Shiny Founder Calls Sony's Degradeable Demos Crazy

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Shiny Founder Calls Sony's Degradeable Demos Crazy

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Sony's proposed idea for "degradable" game demos is still in the concept stage, but it's already getting blasted.

Videogame demos are are a major tool for developers and publishers when it comes to promoting games. However, it turns out that demos are a bit of a double-edged sword, since players might not buy a game if they feel they got too much of a game experience. Sony's proposed solution to this is to make "degradable" versions of a game available that would gradually lose features until a player decided to buy the title. It's certainly a novel idea, but David Perry - founder of Shiny Entertainment - thinks Sony is out of its mind.

Speaking at the [ a ] list summit, Perry blasted Sony's patent for this proposed demo system. According to him, the patent is "garbage." Exactly what he didn't like about the system is unclear, but he clearly disapproved of the whole idea. He also asked Sony, "Have you lost your minds?"

It should be noted that, while a patent has been filed, this doesn't mean that Sony is actively working to implement the system. Of course, Perry was promoting Gaikai, his new cloud-based gaming service that allows users to play complete PC and console videogames over the web. As a result, it's not exactly super-surprising that the man was quick to dismiss anything that could be a potential rival to his program.

Personally, I think Sony's idea sounds like it has a lot of potential. Gamers often want a real sense of how a title plays (which can be difficult to see in a standard demo) and publishers want to sell more games. The Gaikai model doesn't sound terrible, either, and I'd be interested in seeing both systems in action before decrying either as a bad idea.

Source: Industry Gamers

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The guy is making a cloud based system and he has the nerve to ask other people if they lost their minds?!

I'd much rather have an abridged version of a level for a demo then be able to start the game normally and just have things made worse the more I play.

How am I then supposed to tell if the game's just getting shit or if it's degrading?

David Perry is the last person who should ever be able to question the sanity of another living soul. The man is quite literally completely bonkers.

But that doesn't mean hes wrong. Degrading demos would actually give [me]s a very negative impression of the full product.

Woodsey:
I'd much rather have an abridged version of a level for a demo then be able to start the game normally and just have things made worse the more I play.

How am I then supposed to tell if the game's just getting shit or if it's degrading?

I'd much rather have a time limit, a la Just Cause 2 demo or Mafia 2 demo (or OnLive's demos), myself. (I realise that the first two examples have timelimits that's easy to bypass in the PC version, but that's not the point)

Think wholesome thoughts when looking at that picture people. Think of kittens, or Calumon.

OT: Cloud based systems are doomed to fail until the problem with different internet connections is solved. I get a 2 MB speed here in the Midlands. Some people can't even get that. So if he goes off saying that Sony has a bad idea, perhaps he should check his own answers before criticising some else's working out.

Calumon: If your going to think of me, can I have a hug then?

It sounds like Sony thinks a 1 hour demo is the same as playing a 15 hour full game, or thinks that the players see it this way... Which is insane, if you ask me.

This is such a stupid idea. If your demo manages to make a player bored with your game and makes them feel that they've had enough of it, then maybe your game just sucks. Here's an idea: make better demos that leave the player wanting more.

Jack and Calumon:
I get a 2 MB speed here in the Midlands.

Calumon: If your going to think of me, can I have a hug then?

2mbs?

Fuck, im thrilled if i get a constant 150kps. Fuck Australia and its shit and expensive speed, im running ADSL for $59.95

OT: Also while im at it, fuck this demo type.

3nimac:
It sounds like Sony thinks a 1 hour demo is the same as playing a 15 hour full game, or thinks that the players see it this way... Which is insane, if you ask me.

Actually, I've had a few friends that get a quick gaming fix out of demos. Rather than buying a full game and playing it, they think "Shit, I've only got 1 hour to play per day" so they get a ton of demos and just play those. Sure, they're playing the same part over and over again, but they don't seem to care. The content is there, and there is JUST enough progression to get them into it.

