It’s finally here, the last freely available update to the game before the commercial launch. This will be a short article with a bit of a different format, focused mostly on the demo and less on the happenings of the past week. It seems appropriate to switch focus a bit here.
Why a demo?
I’ve been releasing updates pretty consistently since the game entered beta, and sporadically before that. I’m not shy about sharing my work to the public, but I am attempting to actually sell this game. At some point I was going to have to stop releasing everything for free and start working on the stuff that would be exclusively part of the commercial version. I hit that point last week, but I still wanted to get one last update out there. I also knew that I would need something going forward for people to play with that I could hand out for free without having to worry about potential sales. It’s a fine line to tread and I have absolutely no idea if it will work the way I want it to, but it seems like a good idea.
So how is it different?
The demo for the game has a modified map that shows off the different aspects of the game in a much shorter fashion. One of the things I struggled with on this was the fact that the demo map is actually completely unique. It exists nowhere in the commercial version of the game, and it never will. I was hesitant to do this because it seems a bit disingenuous. If you enjoy the demo, the full game might be too big and confusing for you, and conversely if you feel cramped by the demo, the full game might be perfect for you, but you’d never know. I think I made the right decision here, because with the full-sized map it would take far too long to actually get through and find all of the parts of the game that I wanted to show off. At that point you are basically just playing the full version of the game anyway.
What can we expect?
The demo has all of the main features of the game. Seven of the eleven upgrades are on the map that you can pick up and use. There are a few aliens scattered about to interact with, and there are plenty of alien documents to read through. If you know exactly where to go, you can beat the demo in just a few minutes, but the exploration and puzzle solving make that a much longer experience. I would expect around an hour to find a way to beat the game, maybe 3-4 hours if you want to try and find everything. There is plenty of map to explore, plenty of strategies to try, and a lot of the core mechanic of the game, spiraling out to greater distances as you upgrade your character and learn how to navigate the alien ship. While the progress won’t transfer between the demo and the full version, and the experiences will be unique, it’s a safe bet that if you like the demo, you will like the full version, and you won’t spoil the story or ruin anything by playing the demo first.
If you are interested, check out the demo right here, and let me know what you think.