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Demos from matrix games

 
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Demos from matrix games - 7/1/2009 7:02:13 PM   
MAARTENR


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I suggest matrix will make demo's of the games that they make. This is against illegale downloading. Thanx for your time.
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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/1/2009 7:06:26 PM   
V22 Osprey


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I agree, there are some games at matrix that I may buy if I was able to play some kind of demo to see how it plays.Instead I have to rely solely on screenshots which I dont like.Demos are one thing that major companies like EA has matrix beat.Because atleast with EA I can play a demo and see if the game sucks or not.Instead here at matrix we are stuck with screenshots and and we don't even get a refund if we dont like the game.Something has to be done.

< Message edited by V22 Osprey -- 7/1/2009 7:08:11 PM >

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/1/2009 8:24:28 PM   
Greybriar


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I have never downloaded a warez copy of a game to "try it out." In fact, I dislike installing demos on my PC instead of the full version of a game.

If, however, it would benefit Matrix to release demos of all their games, then I say go for it.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/1/2009 9:19:12 PM   
JudgeDredd


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Not this old chesnut again!

You generally don't have to play a demo of an EA game to know that it sucks

Demos are generally a good idea. But of detailed wargames? It's very debatable. Without proper documentation it could be a waste of time...and to small devs, a waste of time is not a luxury their business model could take. And I also understand the point that a demo for wargames can be more expensive and resource hungry to produce than one for an FPS.

Basically, I don't mind if there is or is not. I used to, but found demos for wargames not very helpful and in my case counter productive. Done right, I suppose it could help...but done right costs money and uses resources and wargaming companies are generally a little bit more streamlined than EA.

I tend to use the forums, reviews and instinct. It's true it doesn't always work and I've bought one or two howlers - but generally speakning, I'm a happy camper with the current system. If it changes, fine. If it doesn't, fine.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 12:07:37 AM   
V22 Osprey


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For a wargame?All you have to do is just include 1 or 2 scenarios, and the full manual as a PDF.How does it cost extra resources?All you have to do is delete all but a few scenarios and extra utilities(like Map editor) from the main program and include the full manual as a PDF.Come on, thats not alot of work.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 2:05:26 PM   
JudgeDredd


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Well I would argue that it's not that simple...and as a programmer, I'm betting I'm correct.

It could work for some, but not all. As an example, from my knowledge of how the Airborne Assault system works, I could see your theory working. But I'm not privvy to the workings of the Airborne Assault series - so in this case I'm as blind as you are to how much work is required.

Let me give you a real life example of how one's perception of "alot of work" differs from the people who have to do that "little task". I was emailed this morning and asked if I could change a code on 5 schemes from one thing to another. She said it seemed simple enough. When I looked into it, for the 5 schemes she wanted changing, I had to run 50 update queries AND run checks to make sure nothing was missed. Now to me, I've got alot of work to do there. But for her it's a simple task of me changing one thing to another.

Just because she perceived it to be a simple task, doesn't make it so.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 4:18:06 PM   
V22 Osprey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd


Let me give you a real life example of how one's perception of "alot of work" differs from the people who have to do that "little task". I was emailed this morning and asked if I could change a code on 5 schemes from one thing to another. She said it seemed simple enough. When I looked into it, for the 5 schemes she wanted changing, I had to run 50 update queries AND run checks to make sure nothing was missed. Now to me, I've got alot of work to do there. But for her it's a simple task of me changing one thing to another.


That's nice.

Anyway, someone perception of how much work it is on a number a factors....like laziness.For example, taking out the trash.My cousin hates taking out trash and he think its alot of work, well thats just laziness.Everyone knows taking out a trash bag at home isn't a long and hard task, but his laziness makes him think it is.That sad, some people may think making a demo is hard work some people dont.Now, you are right I dont really how much work it is...BUT the reason you may think it'd be hard work could just as easily be from laziness.

Now, I think that if we are paying $60 bucks for a game that if we don't like we can't take it back for a refund, I think we have a right to a demo to make sure we aren't wasting our $60 bucks.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 5:57:46 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey

Anyway, someone perception of how much work it is on a number a factors....like laziness.For example, taking out the trash.My cousin hates taking out trash and he think its alot of work, well thats just laziness.Everyone knows taking out a trash bag at home isn't a long and hard task, but his laziness makes him think it is.That sad, some people may think making a demo is hard work some people dont.Now, you are right I dont really how much work it is...BUT the reason you may think it'd be hard work could just as easily be from laziness.


