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Game Demos - 10/24/2008 2:02:12 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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To me a demo is an indispensable part of marketing a game. Why is it some games don't have demos?

I have bought many games just because I got hooked on the demo and I have passed over many games just because the demo didn't appeal to me. Some of my favorite games started life on my hard drive as demos, CC4 and CC5 included. I wonder how many positively great games there are out there which I don't have simply because all I have to go on are screen shots and a list of features. More often than not I pass on new games for which I don't have a demo to try out. I've taken a few risks on games that I didn't demo first. Uncommon Valor was probably one of the best risks I ever took on a game. After that War in the Pacific was a no brainer for me. I never played a Civilization demo but the reputation of the game is usually enough to make me buy it, even though I thought Civ IV was a major disappointment.

Just my two cents on the subject of game demos...

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 2:22:47 AM   
killroyishere

 

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I find people that want demos are just looking for a free version of the game. I don't recall ever getting a demo of a board wargame during my board wargaming years so I don't see why publishers today should be taxed with delivering a demo today for computer games. I feel all they might want to or need to deliver is a flash version of the game and how some of the mechanics work like that Mark Walker game he's been working on. Wonder how many demo versions of the board game he's given away though?

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 2:39:07 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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Well obviously you can't do a demo to a boardgame. But it is possible to do a limited demo of a PC game without giving away the whole game. You're comparing apples and oranges in this case.

I find demos very helpful in making purchasing decisions. I wish more games had them. If someone is that hard up for free entertainment that they just play a limited demo and don't even get the whole game if they like it then more power to them. Let them knock themselves out with it then. But I think in most cases demos are used strictly for evaluation. I don't know of many demos that have so much playability that they take the place of the full game.

< Message edited by Gary Childress -- 10/24/2008 2:42:19 AM >


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Harpoon Classic Scenarios - 10/24/2008 3:02:40 AM   
hermanhum


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An example of an excellent demo setup is the old Harpoon Classic game.  You got the complete game with hundreds of scenarios as a demo.  However, you could only play about 20 of the earliest scenarios until you bought a serial number from the company.  I bet that there are TONs of folks this kind of arrangement helped get into the game.  In the end, the real winners were the game developers.



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RE: Harpoon Classic Scenarios - 10/24/2008 3:32:13 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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I purchased Code Name Panzers a few months ago after getting hooked on the demo for the second edition. The demo is just one HUGE scenario. It was incredibly addictive playing just the demo so I ended up buying the game despite having some reservations about the Star Force copy protection which someone said might ruin my computer.

So far my computer is alright. Knock on wood.

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 3:47:43 AM   
wworld7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

To me a demo is an indispensable part of marketing a game. Why is it some games don't have demos?


There is no simple answer as to why some games haved demos and some don't. This issue has been discussed so many times in the past just here on the Matrix forums that it should not be too much trouble to find an old thread(s).

For some games demos are feasable and for some they are not.

Assuming they are feasable, two of the many reasons for not creating a demo are:

1) Money (can the budget afford it?)
2) Time (how long do want to delay release of the product)

This type of discussion goes round and around at early project meetings.

As trying to add add demo late in project causes another group of issues to come up.

It is a complicated issue and always will be.

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 4:58:04 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: flipperwasirish


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

To me a demo is an indispensable part of marketing a game. Why is it some games don't have demos?


This issue has been discussed so many times in the past just here on the Matrix forums that it should not be too much trouble to find an old thread(s).



I didn't have anything else to do this evening so I thought rehashing old arguments sounded like a fun thing to do.


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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 6:46:22 AM   
Phatguy

 

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While I changed my mind(for the most part)about the validity  and the usefulness of demos I still enjoy some of them and plan on getting the game itself (Mount & Blade come to mind). But lately its been rarer and rarer that I need a demo to decide. There is a plethora of stuff about any game out there. Al it needs is a little work to dredge it up from the net.

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 9:52:10 AM   
Arsan

 

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Besides having a look at how the games plays (very important), i find demos extremely useful to test technical issues: to see if my computer can handle the game, or my graphic card has problems with it or if it works ok with my LCD resolution (very important lately with widescreens).
I'm 100% pro demo.

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 11:52:16 AM   
Perturabo


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Generally, I bought most of my games basing on whenever their demos are good or not. I dislike games without demos because a few times I wasted my money on overhyped games like Baldur's Gate, Divine Divinity or Neverwinter Nights (both had delayed demos) and buying a few gams that sound good in theory but I don't like playing them. Generally, I'm not buying a game without playing a demo, unless it's ultra-cheap.


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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 12:24:48 PM   
Grell

 

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I buy games based on my instincts, sometimes I'm bang on and sometimes I'm way off.


Regards,

Grell

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 1:17:58 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: killroyishere

I find people that want demos are just looking for a free version of the game.

Filthy lies.
Also, imagine that not all people are rich and not everyone can afford buying more than one game every few months. In that situation buying game basing only on description is risking a waste of a lot of hard work.

quote:

ORIGINAL: killroyishere

I don't recall ever getting a demo of a board wargame during my board wargaming years so I don't see why publishers today should be taxed with delivering a demo today for computer games.

Funny, most of all wargame stores in my city do demonstrations of miniature wargames.

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 10/24/2008 1:18:12 PM >


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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 1:33:03 PM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

killroyishere
I find people that want demos are just looking for a free version of the game

That's a nice sweeping statement to make.

Besides, how would/could a demo constitute a free game?

Nothing of the sort and a ridiculous statement, made all the worse by your "demo of a boardgame" analogy.

Demos can be very productive in sales, but they can also be very counter productive.

As pointed out, some games lend themselves to a demo, some lend themselves to flash demostrations, others just cannot do with a demo because they are too complex. Taking all that into account with the financial side of things. A demo isn't just a cut down game, it's a re-write of the manual to give enough information to the user to allow them to make an educated determination of the game.

FPS games lend themselves very easily to demos. There is very little difficulty in FPS games. Some flight sims also lend themselves very easily to playable demos...others (like the upcoming Black Shark) do not. I would guess strategy games lend themselves less to playable demos...but that doesn't rule out demos across the board.

Some are simple enough to warrant a demo because it would take very little time to create a demo. However, these ones are probably most likely priced budget and as such maybe fall into the financial side of not allowing a demo.

I always point out my own personal experience...I tried the demo of airborne Assault:Red Devils Over Arnhem and I just didn't get it. So I dropped it like a hot brick. It wasn't until I saw it at budget and gave it another go and realised it was one of the best gaming systems (and AI) I had come across in a strategy game. In this instance, for me, the demo lost a sale initially. That's partly to do with the fact that the demo wasn't as intuitive as it could've been (I don't remember much documantation with it, but my memory is fading fast these days).

So it isn't a cut and dry "There should be a demo" or "There will not be a demo"...it depends on a lot of factors.

Generally, though, there is a plethora of information on the web about games. Sure, it doesn't mean you will like it, but the information is generally such that you can make up your mind by reading up on it...so there is really no need to waste money by buying a game you don't like (then blaming it on there being no demo) and no reason to avoid games because there is no demo...read up. Ask questions. You'll be able to make your own mind up.

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RE: Game Demos - 10/24/2008 1:35:58 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

That's partly to do with the fact that the demo wasn't as intuitive as it could've been (I don't remember much documantation with it, but my memory is fading fast these days).

That's why demos of complicated games should consist mostly of a tutorial and one or two demo missions.

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