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An idea for donations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kana, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Kana
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    Kana Blood Imp Backer

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    Hello there, i'm Kana, a 30£ backer.(Mostly saying this for introduction and that i have belief in the game)
    Brace for a wall of text, summary down bottom.

    I've an idea, and can actually back it up with a little bit of knowledge of games and gaming community i've gathered over the years.

    It's relatively simple, and it's based on actual happenings within the gaming market as a whole, it's as simple as this:

    If possible, in march or april, or whenever you find prudent, release a public demonstration of the game.
    It doesn't have to be the most stable, or feature-packed. The tech demo we have now is fine, but it only showcases that you have the tech, and the concept right, it does not actually show the execution and prowess of your in-game systems past the concept stage.

    The game market as of past half decade or more has muchly gotten into the ''try before you buy'' mentality, and there are entire companies worth millions upon millions that have successfully tapped to this mentality and milked it.
    Great examples are such games as BattleForge (which was a huge success for what it was), TF2's free to play model, which brought Valve more money than TF2 commercially ever did, and last, but certainly not least, the nearly billion dollar value League of Legends.
    I could also mention "less known" (relative) individuals, such as Toady, of the Dwarf Fortress game, who makes -thousands- a month, just so he could develop his game for people that love it (myself included).

    Why am i listing free to play games, am i suggesting this game to be a free-to-play game?
    No, but therein lies the ability to tap into the try before you buy mentality.

    Let me explain.

    Showing that you can deliver a quality product to audience, with disposable income, (and Kickstarter alone has shown that people will pay for what they like, even if they have to wait a year or two for it to come to fruition) will gain more interest than a brilliant nostalgic concept and the wondrous voiceacting of Richard Ridings would on their own.

    You could use your demonstration build to leverage additional funding, which in turn would provide a better game.


    So in short, here is the idea as a whole;

    Release a demonstration build of the game in march or april, whichever you find more fitting for your schedule, open late, in-development donations, leveraging the demo for the donations, and see the public's opinion of the game at that stage.
    The downside of this is that you do have to spend a little bit of time doing polish and optimization for that specific demonstration build of the game, but the upside, if you deliver (and i believe you can, having toyed around with the demo) is a larger budget.

    The above, of course, is open for discussion and debate.
    I didn't make this as a poll or anything such, because i don't think it's a simple yay or nay matter. If you dislike the idea, or like the idea, i'd like to hear a bit of suggestions and others in a constructive manner.

    Regardless, that's my 2 cents :) Discuss!

    EDIT: Emphasis added, reworded a little to prevent confusion.
     
  2. Grhym
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    Grhym Blood Imp Backer

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    The whole "try before you buy" or demo-mentality isnt half a decade old, but rather 2 decades old. Demo and trial versions have been there since the first DOS games. Demo/Trial isnt Free-to-Play though. Demo is a small portion of the full game, F2P is the actual full game with normally a cash-shop attached to it. LoL is a F2P game, and cannot be compared to any kind of demo.

    Other than the terminology, I agree with your idea of having a Demo for WftO. So many developers nowadays are doing it wrong. They try to hype the game via the media (off- and/or online), sell as much as possible and then a few months down the line release a demo to try keep on riding the cash-wave which generally doesnt work that great. I would rather like to see a demo at release (not the full game with a soft limitation that can be hacked!) which keeps with the whole "try before buy" mentality and makes sure to reach the full potential of the buyers. Obviously also releasing the collectors edition for the other side of the gamers (those with too much cash) is important, but thats happening anyway.

    A mini-demo before release is a good idea, but only if its within the budget...else just stick to the demo at release.
     
  3. Cultist Joris
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    Cultist Joris Ember Demon Founder

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    There will be of course the Bedrock Beta version but this is only for Tier 3+ backers I think... Anyway a little demo wouldn't harm and more likely help the full game to be sold in august...
     
  4. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Bafu Founder

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    They already have the Kickstarter Demo available: https://wftogame.com/update-11-kickstarter-demo-release-new-video

    I agree with Grhym. I'd like to see a demo that contains something like the first two missions of the campaign and a sandbox mode that allows the first five rooms. Also, it not being simply a "locked" version of the game, where you enter a code and unlock the full game. Also, I'm sure that people will pirate it, but I think that I would get pretty upset about that. I can honestly say that this is the first game I feel that way about.
     
