Originally Posted by Marin
I heard that a long time ago they had these things called demos and you could play these demos to experience a short excerpt of the game. I don't know if it's true though.
They still exist on the PC, they're just not advertised as well.
Most of the indies do it in some way, if not through steam, then through a version on their site.
Some of the AAA's do it as well. Batman AC & XCOM EU are standouts from 2012. Torchlight II, Rayman Origins, Orcs Must Die! 2, & Nexuiz being some of the AA titles of 2012 that did so as well.
It's not uncommon; you just don't hear about them anymore. More so since we have so many "betas" & "alphas" before games are released, that they act more like Demo's now, then actual cuts of gameplay do.
Crysis 3 being a brilliant example of that from 2013, it's MP Alpha was no more then a demo of the multiplayer & game mechanics before the release of the title.
Originally Posted by 5entinel
Paid beta access? I'll pass thank you.
This is essentially a "Kick-finish" type model, built into Steam.
Since most Kickstarter games, don't actually get started there, but finished. Which Steam & other digital distribution services are more appropriate for.
Kickstarter really should be used to bring out new, innovative ideas & bring back old complex ideas lost to modern publishing habits.
I will say, the games I did "Kickfinish" like Forge, Ravaged, AirBuccaneers, & Chivalry all came out as expected. Even if I only put 16-20 hours into each of those games (between beta & release stages.)
There were some mixed titles in that "kickfinish" bucket like Strike Suit Zero; I wasn't unhappy about the money spent on those projects. Even if SSZ was my worst investment at $50.
While Steam doesn't need to be the dominant digital distribution hub online, they're definitely one of the few paving the way for gamers & developers to be more connected on a personal level. Allowing gamers to share their ideas and put the money where their respective mouths are at; but also being a hub to hold these companies accountable.
A big downside to Kickstarter can be seen that if a game doesn't release; you won't get your cash back. On the other hand, Steam could definitely hand your cash back if the studio goes under and you don't get a game out of it. Even if you did help financially supporting the product.
Though I doubt that last part will be "painless" it's still a bit more insurance on your end.