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50 minutes ago, pandaman said:

A demo is exacty what it claims to be.  Whether it has limited funtions, features, or a time limit or whatever.  It's purpose is purely to let potential customers try before they buy. 

IMO there's not much point with free demos, given Steam's refund policy. If two hours of playtime won't tell you whether it's a keeper or not, a demo wouldn't make much difference.

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8 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

IMO there's not much point with free demos, given Steam's refund policy. If two hours of playtime won't tell you whether it's a keeper or not, a demo wouldn't make much difference.

The only point is to appease people who want to play it NOW!!! And anyone who has ever experienced something great knows that you should probably just wait for it to ripen. You can't force it.

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13 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

IMO there's not much point with free demos, given Steam's refund policy. If two hours of playtime won't tell you whether it's a keeper or not, a demo wouldn't make much difference.

Fair point, though I tend to disagree.  Also, what about non-Steam (or similar) users?  

I got the demo first (v 0.18.x) from the Squad store, and liked it enough to buy the full game a week or so later.   Even though it was not expensive, at the time I had mininal 'spare cash' and was not in a position to just buy and take a gamble, and wanted time to play and evaluate sensibly.  A short 2 hour 'refund window' is fine for the 'oops clicked purchase by mistake'  cases, but would not have been anywhere near long enough to decide whether I liked it enough to buy, especially a game as complex to learn as KSP.

I think there is probably a place for 'demo' version, in some form.  Whether it be limited features  or a 'game time' lockout or whatever,  as a 'try it out' option.  But as a pre-release 'bug finding' tool (as was suggested) then it is of no value at all.

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1 hour ago, pandaman said:

Also, what about non-Steam (or similar) users?

I doubt it'll be distributed through any other channels than app stores, and they all have similar refund policies.

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Consoles have much more strict refund policies. On PlayStation you can't refund once you start downloading, so there's no playtesting for two hours. There, a demo could work.

But then look back at ksp1, and I believe that was the publisher's decision, it officially does not have a demo available anymore. Squad could've keep working on it, but then as the game grows, they would also have to work on that demo and put all the changes in there while keeping some of the content out of it (so, for today, only Kerbin system and limited parts, but with all the mechanics? Inventory, commnet, part variants, all that stuff that appeared over the years?).

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25 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

I doubt it'll be distributed through any other channels than app stores, and they all have similar refund policies.

Which is absolutely fine if the refund time window is long enough to give newcomers chance to evaluate it fairly.  

From zero real exposure, I would not have got my head around the basics in KSP well enough in just a couple of hours playing time to confirm if I liked it enough to buy.  As it was I could fire up the demo, learn how the VAB worked, try a few launches, get a basic feel, and an idea of extra the possibilities a full version offered.  The (limited feature) demo with time to play at my leisure got me hooked, a rushed two or three hours would have left me unconvinced at best.

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As I understand it, Steam doesn't allow a newcomer to evaluate a game for a couple of hours then get a refund if they don't like it.

And I don't see an incentive for a software house to offer such refund (or a demo). Its a two-way street. A demo might gain some users by offering an easy path in; at the same time, it will reduce sales via a percentage trying it for a short time then not buying - or repeatedly trying demos.

Isn't the average play time of games on Steam, something like 37 hours?

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14 minutes ago, paul_c said:

As I understand it, Steam doesn't allow a newcomer to evaluate a game for a couple of hours then get a refund if they don't like it.

I'm afraid you're mistaken about that.

Quote

Valve will, upon request via help.steampowered.com, issue a refund for any title that is requested within 14 days of purchase and has been played for less than 2 hours. Even if you fall outside of the refund rules we've described, you can submit a request and we'll take a look at it.

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=6695-QIKM-7966#:~:text=Valve will%2C upon request via,take a look at it.

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AAaaaah many thanks - didn't know about that - 2 hours isn't long though! Not really enough to make any kind of judgement, just enough to check most aspects works okay on your own computer, eg joysticks etc?

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14 minutes ago, paul_c said:

AAaaaah many thanks - didn't know about that - 2 hours isn't long though! Not really enough to make any kind of judgement, just enough to check most aspects works okay on your own computer, eg joysticks etc?

I suppose it depends on the game, but I don't think I've played one yet where my perception has fundamentally changed between, say, 2 and 15 hours. There are some I seriously soured on at some point after 15 hours, but in those cases it's unlikely a demo would have had any of the stuff that I soured on. 

So 1-2 hours is enough to see that it more or less works and is more or less the kind of game I'd be interested in sinking some more time into. And if it's that, then I don't feel bad spending money on it, even if it ends up a disappointment later on.

(It's obviously not enough to have a genuinely informed opinion about it of course, like writing a review or something.)

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The only real-world example I had is MSFS2020. I pretty much bought and built my PC to be able to run it. It took about 10 hours to update itself! Then, it was yukky (to me), so after a couple of days of frustration asked for a refund - and got it. Plenty of games have a tutorial or walk-through at the start, so you could be running the program, but not actually playing in the "main" area, for a good few hours. KSP isn't structured like that, but I guess a little bit of the same can apply - in the first few hours, you're unlikely doing Mun landings etc????

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14 minutes ago, paul_c said:

The only real-world example I had is MSFS2020. I pretty much bought and built my PC to be able to run it. It took about 10 hours to update itself! Then, it was yukky (to me), so after a couple of days of frustration asked for a refund - and got it. Plenty of games have a tutorial or walk-through at the start, so you could be running the program, but not actually playing in the "main" area, for a good few hours. KSP isn't structured like that, but I guess a little bit of the same can apply - in the first few hours, you're unlikely doing Mun landings etc????

That flight sim is kinda known example, people have been posting over the internet how that's gonna work if the game starts counting hours even while downloading files etc, so people have been getting "playtime" over 2 hours without actually playing. But I think it was sorted out like in your case.

But yeah, with KSP, 2 hours is barely enough to scratch the surface with a teaspoon. Hell, all tutorials in the sequel are nearly half that time. Imagine, and that's with a lot of optimism, that someone new is already in orbit after the first hour or so, but has trouble reaching the Mun, still not sure if they want a refund or not (like, maybe thinking that the game is too hard to understand or not interesting enough), watching the tutorial and boom, 2 hour limit passes. And they're stuck with $60 game even if they like it or not.

Edited by The Aziz
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Personally, I'd love for them to find the bugs early on and keep fixing them. That way, I can find where the fixes are and remove said fixes. The compilation videos of  bugs from people like @Danny2462 and @Xacktar are what really got me into the community. I feel like KSP wouldn't be the same without wild brokenness. It's the same for me with Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. It's too polished, and half of actual Minecraft's features are just bugs caused by it's awful groundwork set over a decade ago degrading into a pile of unreadable Java. The bugs made the game what it is for me.

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A demo would be good, not to attract new player but just to test the game. I would want something extremely limited. Very basic parts or even a preset ship and you can only go to the mun. Or even just a misssion like landing on the mune and returning to kerbin.

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