One of the the most idiotic comments I have ever seen written in this forum. Nobody works for free, at least not when they have kids to feed and mortgages to pay. If Matrix and their devs thought producing a demo for a particular game would generate a bigger profit on it, you would see a demo. If they don't, you won't.

quote:

Now, I think that if we are paying $60 bucks for a game that if we don't like we can't take it back for a refund, I think we have a right to a demo to make sure we aren't wasting our $60 bucks.


If you are worried about wasting your money, you have the 'right' not to spend it. Refunds (and who has ever give a refund if someone "doesn't like" a game?) would be total commercial suicide under Matrix's distribution model.


< Message edited by Hertston -- 7/2/2009 6:00:08 PM >

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:07:40 PM   
Terminus


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Well, there's a reason why Matrix doesn't do demos, and never has, no matter how often people have whined about it.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:08:06 PM   
V22 Osprey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

quote:

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey

Anyway, someone perception of how much work it is on a number a factors....like laziness.For example, taking out the trash.My cousin hates taking out trash and he think its alot of work, well thats just laziness.Everyone knows taking out a trash bag at home isn't a long and hard task, but his laziness makes him think it is.That sad, some people may think making a demo is hard work some people dont.Now, you are right I dont really how much work it is...BUT the reason you may think it'd be hard work could just as easily be from laziness.


One of the the most idiotic comments I have ever seen written in this forum. Nobody works for free, at least not when they have kids to feed and mortgages to pay. If Matrix and their devs thought producing a demo for a particular game would generate a bigger profit on it, you would see a demo. If they don't, you won't.

quote:

Now, I think that if we are paying $60 bucks for a game that if we don't like we can't take it back for a refund, I think we have a right to a demo to make sure we aren't wasting our $60 bucks.


If you are worried about wasting your money, you have the 'right' not to spend it. Refunds (and who has ever give a refund if someone "doesn't like" a game?) would be total commercial suicide under Matrix's distribution model.



1)I didn't say people work for free.
2)All I want is a demo to see how a game is before I pay 60 bucks for it.Thats it...
3)Get a grip.
4)Most idiotic comment huh?Why because I was right?

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:08:29 PM   
Terminus


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And Hertson? That was one of the most idiotic comments you've seen here? Really?

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:22:44 PM   
V22 Osprey


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Also Herston, look.I'm not trying to start anything.I was just making a point, it isnt THAT serious.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:26:20 PM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey
Now, I think that if we are paying $60 bucks for a game that if we don't like we can't take it back for a refund, I think we have a right to a demo to make sure we aren't wasting our $60 bucks.

V22 - my bold - you don't have a "right" to a demo. You would only have a right to a demo if Matrix were legally bound to provide one.

You DO have the right to choose whether to buy the product or not. You DO have the right to look around, read, digest and understand before purchasing. Matrix Games nor any other publisher, has to, by law, provide us with a demo.

I don't necessarily disagree about demos. I think done well and for the right game, a demo could help. All I was saying is it's not as easy to produce a demo as people think.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:32:04 PM   
vonRocko

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

Well, there's a reason why Matrix doesn't do demos, and never has, no matter how often people have whined about it.


What is the reason?

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:54:17 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Ah, the old demo discussion, coming back for another go round... I wish I could just link to the past discussions, but I don't have the time to search for them. Let me hit the highlights:

Making a demo is not easy because:
- Demos get on average 5 minutes of a customers time to create an impression. With wargames, this means that more often than not a demo generates an unfavorable impression as no one invests the time to actually learn the game
- A demo needs to show the game in a favorable way while only allowing access to a small portion of the game's content. With a wargame, that means you need to invest in additional tutorial/documentation work to try to get past the "5 minute" issue.
- Wargames are made on a shoestring budget compared to most games. In order to have a demo be relatively easy to split off from a development standpoint, it is best designed for from the start and because of the above points, this generally doesn't make sense.

Now we have released demos in the past and we will release demos again in the future. Most often, we do so for games that also go into retail. What results have we seen? In general, even when we carefully choose which games to demo and put extra effort into those demos, they generate almost zero sales for us at the end of the day.

We find that we can educate a customer much better about a game through AARs, Tester comments, interaction with the Designers and Developers on our boards as well as written previews and reviews. In the past, we tried demos for some wargames that really were not ideal for demos and we actually saw _negative_ sales from that. Now that would be fine if that meant that customers were being educated by the demo. But what we saw in forum posts was that in fact customers were being misinformed by the demo and the impressions of demo customers were at odds with the experiences of customers who actually owned and had played the game for more than 5 minutes.

