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999255 Posts in 39205 Topics- by 30615 Members - Latest Member: AlecKelley

April 22, 2014, 11:37:13 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 2238 times)
Konidias
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 10:54:18 AM »

Yeah there are circumstances where a demo can work but I don't think the standard "release demo, link to a purchase page" method works.

The way I see it is this... if you do all the work to get a person to your download page and interested enough to download the demo... you have sold them on wanting to play it already. At that point you need to sell them the game, not give them a demo. It's like you are purposely giving your customers a reason not to buy the game.

When I bought Minecraft it was because I saw some guy doing a lets play video on youtube and I was like "okay, this looks like fun"

When I went to the Minecraft website, I actually almost didn't buy the game because they had the watered down old version of it online that you could play for free. I tried that and wasn't impressed. The thing that really sold me was the guy playing the full game in the video. How much fun he was having made me want to play the game more than anything.
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Graham.
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 11:23:14 AM »

Yeah you need to show the game in its best light. You also don't want to give the demo to someone who is already sold on the product. And you want the demo-to-purchase process to be painless.

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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2013, 11:28:24 AM »

Yeah there are circumstances where a demo can work but I don't think the standard "release demo, link to a purchase page" method works.

The way I see it is this... if you do all the work to get a person to your download page and interested enough to download the demo... you have sold them on wanting to play it already. At that point you need to sell them the game, not give them a demo. It's like you are purposely giving your customers a reason not to buy the game.

When I bought Minecraft it was because I saw some guy doing a lets play video on youtube and I was like "okay, this looks like fun"

When I went to the Minecraft website, I actually almost didn't buy the game because they had the watered down old version of it online that you could play for free. I tried that and wasn't impressed. The thing that really sold me was the guy playing the full game in the video. How much fun he was having made me want to play the game more than anything.

this may just apply to you, or just to minecraft; i think it's silly to extrapolate from this to all games should not have demos. i've been selling my game, immortal defense, just based on the demo. until recently there were *no* let's plays of it at all on the internet (someone recently did one, back in january, and it was released years ago). yet it still sold decently well for a game maker game that wasn't on steam -- a few thousand copies, about 20k-30k$ in sales. most of those sales were because of the demo; the demo was a full 1/3 of the game, and if they wanted to play the last 2/3 of the game they had to buy it. people got hooked on the story from the demo and wanted to see how the story ended. generally people have told me that the demo is the reason they bought my game

so basically i think what you say is true for some people and some games, but there *are* definitely people who buy games based on demos, especially if the demo isn't some short 5 minute thing but actually a significant portion of the game (my game's demo was about 6 hours long)

also, this isn't strictly from the marketing perspective, but would it *really* feel good to trick someone out of their money? to make them buy a game that they would not have bought if they had played it first? that seems like something an AAA company would want, not what an indie would want
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 11:41:10 AM by Paul Eres » Logged

Graham.
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2013, 11:39:53 AM »

Yeah so two points:
  1. Your demo was as good as the game.
  2. The demo gave enough to hook but not enough to satisfy.
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petertos
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2013, 12:28:02 PM »

A demo is like a strip tease, there's a moment you have to stop  Durr...?
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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) 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
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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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« 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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« 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 0.60, 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

ANtY
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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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