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hipposexxxy

to Steam or not to Steam ? DRM is the question

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Christian & co, it's possibly better if the point is made so that the game should simply come without "Steam". I dunno, maybe that will avoid the useles DRM discussions that clutter the thread and distract from the actual point.

Not that a discussion is leading anywhere anyway -- DF is the one who needs to read it, after all, not the rest of the forum.

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Can you please cite where you see that 'every person that matters' says that Steam is DRM?

Are people actually arguing because you can get around DRM or that its not imposing that its not actually DRM? I've not seen these posts.

Only because you think something is DRM because of X, doesn't mean it is DRM.

Only because people you think matter think something is DRM, doesn't mean it is DRM.

You may want to read the ToS/EULA of most computer software. Stating that you only own subscription rights doesn't make what you're installing DRM.

Can you provide an example of a steam game that does not use steamworks that you cannot play without steam? Or that steam prohibits you from starting without it?

Ok, then tell me HOW I get to install my game in the following situation:

I have my Windows PC I use for gaming, which doesn't have any sort Internet connection.

I have another PC with Linux I use to go online.

I can move any amount of Data between those two, through an external drive/disc.

How would I get my Steam-Game onto my Windows PC?

(If the answer is that I need to go online with it or that I need another Windows PC for it or any kind of Shenanigans for making that work - then YES, Steam is DRM).

Alone the fact that I need Steam at one point to install the game means it is DRM. It is not only a distribution tool to get the files I need to make it work.

Sorry for that "every Person that matters" - I don't want to disrespect you, but when even the Developer of the game itself (aka Double Fine) says that the DRM-free version is not the Steam version, why do I have to argue on that point? I'm just sick of seeing that argument distracting from the problem that is going on.

@enigma: I would like that. But then people keep arguing why I have personal trouble with Steam etc...

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I'm tired of the semantics, which is what we've been circling around here for no real reason.

With the Steam client, you install DRM drivers on your computer which enable developers, via Steamworks, to enforce their digital rights if they choose to do so.

100$ question:

What do you have on your PC if you install Steam?

Bingo. No need for heated arguments here.

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@enigma

Take it easy man, no need to actually get worked up over this stuff. No ill-will for you here; We clearly all want DF and the game to succeed here and have our own visions for what that entails.

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What I'm getting from all of this is that those upset with Steam's use are either misinformed or incredibly impatient. I pose this question to you. Why do you care so much? You're getting the full game DRM free eventually. That's a fact. We've waited this long already. Your impatience is not our problem. It was always stated that the beta would be Steam only so that they could control the updates and not have any old versions floating around. I recall the statements Vainamoinen is referring to in this regard, but I don't recall where it was said either. If you don't want to play Act I then don't. Wait until it's all DRM free. That's your call, if you're that stubborn and that much against Steam. If it helps, think of the public release of Act I on the 28th as a public beta. They've still got to control bug fixes and such. Double-Fine is just really nice and wants to share with everybody and we STILL get our early exclusive access as backers. If you're going to complain about their good nature, then go right ahead. I personally don't have a problem with it.

You're nitpicking.

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Add me to the list of people that are disappointed by the "steam-only" issue.

As I said somewhere else, I'm personally boycotting steam and I won't be able to play it soon... and this makes me feel like a second rate backer.

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Can you please cite where you see that 'every person that matters' says that Steam is DRM?

Are people actually arguing because you can get around DRM or that its not imposing that its not actually DRM? I've not seen these posts.

Only because you think something is DRM because of X, doesn't mean it is DRM.

Only because people you think matter think something is DRM, doesn't mean it is DRM.

You may want to read the ToS/EULA of most computer software. Stating that you only own subscription rights doesn't make what you're installing DRM.

Can you provide an example of a steam game that does not use steamworks that you cannot play without steam? Or that steam prohibits you from starting without it?

Ok, then tell me HOW I get to install my game in the following situation:

I have my Windows PC I use for gaming, which doesn't have any sort Internet connection.

I have another PC with Linux I use to go online.

I can move any amount of Data between those two, through an external drive/disc.

How would I get my Steam-Game onto my Windows PC?

(If the answer is that I need to go online with it or that I need another Windows PC for it or any kind of Shenanigans for making that work - then YES, Steam is DRM).

Alone the fact that I need Steam at one point to install the game means it is DRM. It is not only a distribution tool to get the files I need to make it work.

