Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why My games have demos

Every positech game has a demo. Every single one. And I've done more than you think. Maybe a dozen. Most of the older ones are a bit rubbish and not even linked form my homepage.
Anyway... I got into a massive argument today (on the web) about why a 'triple a' game didn't have a demo. Apparently making a demo was too much work, and not worth doing.
I never believe that.
Unless you want to sell through

a) hype
b) previous customers only

Then why would you not want people to try your product first? It's like making a movie and refusing to do a trailer for it, or recording an album but not letting them play tracks on the radio. It's mad.
I do demos because

a) I want people who aren't sure about buying the game to give it a try
b) I want people to be confident that the game will run on their machine
c) I want people to know what they are getting when they pay me.

I think that's just playing fair. I think ym games are GOOD. If i didn't, I'd keep working on them till they were. I have no publisher deadlines to meet.

It's amazing how angry the idea that demos should be available for triple A games makes some developers. I got one idiot saying "The game I worked on sold 6 million copies, how many did your last game sell?"
Well let's see, he was probably on a team of 100 people for 3 years. My games take one guy about 6 months to a year, or roughly 300 times less work. Without dedicated office space, its more like 500 times less. So I guess I need to sell 12,000 copies. Hold on, I get 90% of the money, so that means probably 3 times as much a royalty cut, so that means I need to sell 4,000 copies.
Given that the last game took more like 8 months, its closer to selling 2,600 copies, to get the same equivalent return on investment.
Interesting :D

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