Sunday, April 24, 2016

Almost missed a cool game because of unsuccessful demo

Here I blog again. (Get the E-Type reference? :D)

I'm probably spoiled with hidden objects games whose demo versions are a "cut off" version of the game, giving you the taste of gameplay, getting you excited about what comes next, and then suggesting to get the full thing. You pay once to go on exploring the story.
Having from little to zero experience with games, I naively assumed all demos are that way, and almost missed a cool game.

Due to limited space on my laptop (yes, I play on MacBook Air since I'm traveling most of the time) and lack of time to play (common problem of people who work in gamedev!), decided to first check out the demo of one nightmare-themed game released back in 2014, but getting the buzz these days for some reason. I have a serious problem with nightmares IRL, and always pick the games that represent my real-life fears, be it nightmares or abandoned hospitals. :D

Anyway, playing the demo of the game left me with more "wtf" than "what's next"? First, I was confused about what exactly I need to do. Thought it's all my lack of experience, so went exploring everything around. I spent some time trying to make the words "fuck" and "puke" out of the building blocks. :D Awaited jump scares. Nothing. I started to get bored and was wondering what's the story I'm playing and what the goal is - it didn't look clear. Again, I assumed it's my lack of experience with games.

But it looked like the piece shown in the demo was pulled out of something bigger. Or the full game isn't fully developed yet?

All in all, I got the idea what the game feels like - the overall vibe, controls and mechanics, background sounds... Yes, something I would play. And it's good that I had read reviews beforehand. I'm getting the full game and maybe even trying to stream it if internet is good enough.

But what if not? What if I thought the whole thing is like that, not clear enough, not intuitively understandable and without a decent story? I doubt I'd buy it. I'd think it's been released before it's fully ready. ((

As an aspiring dev, I'm trying to use other people's mistakes to avoid my own. If I ever make that big thing I have in my sketch book, this is how I'm not doing the demo. Instead, the beginning of the story does give the feel of gameplay, mechanics and controls, and is able to help you understand whether you'd like to play the game - but also kinda forces you to buy the whole thing. In a good way. Even if you haven't read the reviews.

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