Yeah, I agree. The reason I haven't gotten into C3 yet is because the limitations. I'm thinking about getting it but I don't know. I do know that if they simply took away publishing, exporting and upped the event limits, it would make more people get into C3.
Nobody will commit to it if they only have 25/50 events. You can't really make crap with that, so why bother? The thing is, if the free version had 500 events, by the time a dev is THAT DEEP in the program, they're not turning back.
I can write 25 events in a game, and not even be started... there's no need for me to continue, I'm not invested. If i'm 500 events deep in a game, I'm fully invested and I'm not switching engines, I would buy.
I'm flirting with getting a C3 paid license, because I'm coming over from GDevelop. I think C3 has better interface and quality of life improvements, but I'm not sure.
Simply it's this, I know I can't build really build anything inside 25/50 events except the most rudimentary prototype so I don't even get started. If that limit was raised I know for a fact I would have already sunk a month into the engine, and I would have sprung for the paid account because I'm already a month deep, there's no going back, I'm not gonna duplicate a month of work somewhere else.
The trial version features feel very arbitrary tbh, like limitations for the sake of limitations. I fully agree with OP, it should be rebalanced so people can actually dive in and drown in it. I feel right now it's like selling a very nice swimming pool, by offering people to step in a tiny puddle.
Again, I signed up and poked around the demos, and even the simple ones when loaded exceed the limit. So, that right there turned me off and I didn't even bother getting started.
My recommendation would be to remove any publishing tools from the trial, any kind of exporting, and up those existing limits. If someone can't publish the game, and they can't export it, then it's totally worthless to steal.
The current trial model makes no sense and creates a bar for entry. I don't think it's a good model right now simply because of open-source engines like GDevelop that use almost a 1:1 event system to C3 but are FREE with no limits.
So, I would raise the limits so give away only a month or so free of dev time, I think that's about 500 events. Anyone that will sink that time will pay for it. And again, I would probably be a paying customer, but I don't know, I can only do like a few hours of development in it before I hit the pay wall. That's how I found GDevelop, I signed up for C3 bc i've been looking Scirra since C2, but found GDevelop which had no limits so I went there because I knew I could give it a fair shot. I have no idea what I can make in C3 because the trial is setup so you can never find out.