No Demo For Skyrim: Too Big, Too Complex

By John Walker on July 14th, 2011 at 12:09 pm.

NO DEMO! DIEEEEEEE!

As spotted by the astonishingly attractive folk at Eurogamer, New Zealand gaming site Gameplanet have a video interview with Bethesda about Skyrim, in which it’s revealed that Skyrim won’t have a demo. Because it’s too big, and too complex, they explain. To do it wouldn’t represent the game, they say, and would be too large. Which is certainly an issue for larger, open world games, where it’s not possible to saw off a level or two and package them up separately. Which, I suppose, makes it increasingly likely that services like OnLive and the type will soon become the main way to demo a game. But not yet. You can see the interview below.

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140 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Rinox says:

    Too lazy? ;-)

    • DK says:

      It’s insane that Bethesda is the only company that gets to say “That’s too much work” to basic features that were in the previous game and no “games media” calls them out on it.

      Since when is lazyness an excuse to cut features?

    • noom says:

      Edit: reply fail.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Generally speaking, it would be nice if all games had a demo, but I’m not sure why this is much of a surprise. There is no precedent for a demo in Elder Scrolls games over the last decade, that I am aware of, unless Morrowind or Oblivion had a legitimate demo that I missed.

      Sandbox games don’t easily lend themselves to a simple demo. That statement from the rep seems reasonable and obvious to me.

      Seems silly to be surprised and upset over this, when there are so many better things to be upset about in Skyrim.

    • Jumwa says:

      Kind of a lazy jab, no?

      I mean really, how would they do a demo that would be anything but wildly misleading? It’s not a linear game, the whole appeal of the Elder Scrolls are massive, open worlds with endless choice and freedom to do as you like. How could they construct a demo that would let a player have a taste of that?

      Certainly they could try, though it’d end up being just a game in and of itself, a miniature version.

      Or they could just release a single dungeon or something, that would in no way represent the game itself beyond some narrow parameters.

      This is one case where I definitely see the futility of doing a demo. A demo would either be misleading or grossly expensive, time consuming and still probably misleading.

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      @DK are you fucking kidding? Being too much work is EXACTLY why most games don’t get a demo. it’s not a simple matter of hitting “export” on a map and suddenly you can put it up on XBL and PSN. You have to take time away from developing the game, spend a lot of time making sure that particular part of the game is polished and ready to be played ahead of all the other areas of the game, you have to figure out the technical aspects of it, and you have to make sure you pick the right part of the game to demo. Most games DON’T have demos and that is because it’s a significant amount of money. It’s like movie trailers. You think they are super easy, but often those trailers take a huge amount of work and time away from the main project.
      I agree with the sentiment that more games need demos, especially a sequel that claims significant improvements or changes, but I don’t think you even understood why they said they couldn’t make this demo. It’s a bullshit reason, but they said they couldn’t because it would be too big, because it is an open world game. I wish they would put out a demo, but it being too much work is a totally valid reason.

    • FakeAssName says:

      dagger fall had a demo ….

      how hard could it possibly be cut out the (now) mandatory “wake up in jail (or some kind of equivalent cell) for no reason, oops now your 1/2 way released and have to fight your way out, oh wait since we have the perfectly non-contrived opportunity to hold your fucking had with a character creation system that negates it’s self at the end by giving you the option to reset everything … we will!” part and ship it?

      it’s not like that part isn’t already done and received a million times more polish than any other part of the game.

      FFS, if that’s still too hard, just cut out one of the towns that exist in their own cell and remove the map transitions leading out of town, then let players run amok talking to the generic randomly generated NPC until they get tired of their creepy constantly staring at them and go on a murder rampage through the town.

      … shit, any experienced TES modder worth their salt could whipp out a demo worthy town like that in about a day / a week for it to be better than anything bethsoft will have in the final game.

    • Kaira- says:

      “… shit, any experienced TES modder worth their salt could whipp out a demo worthy town like that in about a day / a week for it to be better than anything bethsoft will have in the final game.”

      Well, wasn’t that pretty much the point? Modders have the finished game, Bethesda has to finish and polish and check for bugs the demo.

  2. Ttown says:

    Gameplanet is a New Zealand website, not Australian ;).

  3. Tuco says:

    “…too generic”.

    • Khemm says:

      Hush! An average FPS gamer will show up and accuse you of being “stuck in the past, obsessed with spreadsheets”.

    • mejoff says:

      … or even a roleplayer who knows what the term means!

  4. Angryhead says:

    There hasn’t been a demo for any Elder Scrolls game so far, if I remember correctly. No surprises here.

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      Gundato says:

      Actually, Daggerfall had a demo.

      Probably better to say that no modern Elder Scrolls game (since TES3 or TES4, depending on tastes) has had a demo.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      morrowind had a demon

    • Jason Moyer says:

      No, it didn’t.

    • Nevard says:

      Morrowind’s demo was better than Oblivion’s

  5. Bilbo says:

    You can go where you want and be who you want, as long as who you want to be is TEH DRAGONBORNE

    kind of a minor complaint but there it is. Oblivion was the same, with the whole “You’re a convict” thing, but at least that was open to interpretation, and you could dismiss the Emprah’s assertions as the ravings of a lunatic if you so desired. I guess this will be too – hard to say until we’ve seen exactly how it’s handled

    • Bodminzer says:

      You were a convict in Saint Morrowind as well.

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      Okami says:

      Saint Morrowind made my day!

    • Bilbo says:

      Never played Morrowind. I was 15; there was too much playing guitar and hanging around girls to be done

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      Gundato says:

      You were also a prisoner in Arena.

      And you are an imperial agent in Daggerfall.

      You are in training to be a battlemage in Battlespire.

