VLW | [DP] Be'lakor Apr 1, 2014 @ 5:23pm
Early Access Game and Demos
I would like to see steam require early access games to have a demo. Nothing large, just enough to test out the game (15-20 minutes of gameplay).

The creators games are in alpha, some can argue pre-alpha. I've purchased a few Early Access games and I am completely for supporting upcoming devs and their titles; however, some of these early access games are need a lot of work. (They are in alpha, so no ****)
However after talking to several friends and players in games, we feel that these alpha's are a bit over priced for their current state. Sure you get everything that comes out following your purchase for free via updates and patches; however, it would be nice to demo them before you decide to support the dev.

I personally had a few ideas that would limit the abuse of a demo.
-timed demo play (15-20 minutes)
-Limited access demos (doesn't contain up to date content or limits the full application)

There are several devs and EAGs that I want to support, but I'd like a small taste into what I am buying, youtube gameplay videos are not enough.

Age of Decadence has a demo. I put 5-10 hours into the demo before making my purchase. AoD is a pretty fun game and I am looking forward to its completion. The only reason the devs received my support is due to the demo available.

This may sound like extra work for the devs ( I know it will be a bit) but I feel that more people would be willing to dive into these uncompleted games.

Games such as overgrowth that is reported to not received a decent update in some while and is still in alpha after 6 years deserves a demo. There is a risk in giving them 29.99 usd for a game that has been literally "chilln" in alpha since I was in high school (I’m a few quarters away from graduating with my BA)

I love that these devs have offered us early access in exchange for their support. Some devs use the feedback and tweak their games; however paying to beta test (alpha in most instances) isn't as rewarding as it could be. A demo to gain the controls and basic functions of the game would increase sales and increase player satisfaction all around.
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Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
Scutterman Apr 1, 2014 @ 5:31pm 
If we ignore the fact that game demos have not been in vogue for a while...

I think this could be a good idea, because then people will know what they're letting themselves in for. But a demo is traditionally used to showcase the best of the game, and the most intresting mechanics. These may not be present in the early alpha stages, so a demo would be very lackluster.

There's also the fact that there may not be much difference between a free demo and the early access alpha release, simply because there aren't many features that can be stripped out to create the demo. This would encourage fewer people to buy into the early access, because they wouldn't gain much compared to the demo.
VLW | [DP] Be'lakor Apr 1, 2014 @ 5:34pm 
I completely agree Scutter on demo material vs. current alpha material.

I thought a timed demo would counter that.

Like a one-two time playable demo that only allows you to play for a small amount of time (5-20 minutes max.)
Gus the Crocodile Apr 1, 2014 @ 6:52pm 
I don't see that any of your reasons for wanting demos are specific to Early Access; what you're saying could just as well be used to suggest all developers be required to make demos.

I say give devs their freedom and let the market work it out. If, as you say, demos create more sales and are good in the long run, then developers who want to be financially successful will naturally make them, right? No need to force everyone to do it; one size does not necessarily fit all. I'm sure someone will be in shortly to give you the "demos actually hurt sales" bit :P
Pheace Apr 1, 2014 @ 6:56pm 
Particularly for EA's I think this argument lacks merit (compared to Preorder games for instance).

Development and state of the game has never been as transparent as it is with the Early Access games. It's all out in the open, discussion forums, Youtube video let's plays etc. If you want to know the state of the game, all you need to do is take a second to look it up.

And yes, someone has to be the first, but some people will pick it up regardless. (Especially Youtubers as any new game is a chance at more viewers)
CharlestONE Apr 1, 2014 @ 10:16pm 
Maybe we're all going about this wrong. I mean I'm in favor of the demo or discount ideas that are out there for early access games, but maybe we should look at a different way. Rather than think of early acess games as alphas or betas or whatever I think the system was designed to replace/compliment pre-orders. Think of it this way: Early Acess= Preorder and this preorder happens to come with a demo that is an alpha or beta of the game. Obviously, this system won't work for every game (especially story driven games as you could theoretically go through the whole game but without the polish or tweaks the developer wants to use to convey that story) but then again there is rarely a demo for a preorder.
的成事托尼 Apr 2, 2014 @ 12:17am 
+1
VLW | [DP] Be'lakor Apr 2, 2014 @ 3:03am 
I can understand how one can see it being for pre-orders, but in reality it comes down to us paying to beta (alpha test) their game and help fund them. Who knows how many of these devs do not have the funds to finish their game and are relying on early access sales. (Hopefully none, but I'm sure there are a few)
CharlestONE Apr 2, 2014 @ 5:09am 
Originally posted by Space Cowboy:
I can understand how one can see it being for pre-orders, but in reality it comes down to us paying to beta (alpha test) their game and help fund them. Who knows how many of these devs do not have the funds to finish their game and are relying on early access sales. (Hopefully none, but I'm sure there are a few)
What you say is true. Mine was kind of like in an ideal situation kind of thing. I'm sure there are early access games that would have been complete trash compared to the final product if they didn't have that extra pool of money for development resources. Also, if you think about it a lot of Betas used to be restricyed to either Pre-purchasers, owners of another of the developers titles, or a lottery style system, so I guess there must of been a big enough demand to where they thought they could successfully market it to consumers by pricing it the same as a full finished game and in the end also delivering a full finished final product without the need to pay anything more than the guy who waited to buy it retail at release..
I'm going to point out one more plus I think is understated or not realized for its potential genius. I didn't get into was how with early access everyone has access to their beta not just a select or lottery pool of people. This may prove to be the next big thing in gaming as anyone can voice their opinions and influence changes. Your idea could one day be implemented into a finished game which I think is pretty cool. There are so many times I have played a finished game and thought well if they had done x this way unstead it would of made the game a lot more enjoyable overall.
Having said all that I have about Early Access I will admit I am not an authority on the matter as I have not purchased an Early Acess game yet. This is mainly due to the fact that I am a gamer who values story almost equally with gameplay and don't want anything ruined, just the final polished product presented hopefully as the developer intended. My second reason is I already have a huge backlog of "finished" games to play. Third most EA games are ones I'm not neccesarily as interested in as they're online multiplayer PvP rxperiences where if I do online multiplayer I prefer a more co-op or PvE style (though I am interested in purchasing Rust or DayZ if they habe an enticing enough sale in the relatively near future).
Last edited by CharlestONE; Apr 2, 2014 @ 5:18am
Scutterman Apr 2, 2014 @ 6:08am 
Originally posted by Space Cowboy:
I completely agree Scutter on demo material vs. current alpha material.