  5. Kana
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    Kana Blood Imp Backer

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    Yes, the demo and try before you buy mentality has been there since the ages of DOS, but it has never been as prevalent as these days, especially with the internet giving basically free access to everyone who is savvy enough to actually find the full product and try it out themselves, instead of resorting to the demo. This is one of the reasons why i believe an early demo is important, as compared to releasing a demo in tandem with the release.

    In addition to that, the idea consisted of using the early demo as a donations leverage, a proof-of-concept, so to speak, showing to the wide audience, with the aforementioned disposable income, that the developer can not only do a very convincing tech demo, but actually continues that line with the functional game.

    And as you called it, a mini-demo, is more than enough. It could be one small mission demonstrating the games functionality, and that could be enough. Though, not a tutorial mission by any measure, as that is never a good demonstration, as tutorials tend to drag on.

    And yes, i completely agree with you that hype alone will not get you anywhere, on the sole exception of there being a -very- big name working on the project, such as, say, Wasteland 2, or Star Citizen, and to a lesser extent, Starbound, although that's 50-50.


    As for the locked version of full game... that isn't feasible at all for games exceeding an arbitrary size limit, let's say 500mb. Simply due to it being a ridiculous strain on bandwidth, and bandwidth costs money in most countries.


    In addition, i know of the kickstarter demo, but that's what i'm referring to as the tech demo. The AI is barebones, and so is the functionality of the game. For me that is enough, but for most people it won't be.





    I'm seeing a little bit of confusion and not quite comprehending how i wrote my idea, i'll reword and add a little bit to the original post to fix this. My writing was a little confusing.
    The general idea is to release a demo build of the game to leverage additional funding for the flex-goals.
     
  6. Cultist Joris
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    Cultist Joris Ember Demon Founder

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    We also need to convince those who never played DK with a proper demo... The fans will have enough with the present demo, becouse they play it and say: "Hey this is exactly like DK! Take my money and shut up!"...
     
  7. Kana
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    Kana Blood Imp Backer

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    That too, the original DK, and DK2 are legendary games to us 25+ year old gamers, and possibly even younger ones, but there's a good chance that majority of people haven't even heard of it, including a lot of the crowd that played and enjoyed games like Evil Genius.

    Most probably have not even heard of Bullfrog, to be fair, or if they have, they can link it to the animal, not the studio.
     
  8. Enjou
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    Enjou Ember Demon Backer

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    Generally speaking demos can't be made until closer to the game's completion. If they make it while the game is in beta then that's something they have to update every time they update the beta - it's just one more thing to maintain during a busy development cycle. Good idea in principle, but not in reality when you consider the practical concerns.

    I think a beta sale would be a better way to get funded. Here's all it takes:
    1. Get Greenlit on Steam.
    2. Sell the game at a discount price while in beta. For instance, if the final game price would be $25, sell it for $15-$20. If the price is $15, sell it for $10-$12.

    A lot of successful indie games are doing that right now. Don't Starve comes to mind.

    Another alternative could be to promise one piece of DLC to people who buy while in beta. It could be something as simple as a pack of dungeon themes that would normally cost $1-$2, but a freebie can be as attractive as a discount sometimes.
     
  9. Cultist Joris
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    Cultist Joris Ember Demon Founder

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    Don't tell me, none of my friends ever heard about it! (they should be ashamed) But maybe it is becouse I'm only 18...however if they know pac-man why not DK? :D
     
  10. Kana
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    Kana Blood Imp Backer

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    Enjou, the demo doesn't need to be updated along with the beta, that's why it's a demonstration build, it is based on the beta build, but isn't linked to it. A small demo doesn't require a lot of maintenance, possibly a patch or two at worst (considering development time constraints). It can even be of an older, more stable beta version, its main purpose is to pique people's interest, not be a side project along with the game, nor a public, constantly updated beta.