      And you have an actual character and background in Redguard.

    • Bilbo says:

      So what we’ve established is that lots of other games in the same series have the same basic flaw to them that this one does. It’s almost like I haven’t played them, which is why I didn’t mention them.

      Just to clarify, is being under 30 a crime these days?

    • The Hammer says:

      Flaw, or simply something you don’t like, Bilbo? Because, y’know, it looks like that design element has worked out well for them.

      Not sure how much it actually impedes on open-ended roleplaying. Everyone might have the same origin, but 1) pre-origin is open to imagination and 2) it’s not like it defines personality/motive/the types of activities you have to do in the game.

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      lurkalisk says:

      I feel sad for you, Bilbo. “Saint Morrowind” isn’t quite the overstatement it seems it was intended to be.

      EDIT: as per you more recent post, I feel I should note: I played Morrowind at the age of 14 (2002). I simply don’t believe I should act according to the archaic rule that videogames are for children. If you weren’t playing good RPG’s in 2002, then you were likely too young to comprehend them.

    • Wulf says:

      Mods will probably fix this.

      I will wait eagerly for the “Dragonborne? Fuck that.” mod. It was the same with Morrowind and Oblivion, there were mods that just let you play the main quest in a completely different way, or even to ignore the main quest and just go and do whatever the hell you wanted.

      Bethesda really need to give modders more credit, because mods have saved every game of theirs since and including Morrowind. I love Morrowind, but I don’t like being locked into a one-sided main quest, I hate that shit, but thankfully there’s Great House Dagoth. And likewise, I don’t play Oblivion for the Bethesda-made content. I go back to it for things like the Spires mod, Ruined-Tail’s Tale, Deserts of Anequina, and so many others.

      Really, I’m not looking forward to Skyrim at all, and if it were sans mods then this game would be completely off my radar, I’d be utterly disenfranchised with its shitty take on RPGs. But I am excited about a modded Skyrim.

      Do I want to kill dragons or befriend them and fly around the Northlands torching towns upon their backs? See, that’s a choice. Bethesda aren’t giving me that choice, they’re saying that I MUST do X or Y, and for me that’s not an RPG, that’s not giving me meaningful choice in the way Obsidian would. It’s just an action adventure game. It makes the hero no different than Lara Croft or Nathan Drake. For me, the cornerstone of RPGs is meaningful choices, something that differentiates them from action adventure games.

      Mods will give me that. That’s why Skyrim will have a modding toolset, because Bethesda aren’t stupid, and they know that mods saved Oblivion, they know that mods saved Fallout 3 for that matter, too. They know that unlike Obsidian, they can’t give the player enough freedom to just want to play the game by its own merits, they just don’t have a handle on how to do that.

      Skyrim is an action adventure. Mods will turn it into an RPG. I mean, hell, it’s going to be only a matter of months before someone creates a “Run your own town!” mod in it. I played one of those in New Vegas and it was absolutely incredible. I backed it up against the deathclaw promontory to the east, filled with deathclaws that I’d managed to befriend (yay mods). So any attackers really had a hard time dealing with my town.

      Mods give Bethesda games player choice.

      Don’t want to start in a dungeon or in prison? Mods will do that.
      Don’t want to be locked into a single-choice action adventure-like main quest? Mods will do that.
      Want to do meaningful things that will change the world? Mods will do that.
      Want to have well-written, emotionally binding companions that ou will remember? Mods will do that.
      Want to play the main quest which somehow has massive bugs despite having no meaningful choices? Mods will do that.
      Want to become the Dragonlord instead of the Dragonborn? Mods will do that.
      Want to say fuck this and wander off to some other landmass to have less ‘world-saving’ adventures? Mods will do that.

      And so on. And so on. And so on.

      Really, if you’ve ever played a Bethesda game properly then you’re going to know just how much mods do save them. And again, I’m not talking about Obsidian here because Obsidian can do player choice (Vault 34), and they can do well written companions (<3 Arcade Gannon, Lily, and Raoul), so there's less of a need. But to bring a Bethesda game up to speed with an Obsidian game, you need mods.

      And there will be mods.

      There will be such mods.

      I’m not at all excited about this game, not even remotely, but I AM excited about what mods will be created because of this game.

    • Bilbo says:

      @Hammer, quite simply if a game’s intention from the horse’s mouth is to be all about freedom and defining your own character, yet every game in that series predefines the character’s origins in some manner, that’s a pretty clear case of design not meeting implementation – a flaw. My feelings on it are entirely irrelevant.

      I don’t get the “Saint Morrowind” thing. Is it a joke?

    • Azradesh says:

      Since when did you need a mod to ignore the main quest?

    • Bilbo says:

      @Azradesh I was just wondering that myself. I’ve logged hundreds of hours in Oblivion, and never gotten past Kvatch in the main quest or felt too much of a burning need to fiddle with mods (although I have dabbled).

      *Edit* Lurk, you’ve lost me now. I wasn’t trying to say that RPGs are for children, just that at 15 I was less interested in games than I was before or since. Your assertion that you were 14 when it was released doesn’t exclude my experience at all – had I been 14, I may have been more interested in gaming than the ladies, so to speak. All I meant was that at that specific point, I wasn’t doing much gaming, so Morrowind stayed under my radar. I’m not trying to upset anyone or reinforce any stereotypes, thankyou very much.

      Also, I just figured out what your display picture is. Epic film.

    • Azradesh says:

      @ Bilbo
      What’s not free about it? The game doesn’t say who you were or what you were doing before you became a prisoner and it doesn’t tell you who to become or what to do after. It doesn’t even tell you why you were locked up.
      P.S. The saint Morrowind is just referring to the fact that most people think Morrowind is much better then Oblivion.

