I have been making games since the year 2000, in this time my games have won numerous awards and many of them have been critically acclaimed. I have performed many different roles in game making; from making sprite art, audio editing, beta testing, coding, designing and being a team leader.

These experiences have led me to develop my skills as a videogame developer and it’s an ideal job for me, one that I had always dreamt of ever since I was little. Recently, I have ventured into releasing commercial games including updating my older projects into more commercial and presentable. My first commercially released game is called Save Your Mother.

Despite making games for long, I try and learn a bit something new every time I start new project and love to experiment on new areas and go away from my comfort zones.
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How to make a demo

is pretty stupid. There is no saving grace here. Talking about AAA studios and big business isn't going to divert attention from the gobs of bad advice here directed towards us amateur game makers.

I'm just disappointed I posted here and will have to continue to see notices on this because it's quite obvious Tuomo has no intention of backing down.

Read my previous posts.

How to make a demo

Oh, I dunno. How many of those 'sales' took one look at the in-game character creation and went "nope" and got a refund? Quite a few from the hullaballoo that surrounded the game for the first few months before they actually got around to fixing it. And they never really picked sales back up after that disaster, even after the fix. Which is a pity because the game is pretty good, just... could have used a demo of some kind to get a general consensus from their intended audience.

The publishers don't care if the game is totally broken, if the deadline is set and the company doesn't meet the deadline, the company will be blamed for the delays. We've seen this time and time and time again. The company who made the game will lose a lot of money and may have a hard time working with big time publishers after that. It's silly to think that the triple A industry that's so focused on stuff like lootboxes, pre orders and DLC, would actually care for a demo of any sort. It wouldn't even matter to them since games like Mass Effect Andromeda was a sales success despite all the backlash, it still made over 111 million dollars.

How to make a demo

I understand where you're coming from, but please consider this:

I'm not really sure where you're getting this idea that the only people playing games from this website are people who frequent it in the first place. I've personally had friends who downloaded my games from RMN but hadn't really played many menu-based RPGs before and were not sure how the game worked. And that feedback led me to having simple mechanic tutorials in my next project for those who may not be so experienced. I'm not entirely sure why you think this can only happen in the commercial market: how many people played OFF, a freeware game, without ever having played a JRPG before? I'm willing to bet quite a few.

The thing you need to understand is that commercialism is that it's not as big of a divide as people make it out to be, and not everyone who does it is in it to make a living or a business out of it. Just because you're selling a game doesn't mean that you necessarily have to treat your project like a product. My own commercial game was a labor of love that I just happened to sell an extended version for on Steam, that I treated exactly the same as I did with any of my freeware projects.

There is an entire spectrum of commercialism. From the ascended hobby project to the multi-million AAA company. It's really not that black and white.

Still, to have a good and mature discussion about such a topic where I'm sure everyone has their own opinions we need to make a distinct difference in something.

There are varying levels for game development in terms of budget and such, from lowest to biggest they are

Indie game
Big budget indies
Triple A games

Hobbyists have nothing to lose, in this case at most, a poor demo will just make a person lose interest in the game but since you have probably very little money involved, it's not really any harm, the demo is for YOU for YOUR fans and you will probably find your own fans regardless. Still, you should most likely not start from the start and try and make it as simple and neat as you can. You may get a lot more fans and may find new friends and people who want to help you with your project if you "wow" people. So, while there's nothing to lose you have a lot to GAIN, so you need to think a lot if you really want to put out a demo that doesn't give a good lasting impression on the player.

However, for indie game level of development where actual money gets involvevd, you usually have a very limited budget and small team if even that, sometimes you do it alone. Making a demo does take time, it does take resources. The saying "time is money" is very true when you're indie dev and you have to literally make games to pay for your bills and the food you eat. Demos may not be the best course of action in this case when you literally need to use all the time and resources you have to focus on getting your product out.

For big indies, they have larger budgets and large number of people who support them. These people can easily do demos and many do (such as Nier) because they have the manpower and budget to organize their workforce far more than again, anyone on this website.

For triple A's, they could easily do demos but they honestly, don't bother. They don't need to, most of these already will have massive sales and massive marketing campaign as is and demos don't really help contribute to the overall sales at all.

So, as you can see, in the case of game development for demos it is like this

Hobbyist- Can make a demo (But probably should consider if they can make it look GOOD)
Indie developer - Can't in most cases, it takes too much time and focus from other projects and the game itself. Plus, if you release a bad demo, you'll run the risk of losing more sales and since you're small, you need EVERY single sale you can get. The only other alternative is to focus a lot of time and effort into making a great demo, really polish and hone it to like a fine diamond but that will take a lot of time and money, something most indie developers literally don't have.
Big indies - They can and often will release demos.
Triple A - Totally could but most often don't, because they don't honestly benefit from them that much.

None of us are in Bid Indies. I made this post on RPG maker net, not on Steam Developers discussion board. You need to understand that most of us are on tier 1 or tier 2 at most. You guys can point to Nier all you want and how great demo they made, but unless you have similar levels of budget and teams, I don't think that's a good comparision to draw from.

How to make a demo

You guys realize that you at first say it's only hobbyist and you're not looking to go into many commercial routes or market the game much but then you say not everyone in here knows the RPG mechanics, when everyone on this website probably knows what Max HP stands for, without the tutorial explaining about it among tons of the other core mechanics that the tutorial towns are exactly all about. It's only when the gameplay concepts and the elements are changed in ways that are out of the ordinary, at least in terms of RPG Maker that you may need to really tell about them. Focusing at start to tell about these things that your playerbase already does know about does nothing but pad out the experience and slows it down before getting to the actual content.

It's very different in commercial market where the exposure to your game is far bigger and your game may literally be the first ever RPG someone picks up. You have to have the tutorials that'll guide the player by hand as much of possible if they need it, but also have the option to skip it if they're scarred RPG veterans already. You guys also keep comparing to commercial games and pointing to demos like Nier while still telling me this is only hobbyist site and not everyone is interested in monetization. But in order for us to have a debate, we have to agree on some common ground on what we'll compare these demos at and from what point of view we'll approach to this discussion, shall we focus on hobbyism or commercial titles? Because Nier nor the demo for it wasn't made by hobbyist and it had a budget of over 10 million. None of us on this website have even close to that sort of budget.

How to make a demo

You should avoid telling people to never do something. You can suggest what shouldn't be done, but I don't like being told I can never do something. Especially when I can think of many ways to do it, and do it well.

I mean honestly, starting with the start tutorial town and dragging the experience down does slow the game down needlessly. Plus, most of the players who will play your RPG Maker demo, will have grasp on these mechanics as is.
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