Frankly, in our experience, demos are _on average_ not a good way to show off or explain wargames. For other types of games that are much simpler, they make good sense. I'm sure that for some of our customers, this is not true and that a lack of demos costs us some sales. But overall, we actually educate customers better and make more sales by focusing our resources on the other promotional methods so it's a good decision for us on the macro scale.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 6:56:56 PM   
JudgeDredd


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Why not just sticky it Erik

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 7:05:41 PM   
vonRocko

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Ah, the old demo discussion, coming back for another go round... I wish I could just link to the past discussions, but I don't have the time to search for them. Let me hit the highlights:

Making a demo is not easy because:
- Demos get on average 5 minutes of a customers time to create an impression. With wargames, this means that more often than not a demo generates an unfavorable impression as no one invests the time to actually learn the game
- A demo needs to show the game in a favorable way while only allowing access to a small portion of the game's content. With a wargame, that means you need to invest in additional tutorial/documentation work to try to get past the "5 minute" issue.
- Wargames are made on a shoestring budget compared to most games. In order to have a demo be relatively easy to split off from a development standpoint, it is best designed for from the start and because of the above points, this generally doesn't make sense.

Now we have released demos in the past and we will release demos again in the future. Most often, we do so for games that also go into retail. What results have we seen? In general, even when we carefully choose which games to demo and put extra effort into those demos, they generate almost zero sales for us at the end of the day.

We find that we can educate a customer much better about a game through AARs, Tester comments, interaction with the Designers and Developers on our boards as well as written previews and reviews. In the past, we tried demos for some wargames that really were not ideal for demos and we actually saw _negative_ sales from that. Now that would be fine if that meant that customers were being educated by the demo. But what we saw in forum posts was that in fact customers were being misinformed by the demo and the impressions of demo customers were at odds with the experiences of customers who actually owned and had played the game for more than 5 minutes.

Frankly, in our experience, demos are _on average_ not a good way to show off or explain wargames. For other types of games that are much simpler, they make good sense. I'm sure that for some of our customers, this is not true and that a lack of demos costs us some sales. But overall, we actually educate customers better and make more sales by focusing our resources on the other promotional methods so it's a good decision for us on the macro scale.

Regards,

- Erik


OK, sounds reasonable. But the fact remains that there are more then a few Matrix games that I would probably purchase, if I could only try out a turn or two.
I still love Matrix!

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/2/2009 9:10:13 PM   
Lützow


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I use to search for youtube videos before purchasing a game. In combination with AAR's and forum comments it's almost the same as playing a demo.

Also I have to agree with Erik in regard to the time wargames require for a fair evaluation. At my place you don't rely on demos but can rent nearly every new mainstream title for a small fee from videostore. Off course I often use this opportunity and if a game doesn't hook me up within the first 10 min., I immediately uninstall it. The 'free ride' decreases tolerance and willingness to put any efforts in something, which would maybe get a second chance, if you had to spend money for it.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 2:31:02 AM   
apathetic lurker

 

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I know that I will never see a Matrix demo in my lifetime. Thats just the way they roll.  I on the other hand it kept myself from buying about 10 or so Matrix games due to the lack of demo. But I have been sorta convinced of the Matrix model. In the long run I think it will work out better the way it is.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 4:16:46 AM   
Randomizer

 

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Just $0.02 but sometimes a demo can have an effect entirely opposite to that intended.

Several years ago a certain company published a Russo-Japanese naval wargame with a horrific DRM model.  Having a passionate interest in that subject I downloaded the demo thinking that if worthy I would swallow my objections to the DRM and fork out the ninety or so dollars required to buy it.

Fortunately having the demo showed that the game itself sucked so very badly (in spite of all its awards) that not buying it became an easy decision.  Removing the offending program from my hard drive and ending the spam emails from that publisher took some extra effort however and now I will avoid demos like they have the plague.

Bravo Matrix, please remain demo-free.

Best Regards.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 4:26:42 AM   
TonyE


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quote:

ORIGINAL: apathetic lurker

I know that I will never see a Matrix demo in my lifetime. Thats just the way they roll.  I on the other hand it kept myself from buying about 10 or so Matrix games due to the lack of demo. But I have been sorta convinced of the Matrix model. In the long run I think it will work out better the way it is.