    • sinister agent says:

      I will wait eagerly for the “Dragonborne? Fuck that.” mod. It was the same with Morrowind and Oblivion, there were mods that just let you play the main quest in a completely different way, or even to ignore the main quest and just go and do whatever the hell you wanted.

      You didn’t need mods for that. You could immediately walk off and ignore the main story forever if you wanted to in Morrowind, Obliv, and even Daggerfall. Indeed, I played the latest two for many hours and barely even started the main quest of either. In oblivion, I stumbled across part of it by accident after about 60 hours, and even after doing it I was free to ignore the rest.

      One thing that I would like to see, that WAS modded into Oblivion, was an option to have the tutorially bit with the emperor and that cut out completely, and you just arriving to no fanfare at a dock somewhere. You could trigger the “this prisoner is the messiah!” stuff by getting yourself arrested in the Imperial City, but even then, you were still free to ignore it once you escaped.

    • Xocrates says:

      @Bilbo: Being under 30 isn’t a crime, but it also isn’t an excuse for ignorance. You can’t make a point while ignoring stuff because you were “too young” when it came out.

      I admit, I haven’t played any pre-Oblivion Elder Scrolls and know very little about the other ones. This does not give me an excuse to act like the ones I did play are the only ones that count.

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      lurkalisk says:

      @Bilbo
      I support Azradesh’s sentiment, but I do very much recommend you go and play that there Morrowind. Elective education is invariably a good thing.

      EDITY EDIT; EDIT: I’m just saying, I was younger than you (still am, as science might say) when I played morrowind for the first time, and yet was occupied with similar matters. I find it hard to believe that anyone would be so preoccupied with girls and music that Morrowind might not creep in, unless you simply had no inclination toward videogames at the time (provided you were aware of it). It might just be my world, but anyone I come in contact with that’s heard of Morrowind, has played it.

      MMMMEGA-EDIT: Yes, best of films indeed.

    • Bilbo says:

      I wasn’t trying to say they were less important, either. I was just stating my lack of carnal knowledge of them in the interests of full disclosure – nowhere do I state that I think they’re lesser games, simply that at the point of release I wasn’t really playing anything. The black hole exists – I didn’t play Morrowind – the whole “girls and guitars” thing was really just an offhand joke, rather than an objective statement of fact. There were most likely thousands of little reasons why I didn’t play it, as with anything in life

    • sinister agent says:

      Morrowind is massively flawed (though mods can alleviate some of this), but its game world is unique and interesting. It’s easy to get it bundled with both add-ons for a fiver these days. Worth a look, but don’t expect to enjoy the combat, because it’s atrocious.

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      lurkalisk says:

      Bilbo, I have grown weary of post editing. Thus, I shall say:

      Very good then, I understand. I would still recommend playing Morrowind. Its visuals may be atrocious by todays standards, but it’s given me years (still play it now an then, got it in 2002) of entertainment.

    • mejoff says:

      Bilbo, how many games don’t give you your background? I mean seriously, it was a major USP for Dragon Age that there were a couple to choose from!

    • Bilbo says:

      Hey, no argument here, man. All I’m saying is that there’s a disconnect between “Be who you wanna be!!!1 :D” and “You are an X. You start in Y place, with people telling you you’re an X. In the case of Skyrim, you have Z magic powers because you’re an X.”

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Wow this is one terrible terrible discussion thread. Burn you all.

    • Bilbo says:

      And your contribution’s comfortably the weakest. Go get some petrol.

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      In the words of the great internet;

      Ev’rybody’s gettin’ mad!

    • Bilbo says:

      Sorry, what I meant to say was, Thankyou Ultra Superior for that insightful contribution, everybody who’s posted in this thread is obviously a tool and we should all be set fire to as you so judiciously suggest!

    • Duckpoop says:

      I just picked up Morrowind during this past Steam summer sale, and I couldn’t stand the inventory management or the combat. So much that I couldn’t force myself to play it longer than a couple of hours. But, instead of giving up on it, I decided to try out the Morroblivion route (the whole Morrowind game and most quests in the Oblivion engine). It’s kind of buggy and some of the spells and things don’t work, but it has been great fun so far, much better than Oblivion and closer to Nehrim in terms of enjoyment. I would highly recommend Morroblivion to anyone that wants to play Morrowind but is very turned off by how slow and tedious it can be.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      Hey, no argument here, man. All I’m saying is that there’s a disconnect between “Be who you wanna be!!!1 :D” and “You are an X. You start in Y place, with people telling you you’re an X. In the case of Skyrim, you have Z magic powers because you’re an X.”
      Well, they’re still trying to make a game. I mean, of course you could make a game that goes like this: “You are a farmer/craftsman/trader, you have no extra-ordinary powers. A dragon burned your farm/home and if you’re lucky enough to survive the attack you can now only hope the Dragonborne will slay the dragon, because you are no match for it. You will hear people making remarks about how awesome that guy is, all while you’re working in you field. Or perhaps you can even sell him a sword one day!”
      Yes, there are people who’d play that game, but it’d reach a much smaller audience than the one they’re making now. And when a company has pumped a certain amount of money in a developing a game, they want to at least earn that money back.

    • Bilbo says:

      I don’t think the options for RPG narratives are as binary as you make them appear. You could always have the player become the hero from humble origins, as opposed to mystical shrouded-in-intrigue ones. Isn’t that a more compelling story anyway?

    • Jumwa says:

      This really is a bizarre argument. In Morrowind I walked off the prison ship, ignored the package I was to deliver to Caius and went about my own destiny. The only thing pre-defined about my existence was that I was on a prison ship. So they pre-defined I was a criminal–oh wait, no they didn’t. Perhaps I was unjustly imprisoned. Perhaps I was there as part of an elaborate plot of my very own with some shady organization! Whatever I care to make of it, that’s my choice.

