LEAVING A GOOD IMPRESSION IN A DEMO

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I can't say too much about this game I´m working on, but it will be shown in a local event and hopefully we will have people to try the game and if the game is popular or at least receives positive feedback then the game will be sold in local stores

The thing is, people will play around 5 - 15 mins and I want to leave a good impression, leave the player wanting more, any tips on how to do that?

Some details: The game will be made in RPG Maker Vx Ace, the main theme is zombies (yeah, not too original, but everybody loves zombies, right?) the atmosphere is kinda like Resident Evil, action with some good touches of horror, you go through levels fighting zombies, level up, solve the occasional puzzle, etc. it will have 6 classes, tons of items and most important: It will have bosses that can destroy you in seconds

So yeah, any tips to make a demo as fun as possible? I mean, I want people wanting more, make them impressed by the game...

Thanks! And sorry for my english...
It's good to think of the demo as a separate game in it's own right, rather than being just a random clipping from the original. I suggest you set the demo to some very climactic part of your game, likely somewhere directly before a boss fight. Specially construct your demo so it'll feature everything about your game that you want to showcase. You'll have to be careful not to pull out unnecessary spoilers though, and you'll have to make sure that everything that appears in the demo also appears (in one way or another) in the actual game, or you'll end up deflating players' expectations.

Just my thoughts on this.
Show off graphics and let them play the most action intensive part of your game (maybe a boss fight).
RPGs and horror games don't work well if you only got 5-15 minutes to show.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7616
Depends on the selling points of the game. A highly story-driven experience probably wouldn't benefit from a demo without a single line of dialogue. In your case, ask yourself what makes your zombie game different from the massive wave of other zombie games. Dying Light had parkour, Dead Rising 2 had weapon forging, the Walking Dead has its characters, etc.

If your game has a focus on atmosphere, then it's really hard to decide on a period to set the demo in, and perhaps needs to be longer than 15 minutes. Putting players straight into the action without any of the buildup will run the risk of losing the tension that they would have had if they had gotten to that point from the beginning.

And lastly, I hate demos that end on a cliffhanger. Don't set the scene for a cool boss fight then end the demo before actually fighting the boss. That's not exciting. That doesn't make me want to play the final product. It's just annoying.
author=Red_Nova
And lastly, I hate demos that end on a cliffhanger. Don't set the scene for a cool boss fight then end the demo before actually fighting the boss. That's not exciting. That doesn't make me want to play the final product. It's just annoying.
I'm going to disagree. If everything up to that point was good, and then you cliffhang me right before an epic boss fight, I may be initially upset, but I'll realize that I wanted to play that boss fight. So you did your job!
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7616
Guess it depends on the content of the demo. If there's a boss at the end of a demo, then I'd like to fight it to give me a satisfying ending. Since bosses are supposed to be tests of what players learned throughout the prior sequence, being denied that test makes me think that

It's like ordering a hamburger and fries at a restaurant and only getting fries. That makes me feel cheated since I didn't get the burger, and it certainly doesn't make me want to come back to that place again.

If anyone's played the demo for Dragon Age 2, that's what came to mind on how to pull it off right: The intro to the game that sets up the scene, then skipping forward to a moment later in the story and run through a short quest ending with a boss fight. You're introduced to a handful of characters, you get a solid feel for the gameplay, and enough story is presented to you that paints a strong picture of the plot, but raising enough questions to make you interested in what happens next. Short and sweet.

Compare that to the Dead Space 2 demo where you run through a few setpieces without any context or explanation as to where you are and why you're there. Ships shoot at you, jumpscares galore, some random woman you learn nothing about talks to you, and stuff just generally happens. It all ends with a huge monster arriving at the scene and it looks like a big fight's about to go down, and then the demo ends. That wasn't a very satisfying session. It was just... stuff happening.

You can have a satisfying conclusion to a demo and raise questions about what happens next without taking away the hamburger at the last minute. I like my hamburgers.
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6615
DA2's demo was cool.
I say, make it short. Show the most fun in the shortest time possible. In case of an RPG, it would be: a action slashing sequence, a boss battle, a story's premise, a cliffhanger and an introduction of a new character, preferably with romantic potential.
You should make the player howling for more, either he wants to know more or wants to play more.
Thanks to everyone for your replies, so let's see if I understand this right...

- Presentation: The demo has look amazing, no bugs if possible, and try to show most if not all of the mechanics available in the game

- Fun: Focus in making it the most enjoyable experience possible, this is a bit harder to do, try to show the entire demo but still present a nice challenge to the players, let them experiment with the features too

- Cliffhangers: Try to finish in the perfect time, I think just after boss is fine, and showing the next step in your "adventure", show some backstory, characters, a bit the world, just the basics so the player wants to see more of the game

- Where to start the demo?: I think it depends on the game, if the game has a nice story is better to start in the beginning to avoid spoilers, and if the gameplay is more important showing some mid-game gameplay would be better

Thanks! and sorry for my english...
I'd actually recommend starting at a point in the story where there's a bit of an arc that has some, but minimal, spoilers.

One of the best demos I've seen was Alien: Isolation's. They put you about 1/3 of the way into the story, in an area that is challenging but has a lot of the components of the whole game so that players could get a good feel for it. They changed the story quite a bit so as to avoid possible spoilers, but it was an area that, when you played the game you were amped about.

"I remember this! Cool, this is will be a breee-OMG THIS CHANGED NO WHY AAAAH!" ^.^

It gave a good feel for the game, the skills and type of play you could expect, as well as a light taste of the story, but without actually showing you too much. You had fun when replaying that area because while it felt similar, it wasn't the exact same as you remembered.


One thing that I've personally considered as a teaser/demo is showing a future/past event that is referenced in the game at a spot in the game, following characters who are mentioned/referenced in the game but aren't the main party. You get a feel for the type of gameplay and there might be some cross-over in some skills, but overall when the player gets into the real game they'll be able to make connections when they hear of those characters, see that place, deal with those parts of the story, learn those skills - all without actually playing the game itself. It will feel familiar but fresh.
BizarreMonkey
I'll never change. "Me" is better than your opinion, dummy!
1625
I made two demos that I've never updated because the demos are just too good to compete with.

I do want to work on Exile at some point again, though.

As for the topic, I recommend showing off all you have currently in the best way you can. Personally I think at least one boss fight in a demo is good.
I have decided in showing the first part of the game, it will last around 10-20mins and I will include many mechanics so the players know what to expect of the full game (Tons of boss battles, somewhat simple puzzles, meaningful items and accesories, and a high difficulty)

The demo ends just when you are going to the next area, right after a big boss battle, the story is minimal so I won't worry about it...
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