I thought a timed demo would counter that.

Like a one-two time playable demo that only allows you to play for a small amount of time (5-20 minutes max.)
A timed demo will only work with a very select number of games. Minecraft (arguably the first Early Access game) is so addictive because of the "just one more block" nature of gameplay. If you only get 20 minutes, that addictive quality isn't there and you don't get the same experience as someone who has unlimited access to it.

I think it all depends on how the game is priced in Early Access. If it's $15 - $20, a lot of gamers will consider it cheap enough to take a risk on, and the Early Access phase essentially becomes a demo. If it's priced at a full $60, it needs something more to convince people to buy into it.
Fluke Apr 2, 2014 @ 8:26am 
Im not a techy,but i would of thought the nature of early access would make demos a bit redundant in that the game should be evolving at a decent pace.This makes the demo in need of constant attention to update it as well as the main game.

Why not just down load the game with some sort of time stamp to purchase it.

A bit off topic,
My main gripes about early access is that i can not filter them out of searches.
Satoru Apr 2, 2014 @ 10:03am 
Realistically most devs will tell you that the conversion rate from demos is REALLY low. Like astronomically low. Something south of 5%. Most feel that the work that goes into making a demo really isn't money/time well spent.
VLW | [DP] Be'lakor Apr 2, 2014 @ 8:43pm 
@Hayden I've only played the Dayz mod for arma2, I enjoyed it and it's the only reason I bought arma2. I had the free version of Arma2 (technically a demo) and I gained an understanding to the game which lead to my purpose. As for Rust, I enjoy the game for the most part but it could use a few more updates.

@ Scutter I agree with the pricing range and issue. No EAG should be above twenty USD in my opinion though.

@ Fluke, a time stamp would be ideal for my issue. You download the game, play for 10-20 minutes and then decide to make your purchase. However, this is a demo. Maybe the word demo has been thrown around since playstation one disc demos. I can see how my words lead to people believe I wanted a complete stand alone demo for the game. I simply meant a few minutes to play the full game. So initially your time stamp idea is what I was trying to come across. Thanks for clearing that up.

@ Tat please read my above post towards fluke. My og post was addressing the want to try an early access before I make a finally purchase. Simply put, I'd like to know what I am investing in.

@Satoru I did not know that. However, I am in that 5%. Most games I demo I end up purchasing. Most demos leave me at a point where I want to know more; however, this is cases for full games. I do not know if an EAG could accomplish such a feet of me wanting more. I'm going to counter my last statement lol, Age of Decadence did that for me. Solid game.


To everyone who has posted and to those who have/are reading, please join the conversation. This is something I've talked about many times with people in game (completely finished and EGA multiplayer) I've heard great ideas from several people and heard many opinions that I did not agree with in that time, but your words are always accepted. I am just trying to spread and idea to this growing EAG phenomenon.
CharlestONE Apr 2, 2014 @ 9:24pm 
Space Cowboy,
I can't speak for everyone, but I feel most of us echo your concerns and desires and appreciate your feedback. The EAG phenomenon's (as you call it ha) impact has yet to fully be felt. It is up to us as active game members to push the dialogue on the subject so that we can help shape it in a way that is beneficial to all parties involved. So please continually contribute to this thread so that ideas may continue to be discussed. For those who have not yet join the discussion, if you have any opinion feel free to voice it even if it's just to say that you agree or disagree with someone (We all need a little positive feedback in our lives as well as times where we need a reality check). Just keep it on topic and keep it clean, we don't need another thread locked or derailed. With the support, dialogue, and ideas this community is capable of producing, this could be the premiere source for the feedback, potential, and future of EAG.
CharlestONE Apr 2, 2014 @ 9:46pm 
Space Cowboy,
I don't know if you want to keep this topic just on the debate of demos with EAG so let me know. In the meantime, I'm going to steer the conversation in a little bit of a different direction.
One thing I have noticed regarding EAG is that a lot of people's chief complaint is that they are in the store side by side and displayed as prominently as fully released games (Which I'll just designate as FRG for now unless someone has something better ha). I feel the opposition to the program would not be nearly as widespread if EAG were clearly seperated into a contained section of the store or seperated entirely the way the community market has been.
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Date Posted: Apr 1, 2014 @ 5:23pm
Posts: 14