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
and
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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