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hipposexxxy

to Steam or not to Steam ? DRM is the question

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I never said that no PC gamer today is without Steam. It certainly doesn't mean Steam is its own platform either. Come on, now, you have got to admit this argument is just grasping at straws.

I'm going even further. I'm saying this was so obviously just an accidental mislabel that you shouldn't have picked it up as a point of argument in the first place. I was making a joke about it. ;)

"polished" ... "finished"... wait a minute, weren't these exactly the words Tim used to describe Part One?

No. Act I is not the finished game. You're grasping at straws and twisting his words around to mean something different. Let's be honest here.

Strongly disagreed on the twisting. As much as it struck me that Shodan used the very same adjectives to describe the full game which Tim used when he described episode 1, Tim meant what Tim meant. One half is not the finished game, yet still Tim was using both the words polished AND finished. I believe he used those words in July to (desperately?) communicate that what he intends to release when Act I goes live is already something whole, somehow complete, an accomplishment, something that can be savored on its own and stands on its own.

This, incidentally, is what is also presently communicated very explicitly by Double Fine literally everywhere in an attempt to instigate Steam sales. Disagreement? Thoughts on the relevance? Because I think it's quite relevant to judge less the letter of Kickstarter tiers and more the morality of a temporarily Steam exclusive release.

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I never said that no PC gamer today is without Steam. It certainly doesn't mean Steam is its own platform either. Come on, now, you have got to admit this argument is just grasping at straws.

I'm going even further. I'm saying this was so obviously just an accidental mislabel that you shouldn't have picked it up as a point of argument in the first place. I was making a joke about it. ;)

"polished" ... "finished"... wait a minute, weren't these exactly the words Tim used to describe Part One?

No. Act I is not the finished game. You're grasping at straws and twisting his words around to mean something different. Let's be honest here.

Strongly disagreed on the twisting. As much as it struck me that Shodan used the very same adjectives to describe the full game which Tim used when he described episode 1, Tim meant what Tim meant. One half is not the finished game, yet still Tim was using both the words polished AND finished. I believe he used those words in July to (desperately?) communicate that what he intends to release when Act I goes live is already something whole, somehow complete, an accomplishment, something that can be savored on its own and stands on its own.

This, incidentally, is what is also presently communicated very explicitly by Double Fine literally everywhere in an attempt to instigate Steam sales. Disagreement? Thoughts on the relevance? Because I think it's quite relevant to judge less the letter of Kickstarter tiers and more the morality of a temporarily Steam exclusive release.

Well said. Strongly agree with your further clarification.

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No. Act I is not the finished game. You're grasping at straws and twisting his words around to mean something different. Let's be honest here.

No.

At the moment of the backing there were no "Act I" and "Act II", there was just "Broken Age" (Actually, it was "Double Fine Adventure", but you get my point). [Edit: Removed because I got confused]

The game has since then been splitted for problems we all know. Which is fine to me, I actually apreciated *a lot* Tim's honesty about it and his will to make a bigger, better game.

But now the splitted part is out, and despite of what I've been told there is no DRM free version.

So I, a legitimate backer, can't play it.

Meanwhile, pirates are playing it without any trouble.

And now I also have to be careful to avoid spoilers on the net which will ruin my enjoyement of the game. I can't follow anymore threads about the game in gaming communties forums that I follow, because there's that risk.

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I'm going even further. I'm saying this was so obviously just an accidental mislabel that you shouldn't have picked it up as a point of argument in the first place. I was making a joke about it. ;)

Ah.

Strongly disagreed on the twisting. As much as it struck me that Shodan used the very same adjectives to describe the full game which Tim used when he described episode 1, Tim meant what Tim meant. One half is not the finished game, yet still Tim was using both the words polished AND finished. I believe he used those words in July to (desperately?) communicate that what he intends to release when Act I goes live is already something whole, somehow complete, an accomplishment, something that can be savored on its own and stands on its own.

