« Visual vs Action Oriented Design [Game Design] | Main | Angry Birds and Celebrating Theft [Tetrism] »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Goodness, yes. I generally don't buy games unless I've been able to play a demo (or the game itself) - but the most reliable way to put me off is a demo that stops after five minutes, giving the impression that the designer only had five minutes worth of ideas.

There is one thing I'd say you've missed, though: the demo shouldn't deliberately disable major features that the player is going to expect. To take a recent example, the Dragon Age 2 demo doesn't allow the player access to their character's inventory. There are only two reasons for releasing an RPG demo that lets the player loot but doesn't let them do anything with their loot: either the inventory system is really bad (and you're hiding it), or you're really *really* stupid. Neither is encouraging to the potential player.


Completely agree Chris. Great point. Thanks.


The real genius of Doom was that they didn't give away a demo, they gave away a free game. The free game was worth playing and sharing even if you weren't evaluating whether to buy the full version.

You could have called DOOM a freemium social game in that they used a free-to-play game to acquire new players, retain them, and then monetize them. Offering a "playable demo" on your web site just turns potential customers into freeloaders.

Unless having a demo gives you a way to get DISTRIBUTION I can see less point in having one.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Follow What Games Are

What Games Are is about game design, game development, games as art, craft, culture and industry and how you can make better games, written by Tadhg Kelly.

You can follow Tadhg on Twitter here:

You can also subscribe via email:

Or RSS (Google Reader etc):


Search What Games Are

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...