How to protect your hour demo?

Discussion in 'Development & Distribution' started by dxgame, May 26, 2006.

  1. Skinflint

    Original Member

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    Please, let's get back to the point of this thread, which is a good one.

    My personal opinion is that a demo time-out period should be tailored on a game-by-game basis. What works well for a game at 30 minutes might be terrible for another. Same thing for an hour.

    BUT...this opinion is just based on suppositional data and doesn't jibe with the only decent test we did on our site for this. With our recent release, Mosaic, when we sent out the demo to our audience, we had random people download demo lengths of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 minutes to try and see which had a greater conversion percentage. There were 10's of thousands of downloads rather quickly all spread out among the different time-out lengths. However, in our tests, the different time-out lengths didn't seem to affect the conversion rate. There were trends, but nothing conclusive. (Maybe if the game had been better, the data might have been better. :) )

    The only thing we DID get out of it was a few complaints when the demo timed out after 20 minutes, for those that had randomly downloaded that one...but the conversion percentage was about the same as the others.

    Of course, I'm a big fan of limiting the game in ways other than just time, but that typically requires more work. This is usually hard to get people to commit to, especially when the results are so ambiguous.
     
  2. Mike D Smith

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    Yeah, this is something that should be determined on a game by game basis.
     
  3. Greg Squire

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    Here's an older post of mine about I game I bought that had a 10 minute demo. (http://forums.indiegamer.com/showpost.php?p=26559&postcount=7) It worked on my wife who's not much of a gamer or even casual gamer, for that matter.

    I agree with Mike that the time length should be determined on a game by game basis. For some games 60 minutes is too long and some others it is too short. I personally prefer limiting the demo by levels if at all possible, but this doesn't work for some kinds of games. I would do some beta testing, and ask them where the "Red Line" is for them (see this article here to know what I mean by "red line").
     
  4. tentons

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    But what works for them may not work for you. It's definitely worth experimenting with.
     
  5. Rebrehc's Industries

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    RealArcade has demos of Geneforge and Geneforge 2 with unlimited times, but with access to only a smallish portion of the levels, and BigFish just released HammerHeads yesterday with a 30 minute demo, so it is apparent that although the portals very much like the one hour demo concept they are still willing to consider other things. I assume the developers had to prove that there was a good reason for going with those methods.
     
  6. BillyColl

    Original Member

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    The best game and apps protection solutions today are those from StrongBit http://www.strongbit.com

    Take a look there may be it will meet your needs.

    As for me I'm using EXECryptor and I'm happy with it
     
  7. Robert Cummings

    Original Member

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    Lots of pc solutions but no mac solutions for time outs...
     
  8. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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    Actually I have a custom solution for BMax :p
     
  9. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

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    You should read up that marketing thread about "valuable content".
    If I played 30 minutes and then bought your game and found out my money only bought me 10 more minutes of play I'd be PISSED. And I'd go and tell everyone I know not to buy your game.

    So think about that...
     
  10. jankoM

    Indie Author

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    you missunderstood him lilgames
     
  11. dxgame

    Original Member

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    Is there any commercial software protection that will:

    I don't want to have serial numbers, etc. I want to have the downloadable demo protected with an hour demo time, and then when that is up provide a link to purchase the full version.

    ?

    Thanks.
     
  12. Frozen In Ice

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Armadillo will do that. I generate a demo for say 60 mins. The "Buy" button that Armadillo presents contains the purchase link (as well as one I have created inside the game, but that's besides the point). The full version when purchased and downloaded requires a serial number, but you could probably avoid that part in the configuration. I'm not sure if SoftwarePassport does the same thing or not. It was originally designed as the GUI interface to Armadillo, but I haven't looked at SP since last year sometime. I just use the Armadillo interface as I'm used to it.
     

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