If the game was episodic (I still don't consider it such, although technically it is), it is a perfectly fine self-contained experience. As a piece of art. That is not what Tim meant when he referred to it as "finished" and "polished" and is not the same definition as DF gave when referring to a "DRM-free final version of the game". Claiming otherwise is manipulative and to taking it out of context. Sure it stands on its own. Does that automatically mean that it suddenly falls under the definition of "full complete game" for the DRM-free release? No. What was meant by "full complete game" in the beginning was the final complete game as it would be in the game box. With all two, three, or ten acts that it might have. They obviously didn't mean Act I. This is what I have a problem with. Technically, it is a finished polished game, but it also technically isn't the full game either. There is another Act. No, nobody knew there was going to be two Acts, but that doesn't mean they have to create a DRM free version either. There could have been a dozen Acts and they would still rightfully hold to the definition of "DRM-free final release" to be all of those Acts together in one package. You're thinking of the game as being permanently two separate pieces of software when they are not. We are now playing a polished but unfinished portion of software that will be considered "complete and final" when Act II is amended to it.

We could each argue that we're both splitting hairs on DF's statements in regards to whether it was right of them to make Act I Steam-exclusive or not. The cold fact is that they have no obligation to do so based on their past statements. So we are not owed anything. Make polite requests all you want, but don't go making claims that they're wronging or betraying backers because they're not. At least, not based on what they've said.

This, incidentally, is what is also presently communicated very explicitly by Double Fine literally everywhere in an attempt to instigate Steam sales. Disagreement? Thoughts on the relevance? Because I think it's quite relevant to judge less the letter of Kickstarter tiers and more the morality of a temporarily Steam exclusive release.

That is a completely different issue altogether. Requesting that they don't keep the DRM-only release for Act I for reasons entirely different than what they have said in the past is totally acceptable and, in a way, I hope they accommodate that request. The only reason I wouldn't hope for that is because it would slow down development of Act II. And that isn't fair to those of us who have already played Act I and are waiting for the next Act. So everybody loses in some way. It's an unfortunate scenario that has come about, but I think it was all worth it to get a new adventure game from Tim Schafer.

No.

At the moment of the backing there were no "Act I" and "Act II", there was just "Broken Age" (Actually, it was "Double Fine Adventure", but you get my point). Before backing I personally mailed someone at DF through kickstarter asking if there would have been a DRM free version of the game. The answer was "yes", so I decided to back the project.

The game has since then been splitted for problems we all know. Which is fine to me, I actually apreciated *a lot* Tim's honesty about it and his will to make a bigger, better game.

But now the splitted part is out, and despite of what I've been told there is no DRM free version.

So I, a legitimate backer, can't play it.

Meanwhile, pirates are playing it without any trouble.

I'm sorry, I just can't justify that in my mind. There WILL be a DRM-free version. They have not gone back on their word. You are simply impatient. I mean no disrespect or insult, it's simply the truth. The circumstances are unfortunate now that the game is being split into two games temporarily (it's not going to be split in two forever, it's just necessary in this instance), but it was unavoidable the way things progressed. I don't see a problem with temporary Steam-exclusivity and if I was against Steam and DRM delivery systems as well I would still hold the same opinion and just wait for the full game. Or give in and use Steam. Either way, it wouldn't be DF's problem it would be mine.

And now I also have to be careful to avoid spoilers on the net which will ruin my enjoyement of the game. I can't follow anymore threads about the game in gaming communties forums that I follow, because there's that risk.

Again, that's your decision. We can all respect it, but you can't cast the blame on DF for this.

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The game has since then been splitted for problems we all know.

Maybe I need further clarification on that bit.

As Double Fine has disputed the idea that they need the money from Act I's Early Access sales to finish the game AND maintains that they are able to deliver part 2 in just three or four months (of a two year development time total), why indeed has the release been split in two?

The only reason I wouldn't hope for that is because it would slow down development of Act II. And that isn't fair to those of us who have already played Act I and are waiting for the next Act. So everybody loses in some way.