      Oblivion I started off as a prisoner. Same situation, though I have the Emperor spouting some gobble-de-goop about destiny. He pawns off his necklace onto me and I think: hey sweet, this might fetch a pretty septim if I could ever find someone to hock it onto. Then I go off about my business forever ignoring the greater events beyond me.

      Since Skyrim isn’t out yet, we have no idea what you will have to begin. But judging by past titles you’ll have nothing except the background that “you were a prisoner”, and they’ve stated you were on your way to be executed when the game starts. I doubt they’ll give you any Dragonborn powers to start, as they say those are taken from defeating dragons. So unless the opening forces you to kill a dragon, you don’t have to deal with it.

      The Elder Scrolls themselves, referred to in the title of the series, are documents that foretell the future and past, but change constantly. They acknowledge no fixed destiny. Morrowind stresses this further as when you’re on your quest to fulfill the prophecy you find many other people, like yourself, who failed and have to wonder if you’re just another, then you ultimately fulfill the prophecy in bizarrely literal or pragmatic terms if you do follow through.

      The key being: you aren’t shoe-horned into anything except “I was in prison”. The reason why you were in prison, how you got there, what kind of person you are, if you’re the big saviour or not, is all up to you, the player. If you aren’t imaginative enough to concoct a reason for why you’re in prison than a “create your own story” game probably isn’t for you anyhow.

    • RandomGameR says:

      @Wulf,

      You don’t get locked into a linear story in Morrowind or Oblivion. At all. Not even remotely.

      If your point wasn’t so abrasive I might agree. Mods add value to Morrowind and Oblivion and I’m certain they’ll do the same for Skyrim. Do the games have nearly any of the problems you described without mods? Not at all.

      @Bilbo,

      What you describe is the generic Tolkien cliche. It’s not considered compelling fantasy storytelling anymore because of how often it’s been done.

      That said, it SORT OF fits here. You start off in Oblivion and Morrowind not being major heroes of the land. You work your way up to that from a life where you literally have nothing. You also can choose to become a vampire, or a mage, or a thief, or a warrior, or buy yourself a bunch of property, or yada yada yada. The game doesn’t tell you what to do, you tell it.

    • Bilbo says:

      Bit too much snobbery attached to this to make me feel like it’s been fun discussing it. It’s a subtle point, granted, but there’s a difference between playing a character who has just come from prison or for whom a prophesy of great deeds has been foretold, and playing a character for whom this is not so. I realise – and I did thus, when I played Oblivion – that it’s possible to ignore these narrative clues and plough on with whatever takes your fancy, and I realise it can sometimes be as much about where you’re going as where you’ve come from, but if you’re just flat ignoring the fact that your character was condemned prior to you taking the reins then you’re the one who’s bad at roleplaying, Jumwa, not I.

      I don’t really see what’s so difficult or “bizarre” or demanding of immediate scathing, patronising response about my idea that if you take over a character who’s got a chequered past, roleplaying that character properly would dictate at least some manner of nod to that past. If you’re a condemned man, but you just recind that past as soon as you leave the sewers/step off the boat/whatever and forge your own path, and never consider what your character did to get to that point in the first place, then the narrative internal to the game doesn’t make any sense – if it doesn’t have to, that’s fine, but the impression I’m getting is that you people are all very knowledgeable of the rules of complex narratives, so it surprises me that you’re so happy to dismiss such an obvious and problematic quirk of the story.

      Now, drop the patronising crap – if you don’t agree, that’s fine, but saying I’m “being bizarre” and that “games that involve story obviously aren’t for me” has no place in a reasoned discussion so lets’ cut that right out

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’ve heard the next game in the series starts with your character standing in a field. I mean for fucks sake Bethesda, I want to create my own backstory, maybe I wanted to be standing in a shed or possibly even on top of a tree.

    • Urthman says:

      Bilbo, I think part of why people have reacted so strongly to your critique of Oblivion is that once your leave the prison, the game completely ignores the question of where you came from and why you were there. The prison is just a tutorial for the game. As far as narrative and role-playing, you really do start as a tabula rasa and you’re completely free to role-play your character and imagine his or her background however you wish.

      What sort of back-story did you want to imagine for your character that was incompatible with ever having being stuck in prison for any reason ever?

    • Bilbo says:

      I think I’m just going to be repeating myself if I’m not careful here. “Having ever been in prison” isn’t the nature of the beast – you were *just* emancipated from what appears to be a life sentence in prison. You’ve obviously done something interesting. Really, going forwards, that character needs to be organic to that origin – otherwise, you’re just playing a game.

      I did say it was a minor point. I think that might be the stumbling block here – it isn’t a complete dealbreaker, but it isn’t the epitome of roleplaying freedom either, and that’s what our man in the video would have you believe. I’ve made the point perhaps more strongly than I ever really intended sheerly because of the brick wall of incomprehension that has met my thought

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You’ve obviously done something interesting.

      Whoa whoa whoa. Who says you haven’t been falsely accused? Set up by a powerful enemy?

      The possibilities are endless, and absolutely do not preclude your character being a pure saint.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I’m not sure how Dragon-Born isn’t open. All you know for sure is one of your parents like to hoarde gold and breath fire.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      C’mon guys, stop torturing yourselves and burn this stupid thread. It’s painful to read your comments.

      The only part I did like is RandomGameR patronizing Bilbo about ‘generic Tolkien cliche’.

      Easy boy, you’re talking to THE BILBO here!

