What kind of Demos do you prefer?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rpgdreamer, Jul 9, 2017.

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Which type of demo do you find yourself enjoying more?

  1. A direct excerpt from the game (such as the beginning)

    27 vote(s)
    77.1%
  2. A story related to the game but not in the game itself (with same Main Character)

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  3. A story related to the game but not in the game itself (different character and/or POV)

    3 vote(s)
    8.6%
  4. Other (please spectify in comments!)

    4 vote(s)
    11.4%
  1. rpgdreamer

    rpgdreamer His Royal Highness Veteran

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    I find game demos very interesting and there are a lot of ways to go about it. Is there any particular style you prefer or find interesting, and why?
     
    #1
  2. Eviticous

    Eviticous Node Js Developer By Trade, FF14 Player By Heart Veteran

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    I personally want a snippet of the game. From some part of the game that is well balanced, bug free and able to be played, weather its 15 minutes or 4 hours. This aspect should be well polished.
     
    #2
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  3. l8rose

    l8rose Neeeeerd Veteran

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    I prefer something that takes place in the game itself whether it's at the beginning or somewhere in the middle. It helps me get a sense for the main characters and the game play along with the story that's going to be unfolding.
     
    #3
  4. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I'm not a fan of demos which start in the middle. I haven't had a chance to get familar with the characters, skills, or story so I have no context. It also means I can't carry forward my save file if I decide to get the game.
     
    #4
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  5. Eviticous

    Eviticous Node Js Developer By Trade, FF14 Player By Heart Veteran

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    This is how most demos work though especially at major game conferences like e3. And usually your save file won’t work after the games released because a demo is subject to change.
     
    #5
  6. Alice's hat trick

    Alice's hat trick Abraca....what was that again...? Veteran

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    Maybe like a side character's POV to the whole story! While playing as that guy you will come across a little part of the journey the main characters are having (they came across your village,chatted with you like you're a NPC).This way those who played the full game can also play this demo treating it as a new game!
     
    #6
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  7. rpgdreamer

    rpgdreamer His Royal Highness Veteran

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    I posted this because I'm torn between a lot of these options... I like playing part of the game, but I dislike the fact that there is a high chance the save won't properly carry over, especially if the developers make changes to the game after the demo (which is highly possible). I also like side stories related to the game, as it provides build up and anticipation for the actual game itself... provided that it has the same mechanics as the game that comes out! I love when side stories and the main game connect in some way, I always find that really cool.
     
    #7
  8. Alice's hat trick

    Alice's hat trick Abraca....what was that again...? Veteran

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    YES I feel the same way!:kaoluv:
     
    #8
  9. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    Here's specifically what I like in a demo:

    *Opening of the game. A proper opening for a game sets up our protagonist, our antagonist, the mystery (if there is one), the plot, and a taste of the characters we'll be interacting with. If a dev says, "We can't tell you how the game opens, it gives things away", then you know there's some terrible writers on board. The opening of your game should SET UP everything, not spoil the whole game.
    *A slew of the skills we'll be getting as well as some section where we get to tinker with the systems at play. If you have a Materia system, you should give me lots of different Materia and Materia options to play with (even if it makes me overpowered) in order to decide if I like your system or not... I should also get to play with a bunch of your skills to decide if I think your combat system is interesting or not.
    *Let me play a reasonable amount of time. If your game is 2 hours long, giving me 15 minutes to play is plenty. If you have a 45 hour epic, I require at least 2 hours to decide if your game is at the right pace and is interesting enough for me.
    *No caps. What do I mean? I mean you don't cap my level. You don't cap my stat. Don't cap my progression at all... except in accordance to the plot. If I decide I want to play your demo for 5 hours, let me do it.
    *Likewise, don't put a timer on my game time AS WELL AS a hard limit to how far you'll let me get into your game. Do one or the other. Doing both is a sure-fire way to get me to hate you as a developer. Either let me play forever in a small snippet of your game (until I get bored of it and decide to buy the full game) or give me a time limit and allow me to get as far as I can get within that limit, doing as much as I can do (so that I can better see how your game itself operates by getting further in and deciding if it's worth playing passed that time limit or not).
    *I don't like demos that consist entirely of QTEs or cutscenes. A demo should exist to let me play it. If you're taking control away from me during a demo, you're doing it wrong. You're also telling me that your game really doesn't have any CONTENT in it, it just has QTE's and Cutscenes.
    *I like a demo to be from within the game itself. I don't like the stupid "bait and switch" nonsense games like Resident Evil 7 or whatever it is, has done. If your demo is not taken directly from the game, using exactly the stuff your game uses, then why is it even a demo? You created a whole new miniature game to showcase another game you want me to buy? If you got THAT kind of time on your hands, maybe you could've spent more time making your ACTUAL GAME better, instead? When you do this, you're telling me, as a player, that you don't spend your time as a dev wisely. That you're apt to waste it on frivolous things. It's the reason I didn't pick up Resident Evil 7 in the first place and never really will. Lots of games that do that, never see a purchase from me.
    *I don't like demos that end with a sales pitch. "The demo is over, pick up the full game at blah blah blah". Or one of those, "you can continue playing if you click this and buy the game now!". When you're resorting to begging me like that, it turns me off of wanting to get the full game. It especially turns me off of opening my wallet. Your demo should feel like a complete experience, ending in a place that leaves you wanting more, but also a logical stopping point for the player to consider, on their own, whether or not to buy the game to see what happens next. If your demo has intrigued me, chances are I've decided to buy your full game before the demo was ever completed. I'm just finishing up the demo to see where it's going, see where it ends, see if there's more. No need to give me the sales pitch then. If you've done your job right with the demo, I will be screaming, "Shut up and take my money!" at you without you having to a thing.