That IS a problem, but it's connected to the episodic release and not the release of a DRM free version (which I haven't yet asked for). Releasing games episodically actually makes them more expensive and leads to a longer development time. They'll have to schedule that whole orchestra yet again, they can't keep the voice acting sessions concise, they're going through all the bug fixing trouble once more. They will repeat a lot of steps in succession which could have been taken with one swift leap.

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Technically nothing has changed with their decision to change from an "early access" steam game to an "official release with a season pass". They just exchanged labels. I don't really see the real logistical difference between the two.

Where did they say that they didn't need money from Act I to finish Act II in a few months?

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Technically nothing has changed with their decision to change from an "early access" steam game to an "official release with a season pass". They just exchanged labels. I don't really see the real logistical difference between the two.

I won't hold you to what you erroneously said four pages ago, but the difference still is: the first is a beta that might profit from Early Access' tools and the latter is the first, self contained episode of a two part game.

Where did they say that they didn’t need money from Act I to finish Act II in a few months?

Ughhh... someone hand me the Greg quote, my encyclopaedic knowledge of this forum has not yet formed. ;)

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Technically nothing has changed with their decision to change from an "early access" steam game to an "official release with a season pass". They just exchanged labels. I don't really see the real logistical difference between the two.

I won't hold you to what you erroneously said four pages ago, but the difference still is: the first is a beta that might profit from Early Access' tools and the latter is the first, self contained episode of a two part game.

Right, I was incorrect there. But this still all depends on how DF decides to treat the game, right? They could just be continuing along updating the game in the same way they would if it was an "early access game". I still don't see the distinction apart from how consumers are perceiving it. It still just seems like a marketing label.

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No. Act I is not the finished game. You're grasping at straws and twisting his words around to mean something different. Let's be honest here.

No.

At the moment of the backing there were no "Act I" and "Act II", there was just "Broken Age" (Actually, it was "Double Fine Adventure", but you get my point). Before backing I personally mailed someone at DF through kickstarter asking if there would have been a DRM free version of the game. The answer was "yes", so I decided to back the project.

The game has since then been splitted for problems we all know. Which is fine to me, I actually apreciated *a lot* Tim's honesty about it and his will to make a bigger, better game.

But now the splitted part is out, and despite of what I've been told there is no DRM free version.

So I, a legitimate backer, can't play it.

Meanwhile, pirates are playing it without any trouble.

And now I also have to be careful to avoid spoilers on the net which will ruin my enjoyement of the game. I can't follow anymore threads about the game in gaming communties forums that I follow, because there's that risk.

I can't agree more with this. If they would have said they going to release the game the way it is now planned, I wouldn't have backed it. Only because some people don't see the issue, I wouldn't want to support a developer who treats their DRM-free version like an ugly stepchild (I don't want to insult any stepchildren whit this, but that was somehow the best comparison I came up with).

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I just don't see it that way. Why does this have to mean they're treating DRM-free releases like an afterthought? Or for that matter, why does it have to mean that the whole Kickstarter process was a crusade against DRM-enforcing publishers? I think DF was pretty neutral about DRM-freedom from the beginning. I don't think they were necessarily for or against it. That's not what it was about. The point was for Tim to make the game he wanted that publishers would never allow him to. We were helping him and giving him a chance to realize a vision, not helping ourselves to exactly what we wanted. There is some bleed-over between the two, but I saw this as mostly helping Tim out and seeing what he could do if given the opportunity. This wasn't about DRM at all. If it was for you, I'm sorry you see it that way but I'm not surprised you're disappointed.

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Ok, but didn't wagner17 just say that Linux build is in fact DRM-free?

Not quite. The Linux build has DRM (because it requires libsteam_api) however it does not seem to actually require or use the DRM to run it. Oops I forgot to add the following: Assuming, SteamWorks is considered DRM, then the Linux build has DRM.

On a more constructive note, as a Linux user it would certainly take you like 20-30 minutes to create fresh bootable flash drive with clean ubuntu, boot from it, install steam, download broken age, and copy it to your hd/ssd. Certainly would take less time than continuing to argue on these forums, especially since you take any criticism of your position very hard.