  6. Srekel says:

    We made a demo for Just Cause 2…. :) Granted, it’s not quite the same type of game, but it’s obviously not the size of the game that makes it impossible to make demos. Also see the Spiderweb games.

    • Mr Chug says:

      This. They could easily do the same as JC2: carve off a (relatively) small area of the map, drop in a mission or two, throw an hour time limit on it and let the players have an oh so sweet taste of the game proper.

      Or the X2 approach, which had no time limit, a few caps on how much you could earn, and then simply took away the ability to save. I played it for a few hours for 4 days running then went out and bought the game at the first opportunity.

    • Jahkaivah says:

      Yeah I always can’t help but feel like open world game developers are playing a bit of a marketing ploy when they say their games are too open for a demo given how other open world game devlopers are able make one anyway.

      To be fair I can imagine some difficulties that an Elder Scrolls demo might have, being a rather quest heavy experiance means the devs have to ensure the quests available are interesting and don’t require the player to leave the boundaries of the demo.

      Then of course Bethesda might want the demo to give the experiance of exploring the world meaning they might want to show off a bit more than just a town and the surrounding area. Which risks giving too much of the game away. Of course that would mean if anything the problem is that the game is too small.

    • cliffski says:

      I had little interest or knowledge of just cause 2. Then I tried the demo on a coverdisk and bought the full game on the spot. It was awesome, and I spent many an hour on a game I’d otherwise have skipped.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      “We made a demo for Just Cause 2…” were you somehow involved ?

    • V. Profane says:

      I pre-ordered Just Cause 2 on the strength of the demo.

  7. GallonOfAlan says:

    Burnout:Paradise managed it … although that’s essentially just a massive racetrack with minimal scripting and the like.

  8. Vexing Vision says:

    What would I need a demo for? I played Arena. I played Daggerfall. I played Morrowind. I played Oblivion.

    I know pretty much exactly what to expect of Skyrim. (And I’ll buy it anyway, despite my love for Daggerfall and my loathing for Oblivion, which I nevertheless spent more hours in than other games I love.)

    • Alexander Norris says:

      And I’ll buy it anyway

      It’s good that you’ve already made up your mind to do that.

      As for me, that’s exactly what I’d need a demo for. Oblivion and Fallout 3 were terrible, but Bethesda are making the right noise about Skyrim, especially around the streamlining and the semi-random quests. What I want is a chance to see for myself whether the noise they’re making is actually representative of what’s in the game, or if it’s just marketing and Skyrim will be just as bad as the last two Bethesda CRPGs.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      And I think we’ve hit on the real reason why there isn’t going to be a demo. They don’t need to release one because everyone who doesn’t have a no mutants allowed or rpg codex account is going to buy it regardless. ;)

    • Commisar says:

      Wait @VexingVision, haven’t you heard, ANY Bethesda RPG since Morrowind is a crappy, cRPG port that is teh suck and you should NEVER PLAY IT EVER /sarcasm

    • KillerB says:

      “Oblivion and Fallout 3 were terrible”

      What the Eff?! Thats it…… Im taking my ball and im going home…..

  9. GoliathBro says:

    New Zealand, not Australia. I am offended and appalled.

    THEY’RE TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES DAMMIT

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      lurkalisk says:

      I’m merely appalled, myself. Didn’t find the hiccup attacked me in one way or another.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Yeah, in Australia they’re like “where’s the car?” and in New Zealand they’re like “where’s the car?”

    • Camerooni says:

      In the lead up to federation it was very much almost New Zealand rather than Western Australia becoming a part of the Commonwealth of Australia :p

      Personally I’d have preferred the New Zealander’s ;)

  10. torchedEARTH says:

    What about “Dungeons of dredmor”? When will that have a demo?

  11. Bodminzer says:

    The game will almost definitely start in an enclosed cave/building, that’s how every ES game ever has started (yes even fucking Daggerfall), so why not just give us that bit, like the prison/cave bit of Oblivion?

    • tungstenHead says:

      That would be enough for me. I’d be able to find out if I can stand the combat this time around or not. I did not get on well with either Fallout3 or Oblivion when the weapons came out. Oblivion was too much incompetent action and Fallout was too much incompetent RPG.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’m guessing they wouldn’t like that, because it’d mean new players would think that trudging around in the dark punching rats is all there is to do, so it’d do more harm than good.

    • Premium User Badge

      lurkalisk says:

      I’d really just like to know whether or not they’ve given melee combat the backseat it deserves.

    • spongthe1st says:

      Surely you jest?

      What have you got against melee combat? I would wish for the opposite, I want an RPG which lets me play as a fighter without forcing me to rely on magic to get by.

      Oh for a combat system which is about avoiding getting hit, rather than one which is about soak damage and simply who can be hit most before they drop.

    • mejoff says:

      never mind, interthread confusion here.

  12. Tei says:

    My demo is watching this video one time again, and still feel more emotionally moved than what any national anthem can do.

    • Premium User Badge

      Petethegoat says:

      Tei: I just watched that again, and I actually cried. A tear rolled down my face onto my shirt.
      I feel slightly silly, but goddamn, that is some good music right there.

      All games should have remixed versions of the Morrowind theme, the only exceptions are Sin Episodes and Deus Ex. Everything else must have the Morrowind main theme.

    • Premium User Badge

      Petethegoat says:

      And now I’m crying because of Sin Episodes. :(
      Truly, it was too good for this world.

    • mejoff says:

      The missus and I were hugging each other and squeeing quietly when the cinematic trailer came on before the last movie we went to see!

      Gods but it was about damn time they gave Mr Soule a choir, wasn’t it!

