What should a demo encompass?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LuLingqi1, Jul 5, 2016.

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  1. LuLingqi1

    LuLingqi1 A Spellthief With A Bone To Pick Veteran

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    What should be in a demo? I'm about to finish the first major point in my game, and I want to have my demo up by the end of the day, but I don't know what I should have in it.


    For instance, my game features class changing and sub-classes, but I'm rather certain that won't be able to be in the demo, would that be an issue?


    How far should I allow the game to go? -- For now I'm pretty sure it goes up until the first major boss fight.


    Does it really matter, I mean, a demo is a demo, right?


    Ughhh help meee!
     
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  2. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    The demo should include a little of everything that makes your game really gripping and enjoyable.


    It's no problem that you don't introduce class changing (which probably has a learning curve anyway) in the demo - unless this is one of the major attractions of your game.


    If the "first major boss fight" feels like a really significant accomplishment for the player, or marks a turn in the story - then yes, that's a good place to leave off.  It's always nice if you include a little bit of denouement afterwards (even if it won't be in the full game), to give the player a satisfying conclusion instead of feeling like the plot was lopped off somewhere in the middle with no sense of 'completion'.  (Alternatively, you could leave it off at a cliffhanger to leave people wanting more - just don't make it feel like it was randomly cut.)
     
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  3. LuLingqi1

    LuLingqi1 A Spellthief With A Bone To Pick Veteran

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    Right now, the way I'm hoping to do it, is the demo will not entail the class changing --It is a major attraction, but no one gets a class change till level 15, and I just don't see the demo lasting that long, but I could be wrong--


    It will however, have two party members and their recruitment, one optional, the other forced, lol.
     
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  4. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    If it's one of the major things that will draw people into your game, then rewrite the rules (just for the demo) so that players can use class changing in it!
     
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  5. Valryia

    Valryia Veteran Veteran

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    Personally, one of the best - and only - Demo of an Jrpg i played was for the PC version of FFVIII (before Steam, for all ya young lads).


    Instead of the first hour - which had a lot of story and very few gameplay, it instead took action in a part about 5 hours later, which was much better for showing of the battle system, but not much in the way of spoilering the story.
     
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  6. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    This is a good point - you want to show off whatever you have that really sells the appeal of your game, which is not necessarily the first part of the narrative.  If your goal is to get people interested in your game, then selling the appeal is the single most important thing to do!!


    There are two little sticking points with doing so, though - some amateur game makers find it easier to start at the beginning and build the game from there (this is a lot different than a AAA studio like Square who has different teams working on different general things simultaneously), and as the demo designer you have to be sure to give players some context as to what they're doing (somewhat easier if there aren't 6 hours of plot that happened before the start of the demo).
     
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  7. LuLingqi1

    LuLingqi1 A Spellthief With A Bone To Pick Veteran

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    I'm settling on starting at the beginning. I've already implemented the shop system into the portion that will be visited in the demo as well as the beginning of two side quests, and I might just involve the class system. However, it's one of those things that can be missed if you go through too fast.
     
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  8. TheGamedawg

    TheGamedawg Veteran Veteran

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    You need to think about what makes your game special and showcase a part of the game that shows that off well.  Is your game about exploration?  Make your demo set in a single expansive dungeon.  Is it about the combat?  Make the demo in a combat-heavy area.  It also goes without saying that you should make it an interesting part of the game too, no one wants a boring demo.  And if it has story cutscenes, make sure it doesn't spoil anything too important either.


    Length of the demo depends on the type of game too, but usually a half hour to two hours is what I often see.
     
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  9. BigToastie

    BigToastie Veteran Veteran

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    I have the same issue with what I think of the demo, I know I wont do the part i've got up too solely due to the fact that the game might feel like it kicks off a little slow and doesn't show care a great deal.


    I am getting friends and people i know to test it for a general feel of balance, graphical issues and how the game feels etc. however once I get enough content and features in, I would prefer to get a trailer to demonstrate all the game is about with a demo attached that people can try out themselves, sometimes Demos sell their key features short because they may have been rushed to put something out there.
     
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  10. EmperorZelos

    EmperorZelos Veteran Veteran

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    A demo should, at least in my humble opinion, encompass enough to give a hint about the main story and include the main feature of the game, whatever that now may be!
     
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