Years ago I think it would have been reasonable to expect more from a Linux user but not nowadays. Linux has gotten easier to use so today's users do not need to know as much to get their system up and running.

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@SHODANFreeman;

One more time. No one is talking about the beta (=="QAing builds every couple weeks"). The game is going to be sold, as a finished, episodic game, in two weeks. At that point, the beta is over. There aren't going to be lots of fixes. This is emphasised by the point that DF does NOT, in fact, use the "early access" anymore. Look at the Steam page of Broken Age. It's a game as any other.

Additionally, yes, if you go strictly by the letters, the "entire game" will be DRM-free. There is nothing said about a DRM-free Act I on KS. The obvious REASON for that is that when the KS was made, no one knew there would be an Act I. So what we are asking, very politely, is if DF could honour the spirit of their promise ("...on Steam, as well as DRM-free"), as it was clearly the intention to ship the non-Steam version of whatever was made alongside the Steam version. And the reason for that is that we backed this game to support DRM-free and Steam-free games, and had the KS said "two part game, first part Steam-only, second part sometime eventually", we wouldn't have done that. But again, it couldn't say that, since no one knew the would be two parts.

And finally, everything I just wrote is explained more than once in this thread, so you could have discovered it simply by reading at least the first page.

And sadly it won't make any difference this time either.

I was one of the people that asked for an explicit commitment for a DRM-free release before backing. The fact that the game ended up being episodic doesn't change a thing, their decision to withhold the DRM-free version of Act I when/ after Jan 28 does though as it turned me into a Steam-exclusive supporter.

I expect this whole scenario to just be repeated when Act II comes out (or is it magically going to be perfect from the get go?), so yes, we're treated as second-class backers that will end up getting the "finished, polished full" game eventually (around a year from now I fear), while our backing-money was used to exclusively support and promote a delivery (and gaming) platform we oppose to.

Anyway, I don't care for all the arguments by people that don't want or can't understand what the heart of the problem is, I'd appreciate some DF input that shows that they understand it (better late than never) and are reconsidering, though Greg's posts leave no room for hope.

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And sadly it won't make any difference this time either.

I was one of the people that asked for an explicit commitment for a DRM-free release before backing. The fact that the game ended up being episodic doesn't change a thing, their decision to withhold the DRM-free version of Act I when/ after Jan 28 does though as it turned me into a Steam-exclusive supporter.

I expect this whole scenario to just be repeated when Act II comes out (or is it magically going to be perfect from the get go?), so yes, we're treated as second-class backers that will end up getting the "finished, polished full" game eventually (around a year from now I fear), while our backing-money was used to exclusively support and promote a delivery (and gaming) platform we oppose to.

Anyway, I don't care for all the arguments by people that don't want or can't understand what the heart of the problem is, I'd appreciate some DF input that shows that they understand it (better late than never) and are reconsidering, though Greg's posts leave no room for hope.

There is no problem. The alternative to an early Steam release is not getting any release whatsoever until the second part is fully finished. I prefer an early Steam release, thanks.

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I have both steam and gog and have bought games on various other digital download sites but for ease of use I would vote for steam every time.

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I have both steam and gog and have bought games on various other digital download sites but for ease of use I would vote for steam every time.

Congratulations. You don't seem to grasp the heart of the matter. Might I direct you to reading at least page 4 of the thread?

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There is no problem. The alternative to an early Steam release is not getting any release whatsoever until the second part is fully finished. I prefer an early Steam release, thanks.

I don't get that argument: Revolution did the same thing as Double Fine with Broken Sword 5, namely splitting it in two parts, and they managed to put the first part on GOG and even put up a DRM-free Linux version on their website a few days later. They are a much smaller studio than DF and if they can manage it without any big problems, why can't DF?

It's really not that DF can't, it's just that they won't for some reason. (And I'm not talking about the beta here, but the game that will be released on 28th of January!)

