I didn't know you need $150k to be able even start coding and making art on your free time.
You don't. But people who just code and make art in their free time are unlikely to be able to develop a game like this very fast at all, and the longer they take over it, the less likely they ever are to release a game.
Plus, if these guys are games industry professionals they probably don't have
any free time outside of work. If they want to make a game, they have to make it their job.
On average, each person has around 40 hours of productive work in them a week, and working longer hours than that for long decreases productivity and increases error. If they work in their spare time after a games industry job which already takes up 50-60 hours a week, that means they'll be producing a shittier game than if they work on it full-time. Plus potentially risking their jobs by being [even] less productive and more error-prone at work.
Have you heard the term 'vertical slice'? It's entirely possible that they implemented enough to be able to show the core game working over that short stretch of road in the demo, and nothing else works; releasing that as a playable demo would leave people with a worse impression than not releasing a demo at all.
Yes, I guess you want to censor me
...eh? I suspect you may actually be clinically insane.