Apr 8 2012, 03:21 PM
I was wondering how people decide when or if to release demos for their project to get feedback. I had an English teacher who told me not to ever ask for feedback unless I've tried my absolute hardest on a project, so on my last game I didn't release a demo because I wanted to push my limits to see what I could figure out on my own. At first this made accepting criticism a little difficult, as my first instinct when people offered critiques was "EWFWEGED!!! I tried my hardest cut me a break!" But it was good for me because I learned that even if something makes perfect sense to *me*, that doesn't mean it translates into fun for everyone else.
So basically my process was "first I'll make the game that I want to make, then I'll show it to others and tweak it to fit other people's play styles." Again, this was emotionally risky, because if all I got was negative feedback, then I could have ended up thinking the 500+ hours I invested in it wasn't worth it, but making the game "for me" first helped keep me motivated, because as long as I was happy with the final product then I met my initial goal. Thoughts?
Apr 8 2012, 04:13 PM
I suggest you do demo 1 around the first or second dungeon,unless you need to extend it. In my case, I'm placing demos after every 2 bosses because early dungeons are sshort. The reason to do demos around this time is to get people to see what theyr'e playing without giving too much of the story away.
Apr 8 2012, 04:41 PM
The problem with demos is if people offer all sorts of suggestions, you'll be spending time constantly fixing the game, and there is a chance it won't get completed. If you produce a finished copy, it may be hard to go back and fix it, but at least the feedback can be applied towards your next product.
But if you do decide on a demo, my suggestion is to make the game somewhat playable (not too long, but not too short) and introduce a few of the more interesting features you plan to develop further. I would suggest anywhere from the 30 minute mark to no more than 2 hours for a demo. Anything longer will make it harder for a person to want to invest time to finish it (being a demo) and hurt chances of getting them to want to replay all of it once a final game comes out.
Apr 8 2012, 05:34 PM
Depends what kind of feedback? Personally I would try to release a demo that is not the very beginning of the game. Somewhere that is reached after a few hours of play. So people can jump into the action right off the bat.
But it depends do you want feedback on the story, the characters, the speech interaction, the skill system,etc.. Or maybe you want a general overall feedback, but it seems like your going to get people saying oh good job keep up the work (assuming its half decent)
If you truly want feedback on say the skill system and combat, I would go for a demo like I suggested put it past the first story twist, so the player can get right into the game, somewhat lost but just to get a feel of how it will play with solid equipment, skills, and monsters to fight.
I find that if your game is really good and has a good story, players will kind of be left in the dark and be like DAMN I want to know why... so and so is like that.
Imagine getting the demo of FF3/6 at the point where your stranded on the island after the world is a mess, you jump right into the action and you ask why the hell is the world like this!
Ask your self what is it you really want feedback on? Do you have a story that will keep the player on the edge of their seat? Then try to get a demo to capture that so players can comment effectively. Or do you have a new skill learning system you want players to try and see if they like it or needs balance, is this Fire spell OP? Do 90% of the players say hey, your fire spells are too good why would we pick anything else. Then I suggest throwing them in a demo that can fully use this skill system.
My 2 cents. Its like you said if you complete 2 towns and 2 dungeons to what you think is perfect and people complain saying hey ...... then you would have to go back and change it all.
Apr 9 2012, 12:17 PM
A demo hhmmmm
It can be hard to find out when or what part of your game you want the demo to be. Seeing how you want to give the player a taste of the battle system maybe in just a tid bit of the story without telling anything major.
Reason dungeons are so good to use, is cause it can make a player question why they are in the dungeon/cave and also where they are going once they get out.
Even a small chat section once again NO STORY INFO! in it to get a feel for the characters is also nice.
But really depends on what you want people to see to get them to play your game, yes it may also push people away from your game but it happens to all games so.
A quick little example from a PS2 game Suikoden IV
You fight a sea serpent (Get a feel for the battles)
Shows it is a random encounter based system
Has a few chats, showing the main character is the silent type (Yes he does not talk other than when the player has to pick something)
(Sadly no town cause your on a island, and no one else is there)
Small meaningless part of the story on you trying to get off the island.
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