesting is that bad developers refrain from making demos so they can slip garbage games through player wallets.

    If the assist is marginal for great games with demos and little else, then sure: I guess there's kinda no real point for those devs to bother. However, it really shouldn't be made out to be the consumer's fault that bad games with accurately bad demos lose sales. Ideally, that should incentivize studios to, oh I dunno...not make terrible games, perhaps?

  • SlappyMeatsSlappyMeats Registered User new member
    "If the game is terrible, but the demo is-" Stop right there. If the game is terrible, the sales SHOULD be poor. Maybe great games don't need demos to sell, but we want them as consumers so we can be protected from spending money on shit games. Are we disincentivizing terrible devs from releasing demos? Sure, but for all wrong reasons. Basically, what this video seems to be suggesting is that bad developers refrain from making demos so they can slip garbage games through player wallets.

    If the assist is marginal for great games with demos and little else, then sure: I guess there's kinda no real point for those devs to bother. However, it really shouldn't be made out to be the consumer's fault that bad games with accurately bad demos lose sales. Ideally, that should incentivize studios to, oh I dunno...not make terrible games, perhaps?

    TurtleFlower
  • martrammartram Registered User new member
    I don't think this reflects indie games. I mostly only buy indie games on XBLA that I can try first. Because the "trust" factor is not there without the demo, or very detailed videos.

  • PossiblyMontyPossiblyMonty Registered User new member
    Demos are, IMHO, a waste of resources. As a person living so far below the poverty line I can't even see it from here, I only gets to purchase one game a year. Because of this I learned an important truth of the internet when I was young: All games have demos, It's called Piracy. When your computer is your main source of education, employment and entertainment, legal issues like copyrights tend to take a backseat to issues like eating and heat. Developers don't really need to make demos. Consumers will take care of that for them if the game is any good. It's like natural selection. Make your game good and people will pirate it, if it's good, they will buy it. I haven't purchased a game I couldn't pirate in.. well... since Dungeon Keeper (Which I played at a friends house.)

  • NokturnalexNokturnalex Registered User new member
    Demos are great for small game studios who know their game is awesome or want to show off their game for those who are on the fence about it. Take Stanley Parable's demo, I have no doubt it increased sales.

    It's bad for AAA studios cause most of their games ARE bad, these studios want to release a game every year (CoD, EA, I'm looking at you) which means they haven't invested enough time into them, but they've invested so much money into them they have to release it whether it's good or not and they will try their hardest to make as much money as possible. Demos used to be the norm cause developers were honorable enough to not try to hype up a bad game, but nowadays it's all about the money, especially with these AAA titles and studios.

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