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A Serious Discussion About Demos
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Cryaotic Offline
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Posts: 369
Joined: Oct 2010
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A Serious Discussion About Demos

Do you find demos to be worthwhile in the custom story community?

From my standpoint, I am on a personal 'demo strike' solely because of this one reason: A demo that is released for a custom story that is not responded to with 100% positive comments is more often than not abandoned and the custom story is never completed.

Sure other factors come into play, where the creator simply gets bored, life gets in the way, they lose inspiration etc. But one thing I've noticed is that with the release of a demo, that inspiration is put on the line as soon as someone says something along the lines of "meh" or "OMFG clipping issues".

My problem with demos are that they are simply an unfinished product. Most people resort to releasing demos as their own public beta testing, when a demo should not be a public beta (or sometimes alpha) test - they should be a true representation of what you can do. A demo is a polished experience that is cut short and leaving the player aching for more.

The only demo I've played for Amnesia Custom Stories that has left me with that feeling, that felt so complete and just damn perfect, was Snowed In. It ended abruptly, but it was so climactic and felt just so right that I truly really wanted to see more. With numerous others it just ends - you go through a door and it's over.

Something I've seen used quite well, albeit not perfectly but a good idea, is the chapter idea used in the custom stories such as Abduction and Solid Sacrifice. They feel like they are really a chapter of a story and not just an abrupt ending - something people should begin to look into.

If you wish for your story to be beta tested, bug hunted, or just receive a little early feedback, you can make a thread asking for a beta tester here and there - tossing your WIP of a custom story into the public will give them a bad taste in their mouth of your work and then when you finally finish it (even if it is good) they will still remember how awkward or buggy the initial demo was.

Ending paragraph that has a good punchline and leads into wondering how other people think on the subject. Witty anecdote; complaint about just making this thread while waiting for YouTube to hurry up and process a video. Smiley face.

08-07-2011 12:54 AM
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A Serious Discussion About Demos - Cryaotic - 08-07-2011 12:54 AM

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