No Demo Allowed


So what Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff has to say about game demos, particularly on the Fallout 3 context:

One thing to consider about demos though. For certain kinds of games, I’d say its not as easy to just break off a piece, and say, here’s the demo. Sure you can take a game of Madden, let someone choose between two teams, and then make it one quarter. Or as of yesterday, just release a few songs for Guitar Hero III.

For a game like Fallout (or Oblivion), there’s a lot of details that have to go into it since the game plays as a sandbox…where do you cut the user off. You might bring up that we have a playable demo that we’ve shown at events, but from the previews you read, you’ll notice that the G.O.A.T exam is never taken, we never decided to save Megaton instead of blowing it up, and so on. Part of the reason for this is that for the purpose of showing the game, they didn’t need to flesh out those details.
If we were doing a demo, there’d be a lot of time spent on deciding where a user could go, what quests to include, etc. For Fallout 3, we’d rather commit the time that can be used for delivering a demo into spending more time working on the final product.
Of course, it’s always nice when you can get a demo. I enjoyed the Bioshock one, and I played Guitar Hero III’s last night, but as a gamer myself, I don’t always expect one.

Well no playable demo for us, that seems clear by now. You can always enjoy the original Fallout demo though, if you are able to run it, that is.


8 thoughts on “No Demo Allowed

  1. Fan Dance

    Bethsoft will tease the fans, for hype is what they do,
    part of their total-itarian design ideology. That’s a given.

    Tease with more pics and trailers. That’s a given.
    A Vault Boy cartoon SPECIAL. That would be a crowd pleaser.
    Show off how well they dance the ‘big shiny’. That’s a given.

    Could,.. could choose not to blow off the RPG enthusiasts.

    Demonstrate that the mystic numerology of sequels may not be …
    mere spade work,
    laurel robbing pretense.

    Could have a demo featuring the first hour character building, the G.O.A.T. testing.

    Prove how SPECIAL their SPECIAL can be…. hint that there is more than the tits and ass of Nex Gen graphics,
    and rail road engineered story line, wallowing in a virtual sand X box.

    Perhaps a tutorial to show off the value of building Fallout heroes 7 different ways.

    A hint, a chess players’ tease, that the ‘fun’ way that the shooter part can be strategically tweaked by the stats… is not all talented talk.

    If this is too much like crafting a second game, then a Vault Boy cartoon SPECIAL demonstrating G.O.A.T. might be a sufficient ‘come on’.

    “”Step right up….””


  2. I see no reason for demo. Reviews are enough, if read from the right place.

    How many “right places” warned consumers of the problems with Oblivion? Problems which were minimized or simply ignored. Only now are they being hinted at or even acknowledged as being fixed in the numerous Fallout 3 previews. You can damn well expect the majority of reviews to gloss over them.

    As for the demo Killzig said it – there are different ways to demo a game. And seriously, if the areas in the game are supposed to be singular zones as they were in Oblivion, nothing prevents one of said zones to be quickly worked into a demo. Hell, take Vault 101, showcase SPECIAL and the G.O.A.T. and let the player wander in its halls testing physics, interaction and set up a couple of quests that briefly expose the much tauted freedom. This is good for both Bethesda and the players so each side can see how PCs will handle the system, and to see if improvements on the code for stability or compatability issues need to be made.

    Finish the demo in the same way as the original Fallout began when the Vault Dweller was leaving the Vault… Firstperson, walking out of the Vault. With the added sentence of “For the first time in your life, you see sunlight.” Then finish the demo.

    The last bit is quite probably a damn good way of converting a few of the hopefulls that Bethesda is doing a good job at understanding – and recreating – Fallout.

  3. An alternative view from a reader:

    People didn’t see the problems with Oblivion until tens of hours into the game. A demo wouldn’t have revealed them. I’m sure the same would be true for a demo of Fallout.

  4. People didn’t see the problems with Oblivion until tens of hours into the game.

    If a demo for Oblivion had been released which contained a considerable area – one of the first ones, for instance, some small village – would have probably highlighted the most glaring issues such as the engine being a hog, the pointless physics system, the schizoid dialogue between NPCs and that AI thing which burns cats when it’s previewed to journalists but then only humps dogs in the real game.

    Also, rats that made the Rabbit of Caerbannog look like My Little Pony.

  5. Yup, I remember seeing people complaining about Oblivion only a few hours after it hit the stores… Because of the AI, because of the dialogs, because of the physics, because of quest compass…

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