    Anyway, that's my two cents. Lots of demos these days kind of blow it for me. They've personally just gotten so bad that it's rare I play a demo and then buy the game itself anymore, 'cause the demo has just proven to me that the game I'd buy isn't going to be fun... or interesting... or intriguing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    #9
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  10. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I think that we need some clarification about what the OP means by 'demo'.
    What I was referring to was the demo you can download before buying a game so that you can try it out. That's what my games have.

    Some people seem to be referring to a bit of playable something that is released while the game is being developed. I'd be cautious about going down that route, especially if it is something that won't be included in the final game (e.g. the suggestion that it be a side story, or something from a different PoV) because that is a lot of extra work. And I mean a lot. For it to work as a demo to generate interest in the real game, it needs to be highly polished. For many people, making and finishing a game is already a big ask (see the number of abandoned games out there), to add this on top will probably increase that number. Yes, it can be done, and is done - usually by a professional studio - but ask yourself if you really want to take time out from your game to make something else.
     
    #10
  11. rpgdreamer

    rpgdreamer His Royal Highness Veteran

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    By saying demo, I am more referring to something that is presented to the audience while the game is still in its development stage, yes. Usually, as a means to accumulate interest as well as test the waters to see if people like the game mechanics, how things look, etc, in order to ultimately create a better final finished product.
     
    #11
  12. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    I just want to play the beginning part of the game, up to the first boss fight or something.
     
    #12
  13. Lonnehart

    Lonnehart Villager Member

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    I prefer a demo that lasts five minutes which showcases the game's story and gameplay. If I'm not impressed with the game within those five minutes, then I will think it needs more work. I guess I think of it like a book... I remember being told that when you submit your manuscript the first five pages MUST impress the editor or else you will have to rework it...
     
    #13
  14. ShadowHawkDragon

    ShadowHawkDragon Veteran Veteran

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    In the case of it being a 'development demo' (or alpha/beta release), the main thing I would consider is what specific part of the game do you want feedback on the most.

    If all you wish to test is the basic feel of the game, overall writing/story-telling and the base mechanics, then by all means start at the beginning. However, in some cases the features we wish to test are either not obvious or even present at all during the early levels.

    For example lets say in my game I intended to have a certain feature. This feature from a story perspective is not available until chapter 3. If I were to release a 'demo' of just chapter 1, then it would be impossible to test that feature. Maybe that's fine, but what if the success of that one feature were detrimental to the success of the game from that point on? Do I just extend the length of the demo, requiring more time and effort before I can release it, or do I just focus on a later point in the game which allows me to showcase that one feature?

    So the question is, what feedback do you as the creator want from the demo?
    Are you just testing the waters? Are you more interested in how people view the story and characters? Or are you fine tuning a system that won't be present early game? There's also the simple matter of which part is most finalised and ready to be put out in the public's eye.
     
    #14
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  15. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I personally prefer it to be a reasonable representation of the main game. For instance, since my game has 9 chapters, I made my demo Chapter 1. It's enough for you to learn about the world, the characters, and the start of the story, but there's still a lot more to learn in Chapters 2 - 9 which you don't see.
     
    #15
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  16. kaukusaki

    kaukusaki Awesome Programmer Extraordinaire Veteran

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    I usually make playable working demos that end at a certain point like beating the first boss sort of thing. That way players can get a feel of what the game and its mechanics are like. I don't like doing cut scenes or qtes or videos. Let the player interact!
     
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  17. Wendy Long

    Wendy Long Warper Member

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    I often find a direct excerpt from the game, because it helps me know the way to play the game and know how it is.
    rolling sky
     
    #17
  18. Rayhaku808

    Rayhaku808 Chubbizard Veteran

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    I went with other. I’m a fan of Tech demos and the intricacies of a game’s core systems.
     
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  19. Karlski

    Karlski Villager Member

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    A snippet of the game for sure.

    I remember the FF8 demo for PC, you started in the Training Ground which was a good few hours into the actual game.

    It was purely because of the that demo that I bought the game....
     
    #19
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  20. jennyhannb

    jennyhannb Warper Member

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    me too
     
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