    A beta sale, however, is a good option. A few games, such as Endless Space, which i enjoyed greatly got funded that way. I would certainly not be against that idea, but it also needs to be priced carefully, so as to not devalue the contributions done earlier, nor be too expensive to garner interest. However, there is always a thing referred to as the ''payment wall'', and a game costing 50 cents vs. a game costing 0, can have a difference of playerbase in the millions. Demos are free for a reason, afterall.
    They're advertisements that show functionality, and get the player interested in the finished product, sometimes so much so to invest in the development of it.



    Joris, the thing with pac-man is that it is legendary to even non-gamers. My father (66 y.o.) knows pac-man, and his gaming experience is limited to solitaire, freecell, and mahjong.
     
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  11. RMJ
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    RMJ Priestess

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    Back then it was called what it is, namely Shareware, because they wanted people to share the software :)

    Wolfenstein 3d was in episodic format, pretty much back then not only could you try a part of the game, but you didn buy the entire game like today, i got some episodes over Wolfenstein 3d over the years as a kid, same with jazz jackrabbit.

    It was actually first here in my adult life, i got to buy and play all the episodes.

    Its funny and wierd how software companies forget what worked. Its actually a cool idea that the game can be split into 5 parts or whatever and people can buy whatever they can afford and have time to play.
     
  12. Kana
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    Kana Blood Imp Backer

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    The moniker shareware was mostly, because it came on free or under-one-modern-euro costing diskettes, and later on CDs, either solo shareware game or demo compilations. The idea, as per namesake, was to share these diskettes and CDs with your friends. Jazz Jackrabbit and Raptor : Call of the shadows were one of my first.

    I'm sure even the younger populace (as in, below my age, 25) remembers the Demo CDs that PCGamer and numerous other magazines used to distribute back during the modem era of the internet.

    That said, RMJ, this could also be used to do the "obvious", place flex goals that we have now in an expansion, or a smaller, DLC. Pick and choose kind of deal.

    Though, a lot of people shy away from classic episodic content, and favor the DLC, modern version of it, because cutting up a game into 3 or 4 equal pieces is relatively risky business, compared to having a base game, and then adding onto it. Expansions and DLCs basically replaced all of that.
     
  13. Slichizard
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    Slichizard Bard

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    AFAIK developers said they will start updating game weekly very soon.

    All you have to do is either download new build or let game auto-update itself, assuming developers will make some sort of game launcher.

    Based on rate/quality of updates at March game will be a full beta, aka playable version with lots of experimental features in it.
     
  14. Coatsy35
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    Coatsy35 Dwarven Worker

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    Demo on or before release date. just like it was back in the day! Would be cool to hark back to that with WFTO, 1st level perhaps, or 1st two. I was also a Jazz the jackrabbit player and wolf 3d also!! showing my age.
     
  15. Lord of Riva
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    Lord of Riva The Lord Founder

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    oh my Dog Jazz jackrabbit? XD
     
  16. Ashtrai
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    Ashtrai Blood Imp Backer

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    I personally believe in public demo's b4 releasing the full game but then i say that as a CONSUMER. It's clear that subterranean games are not going that route (bedrock beta is essentially closed beta as far as i can tell)

    Back in the day, u'd see a game in the arcade b4 it got ported. Then there was what came to be known as "shareware" which id used a LOT. It could be argued that this lead to a lot of exposure for a small game called Doom. Then the industry moved on to providing demo's. It's weird not to see any of this any more these days in favour of spamming gameplay video's on youtube or whatever. Might also have something to do with the fact that games have become exponentially bigger due to immensely more detailed textures etc and are hard/costly to distribute because of this.

    The demo that blew me away the most was for call of duty 4. I downloaded the demo cos i was bored...and only downloaded it cos i played call of duty 1 a bit in the past. I loaded it up and began playing... immediately u knew this game was something special because of the level of detail/polish it had. Demo's can make good games explode in popularity. On the other hand, Poorly implemented demo's or demo's of games which are crap makes it very hard to sell the subsequent game. I suspect it's a combination of social media exposure being easier/cheaper and the fact that unless a demo is done properly for a game which is actually good (gameplay wise) then the negatives publicity outweigh the positives.

    Some games lend themselves quite well to the demo format whereas others do not.
     
  17. RMJ
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    RMJ Priestess

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    Demo might not fit all game types. But it fits most.

    Especially Warfortheoverworld, giving access to like first and or second level.
     

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