National Parks Tycoon - To Demo or not to Demo?

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National Parks Tycoon started out in UE4 during the pandemic lockdowns as a way to chill out and pass some time. Its base is procedural world generation, allowing the player to create a range of park biomes or play on pre made maps. Once generated the player has the challange of creating a national park and expanding it with the profits they generate from tourists. Can they make a national treasure?

The player can Incorporate national monuments, plant forests, lay paths, get into retail and rental property and can also do a bit of farming and animal breeding. There a lot of ways to go about your National Park and the game is 70% complete at this point.

A new UE5 demo is soon to be released but is that a good idea?

Let me know your own expereinces on releasing a demo and if you think it is a good idea or not.



This is the game in 2023 June. A lot has happend with the development of the game in the time since i asked if a Demo was always a good idea. I made the demo available but as yet it hasnt exactly proven to be of any real value as feedback from players isnt very forth coming. I continue to update the Demo and it continues to get downloaded so I will keep it that way for the time being.

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Greetings @Citrus2D; I sincerely hope the past seven months have treated you well! What kind of feedback have you been receiving lately, if you don’t mind me asking? :eyes:

Why do you think it might not be a good idea? Where are you uploading the demos? Could it go early access on Steam? I think it’s good for a bit of advertising and getting player feedback. In most cases even having a demo while the full game is on the market has benefits. People can try the free product which might have a positive effect in combating piracy of the full product.

I can give some feedback on the trailer / footage though, It doesn’t really show what it’s about :slight_smile: I have expectations because I’m familiar with tycoon and sims like games but I don’t see a lot happening in the trailer. I do see a LOT of buttons which imply there is a lot of gameplay not visible on the trailer. I think pointing out specific features of what makes your project interesting / different would be more effective than showing the environment for the full trailer time. I see more on your youtube channel though :slight_smile: Not much views, probably youtube’s bad luck algo. Have you tried posting videos on Reddit and Tycoon communities?

*Edit Now I know what bothered me while watching it. People are popping in and out in an instant and the time of day seems to change rapidly which made me hope the game was sped up for demo purposes but the time (top left) stays at 17 o clock around 1:00 this is very uncomfortable. I don’t remember how older games handle this but I’d rather see fast moving people than people teleporting every X seconds

Hi Zezkaii,
The game had 750 followers on gamejolt before I took it off their site due to the site owners deciding developers were not the way to go, traffic plummeted to about 1 visit a day so it was no longer worth while updating.

I moved to and its now up to 250 which I dont think is that bad for a game still under dev.

Apart from that the demo with no advertising to speak of is up to around 1000 downloads, minus the ones I had on gamejolt. So say around 2000+ in total. Keep in mind the game has not always looked as it does now so there are a lot of brave people out there willing to download a game under dev, which is suprising.

Feedback has been limited but brilliant when I received it, in depth and very helpful so Id say the demo, even with a game still under dev was worth it.

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Hi Roy,
Yes, you make some very valid points. Sadly my video editing skills are akin to an elephant trying to open a can of beer. I set out with good intentions and come editing the game footage Ive captured I try and fit too much in and end up with a mess, not due to lack of trying I might add. Ive made at least 50 trailers and they all end up the same way which is a bit dissapointing. I might need better editing software as Im using microsoft and its fairly limited and not very accurate when it comes to cutting and splicing footage together. But that doesnt forgive the rather diabolical mess I end up with.

I hope to follow some courses on video editing and trailer makin when Im more confident in the games final look and style. Just now there is still a lot of development under way which never makes it easy.

Thank you for your feedback, it is very very much appreciated.


I watched your trailer. I would suggest that you think about what you are trying to show and concentrate on the “gameplay” loop a player would follow. If you edit in “overlays” you can highlight the experience you expect the player to have. Right now your video showcases the “follow a Sim through the park” and the balance in your video says this is 90% of the game demo.
Yes,I think that is part of the game you are trying to portray, but is that why you feel unsatisfied with the end product as the video isn’t showing you “playing”? There is about 3 seconds of you placing light posts.
I’d think about how the game plays from the players perspective of:

  1. Design - what aspects of your game play is about design? Maybe show how you transform a zone
  2. Manage Finances - how do you manage finances? What does it unlock when your balance gets high enough?
  3. Manage happiness - how to turn sim frowns upside down
  4. Follow a Sim - this is what most of your trailer play involves
  5. Change the weather/lighting/visuals - showcase how you can change the same locale- you do it is not really obvious that is your intent…
    (full disclosure - did not download game, read a lot of your posts and watched trailer, but the trailer does not highlight those features unless you already know they exist imho)

Really it comes down to the elevator pitch: imagine you have 60 seconds to describe why I should play this game instead of anything else… what would you tell me? What should I see to be thrilled and make downloading it a must?

Honestly, I don’t think you need superior editing skills to do this. Just try a post it note and explain how the game works, what someone can do… honestly you already know this, it’s your “mental” roadmap… just storyboard each component “theme” and focus on making a 10 second splash on one theme, then stitch them together with a text transition.

Hope that helps.

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