Sorry for that "every Person that matters" - I don't want to disrespect you, but when even the Developer of the game itself (aka Double Fine) says that the DRM-free version is not the Steam version, why do I have to argue on that point? I'm just sick of seeing that argument distracting from the problem that is going on.

@enigma: I would like that. But then people keep arguing why I have personal trouble with Steam etc...

No disrespect taken; I understand getting a bit heated on message boards especially when you can really only try to interpret other peoples intents.

I think we are on semantics here. I don't consider requiring steam as DRM because you can install steam and the game on as many machines as you want and play it wherever you want, and steam has explicit offline modes and drm free titles.

But likewise, for titles that take advantage of steam cloud, achievements, etc they can require you to log in (i.e. DRM) to be able to access these weather you want to or not. A lot of it really is on the developer and how they want to handle it.

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What I'm getting from all of this is that those upset with Steam's use are either misinformed or incredibly impatient. I pose this question to you. Why do you care so much? You're getting the full game DRM free eventually. That's a fact. Your impatience is not our problem. It was always stated that the beta would be Steam only so that they could control the updates and not have any old versions floating around. I recall the statements Vainamoinen is referring to in this regard, but I don't recall where it was said either. If you don't want to play Act I then don't. Wait until it's all DRM free. That's your call, if you're that stubborn and that much against Steam. If it helps, think of the public release of Act I on the 28th as a public beta. They've still got to control bug fixes and such. Double-Fine is just really nice and wants to share with everybody and we STILL get our early exclusive access as backers. If you're going to complain about their good nature, then go right ahead. I personally don't have a problem with it.

You're nitpicking.

I'm caring because I'm caring about a DRM-free future. To not be treated like something a developer just says "meh, we slap DRM on it either way". I would have no problem if there where delayed or bundled updates for the DRM-free version.

But seeing that a game I supported because it is DRM-free will be Steam-exclusive for I don't know how long is just insulting.

Right now I'm really in the mood of demanding a refund and just walk away from this game, although it would suck to miss out on this game and especially the documentary, just to make a sign.

[That was exactly that what I did with Shadowrun Returns after that what happened there. Technically they were going to fulfil all as promised, but they announced that the DRM-free version is backer-only, nowhere to buy (due to Licensing with Microsoft) and that future add-ons will not be available for the DRM-free version.

After HBS sorted the problems out and managed to get a new licensing with Microsoft and therefore to release a DRM-free version I contacted them again to cancel my refund, to show my support. (Although honestly money-wise I think it was a bad thing for me to do)]

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@Lokken, I did. Better now :) But maybe you can see how getting told things like

Your impatience is not our problem.

or

You're nitpicking.

gets aggravating over time. Obviously, if people like @MusicallyInspired make zero effort to understand the issue and are happy run around saying "I'm happy with everything so you shut up" it doesn't really warrant a response, but then it's also annoying to have accusation stand there uncontested, so you end up answering anyway to clarify the point -- that was explained countless times already -- basically doing c/p to keep yourself from having to type the same thing again and again.

I'm not going to do that now, though. @MusicallyInspired: Read the thread.

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@enigma yeah I can understand. Its easy to say 'just relax' but when its your point that you do actually care about that you don't feel is getting across it can indeed be frustrating.

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OK, it begins to be annoying...

DRM = "digital rights management", a thing that checks if you have the right to use a software before allowing you to use it.

To install a game, Steam needs to be installed and to check if you have that game in your library, so it checks digitally that you have the right to install this software, it... "manages"... your... "digital"... "rights"... to use this game, OK ?

Yes, once the game is installed, some games don't require steam to run, it only checks your rights for the installation process, it's less restrictive that other DRM systems, but it is still a digital rights check.

On the other hand, if i buy and download a game DRM-free, i can copy it on a hard drive and re-install it when i want, where i want, without nobody checking anything, that's what we call DRM-free, the fact that you use and like Steam doesn't change that fact.

Every developper on the planet and every store on the web differentiate DRM-free release and steam copies, why can't we ?

But guys... We don't need you to agree, or even to understand what we think, we're just communicating our thoughts to the developpers.

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Please tell me which of these points you disagree with:

-Act I right now is an early-access beta for backers

-Act I on the 28th is a public beta for everyone

-The beta needs to be Steam exclusive so DF can fix bugs and control updating easily without having old builds floating around

-Act I and Act II will become one full game and will not remain separate after Act II's completion, the Act I-only beta will cease to exist

-The full game will be DRM-free and available on at least the Humble Store (possibly GoG as well) in addition to Steam which will auto-update to the full game

If you disagree with any of these points, your case is simply that of impatience or misunderstanding as DF are remaining true to their word with everything they've said and done so far.

