Opinion: Demos do their games a serious disservice

Discussion in 'Gaming News Discussion' started by Vikingod, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Vikingod

    Vikingod Int'l Fish Liaison

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    Source: CVG
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    Picture a movie trailer that shows only the first scene of the film. The camera pans across a large number of clocks, a teenager enters and causes a giant speaker to explode with a pluck of his guitar. End trailer. Are you convinced yet? Excited to see Back to the Future?

    Of course not. You still don't know anything about the film. You have no idea why you should care about it. You've seen nothing of its characters or plot, or of time-travelling DeLoreans.

    So why are most game demos so similar to this hyperbolic example? You get the first level, maybe the one after, and maybe a tutorial. At most. That's the best they can muster to represent a game they've spent years making, and that they're now trying to convince you to spend money on.
     
  2. Lelisevis

    Lelisevis Howlin at the moon

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    Not particularly convinced by this argument. Most casual gamers like myself rarely get past one or two levels anyway before getting distracted by something else and moving on. Im sure the developers are aware of this and don't want to release to much in fear of satisfying the gamer who'll then not go out and buy the game. A demo is a taster of a game designed to tempt you and leave you clamouring for more.
    I also noticed that the writer of the article used this as justification or at least an excuse for gamers obtaining pirated copies of games which is a poor argument for commiting a crime.
     
  3. ChaosMinionX

    ChaosMinionX USB 3 dot oh

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    I play no demos, as I want to play the game in its intended form...most demos are a form of Beta test these days.
     
  4. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    I also didn't like linking this opinion to piracy. Now a pirate might actually use this as an excuse and think it is justified.
     
  5. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Games are not movies.
    GAMES are not MOVIES.
    GAMES ARE NOT MOVIES!

    I know people who will not buy a game unless played a demo first. If they can't find a demo, either they won't buy it, or they will acquire it otherwise.
    Not everyone feels like a sucker to give away his hard earned money for something they don't know how it is.
     
  6. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    What I'd like to see is developers using a level that's not part of the game as a demo. Let's say a game that has 13 levels. Take one out, and use it for the demo, or better yet, create a level completely separate from the game. Use that level to tell a side story, or use for the backdrop, or the back story of the game. If the game is a sequel you can use it to tell the story of the previous game, or the aftereffects of the game you are selling. Make that level amazing, make it so good that you leave them wanting more, but once done, DON'T put that level back into the game. Have it be a game onto itself.

    Yes, this would take time to do, and it may appear to be a waste of money, but to be honest, if the story is as good, or the game is as good as you want us to believe it is, then this is a way to do it. People will want to play the demo as it tells more of that story. They may play it before the game comes out, or after as a way to tie up the loose ends. Either way, the demo would tell a story either different from the actual game, or from a different angle. If you do it right you will have people wanting more, and the only way for them to get more is to buy the game. That is what a teaser should do: garner interest, and make people want more.
     
  7. Lelisevis

    Lelisevis Howlin at the moon

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    I might like a new Honda Civic however I dont go out and steal one before buying it just in case I waste my money. I go to the dealers and test drive it for an hour.

    Back on topic thats exactly what a demo is for, if your undecided by the end of the demo then it's probably not for you. I don't know how people can complain as demos seem to be longer than they have ever been.
     
  8. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Lelisevis, that was my point, you do get to try it out, you don't rely just on other people and their reviews/posts...
    If no demos, then no way to test drive a game, unless you warez it or know someone who has a copy of the game. So, where exactly do you disagree?
     
  9. Lelisevis

    Lelisevis Howlin at the moon

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    The linked article is not about demos not being available it's about the quality and length of the demos. The writer seems to be suggesting that he/she would like a mini game rather than a introduction or first level to a game.