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I don't get that argument: Revolution did the same thing as Double Fine with Broken Sword 5, namely splitting it in two parts, and they managed to put the first part on GOG and even put up a DRM-free Linux version on their website a few days later. They are a much smaller studio than DF and if they can manage it without any big problems, why can't DF?

It's really not that DF can't, it's just that they won't for some reason. (And I'm not talking about the beta here, but the game that will be released on 28th of January!)

The difference probably has something to do with Broken Age already being insanely over budget.

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Broken Age isn't meant to be two games. It's split in half for now, but after Act II is out the Act I version will cease to exist. It will be all one game. Was Broken Sword 5's two parts combined into one? Or are there plans to? Or will they remain two separate builds? That would make the difference.

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If the game was episodic (I still don't consider it such, although technically it is)

If it technically is....then it is.

is not the same definition as DF gave when referring to a "DRM-free final version of the game". Claiming otherwise is manipulative and to taking it out of context. Sure it stands on its own. Does that automatically mean that it suddenly falls under the definition of "full complete game" for the DRM-free release? No. What was meant by "full complete game" in the beginning was the final complete game as it would be in the game box. With all two, three, or ten acts that it might have. They obviously didn't mean Act I. This is what I have a problem with. Technically, it is a finished polished game, but it also technically isn't the full game either. There is another Act. No, nobody knew there was going to be two Acts, but that doesn't mean they have to create a DRM free version either. There could have been a dozen Acts and they would still rightfully hold to the definition of "DRM-free final release" to be all of those Acts together in one package. You're thinking of the game as being permanently two separate pieces of software when they are not. We are now playing a polished but unfinished portion of software that will be considered "complete and final" when Act II is amended to it.

We could each argue that we're both splitting hairs on DF's statements in regards to whether it was right of them to make Act I Steam-exclusive or not. The cold fact is that they have no obligation to do so based on their past statements. So we are not owed anything. Make polite requests all you want, but don't go making claims that they're wronging or betraying backers because they're not. At least, not based on what they've said.

Being technically right is not better than doing the right thing. Splitting the game up into two partial releases is a game changer, and recontextualizes the intent of the wording. No one would have considered this scenario, including DF when those words were written. So, if they choose to stand by that very technical and highly dubious defense of intent, they will lose respect in many people's eyes. That would be little better than SHODANFreeman coming in here to insult the vocal minority like the bully he is. I guess we have to wait and see. I'm hopeful that they are just not sure how to address this yet, and are waiting until they figure out the best way to manage this crisis / what they can realistically do to fix it. And it IS a crisis. Right now this is an internal debate, but if it ends up becoming a public debate there will no doubt be journalists and mainstream industry insiders looking for weakness in this release to prey upon. like, "oh, see, don't go outside the proper channels, otherwise you'll get duped," "don't trust those double fine guys with your money, they're just looking to trick you using technically incomplete language that doesn't take into account the myriad ways they can pull a fast one on you down the line" "etc"

Yeah, they didn't promise NOT to sell the game to the public before providing the backers with their various download promises, but one would assume that was implicit. Our bad for not expecting shady business from Double Fine? Sure. Our bad.

... I think it's quite relevant to judge less the letter of Kickstarter tiers and more the morality of a temporarily Steam exclusive release.

That is a completely different issue altogether. Requesting that they don't keep the DRM-only release for Act I for reasons entirely different than what they have said in the past is totally acceptable

It is not "entirely" different. There are the words that were said, and then there is the context of the situation they were originally presented within which has changed. The reasons are technically different at best.

and, in a way, I hope they accommodate that request. The only reason I wouldn't hope for that is because it would slow down development of Act II. And that isn't fair to those of us who have already played Act I and are waiting for the next Act. So everybody loses in some way.

Hahaha, it's funny to say that wouldn't be fair to those who already are getting preferential treatment as the majority. Shades of privilege. If everyone is bound to lose in some way we should all be losing in the same way at the same time. That would be the fair thing.