    • torchedEARTH says:

      You’re allowed to Squee loudly as long as it isn’t the main feature.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Doing everything isn’t much of a role. Roles are definitions, sets of behaviors, responsibilities, and yes even limitations. In the last two Elder Scrolls games the world rarely defines your character, making them great sandbox games but relatively poor roleplaying games. This is especially true when you consider that the role in roleplaying was understood to usually mean role within a party. The Elderscrolls games never give you a party.

      Don’t get me wrong, the games are good at what they do (providing a large world to explore, infrequent rewards to encourage exploration, and a gently power progression that makes levels noticeable but not overly critical), but that doesn’t make a good sandbox game a good roleplaying one. The GTA San Andreas was a great sanbox game, but a poor rpg.

  13. Khemm says:

    Don’t want to scare away customers? Heaven forbid people find out there’s hardly any role-playing in the game left. With each release, Bethesda make their games more and more action heavy to lure the Halo/CoD crowd. Sad thing is – it works. Bioware does the same thing. Soon, real RPGs will only be made by indie devs.

    • Bodminzer says:

      A series that started as an arena combat game? Well now.

    • sinister agent says:

      Any time anything changes, an RPG fairy dies.

    • mejoff says:

      I’m assuming that by roleplaying, you mean spreadsheeting, as nearly everyone who makes this complaint does.

      Never mind increasing the consequences of player actions, never mind making the player’s interactions with NPCs more important and realistic, just don’t you dare streamline the character sheet because stats are the heart of roleplay.

      Tell you what, you get yourself a nice copy of Excel, write some macros and watch Numbers Go Up, I’m going to immerse myself in a fantasy environment with a bunch of imaginary people i can talk to and fun things to do.

      http://aroleplayergaming.blogspot.com/

    • Khemm says:

      @mejoff
      “Never mind increasing the consequences of player actions, never mind making the player’s interactions with NPCs more important and realistic, just don’t you dare streamline the character sheet because stats are the heart of roleplay.”

      Yeah, we used to have all that. AND stats that actually mattered.
      If you think we have anything like that in Oblivion, Fallout 3, Mass Effect and others – you are simply delusional.
      Hell, a dungeon crawler like Temple of Elemental Evil has more choices and consequences, awesome NPC interactions than all the aformentioned “ar-pee-gees” combined.

    • Wizardry says:

      Oblivion and Fallout 3 have about as many choices and consequences as Half-Life. And it’s not like it really matters, anyway. Japanese visual novels often have about 100 story branches and aren’t RPGs in the slightest. The fact of the matter is that if the player’s character doesn’t affect what he or she can do then it’s fail all round, regardless of how many branches the story has. Can a straight up fighter become the leader of the mage’s guild? Yes, he can. That’s just fail right there and is an example of anti-RPG design.

    • Nick says:

      Even if you don’t like it, they did at least try to include skill checks and so forth in Fallout 3, as well as different options and outcomes for some quests, its not entirely fair to compare it to Half life or even Oblivion in that reguard.

      Whether or not they did it well is another thing entirely, but they did do it.

    • Nick says:

      “A series that started as an arena combat game? Well now.”

      It did?

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @Wizardy:
      So NOT limiting player action is an RPG? So what if a straight-up fighter character wants to be in the mages guild? I could definitely role-play a fighter character who wants to make a takeover of the mages guild, what’s to stop me from doing that.

      People like you don’t actually know the concept of ROLE PLAYING in an RPG. ROLE PLAYING involves playing a ROLE for your character, making him do what you want to do. Saying that a role playing game is not role playing because it actually lets you role play is completely asinine. Just becuase “NUUU IT DOESN’T MAEK SENSE IN MAH SPREADSHEETZ” doesn’t mean it’s not “role playing”.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Oh good, this argument again. This never gets old.

      Just kidding. It’s very old.

    • Wizardry says:

      It certainly makes sense that a fighter can become the archmage of the mages guild! Yep! Seriously, are you just clueless or something? Why the hell include any character races, classes, skills and attributes at all if they shouldn’t affect your ability to do whatever you want to do? Have you actually considered that? Why does an NPC check your gender and then respond to you appropriately? What if you want to role-play a woman using a male character? It’s exactly the same question with role-playing an archmage of the mages guild as a fighter. The game just isn’t fair! It doesn’t let me do things my character can’t do! I can’t jump onto the roof of the building because my acrobatic skill isn’t high enough! I can’t kill an ogre with an axe because my blunt weapon skill isn’t high enough! Life just isn’t fair! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Never mind increasing the consequences of player actions, never mind making the player’s interactions with NPCs more important and realistic

      Which games are doing that, then?

      I can have more meaningful interactive narrative experiences just sitting by myself and playing with the character creation system in Burning Wheel than in any CRPG (lifepaths are great, and beliefs and instincts are huge innovations). Even the much-lauded Witcher 2 doesn’t push back in any gameplay-significant way, it just shows you different branches of a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

      “I’m a big fan of the game part of games.” – Luke Crane

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @Wizardy:
      Never before have I seen such a petulant tantrum that rambles on yet says nothing of substance.

      So what exactly are you saying? That role playing games can only be called role-playing games if they prescribe to a specific set of rules as to what you can and cannot do? Do you realize how asinine and counterproductive that attitude is? Do you fail to understand the fact that a large factor in role-playing is that you can actually PLAY any ROLE that you want? Create your own character, describe his own past, shape his own destiny? Why in the world would you ever say that a fighter cannot be associated with mages, or else it’s not an RPG? Why in the world would you ever think that limiting character interaction with its world somehow solidifies the fact that the game is an RPG, and doing otherwise does nothing but destroy it?