    My point was that demos for games ARE available, true they may not give you a good enough idea of how the full game will play out but then again test driving a car at the dealers will not give you an idea of how you'll feel about the car one, six or twelve months down the line. It's not justification to obtain whatever it is you are considering purchasing unlawfully just on the off chance you might not like it and waste some cash. Thats life unfortunately, when you book a holiday you do in on the word/review of others you dont get a test holiday you just take the risk and book. Why should it be any different for a £20 game.

    Maybe our wires are crossed and if so then I apologise but I have yet to read a genuine justification for pirating or obtaining software illegally.
     
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  10. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    People need to just fess up, and tell it like it is: there is no legal or moral justification for pirating. I mean, come on, people don't pirate games to demo them, they do it to save money. That's what it comes down to. People want things for free, or they don't want to waste money on a piece of crap. It's that simple. There are those that pirate a game with no intention of buying it, and those that pirate a game with an intention to buy it if it's good enough to continue playing, however most still don't buy it, either because they finish it, or move onto something else. The fact is they still didn't buy the game even if it was a game worthy of their purchase, because then it becomes a question of why they should waste money on something they finished?

    In either case both do it for the same reason: to save money. Self-interest is their justification for pirating, and anyone that says otherwise is full of $4!7.
     
  11. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Well, I don't see where I said anything opposite to the above.
    oh well.
     
  12. mike2h

    mike2h New Member

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    you just said it in less words;)

    while i have never liked demos i have 'obtained' vers of games without buying them. the difference between me & most peeps is that if i like the gane, i will buy it as i want the company to succeed & make more games like that.
    i will say one thing though, i think there is some justification for piracy(not that 99% really do it for this reason), i have litterally spent well over $1500 on pc games. & a very large percentage of them were hosed at install. now quite a few were eventually fixed(basically buying a game to beta test), but there are an alarmingly large amount that never were & never will be playable. this type of crap has going on for all the years(1st comp was atari st) ive been playing.
    unfortunatley piracy is almost never used as 'fk u im tired of u ripping me of' statement but, as posted above, a thievery thing.
    my response is that i buy very few games anymore. which also means im playing a LOT less, but my frustration levels have gone way down;)
     
  13. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    $1500 for pc games? wow, your whole life? :p I spent several thousand $ from 1987 to 1993 only (that I had my "home computers").

    Now, I hate to do this (not really), but why is it ok for you to "obtain" games and buy them if you like them, but everyone else or most that say the do the same thing are just pirate noobs that want to harm the companies and look for nothing other than to not spend a $?

    I am against piracy, but I can accept there are cases where it can be, if not acceptable, then very difficult to find anything wrong with it.
     
  14. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    Why not wait a couple days and then visit forums to see what people are saying about the game? Install issues (developer's fault) would show that quickly. Or maybe try reading the side of the box so that you know if your PC can play the game. A little homework before your purchases would save you time and frustration in the long run, and you wouldn't have to steal. Sounds like the perfect solution for someone who wishes they didn't have to resort to piracy.
     
  15. mike2h

    mike2h New Member

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    i didnt say anyone was 'pirate noob' & my opinion that most people are pirating & not buying the game is based on personal experience with other people & posts on various forums. i may be wrong, but i dont think so.
    i dont think it is ok for anyone to pirate(i also dont think it is ok for the developer to pirate$$ from us), but as i keep saying(&you seem to agree) there is times when you can empathise with somebody about it.
    i have no idea what your comment about my money spent on games is supposed to mean.. unless you were being a smartass?
    i dont know about you but i havent been buying games for all or even most of my life. i actually have a real life.

    ANDREW, while what you say is basically true, it doesnt always work. fanboyism tends to cloud the issue (& my harware specs are always good), if you want to do it that way you have t ogenerally wait a month or so to get a true picture. especially becaus they tend t ofix a lot of release problems with 1st patch & thst is when you can get a good idea of how the game is going to flesh out.
    i also believe i have misreresented myself. i am not so me sort of game dowload fiend. it has been close to 3 years since i 'downloaded' a game & the number of times i actualy did can be counted on my fingers.
    the point i was trying to make is, in some cases i can empathise with peeps getting tired of paying for swill & trying to get one up on some of these developers. not saying it is right or that just becuase developers deliberately sell us defective products that justifies anything, just saying i can understand getting tired of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  16. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    I don't think any product is perfect when it comes out. No ipods or xbox 360's are without flaw in their first batch. People talk all the time about staying away from "first generation" hardware and wait for a second revision.