I think it's a decent idea really. Play our demos instead of our games? Sure, we'll let you TRY it, but if you want to play a video game, then you have to BUY it.

For the record, I consider this a terrible idea. Will the demo continue to degrade to the point of unplayability overtime? Even a minor degradation will almost certainly decrease or even eliminate my interest in buying the full game if the developer really has that low of an opinion of the consumer.

Jack and Calumon:

Calumon: If your going to think of me, can I have a hug then?

D'aawwwww of course! *Hugs Calumon* ^ ^

mjc0961:
The guy is making a cloud based system and he has the nerve to ask other people if they lost their minds?!

Basically this.

For me, the real disgrace is that it is possible to patent such a thing.

Ahahaha, yes. I like this entire concept and idea.

Oh go to Hell~..

Celtic_Kerr:

3nimac:
It sounds like Sony thinks a 1 hour demo is the same as playing a 15 hour full game, or thinks that the players see it this way... Which is insane, if you ask me.

Actually, I've had a few friends that get a quick gaming fix out of demos. Rather than buying a full game and playing it, they think "Shit, I've only got 1 hour to play per day" so they get a ton of demos and just play those. Sure, they're playing the same part over and over again, but they don't seem to care. The content is there, and there is JUST enough progression to get them into it.

I think it's a decent idea really. Play our demos instead of our games? Sure, we'll let you TRY it, but if you want to play a video game, then you have to BUY it.

I guess i didn't think of that. Well then it might not be such a bad idea, but it sort of does go against what demos are, a free snippet of your game that you freely give and players freely decide what to do with. Having it 'degrade' would be removing that little bit of control we have and as such is a bad thing.

"Sony's proposed solution to this is to make "degradable" versions of a game available that would gradually lose features until a player decided to buy the title."

What if the player did not even notice a feature was lost and found they game to be crap because he got stuck or the key/ledge they needed was not there? This is a dumb idea. A demo is a short section of game to give you a taste. Thats it. Granted open world games do not make good demos due to their size. But a level based game like Army of Two is better for a demo.

I heard this idea from Sony a few years ago and it's stupid. A demo is a short taster of a game. Gamers have enough sense to know if they like it or not and whether to buy the full version. Giving a time based version and taking stuff away is stupid and lead to less sales. As most game take roughly 10 hours to complete, i would like to know how this will work? Also it would be cheaper (i'm guessing) to rent the game and then buy it if you finds it fun.

This is like this massive fight to make incredibly complex DRM.

Stop wasting money on trash and just make a good game for gods sake. DRM has no noticable effect on sales, this will have no noticable effect on sales. Its DRM for demos.

Put all the money from DRM, whining about piracy and messing around with platform exclusives into making the game better by (say) hiring better writers.

Time limit systems make more sense than basically a game "degrading" over time. But I had a question about this system... does it work based on how long you've played it, or on how long you've had it on your memory?

Granted, this is just a patent. Perhaps Sony heard through the grapevine a rival was planning a similar idea, and wanted to beat them to the patent office to make some money on an idea they didn't actually plan on using themselves. From that perspective, it is just a business decision. In a game where there aren't leveling or upgrades, how would this system work? Does the screen start to darken until you can't see what you are doing anymore? This plan has some unclear flaws... but I wouldn't be surprised to see someone start doing this anyway. Perhaps make the main character start losing health every few minutes until you die, instant demo over. But then that's a little close to a time-based system, so that may not be the answer either.

I do think its a bad idea...why make it degradable? I remember having so much fun playing FFX demo until it came out...entertained me!

Degradeable demos sound like a poor concept. A lot of gamers may decide on whether or not to buy a game before it's demo begins to "degrade".

Jack and Calumon:
OT: Cloud based systems are doomed to fail until the problem with different internet connections is solved. I get a 2 MB speed here in the Midlands. Some people can't even get that.

