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October 24, 2014, 05:27:21 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessHow to get the word out? Marketing Question
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Author Topic: How to get the word out? Marketing Question  (Read 2568 times)
alastair
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2013, 03:38:29 AM »

I enjoyed playing Immortal Defense, I bought it but only felt like playing utpo around the end of the demo end point (around 1/3 of the way) ó so I guess I shouldn't have bought it and just played the demo.

I'm thinking I probably won't do a demo either for my next game.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 03:46:03 AM by alastair » Logged
Ant
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2013, 04:04:01 AM »

Yeah demo stuff has been on my mind of late since I have no idea where to host such a thing for free. Don't really know how much bandwidth it could leech so I'd want to use something like dropbox and a mirror on box.net. But all this and putting together a demo seems like annoying faffing.

I was thinking instead of a demo just upload a full gameplay vid or maybe kindly ask some of those youtube previewers to put something up so peeps at least have something to look at.

But then again having a demo safeguards against buyers who for some reason can't run the game at full whack or at all since they would have a demo to test first.

hmm...
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ANtY
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2013, 04:28:50 AM »

But then again having a demo safeguards against buyers who for some reason can't run the game at full whack or at all since they would have a demo to test first.
that's the only positive side of having a demo I could think of
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alastair
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2013, 04:35:18 AM »

so I'd want to use something like dropbox and a mirror on box.net.

I lost my dropbox public account for around 1-3 days because a couple of my 12mb games used a lot of bandwidth somehow. I'm using dropcanvas atm for hosting my games which is so far the best free one I can find.
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Graham-
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2013, 06:57:50 AM »

I suppose a demo's value depends on how into your game a web visitor is. If you're viral for example, like Minecraft, lots of players will only have a small taste of your game. They will be coming on recommendation. So a demo may be the fastest way to introduce them to how to play.

I wish I could demo a lot of games largely because reviewers suck. They talk and talk and I still have to play to figure out how good the game is. The other advantage of a demo is instant download. If someone comes to your site just to browse they may not be in a game buying mood. A free demo makes reducing the purchasing friction easier. At least the visitor will be downloading something.

Progress should be seamless between demo and release. The demo should also be good. Then you're fine I think. I'm going to go watch this right now: extra credits: demo daze
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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2013, 09:58:22 AM »

as an aside the idea that no demos increases sales is only anecdotal; when an actual study was done using data, they found that isn't the case, demos increase sales. but still i think that even if demos increased sales generally (which they don't) it'd be for demos, because i don't want to sell a game to someone who doesn't actually enjoy the game

i also should note that most of the people arguing that demos are bad have never released a commercial game, and never had the opportunity to actually try what they are preaching; i suspect they'd change their mind after trying it. an indie game without a demo would probably have almost no sales, i can't think of a single case where an indie game without a demo had any measure of success. i'm sure a few cases exist, but i have not found such a case yet, and i've been paying attention to indie game sales data for at least 10 years
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Ant
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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2013, 10:26:00 AM »

Weird, I thought the trend with indies is to not release demos? Anti-chamber, Hotline Miami, Dear Esther, Proteus, FTL, Limbo... those are off the top of my head. The only indie games with demos that spring to mind are Lone Survivor and VVVVV, both of which are online hosted by Kongregate.

Though those games I mentioned without demos had huge press so people probably already knew what to expect due to numerous youtube reviews and let's plays.
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petertos
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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2013, 01:01:05 PM »

I the game is for Android/iOS platforms and price is gonna be low, for instance 0.99$ or 0.60Ä, then I don't think demo will be useful. People will download the game, pay for it and play and if they don't like it they haven't spent that much. Other games which are for other platforms and more expensive should use a demo, perhaps.  Big Laff
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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2013, 01:23:13 PM »

Weird, I thought the trend with indies is to not release demos? Anti-chamber, Hotline Miami, Dear Esther, Proteus, FTL, Limbo... those are off the top of my head. The only indie games with demos that spring to mind are Lone Survivor and VVVVV, both of which are online hosted by Kongregate.

Though those games I mentioned without demos had huge press so people probably already knew what to expect due to numerous youtube reviews and let's plays.

i can't believe how uninformed this post is

limbo has a demo: http://limbogame.org/demo/

antichamber has a demo: http://download.chip.eu/en/Antichamber_177117881.html

dear esther has a demo, but only on onlive: http://www.onlive.com/launch/trial/dear-esther

proteus doesn't have an "official" demo but you can still download the free alpha version, which more or less acts as a demo: http://www.visitproteus.com/forum/index.php?topic=5.0