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Ok, then tell me HOW I get to install my game in the following situation:

I have my Windows PC I use for gaming, which doesn't have any sort Internet connection.

I have another PC with Linux I use to go online.

I can move any amount of Data between those two, through an external drive/disc.

How would I get my Steam-Game onto my Windows PC?

Well, you'll have to wait until the game is finished and you can download your DRM-free copy on Linux and transfer it to your PC. I wonder if you guys would still be complaining if DF released just the beta on Steam and the full, DRM-free game sometime later.

Looks like you did not want anyone else to play before you.

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Please tell me which of these points you disagree with:

-Act I right now is an early-access beta for backers

-Act I on the 28th is a public beta for everyone

-The beta needs to be Steam exclusive so DF can fix bugs and control updating easily without having old builds floating around

-Act I and Act II will become one full game and will not remain separate after Act II's completion, the Act I-only beta will cease to exist

-The full game will be DRM-free and available on at least the Humble Store (possibly GoG as well) in addition to Steam which will auto-update to the full game

If you disagree with any of these points, your case is simply that of impatience or misunderstanding as DF are remaining true to their word with everything they've said and done so far.

You may recall that at one point Broken Age was planned for release under the Steam Early Access program. This is no longer the case. For various logistical reasons, and because we believe Act 1 is a polished and satisfying piece of content in its own right, Broken Age will be a standard Steam release that includes a “Season Pass” granting access to Act 2 once it is complete.

So if you say a standard Steam release = public beta; then I shouldn't complain when I don't get to play Act 2 for another two years, for as long that "public beta" will be open?

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Either way, we were promised a DRM-free version of the full game, not Act I. But yes, I still consider it a public beta, no, I don't believe it will take another two years, and no, I don't believe we can complain. They've remained true to their word. Circumstances have changed the logistics of things, but it all still fits in with the early promises in my eyes.

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@MusicallyInspired: "Public Beta" has to be the single most ridiculous thing I've read in this forum so far. As I said a while ago: You can tell if your arguments start to get off track if not even DF is using them. Granted, they don't use arguments at all so far, but that's better then ... this.

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Either way, we were promised a DRM-free version of the full game, not Act I. But yes, I still consider it a public beta, no, I don't believe it will take another two years, and no, I don't believe we can complain. They've remained true to their word. Circumstances have changed the logistics of things, but it all still fits in with the early promises in my eyes.

It is fine that you can wiggle all those words in a way that seem nice to you.

But seeing that you are going to call the standard Steam release a "public beta" is just ridiculous.

And to the whole "being impatient stuff" I've waited (as we all did) for nearly two years for Broken Age. I would have no problems with waiting another two. I have a problem that I still will have to wait until it is released to the public in a Steam-exclusive version.

I really hope that some of the fine folks of Double Fine will say something on this. I don't really want to need to reiterate my points multiple times with people saying "meh, its you fault, get over with it". And I think we at least deserve to know why this is being handled the way it is and why a DRM-free version isn't doable [which from the Kickstarter and all should be doable!]. Or yet better, that they will release a DRM-free Act 1.

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Please tell me which of these points you disagree with:

-Act I right now is an early-access beta for backers

Mostly agreed. Act I right now is an early-access beta for SOME backers - those who did not explicitly back to receive a DRM free version.

-Act I on the 28th is a public beta for everyone

No, no, no, no. That is factually wrong, unfortunately. ;)

http://www.joystiq.com/2014/01/14/broken-age-skips-early-access-hits-steam-with-season-pass/

-The beta needs to be Steam exclusive so DF can fix bugs and control updating easily without having old builds floating around

Strongly disagreed; Double Fine is of the opinion that they can fix everything in 14 days. If, as a developer, you NEED STEAM for that, it's time to reconsider being a developer.

-Act I and Act II will become one full game and will not remain separate after Act II's completion, the Act I-only beta will cease to exist

Disagreed in parts: I resent the sentence's incorrect presupposition that the episodic release of "Act I" and "the beta" are one and the same. They are clearly not. You don't buy a Season pass for a beta, not even on Steam.

-The full game will be DRM-free and available on at least the Humble Store (possibly GoG as well) in addition to Steam which will auto-update to the full game

Agreed, of course.