Internet connections can be that slow? Now I feel like a spoiled rich kid with 54 MB/s. I'd give some of those megabytes to you if I could. Now I feel depressed.

OT: Cloud-based gaming is still a bad idea and degradable demos sound pretty bad, too. Though the idea of a crumbling game world made me think of Inception for a bit, so at least it's got that.

Sounds like they've got a plan to use this patent to sue companies than have limited-time demoes, using the justification that losing ALL your features counts as losing features over time.

i think patapon does demos pretty good give you a few levels so you can play and level your guys a bit. gives your a feel for it then you can buy the game if you like and just keep playing

While it wouldn't work in every (or for that matter many) games I thought Dead Rising's demo did it best. A room, weapons, zombies. You got 15 minutes, make stuff (re)die.

I don't know why Sony would make a degradable demo. Can't they just shorten the demos a bit more and take out a little more content. Only leaving enough stuff that can grab the consumers attention, and convince them to buy the game. Creating demos is tricky business. The creators have to be careful about what they put into the demo so that the player has fun, but is left wanting more, and is willing to buy the full game. Sometimes creators put to much content in and the consumers get the feeling like they have played some of the best or thee best things in the game which sometimes causes the consumer to think that the overall game won't get much better. The consumer won't think the full price is worth the rest of the experience that the game has to offer outside the limited boundaries the demo. If the demo is to short. The consumer might think the full game doesn't have much to offer at all. Usually this isn't a problem because demos for the most part have a video clip/s of game play showing all the other fancy things that you can experience in the full version.

3nimac:

Celtic_Kerr:

3nimac:
It sounds like Sony thinks a 1 hour demo is the same as playing a 15 hour full game, or thinks that the players see it this way... Which is insane, if you ask me.

Actually, I've had a few friends that get a quick gaming fix out of demos. Rather than buying a full game and playing it, they think "Shit, I've only got 1 hour to play per day" so they get a ton of demos and just play those. Sure, they're playing the same part over and over again, but they don't seem to care. The content is there, and there is JUST enough progression to get them into it.

I think it's a decent idea really. Play our demos instead of our games? Sure, we'll let you TRY it, but if you want to play a video game, then you have to BUY it.

I guess i didn't think of that. Well then it might not be such a bad idea, but it sort of does go against what demos are, a free snippet of your game that you freely give and players freely decide what to do with. Having it 'degrade' would be removing that little bit of control we have and as such is a bad thing.

Well yes, a demo is a free snippet to do with as you wish. HOwever, once you've started supplementing the game with the demo, you're abuse the purpose of the "Demonstration" You're no longer being shown a snippet of the game to determine if you like it or not, you've decided you like it, but you're giving the finger to the develloper by not even playing their game. Dont' degrade it too quickly. Maybe your equipment options dissapeer on the third play, or you have 5 minuites less play each time you turn the demo on. Make it gradual

I've got a better idea! Let's do what Mount and Blade does where you can play the whole game, but they cut you off at a certain point in leveling until you purchase said game. You can even cut off the story of the first chapter and just let them wander around doing stuff till they get a feel for the gameplay and think on whether or not they want to buy it. Like Saints Row did.

They seem to be doing fairly well for themselves. In fact, Saints Row did so well it warranted a sequel.

With the degradable demo as it stands now you're just asking for people to say, "The game gets shitty about thirty minutes in, don't bother."

Yeah, let's focus on automatic degradation, rather than the actual game.

/face-crushing-facepalm

I like the way Spiderweb software does the stuff you can download from their site. You get a fairly substantial slice of the game to play and explore (generally the first area or the first few areas). Beyond that, you can't pass until you buy the game. And after a while, you run out of stuff to do. But you can always restart and play again. No degrading, no "only one hour to play" (although if you don't get the game from their site, many other places do set the "you can only play for 1 hour" thing. If you download it directly from Spiderweb software, you get easily 3-5 hours of play.

Blackadder51:

Jack and Calumon:
I get a 2 MB speed here in the Midlands.