May you not be struck down by lightning

Harpoon Commander's Edition Demo

Harpoon 3 ANW demo

A few of the other games have demos as well but I don't know which ones off-hand. You could easily look at the Harpoon demos and say, "never would I buy that." It is really a case of either needing to already know the subject matter or spend many moons learning about naval warfare before either of the games will make much sense. Both of them provide enough gameplay that you could reach that point but still it has to be a tough choice of whether to release a demo or not.

< Message edited by TonyE -- 7/4/2009 4:27:20 AM >


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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 2:02:18 PM   
Llyranor


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I don't buy the 'players will only give it 5 min and then give up' argument entirely. While it's true that some players will do that, that isn't exactly the audience that'll be shelling out 60-80 bucks for a detailed wargame without trying it first, either. The demo is free, so more people than its intended audience will try it out, that's a given. Those who give up within 5 min aren't necessarily lost sales, since they never would have bought the game anyway.

Demos are really for people who are interested in the game, but aren't sure if it's for them, and want to give it a test drive before making a relatively big investment. This is why you include tutorials and good documentation in your demos, so that players may learn the rules of the game and know what to expect from the full game. Again, players WILL do this; those who don't aren't going to will not be buying the game anyway, since it'd be even more complicated.

Airborne Assault is hands-down my favorite wargame series. I handily bought HTTR/COTA, and am there for BFTB day 1. The *only* reason I bought them was because of the RDOA demo available; allowed me to try out the system, learn what it was about, and realize how freaking awesome the gameplay was. I never would have spent 100$+ just based on AARs or word of mouth; I *had* to try it out. And I did, and I bought the series.

Same thing for the Decisive Battles series. Battles in Normandy had a good demo and tutorial, and I realized how neatly implemented the turn-based system was. Thus, once the Matrix Xmas sale was on, I proceeded to buy KP/ATD/BIN/BII and Battlefront all at once. Now, that WAS an impulse buy, but I never would have done it without a demo.

This is why I haven't gotten WITP yet, even during the Matrix sale. Sounds very cool, very tempting. However, that's a pretty big pricepoint for a game that might or might not click for me.

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 2:59:56 PM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Llyranor
...snip
...The *only* reason I bought them was because of the RDOA demo available...
...snip

Living proof that what works for one, doesn't work for another. It was the RDOA demo that stopped me from buying HTTR!

I soon found the error of my ways, with COTA - but just saying - the demo didn't work for me. I just didn't "get it"

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 5:31:52 PM   
V22 Osprey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

Just $0.02 but sometimes a demo can have an effect entirely opposite to that intended.

Several years ago a certain company published a Russo-Japanese naval wargame with a horrific DRM model.  Having a passionate interest in that subject I downloaded the demo thinking that if worthy I would swallow my objections to the DRM and fork out the ninety or so dollars required to buy it.

Fortunately having the demo showed that the game itself sucked so very badly (in spite of all its awards) that not buying it became an easy decision.  Removing the offending program from my hard drive and ending the spam emails from that publisher took some extra effort however and now I will avoid demos like they have the plague.

Bravo Matrix, please remain demo-free.

Best Regards.


But that was from some major company that uses DRM.You Matrix wouldn't do any of that.A demo from matrix wouldn't hurt.A demo was the *only* reason I bought For Liberty!The *only* reason I bought all the John Tiller Bundles because I had a few HPS titles before I found matrix.

However, I must admit that AARs alone was the reason I bought advanced tactics.But thats was the only time.

< Message edited by V22 Osprey -- 7/4/2009 5:32:06 PM >

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RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 6:08:53 PM   
Arsan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

Just $0.02 but sometimes a demo can have an effect entirely opposite to that intended.

Several years ago a certain company published a Russo-Japanese naval wargame with a horrific DRM model.  Having a passionate interest in that subject I downloaded the demo thinking that if worthy I would swallow my objections to the DRM and fork out the ninety or so dollars required to buy it.

Fortunately having the demo showed that the game itself sucked so very badly (in spite of all its awards) that not buying it became an easy decision.  Removing the offending program from my hard drive and ending the spam emails from that publisher took some extra effort however and now I will avoid demos like they have the plague.

Bravo Matrix, please remain demo-free.

Best Regards.


I don't get your reasoning...
First you explain how the demo of the Russo-japanese war did his function (ie: let you know if the game was for you or not, so you did not spend money in something you will not like) and then you praise Matrix for don't giving you the chance to do the same with their games (ie: do an informed buy instead of taking risks ans buying possible "duds")
Are you a player or a matrix investor??