      This is exactly what I’m talking about with your kind of “RPG fan”. You people are not fans of ROLE-PLAYING games, you people are fans of spreadsheet games clinging on to the antiquated attitude that any RPG that DARES call itself an RPG needs to have needlessly complex mechanics. If you’re not discussing stats then by GOD you’re not playing an RPG. And if an RPG DARES to remove this antiquated game design then they’ve personally attacked your lifelong religion and should burn in hell for all eternity.

      Get real. Your antiquated notion of what an RPG is quickly becoming extinct, as evidenced by RPGs of the last decade and they’re becoming all the better for it. You can either accept this or continue bellowing tantrums and proclaiming that game X or Y is “not an RPG” because it doesn’t follow your laughably contrived guidelines that nobody follows anymore for good reason.

    • Wizardry says:

      Butthurt LARPer is butthurt. You can’t change the definition of RPGs. Nor can developers like Bethesda and BioWare. You can try as hard as you possibly can, but in the end you’ll realise that all you really want is a game with branching narrative and action combat.

    • Nick says:

      @Pointless Puppies What do you mean *you people*?

      Also interesting you should follow your ‘never before..’ spiel with the perfect definition of a petulant tantrum.

    • MD says:

      Wizardry.

      I’m not sure if you noticed, but just now you used the phrase “Butthurt LARPer is butthurt.”

      Stop. Re-read what you just wrote. Think hard about what you have become.

    • mejoff says:

      RPGCodex syndrome.

      Symptoms:
      Spreadsheetery. The conviction that stats=roleplay and character, narrative and immersion are imports from other inferior genres.

      Larpgoraphobia. The conviction that LARP is an insult, meaning character/immersion based activities that don’t contribute to spreadsheets.

      Goodolddaism. The conviction that only pre3D Bioware games are CRPGs and anything that came after is A: an FPS, and B: bad.

      As a LARPer (and not at all butthurt), and a tabletop roleplayer as well as a CRPG player, I can tell you that each form has merits and flaws (lol) that the others cannot match/don’t suffer from. The big thing that modern CRPGs bring to the table is visual and interactive verisimilitude.

      It’s near impossible to get the narrative depth and freedom that a tabletop with a good GM can provide, or the real interaction and psychological immersion of a well run LARP with a good player base into a CRPG, but they can strike a damn good balance and games like this are really doing that.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @Wizard:

      I’m…butthurt? How am I butthurt? I thoroughly enjoyed Oblivion and Skyrim is my most anticipated game of the year. Not only that, I’m also enjoying all the other RPGs being released this generation without that silly antiquated notion that “stats = teh depth”. The only person who’s butthut is you, buddy. I’m not the one going around each and every RPG article and whining and bitching about how this RPG and that RPG isn’t an “RPG” because it doesn’t fit your contrived definitions. I’ll be over here enjoying the hell out of these RPGs, you’ll be over there whining like a spoiled child that they’re not exactly what you want. Who’s butthurt again?

      As for the redefinition of what an RPG is, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m not the one making the games, and I’m not the only one who feels this way. You either accept the fact that your spreadsheeting is horribly antiquated and becoming extinct, or you continue pouting while the rest of the industry leaves you behind. Your choice.

  14. MiniMatt says:

    You can’t fit infinite dragons in a demo.

    Though quite how long it’s going to take to download all infinite dragons in the main game is another concern.

  15. mollemannen says:

    do we get a dragon instead?

  16. Wezz6400 says:

    Carve out part of the map, put some invisible walls in, get some missions and you can have a demo. It can surely be done. When they say it’s too complex what they mean is that it would require a lot of work which is too expensive.

    As for too big… well people are going to be downloading the entire game, I don’t think that’s much of an issue anymore these days.

  17. SaVi says:

    I won’t comment on this, my Comment is too big and too complex for you puny little gamers/modders/reporters.

  18. Avish says:

    Why not create a small game based on Skyrim’s engine (“Origin”?) just to let people get the general feeling of the game? The fighting and magic system, the graphics (to see how my PC handles it), interactions and such….

    • Dana says:

      I would settle for a rolling tech demo, to check if my pc can handle it.

  19. mlstrum says:

    I’ve been hooked to TES since Morrowind, I won’t mind no demo since I already plan on acquiring it.
    However, I know some might need one to go over the fence. I’d suggest to go get Oblivion to get a general feel of the gameplay. It’s 20$ regular and goes on sale sometimes down to 5$. I know it’s not exactly the same but, apart from minor variations I’m pretty certain the game will be an update, not a “start-from-scratch”. Even Fallout3/NV would qualify to get a grasp of the core feel of those kind of games.

  20. Velvetmeds says:

    Too crappy?

  21. Shazbut says:

    I think I can understand this one. In the series I’ve only played Oblivion, but it in my opinion it’s one of those games that’s major appeal is it’s size. Literally, on a moment to moment basis, it’s not great fun. It’s too big to be polished. There are so many possibilites of gameplay. So if you can’t actually demonstrate that, yes, the combat is a bit bobbins because you’re playing as a low level mage and you could be an archer or a heavy or just sneak by them or be a higher level…and that’s the beauty of it…then a demo would only do harm.

    And everyone who doesn’t need to be taught this is probably going to buy it anyway. You might not know if your computer can run it but I’d expect more people would take the risk than not so it wouldn’t be within their interest to give you a means of finding out.

    • Jezebeau says:

      That’s really the message I took from their explanation. It’s not engaging enough in anything less than an hours-long session to convince one to pay to see more. Looks like a pass for me.