Calumon: If your going to think of me, can I have a hug then?

2mbs?

Fuck, im thrilled if i get a constant 150kps. Fuck Australia and its shit and expensive speed, im running ADSL for $59.95

Oh god...
That's...
That's worse than mine...

You poor man!

Ot: Sounds like a sucky enough system to me; how will we know when the game is gimping itself or it just sucks? Better to give people something short and sweet than an experience that drags on but gets more sour as you go through it. It'd put off more people than anything.

If a game demo started taking away features from me, I'd delete it long before I would ever say, "Hey, I should give people money for this game which is getting worse the longer I play it."
Oh wait, Sony? Screw it, let 'em have their patent for shit-scaling games, not like I play any of their systems anymore...

mjc0961:
The guy is making a cloud based system and he has the nerve to ask other people if they lost their minds?!

Cloud based tech is already working in many other areas and needs to be developed and explored. Cloud based gaming is something that won't always be troubled and should be developed. There's rarely such thing as releasing technology when it's perfect. Generations onward, cloud based processing, distribution and storage will be integral in many ways. Gaikai clearly is emmergent and that makes it somewhere near the ROOT of something. Sony's patent is nothing like that. Where will IT go in the future? As a means to an end, it bears very little promise of enriching or advancing anything at all, that is, except Sony and co.'s pockets.

The thing I worry about when it comes to cloud based gaming is this: eventually the problems will be ironed out, and the cloud systems will expand dramatically...what happens when the big publishers will only deal with cloud services? why, the usual of course! tiny studios will be forced to take worse deals then they already get because the cloud services will represent a huge portion of the games out there, and bump out the other types of games.
Cloud gaming represents potential consolidation of the industry and culture, rather than any kind of expansion.

I think the best way to make a demo is either a new construct showing the aspects of the game in a fun way, or perhaps a standalone level that is not part of the main game (think HeavyRain)

I played the Prey demo, and it was just a few of the first levels. I liked it, and bought it, but I put the demo after level 5 I think since I felt it was too long. (I did not want to replay half the game when I got it)
Lets say I wanted to make a demo for DOOM, Id just make a small and simple level similar to the other doom levels that has alot of the stuff from throughout the game.

The degrading demo would piss me off, and demos that are just levels from teh game I will have to replay annoy me.
Bad Company 2, and Guitar Hero both had good demos, since it made me want to play the full game.

L1250:

Jack and Calumon:
OT: Cloud based systems are doomed to fail until the problem with different internet connections is solved. I get a 2 MB speed here in the Midlands. Some people can't even get that.

Internet connections can be that slow? Now I feel like a spoiled rich kid with 54 MB/s. I'd give some of those megabytes to you if I could. Now I feel depressed.

OT: Cloud-based gaming is still a bad idea and degradable demos sound pretty bad, too. Though the idea of a crumbling game world made me think of Inception for a bit, so at least it's got that.

Where do you live? I'm coming over to steal your internet (as someone else said in the thread, fuck Australia's slow and expensive internet. 150kb/s sucks balls.)

OT: I'd much rather just have timed demo or one level demo that shows all the gameplay so that I can judge for myself.

Jack and Calumon:
Think wholesome thoughts when looking at that picture people. Think of kittens, or Calumon.

OT: Cloud based systems are doomed to fail until the problem with different internet connections is solved. I get a 2 MB speed here in the Midlands. Some people can't even get that. So if he goes off saying that Sony has a bad idea, perhaps he should check his own answers before criticising some else's working out.

Calumon: If your going to think of me, can I have a hug then?

Ooooh, I've always wanted to be able to hug Calumon... his portrait is also my favourite avatar on these forums.

OT: Exactly HOW would features be removed from a game without breaking the game? Having worked on a couple of games projects, I know it's hard enough to get all the features in a game working, without having to try to get them to work independantly as more and more of them disappear.

It's a programmer's nightmare.

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