Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Alpha_ProgDes

How about selling a "proof of concept"?

This topic is 3750 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

basically, sell tech demos. you take a concept or two and put it in a game. like say you think you came with up this novel idea for stealth and slow-motion. well you'd make a 2 to 3 level game showcasing (being the focus of) these two concepts. on the DVD you'd have 4 or 5 games like this. obviously, you'd sell them at bargain bin prices (10, 20 bucks). and even have an online component that allows players to vote for which demo(s) they like the best. you think that would work or be profitable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I'm not sure people would pay for game demos. Usually the model I see is for proof of concepts to be released for free, then the ones that get the most attention are extended into properly polished full games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're making Portal: yes. But that's because Portal, while being a proof-of-concept piece, is also an excellent game in its own right.

There's nothing wrong with making a very short innovative game, but nobody is going to pay money for a half-assed demo when there's hundreds of freebies online.

You're better off making that concept and then trying to get it shown at the festivals (IGF/Slamdance/Indiecade), then using that publicity to get funding and do a full commercial version of the title. That method works often so long as your game is good enough (see N, Gish, flOw, Everyday Shooter, Braid).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
If you're making Portal: yes. But that's because Portal, while being a proof-of-concept piece, is also an excellent game in its own right.

I thought Narbacular Drop was the proof-of-concept (and free), while Portal extended that to a commercial game.

Although I might be wrong and there was a free mod of Portal for some time - I don't have Half-life 2 so I'm not well versed on the mod scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
If you're making Portal: yes. But that's because Portal, while being a proof-of-concept piece, is also an excellent game in its own right.

I thought Narbacular Drop was the proof-of-concept (and free), while Portal extended that to a commercial game.

Although I might be wrong and there was a free mod of Portal for some time - I don't have Half-life 2 so I'm not well versed on the mod scene.

I guess it depends on where you draw the line, since neither of them were "defined" as a proof-of-concept. There was no free Portal (other than Narbacular Drop). But in comparison to the "industry standard" methods of game development, I would consider Portal to be a proof-of-concept piece: a side project that allowed Valve to experiment with the portal mechanic in a relatively safe environment before deciding whether or not they would go head-first with a full sized portal-based game. The fact that they packed it in with the Orange Box doesn't immediately exclude it from being a proof-of-concept.

Be sure to note that this is totally my own thoughts on it, and isn't at all an insult to the Portal team (they're friends of mine, so if I insulted them they would probably hunt me down and kill me [grin]). I think it's amazing what they were able to create (one of the best games in years), but it seems to me that it was most useful to Valve as a trial to see just how much mileage they could get out of that one game mechanic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mount and Blade; they're basically selling the proof of concept, with a free demo up to level 6. However, they are also making it into an actual game, and buying it now gives you the future full release, but at a discounted price.

Selling a tech demo on its own won't really work. Portal isn't a tech demo, it's a fully fledged and developed game. Its dialogue is apparently very good, and that's not what you focus on in a tech demo for proof of concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The terms 'fully developed games' and 'proof of concept' are not really mutually exclusive. A proof of concept being an exploratory project to examine whether certain game-play ideas will work in a commercial project. The best way to do so would be to develop a small game, as best one could, and present it to the commercial market.

Portal allowed Valve to really play with ideas, but having the resources and reputation they do, they could develop the game fully and distribute it with the Orange Box. This is, in some ways, free, as most people would have bought the Orange Box anyway. The novel game-play also attracted further attention to their main product, the Orange Box. The best effect, however, was that the Orange Box was a trial of the game-play. The concept was successful enough that the game could sell on its own, or warrant further sales of the Orange Box.

This, however, is a rare case. I think that you need a very strong reputation to sell proof-of-concept games. I think one way you could approach it is episodic releases. If you FULLY develop your proof-of-concept, as Valve did, and present it as episode one of a game series you would wish to produce, should it be successful, it may draw more attention. I think the most important part is that your proof-of-concept be more than just a game-play demonstration. It needs to be commercial quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i view what you've described more as a portfolio (for a company, a publisher, an investor, etc.) not something for immediate commercial gain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Captain Griffen
Portal isn't a tech demo, it's a fully fledged and developed game.

Proof of concept != Tech demo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!