If you disagree with any of these points, your case is simply that of impatience or misunderstanding

Strongly disagreed for above reasons. Please stop interpreting faults of intelligence or character into people who justly voice their concerns over the way Double Fine is handling this release. It's far too simplistic, and I already know you're better than that.

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-The beta needs to be Steam exclusive so DF can fix bugs and control updating easily without having old builds floating around

Strongly disagreed; Double Fine is of the opinion that they can fix everything in 14 days. If, as a developer, you NEED STEAM for that, it's time to reconsider being a developer.

They already released 1 patch and there will be several more before the beta is over so how many would they have to release to keep the DRM free build updated. Or will they be reuploading new full versions everytime there is an update. In 2 weeks they can probably fix allot of compatibility bugs like the radeon black screen bug. Allot of translations and other things while only having to keep 1 version updated.

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-The beta needs to be Steam exclusive so DF can fix bugs and control updating easily without having old builds floating around

Strongly disagreed; Double Fine is of the opinion that they can fix everything in 14 days. If, as a developer, you NEED STEAM for that, it's time to reconsider being a developer.

They already released 1 patch and there will be several more before the beta is over so how many would they have to release to keep the DRM free build updated. Or will they be reuploading new full versions everytime there is an update. In 2 weeks they can probably fix allot of compatibility bugs like the radeon black screen bug. Allot of translations and other things while only having to keep 1 version updated.

Again, there is no complain about the Beta being Steam-only (it would be nice, but it was announced as such).

But in 2 weeks when Broken Age hits Steam with its public release? Then the Beta is over. So there should be DRM-free version of it.

But in update 31 DF announced that Act 1 will stay Steam-only even after that.

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While they're still doing a beta/preview version, Steam is an excellent delivery system if they need to make patches available quickly to the public. If you might need to release several small patches during your beta process, it's really practical to do so using steam, but it can be quite difficult to do using manual patching, and it will mean a lot of people just won't update if they installed before the patch. I'd rather DF get to focus on actual development and bug fixing rather than releasing ten absolutely DRM-free version patches during a beta period, especially when they're released DRM-free through steam as a delivery service, anyway.

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So what is stopping you from playing it right now apart from your self-inflicted restrictions?

I have self-inflicted restrictions regarding GoG but you will not see me complaining when they get a game I want to play exclusively. I just wait for a future Steam release. And at least you know they will release a DRM free version. I may be waiting in vain (for example I'm still waiting for Dungeon Keeper 1+2 on Steam)without any word from the developers.

And again. The only thing that limits me are my self-inflicted restrictions of not using this dodgy polish site.

So at which point I could start legetim complaining about not getting what I paid for and I was promised to get? Three months? Ten months? Two years? Twenty years?

Just to be sure that I stop asking about it until then .....

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So what is stopping you from playing it right now apart from your self-inflicted restrictions?

DUDE. It's not a "right now" concern. NO ONE HERE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT THE BETA.

Please tell me which of these points you disagree with:

-Act I on the 28th is a public beta for everyone

Vainamoinen already pointed you to an article that illustrates your wrongness. I also spoke specifically about that in THE VERY FIRST POSTING IN THIS THREAD:

"exclusive access to the beta on steam” is what the reward tier text says. it is the access to beta that is "exclusive" to backers, so we can’t consider Act 1 a beta once it’s released to general sale.

ONCE MORE FOR CLARITY: The beta just started, and ends when it goes on sale to the general public.

So yeah, if I can’t beta, that’s fine, but come public launch day, Act 1 should be available DRM free outstide of steam by the promise of backer tier text, because they are selling a game to the public that I was promised DRM free for my financial support. I was not promised a delayed distribution model wherein steam users get preferential treatment outside of the beta period, a period of time WHICH NO ONE IS CONTESTING WHATSOEVER. We are in undiscussed territory, OBVIOUSLY, as at the time of the KS campaign episodic release was not on the table. So yes, no contractual obligation exists, but it creates a rift between the haves and the have nots given that those without reliable steam access can't continue to watch the subsequent episodes of the 2pp documentary spoiler free. How does this not make sense to you???

If you disagree with any of these points, your case is simply that of impatience or misunderstanding

Thanks buddy, you clearly understand our concerns in addition to the meaning of english words and phrases. And I'm not heated, just flabbergasted at how many times the same words have been reiterated and yet still not absorbed.

enigma, ChristianSt, and Vainamoinen - I wish I could've been here with you sooner to fight the good fight against lacking skills of reading comprehension --- all valiant efforts.

as for DRM / Steam's impact on the industry, everyone has an opinion, but NONE of them are relevant to this discussion. This is about DF keeping promises they made, and the spirit / future of the company in the eyes of those who might feel like promises were not kept appropriately.

