Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, February 07, 2024
 
Steam Next Fest

I just realized that if you click on the Steam Next Fest banner, you'll get among other suggestions a list of the demos for the games that you wishlisted. That realization might be two days late, but I spent those two days mostly playing Millennia, and I don't regret having gained a much deeper understanding of that game now. I kept it on my wishlist for the time being, even if the game is still somewhat flawed in the current version.

Anyway, I'm now downloading 4 more demos: Crown Wars: The Black Prince, Pathless Woods, Small Kingdoms, and Zoria: Age of Shattering. Worst case scenario is that I'll prune my Steam wishlist a bit more. I just did some of that pruning based on some other criteria: Sorting the wishlist by "date added", and removing the games that have been on the list for years, if there isn't any recent developer update. And sorting the wishlist by review score, and reading what other players think is wrong for games that don't even make it to "mostly positive". For example I just kicked out Arms Trade Tycoon: Tanks, because so many people are unhappy with the slow pace of development. Having a good idea for a game is great, but not everybody has the project management skills and resources necessary to turn an idea into an actually good game.

I do like the idea of Steam Next Fest, and there generally being more demos on the platform these days. Playing a demo is the only thing that is even better than watching somebody else play the game in order to understand its strengths and weaknesses. It reminds me a be of the olden days of Shareware, when you could get a demo of a game sent by mail on a tape or floppy disk, play the start of the game for free, and then had the choice of buying a key to unlock the rest of the game. At the very least, a demo to me is a sign that the devs believe in their game. I've seen some triple-A games lately, buy before you try, which in contrast to that seem to be designed to keep you busy just long enough that you passed the two hours refund limit before you find out the game sucks.

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