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May 9, 2021
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ΔV: Rings of Saturn - The Ultimate Demo: giving away complete game for free

by Mariusz Chwalba on 04/22/21 10:58:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Last week I released a new demo for ΔV: Rings of Saturn. Unlike most demos you can come across, this is a full game. You can fly anywhere in the rings, get all the ships, hire a crew, check out all the stories. No time limits, full experience.

There is one catch: you can save, but not load. If you want to load your progress, upgrade to the full version. But if you want to continue, you will do so knowing that you’ll enjoy the experience.

The good and bad of being unique

ΔV: Rings of Saturn is a pretty unique game. I started making it specifically because I wanted to play a game like this, but couldn’t find any. A game where you pay the physics of spaceflight proper respect, but it’s still a game, and not just a spacecraft simulator. A game where you cannot see a laser, unless it crosses a debris cloud, and still one where it’s a beautiful thing to watch. A game that acknowledges that a rocket turned towards an enemy is a solid weapon. A game which might look simple on the surface, but once you pierce it you find depth of details and choices.

Slow pacing is a mixed blessing

ΔV’s pacing is deliberately slow. It’s all too easy to throw all manners of details at a player and overwhelm them – but that is not a mood I aimed for. I wanted you to progressively discover that there is more to the game than you imagined, and be pleasantly surprised with it.

It all starts with realistic spaceflight. This is the core of the gameplay and I feel you can grab a hold of it in the first few minutes. Ship uses real thrusters, each action is accompanied with an equal and opposite reaction, things just don’t happen magically. All this is designed to make space nerds, such as myself, gleeful.

You’ll need a few trips to the rings to discover that the upgrade system is pretty unique. There is no “best” hardware you can buy, not everything that is more expensive is better, and there are meaningful choices to make. You start customizing your ship and find that you’ll often prefer cheaper, but more reliable hardware, or perhaps you need top-of-the-line performance in your torchYou may find that more easily with a simple autopilot and cheap, powerfull, and thirsty nuclear thermal thrusters. There is depth there that is not apparent at first glance and I wanted you to discover it.

And then comes the story. I don’t really expect you to encounter much in the first few hours, due to the way it is framed. Things in ΔV don’t just happen, they are all tied to specific people. You’ll begin seriously experiencing the story after you hire a crew – and see how they interact with each-other and the world around you.

And it’s all there for you in the demo.

Trust issues

When it comes to Early Access games, players tend to have trust issues. And I understand that completely – far too often was I burned by a project that looked great on paper, but just didn’t deliver what I imagined it would.

Even if there is a demo to try, it’s far too easy to make a good demo for a bad game. You can polish up a small level and disappoint with a full product.

&Delta V, on the other hand, is as polished as I could make it to be. There are no placeholders, everything is in it’s final form. All the bugs I know of and can replicate have been patched – and if you come across new ones, I do my best to patch them in days, at most.And trust goes both ways. Since I want you to trust me that my game is fine, I’m going to trust you with a complete product for free. Just head to the store page and download the demo.

Completely for free.

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