Author Topic: Will there be a demo?  (Read 2534 times)

Offline syndicatedragon

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Will there be a demo?
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:56:28 PM »
Forgive me if this has already been answered; I searched and could not find an answer.

Will there be a demo for this game?

Thanks.

Offline x4000

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 07:10:10 PM »
At the present time our expectation is not to have a demo. There are a variety of reasons, but chief among them is our switch to this game being drm free rather than our old model of serial keys unlocking shareware-style. That means any demo we would do would have to be a separate build and installer, and would quickly get stale, etc.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 08:48:57 PM »
Yea, basically the apparent feedback over the years has been that "having absolutely zero drm of any kind" is more important to gamers than "having a demo", at least for something around this price-point.  I imagine that changes when talking about $60 games, etc.
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Offline zespri

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 12:36:00 AM »
Yea, basically the apparent feedback over the years has been that "having absolutely zero drm of any kind" is more important to gamers than "having a demo", at least for something around this price-point.  I imagine that changes when talking about $60 games, etc.
Is this because gamers are able to download a pirated version for demo purposes?

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 02:32:40 AM »
I mean it does make the game a lot easier to pirate, but the games were already easy to pirate what with the whole 'you only ever need one key and it just works forever on any install'.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 07:47:28 AM »
Yea, basically the apparent feedback over the years has been that "having absolutely zero drm of any kind" is more important to gamers than "having a demo", at least for something around this price-point.  I imagine that changes when talking about $60 games, etc.
Is this because gamers are able to download a pirated version for demo purposes?

No. It's because we make so many changes to quickly to our games. And in order to keep a good demo, we'd need to keep up with two applications. The only reason we ever had a reg key in the first place was so that we could have a demo and not have to keep it up separately from the full game.

Offline Oralordos

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 10:55:33 AM »
I've never really had a problem with Arcen's DRM in the past. I consider it a reasonable amount of protection. Just enough to prevent casual pirating, but not enough to cause problems with legitimate customers.

The only issue I've really had is that Steam takes forever to accept the CD keys for new games, but that is Valve, not Arcen.

Offline x4000

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 10:58:03 AM »
Yeah, but you'll notice that none of our games are carried on a certain prominent game store, and the license keys were the sole reason for that.

Also, we've had the endless troubles with players trying to register Steam keys that pirates are keygenning, and that causes all sorts of troubles all around; so we're trying to get away from that, too.
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Offline Mick

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 11:45:52 AM »
I thought this was amusing and relevant:


Offline x4000

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 11:53:49 AM »
That's how I feel about DRM as well (grr SimCity 5), but I don't view a license key that doesn't phone home as actually being DRM.  In our case it was a way to handle demos.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 12:16:29 PM »
Even in our case, entering 5 license keys wasn't helping the customer enjoy the install/reinstall experience in AIW ;)

But yea, it was pretty minimal hassle.

The "folks registering keygen'd keys in steam" was probably the worst of it.  That really annoyed me.
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2013, 12:40:46 PM »
I just copy-pasted the keys and it worked out fine.

Offline zespri

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 02:28:46 PM »
Yea, basically the apparent feedback over the years has been that "having absolutely zero drm of any kind" is more important to gamers than "having a demo", at least for something around this price-point.  I imagine that changes when talking about $60 games, etc.
Is this because gamers are able to download a pirated version for demo purposes?

No. It's because we make so many changes to quickly to our games. And in order to keep a good demo, we'd need to keep up with two applications. The only reason we ever had a reg key in the first place was so that we could have a demo and not have to keep it up separately from the full game.
I probably quoted to much. When asking I was specifically referring to this part:
the apparent feedback over the years has been that "having absolutely zero drm of any kind" is more important to gamers than "having a demo"
I'm not quite getting how this importance correlates with the frequency of changes. Can you explain? On the other hand if one can easily obtain an illegal version it would explain why importance of demo is low.

Offline x4000

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2013, 02:37:29 PM »
Generally speaking, if we release updates, then that's the thing we want people to judge the game by.  It takes me several hours to do a new installer build.  Having to do that, and/or maintain a separate update tree for the demo, doesn't seem like a good investment of time; particularly because our evidence is that most gamers ignore our demos in the first place.  I've always been a big fan of demos, but when looking at things like the Steam numbers the vast majority of people buy our game without trying the demo on Steam (and it's hard to believe they're going somewhere else to get the demo in most cases, you know?).

As you say, given that there are illegal copies within a few days anyhow, if anyone is super on the fence I guess that's one option.  I don't condone piracy, but there are people who have stated they ignored our demos anyhow and pirated it to see the "full version."  Expecting that it was a more hamstrung demo than we actually have, I guess.

If there turned out to be some overwhelming demand for a demo then that would be a different situation, but as it is our data -- and that of other indies that we've spoken to on this issue -- doesn't really support that position.  To my surprise, really.  I've resisted doing anything but the CD key + demo route for a long time, and Shattered Haven is kind of our trial of how things would work if we go to just the "straight no drm plus no demo" route.  If that goes well, then the expectation is that we'll be doing something similar with future titles.  If not, then we'll adjust accordingly, possibly going back to the license key model.  New expansions for existing games that we have that use the license key model (aka, everything prior to Shattered Haven) will continue to work via the same mechanisms they always have.
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Will there be a demo?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2013, 02:40:38 PM »
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but let me give another shot at answering anyway. :)

The reason we used an unlock key was so that the demo and the full game were all in the same installer. AVWW is a great example why this is important. If we had NOT had the demo and the full game as the same thing, and we had made a demo based on the 1.0 version, than right now, that demo would be worthless. The game has changed so much since 1.0, that any demo of that version would not give a good feel for what the game is now.

That would leave us with two options... either a.) Leave the bad demo as is, or b.) Update it for the new version. Neither of these options is a good one, in our eyes. Option A can leave a bad impression of us or our game, and Option B costs us more time, and that's not something we have a lot of. Additionally, if we tried to keep up doing Option B, we'd have to update the demo AND the game over and over and over. With the license key system we used for our other games, we were able to make the changes only to the main game, and the demo just changed with it, since they were essentially the same thing. :)

Does that answer your question?

EDIT: Ninja'd by the boss.