  22. Mr_Initials says:

    “No mod tools, the game is too complex for things like that”

  23. roy7 says:

    Reminds me of the old days when Bethesda wouldn’t support the 3DFX because their software 3D engine was better and faster…

  24. Premium User Badge

    soulblur says:

    Frankly, I think this entire thread misses the real issue here, which is the following: why is the hero in the picture not wearing sleeves? It’s cold up north, and and he’s constantly getting dragons blowing fire at him. Really, sleeves would come in handy. I think this is a major oversight.

    • Pemptus says:

      They were obviously burned away by all the dragon fire.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Nords don’t need sleeves, they have fire in their blood and ice in their hearts. Which makes for a rather complicated and fragile circulatory system, truth be told.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      If I had a gun show like that going on, I’d go sans sleeves as well.

      I’m more curious to know if that guy has a conversational tone. Like, can he take it down a notch, or does he walk in and order an ale that way too? He must be murder at the drive-through.

  25. aerozol says:

    Probably 50+ % of the people who want a ‘demo’, will get it one way or another.
    It’s not like I have any kind of data on it, but have a hunch that a few of the people who want to ‘test’ the game probably end up not getting out the credit card once the whole game is sitting nicely on the HDD already… It just makes sense to put out a demo, honestly, even if you do lose a few dev hours on it.

  26. nuh uh no way says:

    jesus fucking christ I JUST WANT TO SEE HOW THE GAME CONTROLS! let us move a character around and look at some pretty shit for a minute!

  27. Jimbo says:

    Demos are for companies that can’t afford hype.

  28. DeCi says:

    Might be abit Anal but i do not like these mediocre graphics ive seen so far.
    Looks like the same engine as used in Obvlion.

    im quite sure the gameplay will make up for it though.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      It’s neither the same engine nor does it look anywhere near like vanilla Oblivion.

  29. august says:

    This is news?

  30. Berzee says:

    I have a dragon sammich 4 lunches

  31. BobsLawnService says:

    The only people allowed to bitch in this thread are the New Zealanders. I’m guessing Bethesda are under serious time constraints and the effort of ripping out a piece of their world and repopulating it with appropriate NPC’s and quests will simply be too large a job. When you buy an Elder Scrolls game you know what you are getting. I’d rather they concentrated on polishing the game itself.

    • Shouldbeworking says:

      I’m not sure I follow your logic, but as a New Zealander I will accept your invitation… *Ahem*
      1. It’s too cold in Christchurch
      2. My arthritic neck is playing up
      3. Infinite dragons will ruin the economy

      Still, at least we don’t have phone tapping journalists, its not all bad

  32. _Jackalope_ says:

    Peas and rice, you can ignore the main quest without a mod. I don’t even know what the main quest in Morrowind was, and in Oblivion I dip in and out every 6 months or so. My igoring of the quest didn’t affect anything else I decided to do. I wasn’t even expecting a demo for Skyrim, so this seems a bit like a non-story to me.

  33. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I’d like a demo so I can check out the interface. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s a clunky interface where you have to scroll up and down big fat lists (as in Mass Effect and Oblivion).

    Why not just take out the save/load feature and put a 1hr time limit on it?

    :/

    (Hmmm… ‘just’ he says… I feel such a hypocrite ‘cos I’ve been mildly annoyed with people this week asking for me to ‘just’ quickly add a button that does XYZ on a web page, without them realising that it would entail designing a new form, adding some browser code to make it appear/disappear, adding a bunch of server side code for sorting it all out, adding tables to the database, putting it through QA etc. etc. and would therefore be a bit more involved than just drawing the button on the page and hitting ‘save’! My suggestion is, Is hould imagine, very much in the same category)

    Edit: I’ll probably end up buying it anyway. If it tells a good story and has swords and dragons and Inns and old books and spells and stuff in it, then I’m sure I’ll be happy with it. And if it comes with a map, and a big thick manual that looks like an old spellbook, well… I’ll probably try to defy the game by seeing how far I can get without killing any dragons though. I have misgivings about that aspect :(

  34. Davie says:

    Called it on announcement day. They’ve said the same thing for every other game they’ve put out. Bethesda just doesn’t do demos.

  35. Urthman says:

    Check out the demo for Gothic 3. It gave you a pretty good taste of the game by putting some invisible barriers around a big chunk of landscape. It was enough to give you a taste of the combat, the conversations, the dungeons, the inventory and skill management, and hints at the size and scope of the world.

  36. Soon says:

    If playing a confined demo makes people believe that’s all there is to it. Does playing no demo at all cause the game to have some sort of existential crisis?

  37. InternetBatman says:

    It’s not that hard for an open world game to do a demo, Gothic II managed to do it just fine. I think the difference is that Skyrim’s demo would show how shallow the quests and gameplay really are. A demo can’t show off the breadth of Skyrim because it would have to be a large fraction of the game. They probably don’t want potential customers experiencing the depth of Skyrim without the possibility of exploration to spur them on. I can’t say that I blame them.

    Anyways, who needs a demo. It’ll be Oblivion with better graphics and a Norse theme.

  38. Big Daddy Dugger says:

    they could just demo the whole game but limit you to 20-30 minutes of play, i remember some games doing things like that in the past

  39. iainl says:

    Hell, make the whole thing a non-interactive scripted bit of wandering around and attacking a dragon, i.e. an in-engine trailer, if you want. What I really care about is how badly my poor little graphics card is going to choke at the sight of it. So I won’t be buying until either I test, or someone with the same card says it’s OK.

  40. El_Spartin says:

    Well, if there’s one thing besides no demo that we learned from this, it’s that fire is extremely ineffective and that ice is the way to go.

    The only thing I would want is a tech demo and I would be happy.

  41. Gvaz says:

    Right, do what Just Cause 2 did and make it a timed demo.

    Anyways no demo = heading over to the pirate bay to see how the game plays and use that as a demo.