    That's one of the reasons why I never buy the "developers deserve it, they take advantage of my wallet" argument. If the product is such crap, then why steal it? Why even want it at all? How can anyone say something is complete garbage that isn't worth their money, and then spend 20 hours playing it? Why don't people wait around for revisions on software they don't trust like they do with hardware they don't trust? Because it's easy to steal software.
     
  17. mike2h

    mike2h New Member

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    you are basically right. the few times i have 'downloaded' a game i have either purchased it or deleted it. there was a couple of times(moo3 springs to mind,wich was my last download) were i went by the little bit i played & ran out and brought it. that was a waste.lol.
    the big difference between hardware & software(& is also the reason why your comparison is faulty) is that software is fixable(so is some hardware to a point but that is still different) so you can buy a game with known issues hoping that it will be fixed, especially when you are being told that it will be fixed. anyway i dont have to go over the whole game patching thing here:)
    it is all about instant gratification(at least for me it was) i didnt want to wait 2-3 months to see if the game would work out right:) games are here & now, hardware generally isnt.
    & i do think you are partially wrong about the developers, they do deliberatly release products that are defective. they release products that cant be fixed, or take months to a year or better to fix, or in a few cases, refuse to spend the $$ to fix. now because developers release products from many different firms you cant do the standard 'refuse to buy their product' thing.
    doesnt leave you with much room t olet them now your displeasure. wich they count on.
    of course when a game is so poorly coded you its not just the developers fault for rushing it to market to be beta tested by us, then you do have that option not to buy.
    like i have said before, it is not justification, but in some cases, understandable.
    the biggest problem i have with people that play pirated vers of a working game is that it is just plain stupid(legalitys aside). if you like the game, buy it, so that they will make more games of the same type(& hopefully quality).
     
  18. YAYitsAndrew

    YAYitsAndrew Anti-Piracy Poster Boy

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    Developers generally want to deliver a great game. No one puts up with the long hours and low pay in the industry unless they want to. Why would you want to put up with those things? Because you're genuinely interested in creating a game that other people will play and talk about. The only reason you get into situations where you feel like you're beta testing a released game, is because the publisher is breathing down the developer's neck and withholding payment for builds.

    Managing and predicting software schedules is an extremely difficult technique. Unfortunately, deadlines are hard dates that must be adhered to. Often publishers want to stick to these dates because they help maintain release momentum (the master of this is Nintendo) or they coincide the launch of the game with a movie, or they want to make the holiday season which is where most of the games for the year are sold.

    So you can blame anything for delays or bugs, but malicious or purposeful intent from the developers is one thing that shouldn't be blamed.
     
  19. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    There are cases where developers are to blame too. The most famous example, Daikatana, though not solely for the bugs, but for the overall suckiness of the game.

    The thing is, if one developer has a good history of releasing and supporting games, the chances are their next game will be ok too.
     
  20. mike2h

    mike2h New Member

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    i made an error(again), when i was saying developer i was meaning publisher. you are basically correct in what you say, with several exceptions like the one blue mentioned, that do give developers a bad name. the upside to developers putting out a bad product is that you dont buy their games, when publishers screw things up, & like you said, they are the big villains in the gaming industry & are responsible for most problems, you dont have much choice in buying from them as they will have several devolpers under contract. this has gotten even worse in recent years becuase of the shrinking amount of publishers(this is to our great detriment).
    i guess the bottom line is, you do what your concsience allows you to do & what common sense says is viable for your preference in gaming. this is assuming you have both;)
     

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