I can certainly understand Erik's reasons (even if i don't share them at all) because he explains the point of view of a publisher.
For Matrix making a demo (besides some measure of effort/time/money not so big as everybody ans their mother, even tiny independent game publishers seem able to make demos of their games) means some risk.
Risks like having players discover that x game is not so good as it's said to be, or that his graphics look terrible at the players screen resolution, or that the gameplay is shallower/deeper than the player likes, or than the interface is clumsy...
BUt a demo aslos means opportunity. Oportunity of making new costumers that discover that a game they were not so sure to get blindfolded is good and deserves a buy.

IMHO, not wanting to do demos (and all the reasons/excuses given above) shows some kind of lack of confidence about ones products and a preference for having more buyers even if some of them soon discover they bought a wrong game for their tastes, than "maybe" fewer but happier ones.

Understandable for the producer point of view.

But from the player point of view, having a demo should be seen as something positive 100% of the times.
Having a demo is not opposed to reading forums opinions, reviews of the game or AAR's.
Its an additional and very useful source of info about the game that let you know first hand if its fit for you and works all right in your computer (something no amount of AAR and reviews can let you know).

From my personal experience, if Matrix woudl have demos or their games i probably wouldn't have bough several of their products i did and later found i didn't liked. Like Crown of Glory (too complex economy and lack of napoleonic feeling), or Carriers at war (lack of content and shallow gameplay)...
But very probably i will have some more of their titles i had considered in the past or now, but don't feel sure enough to buy without knowing first hand that they will be of my taste (GG WbtS, Advances Tactics, H&M, the incoming WW2: Time of Wrath...)

I don't know for sure if demos will make Matrix sell more or less. But i'm sure they will reduce a lot the number of customers unhappy with the buys.
And a happy customer is always good thing for a company, don't you think??

Just my 2 cents!


(in reply to Randomizer)
Post #: 25
RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 7:16:05 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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If you re-read what I read above, you'll see that we have done demos and will do them again. However, we choose very carefully when to do them because we consider them a very flawed tool. Not because we lack confidence in our products, but because even among our niche customers, we've found that very few people really give a demo a chance.

Now some customers do give them a chance and I expect those are the ones posting to ask for more demos. Believe me, I understand. If you're one of those customers, demos are an excellent way for you to understand a game. On the macro level though, there are far more customers that aren't like you. We want educated, happy customers who make good purchasing decisions. We've just found that demos are not actually the best way to achieve that _overall_.

Regards,

- Erik

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Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


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(in reply to Arsan)
Post #: 26
RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 8:13:30 PM   
Randomizer

 

Posts: 609
Joined: 6/28/2008
Status: offline
quote:

I don't get your reasoning...
First you explain how the demo of the Russo-japanese war did his function (ie: let you know if the game was for you or not, so you did not spend money in something you will not like) and then you praise Matrix for don't giving you the chance to do the same with their games (ie: do an informed buy instead of taking risks ans buying possible "duds")
Are you a player or a matrix investor??


Just a gamer, no connection to Matrix except as a paying customer.

As downloaded the demo game in question was tactically functional but without some features and with only one playable scenario which was entirely reasonable. Had no demo been available I may well have bought the game and felt ripped off by the final product but there was more than enough to allow me to determine that this was not for me. Many people quite enjoy this game however, fair ball but I feel it to be a very poor effort, visually impressive but an unenjoyable game with little simulation value: all graphics, few guts. That's the message I got from the demo.

Before making any game purchase I read the AAR's and game threads. One can generally get a reasonably good idea of what to expect by the quality of the player's comments, positive and negative and this Forum has some pretty creditable members overall.

Best Regards

(in reply to Arsan)
Post #: 27
RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 8:30:14 PM   
06 Maestro


Posts: 3982
Joined: 10/12/2005
From: Nevada, USA
Status: offline
As a customer, I would like to see more demo's, of course. On the practical side, I can see why developers would not want to go through that trouble and expense. I have used dozens of demos, and from that number I actually purchased 3 games. Funny thing, after I bought the full game I realized I didn't like two of those three anyway-and I got rid of those.

So, what good would it do Matrix Games to have demo's on everything? As for myself, anyway, I would use a demo system to the max. I would down load every single game here even if I thought it was a "stupid" game. I would then play each one for 20 to 30 minutes and then junk it. I might actually have to buy another game or two should I come across something that I really liked (I'm certain this would happen), but that would be all. Not only is money a consideration, but time to actually be able to play the games. Right now, I know I will be buying two rather expensive games this summer-to exceed that is not very practical. To exceed this amount, for whatever reason, would just not be very bright on my part-no matter if I had a demo to fiond another good game or not.