I'm honestly shocked that no official DF representative has popped in to clarify why a DRM free download of Act 1 would be impossible on or near public launch day.

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Ok, I'm big enough to admit when I'm wrong. My apologies all around. I've misunderstood DF's intentions with the beta release. I did not realize they said they were pulling back from the "Act I is beta" plan which destroys my counter-argument. Personally, I still consider it a beta because they'll be patching up a storm over the next few months I'm sure (actually, technically Act 1 isn't even a beta because the game is not completable from beginning to end), but I realize that this is an illegitimate point to your arguments. I'm also ashamed to admit that I also did not read the entirety of this thread. I'm usually better than that so I am sorry. It seems there are legitimate concerns over the Steam release which I understand and appreciate.

However, I still believe DF has stayed true to what they had previously said. They don't owe us a DRM free release until the full game is completed, as Fhqwhgads said.

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Some people just need to complain about anything.

In my opinion, delaying the game experience for backers who best understand the Kickstarter spirit and the threat posed to PC games by extremely dominant digital publishers, and preventing them from enjoying further rewards at the time of their release is not just "anything".

Since when is the "kickstarter spirit" mean you get some raw .exe right out of the gate?

Also, you know how many games I've bought at retail (back when people bought pc games at retail.) that basically boiled down to getting a steam key.

I can't imagine anyone who still plays pc games not having steam. In fact, plenty of indie games premier on steam. For right now, Broken Age is a bit buggy and it needs a service like steam to get updates. Once it's all nice an shiney you'll get your raw .exe so it can be easily uploaded to torrent sites.

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I can't imagine anyone who still plays pc games not having steam. In fact, plenty of indie games premier on steam. For right now, Broken Age is a bit buggy and it needs a service like steam to get updates. Once it's all nice an shiney you'll get your raw .exe so it can be easily uploaded to torrent sites.

FOR NOW??? REALLY??? READ THE THREAD!

(or ya know, at least my last post which is quite thorough and only about 3 posts above yours.)

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THE BETA

ps- I play PC games without steam, so your lack of imagination isn't an issue. When PC without steam is not an option, consoles usually are so I'm covered. and yeah, we're totally pissed that we can't upload the torrent to pirate's bay. you really hit it on the nose Sherlock.

Ok, I'm big enough to admit when I'm wrong. My apologies all around. I've misunderstood DF's intentions with the beta release. I did not realize they said they were pulling back from the "Act I is beta" plan which destroys my counter-argument. Personally, I still consider it a beta because they'll be patching up a storm over the next few months I'm sure (actually, technically Act 1 isn't even a beta because the game is not completable from beginning to end), but I realize that this is an illegitimate point to your arguments. I'm also ashamed to admit that I also did not read the entirety of this thread. I'm usually better than that so I am sorry. It seems there are legitimate concerns over the Steam release which I understand and appreciate.

However, I still believe DF has stayed true to what they had previously said. They don't owe us a DRM free release until the full game is completed, as Fhqwhgads said.

Thanks man, takes a bigger person than the internet can usually provide to admit fault. and I agree, they don't owe us anything necessarily, but I fear for the future of the company if they slight a segment of the backers like that. I'm a DF supporter for life, based soley on content, but I know everyone is not like me. I want good things for everyone, DF and backers alike.

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You guys are talking like DF is not going to support non-steam users.

You guys know they are putting this on every platform they can get their hands on? And that includes non-steam PC gaming people. But they can't hit EVERY platform at once. Calm down. They haven't forgotten about you guys and they haven't forgotten about ALL THE OTHER PLATFORMS THEY WILL RELEASE ON.

Holy macaroni. When donating I guess ya'll didn't know game development could go in a million different directions.

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You guys are talking like DF is not going to support non-steam users.

no. we are talking like people who have read all the available information provided, and don't understand how the GAME (not beta) could be on sale to the public before DF makes good on backer promises of availability.

Hey guys, we're definitely going to get the finished game up DRM free on as many distribution platforms as we have the bandwidth to support once the game is finished. Until then, we really rely on Steam's ability to easily distribute patches and updates to the game.

that's the most recent official word from the GOG thread. The only comment on the fate of Act 1 (GAME for sale to public, NOT backer exclusive beta) is that it is not as yet planned to be released DRM free to backers outside of steam until act 2 is done. Here there be problems. Get it?

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