Extra Credits: Demo Daze

This week, we explain why you don't see more game demos being released.

Show Notes:

Arvydas is a pretty awesome artist. You should check out his stuff.

Would you like James to come speak at your school or organization?

For info, contact us at: kate@extra-credits.net

Recent Comments:

  • I completely agree that there are certain games that are harder to create good demos for. Spec Ops is essentially a concept game. Unless they had been marketing the message, there would have been no way to make the gameplay actually entertaining. You can't market "you will feel bad about playing" as a positive for widespread appeal.

    Actually SOTL demo should have been made with a huge cliffhanger.

    The introduction to the gameplay stays. (the first part of the first level). It cuts in a fine moment and fast forwards the story. Now, the problem of the current demo is that it fast forwards too much. It even contains a huge spoiler.

    Instead it should land the player at 3'd level, 20 minutes before you meet armed US soldiers for the first time. When they start shooting, take the control out of the player, make it stand there until the main character is killed. Then instead of reloading the game, show video that teases the gamer what is in the full game, but don't tell them you are going to shoot "the 33'd". Just use vague phrases like "everything's gone crazy".

    The moment were you meet the first 33'd soldiers is one of the finest moments in the game. They shoot civilians, they shoot you, even if you don't shoot at all. The question that the demo should ask is "What would you do in this situation"? And since the control of the game is taken away in that moment... you'd need to get the full game.

    One may say that this gem should be kept for the full game, but the current demo literally spoils it by saying in straight text that "the 33'd" want to kill you. Therefore they explain you that there is only one single valid way to continue the game.

    And whoever thought that playing long unskippable video teaser every time you try to quit the demo is good idea... should not be trusted with task bigger than pizza delivery. The video is literally the same one you get after "beating" the demo. So you get to watch it twice in a row.

  • Whats up EC? the last few videos seem like your phoning it in, didn't put together the research before making your script.

    You state, Demo's are not likely to be done anymore, instead we'll see a different model,

    THEN you point out several DEMOs and call them by different names.

    a Demo by any other name is still a demo.

    Look at Blizzard, Diablo, before anyone knew how great Diablo was going to be, they made a DEMO, it was the first 2 levels of the dungeon, and the Warrior class.

    is this an Episodic release? or a DEMO?

    sheesh.

  • Whats up EC? the last few videos seem like your phoning it in, didn't put together the research before making your script.

    You state, Demo's are not likely to be done anymore, instead we'll see a different model,

    THEN you point out several DEMOs and call them by different names.

    a Demo by any other name is still a demo.

    Look at Blizzard, Diablo, before anyone knew how great Diablo was going to be, they made a DEMO, it was the first 2 levels of the dungeon, and the Warrior class.

    is this an Episodic release? or a DEMO?

    sheesh.

    It was a spawned version, not strictly a demo.

  • Fascinating show!

    I remember... the demo for Doom was amazing and convinced me to buy a game that I would not have otherwise bought. I guess it was one of those examples where a great game had a great demo.

    Years later, having become a huge fan of id Software, you can imagine my enthusiasm when I got my hands on the Quake demo. ...And then my disappointment, when the demo was dull, seemingly unfinished, and generally terrible. I would've bought Quake, too... if not for the demo -- which convinced me to go play outside for a few years, instead. Most of my Doom2 deathmatch buddies agreed and likewise avoided Quake.

    If a preexisting core fanbase can be lost to a bad demo, I can certainly see the risk to developers.

  • How a demo makes sales: Look at telltales: The Walking Dead. I was interested in it, but wasn't going to buy it when it first came out. Then during Halloween Xbox had a ad saying the entire first episode was free. Downloaded it, finished it, then instantly bought the rest of the entire game because of how good it was.

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