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CocoaColetto

Do game demos usually cost a lot to build?

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I have built the prototype for my game and I am basically finished with the document (Yes the company is formed). Now I'm on the next stage which is a demo built for financial help and whatnot. The thing is I am so beyond lost on where and how to go about this step. I can say my demo wont be huge due to the nature of the game but how do I go about it? Can I find people to help me cheaply build it or do I go diving for loans and grants now? I already built a very visual prototype but it is unplayable and for crowdfunding status it's not up to par. All ideas and constructive criticism welcome!! I'm stuck at a crossroads right now and I'm so ready to move on to the next step. Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

I would say its dependent on how much you wish to sell your product and the tools you have available to do it. You can spend a ton on a demo that doesn't ever do well and in turn loses you money. I would say demos are easily thrown together with toy like engines such as Unity and Unreal even if that's not the engine you're using for your game. Its so easy to import all your assets over and create a simple demo these days. Aside from that I would say if you already have a completed game (otherwise why are you working on your demo), then you should have the tools and resources available front hand to make ANY kinda demo you want, just think of the demo as another Scene / Level except it doesn't need to be 100% completed. 

TLDR; you can make demos with/without money but beware that its not meant to make you money so be very scarce in resources with this.

Edited by Bradley Latreille

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1 minute ago, Bradley Latreille said:

I would say its dependent on how much you wish to sell your product and the tools you have available to do it. You can spend a ton on a demo that doesn't ever do well and in turn loses you money. I would say demos are easily thrown together with toy like engines such as Unity and Unreal even if that's not the engine you're using for your game. Its so easy to import all your assets over and create a simple demo these days. 

TLDR; you can make demos with/without money but beware that its not meant to make you money so be very scarce in resources with this.

You don't know how much I appreciate you for this. Thank you because I was so stuck and lost. You really made my day. 

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Posted (edited)

And honestly if you already have a game completed (which I would hope you do if youre starting a demo) then you already have all the tools available to do a demo, just make a new level/scene like in Unity/Unreal and treat that as a demo, they don't need to be 100% completed or bug free either, I know some will argue it does because its the demo, but I think if people rlly enjoy they game they will look past that, and the people who are fans and rlly wanna play your game would rather see 100% bug free game instead of a demo :p

 

Glad I could help! :)

Edited by Bradley Latreille

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2 minutes ago, Bradley Latreille said:

And honestly if you already have a game completed (which I would hope you do if youre starting a demo) then you already have all the tools available to do a demo, just make a new level/scene like in Unity/Unreal and treat that as a demo, they don't need to be 100% completed or bug free either, I know some will argue it does because its the demo, but I think if people rlly enjoy they game they will look past that, and the people who are fans and rlly wanna play your game would rather see 100% bug free game instead of a demo 😛

The game has not even been started. I built a prototype (a very good one) a very good one but its unplayable. I just formed the company in December. Im trying to build the demo now because thats what you need for Kickstarter.

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2 minutes ago, CocoaColetto said:

Im trying to build the demo now because thats what you need for Kickstarter.

Oh sorry, I don't know much about kick starter but that would make sense I suppose, I mean, you can get creative with it if you like, if it doesn't have to be a playable demo you can put together a video showing gameplay mechanics, features, story, ect.. 

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16 minutes ago, CocoaColetto said:

The game has not even been started. I built a prototype (a very good one) a very good one but its unplayable. I just formed the company in December. Im trying to build the demo now because thats what you need for Kickstarter.

I'm a bit confused. The word prototype can sometimes be synonymous with demo.  At what stage is it at?  Also the most successful Kickstarters I've seen are when someone has a product already designed and built and they just need money to put it into production.  Of course software can be somewhat different, but I think generally you should have something that looks impressive to the target audience if you hope to garner the requisite funds.  You can also just set up your own website and do crowdfunding yourself.

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A prototype is typically a playable version of the game with very poor or programmer like art.

A demo is typically a playable but very small part of the finished or nearly finished game.

An alpha release is a slightly more polished prototype typically.  Usually used for bug hunting, balance issues, etc.

A beta release is typically a rather polished, nearly finished (sometimes limited in scope as not to give away the whole game) much like the alpha but with hopefully fewer crash bugs or balance issues.

Released game.

You can make the prototype a demo also.

Typically if you're seeking money, you'll need to be an established developer to have much of a chance to be honest though.  Even then they're often not successful.  Just trying to make sure you have realistic expectations.  Though I hope at the same time you're the exception to the general rule.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Gnollrunner said:

I'm a bit confused. The word prototype can sometimes be synonymous with demo.  At what stage is it at?  Also the most successful Kickstarters I've seen are when someone has a product already designed and built and they just need money to put it into production.  Of course software can be somewhat different, but I think generally you should have something that looks impressive to the target audience if you hope to garner the requisite funds.  You can also just set up your own website and do crowdfunding yourself.

By prototype, I meant the game's main location was built with maya and 3ds max. It's very full, nice and detailed (lots of custom UV's and more) and I spent a lot of time building it. But because it was built on maya and 3ds max you can't play it. Because of the type of game it is I was able to build a detailed prototype of the main area with maya and 3ds! But the pictures are extremely vibrant and full because of the detail I put into it!

Oh and thank you so very much for replying. I genuinely appreciate your interest and opinions, whether good or bad!

Edited by CocoaColetto

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, CrazyCdn said:

A prototype is typically a playable version of the game with very poor or programmer like art.

A demo is typically a playable but very small part of the finished or nearly finished game.

I agree with crazy here. While you could consider them close to the same some key factors the demo has that a prototype doesn't is your demo needs to convey the games purpose and story as well as adding extra weapons or cooler monster than usually seen in the starting levels of the actual game. This way your demo seems fun, but also shows some of its mechanics later down the line and not just in the first level, massive world games have this easy because they can just release a finished game with limited level/item/quest selection and call it a demo. My experience with demos comes from a lot of my own experiences as I'm no marketing expert but it seems this is what the games are aiming to do when they release a demo, do correct me if I'm wrong but it also seems very logical to do it this way in a sense. 

Edited by Bradley Latreille

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