For Blackwell Legacy, I didn't even consider creating a demo. I just wanted to make a game, and surely the game would be so awesome that people were going to buy it sight unseen, yes? Well, duh. Of course not. People wanted to try it before they bought it. Perfectly understandable, but I was faced with a problem. The draw of the game was the emerging relationship between Rosa and Joey, but Joey doesn't actually show up until you've played through a decent chunk of the game. I could have started the demo there, but the events that followed wouldn't have made any sense.
So, I hemmed and hawed and I patched together a demo that that was a heavily edited version of the first fourth of the game. It did the job, barely, but many people have told me that it doesn't sell the game terribly well. I have to agree. So from then on, I always planned my demos alongside the actual design of the game. And for Blackwell Convergence, I thought I got it nailed.
From the Blackwell Convergence demo.
I had a brilliant idea. I would start the game off with a stand-alone story - a ghost in an abandoned office that you had to save. It had nothing to do with the rest of the game, but it would serve as an introduction to the Blackwell world for newcomers and a refresher for everybody else. And the bonus? I could break it off and release it for free as a demo. Win-win.
But no. I realize in retrospect that it was a mistake. I'd forgotten the purpose of a demo, which is to encourage people to buy my game. By releasing a demo with a stand alone story - with a definite beginning, middle, and end - I utterly failed to leave you wanting more. There was no reason for you to come back. You had already left perfectly satisfied, and got it for free to boot.
So what's my plan for the Deception demo? To leave you hanging as much as possible. You're welcome, everybody.