So, my solution is that Matrix saves itself the time, trouble and expense of developing demos for all its games. It could then take all that saved money and simply give a game away to individuals who have been members here for 54 months or so. You know, give a choice of the top 3 games-something like that.

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(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 28
RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 8:57:41 PM   
Gary Childress


Posts: 5655
Joined: 7/17/2005
From: United States
Status: offline
I have to say that I am pro-demo myself.

I understand very well that there are such things as bad demos that don't adequately reflect the feel of a game (often because the publisher lacks the resources or backing to do a first class demo). I remember getting the demo to Panzer General II. The demo was something like 3 turns and didn't include an HQ phase IIRC. Still I took the risk and bought the full game and enjoyed it immensely despite a real snooze of a demo. So yes demos can have an adverse effect for good games sometimes. Fortunately I knew what PG II was about by virtue of having played the first installment to death (And yes I bought the first installment totally blindfolded just looking at the, then, cool screen shots on the box cover).

I wish all game publishers had the resources and what not to create adequate demos of their games without necessarily giving the game away. I understand that wargame demos, by their nature, often have to be severely limited or else there's no point in selling the game itself.

Still a good demo can go a long way in creating happy customers. At $40 or more a pop, buying games almost blindfolded, only to find out you don't like it can be expen$ive. I find that AARs often can't convey the same amount of information as a good demo. Of course we don't live in a perfect world where publishers are always able to produce adequate demos, however, it is still a goal I encourage.

In my experience I have often bought games just because I liked the demo. Likewise I have changed my mind about buying games just because I didn't like the demo. It's possible I have missed out on some good games as a result, games I would have enjoyed if given the chance to play the full version. However, I'm sure I have also prevented myself from buying a few games that would have simply sat on my shelf gathing dust too.

I'm glad Matrix does not totally write off demos. I wish Matrix could do demos for all their games but I also think I understand the limitations which Matrix faces. And there is also a lot to be said for checking gaming reviews before buying a game. I happened to check out the gaming reviews for Uncommon Valor and bought it for reason of all the rave reviews I saw. Fell in love with the game and bought War in the Pacific when it followed. Best gaming investments I ever made.

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(in reply to Randomizer)
Post #: 29
RE: Demos from matrix games - 7/4/2009 11:44:11 PM   
Arctic Blast


Posts: 1168
Joined: 4/4/2007
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Llyranor

I don't buy the 'players will only give it 5 min and then give up' argument entirely. While it's true that some players will do that, that isn't exactly the audience that'll be shelling out 60-80 bucks for a detailed wargame without trying it first, either. The demo is free, so more people than its intended audience will try it out, that's a given. Those who give up within 5 min aren't necessarily lost sales, since they never would have bought the game anyway.

Demos are really for people who are interested in the game, but aren't sure if it's for them, and want to give it a test drive before making a relatively big investment. This is why you include tutorials and good documentation in your demos, so that players may learn the rules of the game and know what to expect from the full game. Again, players WILL do this; those who don't aren't going to will not be buying the game anyway, since it'd be even more complicated.

Airborne Assault is hands-down my favorite wargame series. I handily bought HTTR/COTA, and am there for BFTB day 1. The *only* reason I bought them was because of the RDOA demo available; allowed me to try out the system, learn what it was about, and realize how freaking awesome the gameplay was. I never would have spent 100$+ just based on AARs or word of mouth; I *had* to try it out. And I did, and I bought the series.

Same thing for the Decisive Battles series. Battles in Normandy had a good demo and tutorial, and I realized how neatly implemented the turn-based system was. Thus, once the Matrix Xmas sale was on, I proceeded to buy KP/ATD/BIN/BII and Battlefront all at once. Now, that WAS an impulse buy, but I never would have done it without a demo.

This is why I haven't gotten WITP yet, even during the Matrix sale. Sounds very cool, very tempting. However, that's a pretty big pricepoint for a game that might or might not click for me.


While I like demos, you yourself in your reply have given reasons why most small companies don't do them. Not only do you want the company to release a demo, you also suggest that company go to the time and effort of producing tutorials and documentation for it. Small companies don't have a lot of spare employee time in which to do that. That's why they have to choose which games to do them for. WITP is sort of an example of the opposite of that...with a game that enormous, how long of a demo is long enough to give the customer an idea of how the game works? How much information do you then need to give the demo player so that they understand how that very large, and very complex, game works?

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(in reply to Llyranor)
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