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Game demos gone wrong

Eric at The POW Block says: "I have noticed ever since around 2006-2007, when I got my first Xbox 360, that game demos have most always been the best 10 minutes a game can offer. After that the game can either fail or turn out good. Ever since I purchased Gamefly I have always been inclined to try the demo for the game I was about to receive. The reason is because I wanted to know if the demo portrayed the game correctly. In most cases it did not."

Update:

Many of the users are taking the 3/16th rule as time only. This is not the case. For most single player games 3/16th of the game would be 1 complete level and (if it's a shooter) 3 or so of the guns. The rule just means 3/16th of the content divided however the devloper decides will best repersent the game.

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Andrew Wiggin2822d ago

I think that demos are at the height of their prevalence. Bioshock, Burnout Paradise, Bulletstorm, Dead Space 2, the list goes on and on. There have been so many fantastic demos that I don't really understand what you want.

For the most part, demos are a vertical slice. They show us the best aspects of the game. Sure they may mislead with this, but the point of them is to get you to buy the game, not show you that you shouldn't.

Also, 3/16ths wouldn't work. They're not going to give you 3/16ths of 40-80 hour game. Personally, I don't want a demo that's over an hour long. 15-30 minutes gives me a taste and that's all I want from a demo.

mikeslemonade2821d ago (Edited 2821d ago )

I don't play demos as often as before. It used to be fun to get to play a game for free. After a while it becomes more of a hassle and a tease to play them. I tend to only pay attention to the high profile games like Uncharted, Halo, Metal Gear etc. that are supposed to do something groundbreaking.

InfiniteJustice2821d ago

You're right, developers seem more than happy to bring out quite a comprehensive demo if they think it'll draw some attention to their game, and why not?

I've enjoyed loads of demos recently, most notably the Mass Effect 2 demo on PS3... While it didn't really show off the games dialogue that much, you can't argue with a 1 hour + demo for free.

Flashwave_UK2821d ago

lol the guy who made this article wants a full game for free instead huh?

Hitster2821d ago

No, I want people to really know if they want a game before they purchase it. It would force the developer to make better games it it had to be held up on 3/16th of it's content.

crispinantista2822d ago

Why would you think that devlopers would show you that the rest of their game isn't good? It has nothing to do with responsibility, it's all business. This isn't the video games institute, it's the video game industry. Industry? You know, business? Commerce? Maybe you should take responsibility and wait until reviews come out to determine whether or not to buy a game if you're worried about this.

Hitster2822d ago (Edited 2822d ago )

I think it is quite clear, having a demo be 3/16th long would force the games to become better. There is no reason I should play a demo think the game is good and have the whole game suck. Take fracture, the demo was good. The game sucked.

Also, why shouldn't your saved game from the demo carry over to the full game. This is a missed opportunity that most games don't do. Look at Dead Rising 2. Their "Demo" was amazing. It showcased the best parts of the game and allowed you to play for more than 10 min. Not only that but it was also a full game in it self. Then if you only wanted the free demo you could have about 3/16th of the "demo's" demo. It was a great idea that more developers should carry over.

crispinantista2822d ago

Good job restating the article. Care to actually adress something that was said instead? No? Of course not.

Andrew Wiggin2822d ago

Well I agree about the save thing, but you didn't add anything you just restated what the author said. The only real criticism of this piece I can see is the issue of monetary gain. You're right, the demo of fracture made it look good so people bought it and the developers benefited. That's the point of the demo, they're not made for you.

Demos are a marketing tool and no one in their right mind is going to use a marketing tool to show that their product is sub par.

By the way, the Dead Rising 2 "demo" I assume you're referring to is Case 0 and if that is the case, then how can you use that to support your point? That was literally a marketing tool that you paid for. All that it showed was that Dead Rising 2 would be a slight improvement on Dead Rising. If you like the first you'll like the second, case closed. We, the audience, knew that this wasn't going to be a revolutionary sequel and, therefore a demo isn't really even necessary.

NosoleeToxin2822d ago

I don't know if I would want to play a demo that long.

crispinantista2822d ago

Oh yeah, anything over an hour is way too long. These are demos, not betas. Unless you're talking about multiplayer.

Andrew Wiggin2822d ago

Well think about it. An eight hour game would mean around an hour and a half demo. That is ridiculously long. That and no self respecting publisher will allow a developer to put up almost a fourth of their game for free. It's insanity.

What the author is suggesting is that he wants to basically rent a game for free. Way back when we used to rent things for around five days at a time, you usually wouldn't finish the game you rented. It's different now, but that's basically what the piece suggests. Free rentals to try before you buy. Bad business move.

Hitster2821d ago

No, when did 3/16 of a game become the whole thing. It's just enough to show off what is there. It doesn't have to be straight hours. Give 3/16th of the content. That could mean 1 Level and 3 guns in most cases. That is not the whole game.

Caseydilla2822d ago

After thinking about this, I believe I would love if most demos allowed 1 hour of game play. For example, if I recall correctly, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker demo started you at the beginning of the game and gave a limited amount of time to play. Others set a particular point in the story where it would end, like Shadow of the Colossus.

These are the types of demos I enjoy the most. With them, I know exactly how the game starts and if they give you an hour of play time you should know what you're getting into. Plus, if the story is anything worth paying attention to players will be hooked because they started from the beginning.

Now, if only they allowed you to continue a save file from a demo if you purchase the game...

NosoleeToxin2820d ago

I also like when demo start in the beginning of the game and think players can get hooked if they start from the beginning, like they need to finish the game because it was started.

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