FTL had a demo on onlive, but it seems to be unavailable right now: http://www.ftlgame.com/?p=224

hotline miami doesn't have a demo but there was a lot of controversy over that, and because of that it was pirated at extraordinarily high levels due to vast numbers of people simply refusing to buy it because it doesn't have a demo: http://www.gamespot.com/news/hotline-miami-pirated-at-extraordinary-levels-6401453

so basically of the six games you named as examples of games that don't have demos, three (or three and a half) of them have demos, and five of them had a demo at one point. still, those two and a half games that don't have demos are more than i had heard of, so thanks for informing me about them. but they are the exception and as you can see, players get very upset when there are no demos and will often pirate it out of spite

and no, it's not a trend at all to release games without demos -- tens of thousands of commercial indie games are released on the PC each year, and i'd bet anything that more than 95% of them have demos (mobile games, xblig, and similar are a different story because they're so low-priced that they are impulse buys)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 01:29:18 PM by Paul Eres » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2013, 02:12:39 PM »

@paul: the point is no one played those demos and I don't know anyone that'd buy games based on their demos, just never happens
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2013, 02:14:57 PM »

@paul: the point is no one played those demos and I don't know anyone that'd buy games based on their demos, just never happens

that's an anecdotal point though, among indie game developers, who represent a small portion of people who buy games. it's silly to extrapolate from personal experience to how an entire market works. the data shows that demos help sales. don't you remember that chart that eva posted in another thread?
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« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2013, 02:19:11 PM »

The #1 reason I pirate is because of a lack of demos, sometimes money too. But in the later case even if I'd never pay for a game, playing the demo would at least make me a contributor to the brand. There's a chance I might tell someone about my experience.
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« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2013, 02:39:16 PM »

I the game is for Android/iOS platforms and price is gonna be low, for instance 0.99$ or 0.60Ä, then I don't think demo will be useful. People will download the game, pay for it and play and if they don't like it they haven't spent that much. Other games which are for other platforms and more expensive should use a demo, perhaps.  Big Laff

I think a "demo" (we're talking about just a "lite" version right?) can be worthwhile at the $0.99 price point. Does anyone have experience with that?
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« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2013, 02:54:17 PM »

@paul: the point is no one played those demos and I don't know anyone that'd buy games based on their demos, just never happens

You know at least one person. Large portion of our sales come from the demos. Possibly even the majority, but I don't have very precise data.

Not having a demo is generally risky. It's true that if you are a well known indie with a hyped title or a successful kickstarter, you can get away with it. But if you are the more average moderately known developer, people may not be willing to buy your game if they can't try it first. Especially if it costs more than 5 bucks. Or they may pirate it to see if they like it and maybe buy it later (hint: that doesn't ever happen).

Free demos are also a part of the generally good PR that indies enjoy. Just like no DRM, it makes the players sympathize with the developer; feel that they are actual passionate people and gamers, not a soulless greedy corporation.

To add some more anecdotal evidence -- I don't think I ever bought an indie game that had no demo outside of a humble bundle sales.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 12:05:31 AM by TeeGee » Logged

Tom Grochowiak
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« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2013, 07:06:53 PM »

What does everyone think about demos of games in alpha? If itís an early alpha and the content even in the demo is likely to change significantly, is it still as necessary to have a demo? Some games do it, but others donít. Iím planning on going the alpha funding route, but Iím not sure about releasing a demo right away, since at the beginning the demo wonít be able to be very long without having almost as much content as the actual game.
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« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2013, 07:19:15 PM »

I'm going pure viral like Minecraft. Two things:
  1. viral features (duh)
  2. always have a free version, even in pre-pre-alpha

Minecraft wasn't actually free but it was cheap. So it kind of was a demo of itself in pre-alpha. You can always do something like that, or just make the demo a piece of your game with no special features.
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« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2013, 07:25:24 PM »

minecraft didn't go "pure viral", if i recall, it actually had a pretty sophisticated marketing campaign. for instance, it had temporary sales where you could buy the game for yourself and a friend, etc.
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Graham-
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« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2013, 07:31:56 PM »

What I meant was that the design of Minecraft facilitates virality. I didn't know one way or another about their marketing. I used "pure" in a hyperbolic sense, like "totally man!"
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Sean Hogan (seagaia)
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« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2013, 07:35:21 PM »

I'm honestly leaning toward the idea of not making a demo for your game. I know that sounds counter-intuitive... but after a lot of reading up about it, it actually makes sense.

I mean really, how many games have you purchased after playing the demo? I have purchased none. None games.

You either sell a person on your game before they even play it, or you don't get the sale.

All a demo does is lose you sales. People who play the demo are more than likely just going to either not like the demo or like it but play enough of the demo to not really care to buy the full thing.

A video of gameplay, a trailer... good screenshots... a good sales pitch... word of mouth... getting some people who will do play throughs of your game on youtube... That is what sells your game. Not the demo.


maybe, but when getting started it's good to get a lot of people palying. at least the demo has definitely helped for anodyne, and garnered us a little bit of press 4 months before we actually finished and released the game. has to be used strategically though, of course - don't want to put too much into the demo so people are just like "eh, I am fine"

but yes, you do lose sales from demo, but you have to ask yourself if you'd rather have a few people buy it and play or more people at least try it a bit
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2013, 08:29:28 PM »

What I meant was that the design of Minecraft facilitates virality. I didn't know one way or another about their marketing. I used "pure" in a hyperbolic sense, like "totally man!"

i've never heard pure used that way before, but understandable
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