It's an unfortunate scenario that has come about, but I think it was all worth it to get a new adventure game from Tim Schafer.

and here I agree. I don't know that everyone will end up feeling that way tho. At least a few people within this thread have popped in just to declare they are thru with DF based on this, what they see as a breach of trust. Hence my concern, and why I brought it up. I didn't have a moral standpoint on Steam prior to this discussion.

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That would be little better than SHODANFreeman coming in here to insult the vocal minority like the bully he is.

Cool, I'm a bully for telling people the truth.

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If it technically is....then it is.

It depends on how it's presented. Officially the stance is that it is not episodic. Telltale games are officially episodic, but that was never and still isn't the intent with BA. In my opinion if the episodic content is only temporary, it's not really episodic in nature since it's changing forms. When all is said and done this will be one game, not two episodes. That's the distinction I choose to perceive it as. Anything else being temporary doesn't matter. I realize not everyone views it this way, but I see no other realistic way of looking at it. This was never, and still isn't, supposed to be a two-part game. It only is out of necessity for the moment. The fact that Act I stands on its own is a testament to the fine work DF can do on a partial game in a time when splitting it in half is necessary, but it doesn't mean it's an episodic game.

Being technically right is not better than doing the right thing. Splitting the game up into two partial releases is a game changer, and recontextualizes the intent of the wording. No one would have considered this scenario, including DF when those words were written. So, if they choose to stand by that very technical and highly dubious defense of intent, they will lose respect in many people's eyes. That would be little better than SHODANFreeman coming in here to insult the vocal minority like the bully he is. I guess we have to wait and see. I'm hopeful that they are just not sure how to address this yet, and are waiting until they figure out the best way to manage this crisis / what they can realistically do to fix it.

While I don't agree that anything that has changed since those earlier statements changes the intent of those statements, I do agree that new statements need to be made for clarification because the previous statements weren't written to handle this new scenario. Totally.

And it IS a crisis.

Absolutely. This thread alone proves that. Mission accomplished there.

Right now this is an internal debate, but if it ends up becoming a public debate there will no doubt be journalists and mainstream industry insiders looking for weakness in this release to prey upon. like, "oh, see, don't go outside the proper channels, otherwise you'll get duped," "don't trust those double fine guys with your money, they're just looking to trick you using technically incomplete language that doesn't take into account the myriad ways they can pull a fast one on you down the line" "etc"

That's true. Agreed. The media can twist any truth and have a majority audience believe it. That would be terrible for DF's reputation.

Yeah, they didn't promise NOT to sell the game to the public before providing the backers with their various download promises, but one would assume that was implicit. Our bad for not expecting shady business from Double Fine? Sure. Our bad.

While I won't say at this point that it was obvious that we shouldn't expect Act I as a DRM-free release alongside Steam, I'm not going to say that the opposite should be implied either. What needs to happen is what you said before, DF needs to make a statement about this. Luckily they still have a few days to do so before the 28th. I expect they'll address it in some way. Shady business? We're not there yet. Let's see what happens. I'm just giving them the benefit of the doubt, but I can see how nervous people in that position would be wondering what's going to happen. I don't see shady business practice here, though. It's a tough call to make. This is not an easy decision for them. They can't just say "ok, we'll make it DRM free" and we can't expect that. There are downsides either way. People should be more understanding about this, not vindictive. Problem is, being a backer automatically gives people the right to be so unforgivingly entitled.

It is not "entirely" different. There are the words that were said, and then there is the context of the situation they were originally presented within which has changed. The reasons are technically different at best.

Using past statements to oppose DF's decision is not the same as using real-world complications. One is legitimate, the other is unfounded and despicable. That's a big difference. At best, we need new statements for clarification. It is very different. I don't believe DF can be held accountable for...."out-of-date" statements. At worst, they should be nullified. It's not appropriate to use them against DF anymore than it is appropriate for DF to continue to hold to them. It's up to DF to choose how they want those earlier statements to reflect on their current actions because it could go either way at this point. But until they do we can't point fingers at those statements because they were not properly conceived for this type of scenario. Doing so is unfair to DF.

I agree that DF would probably be making a bad PR decision at this point if they went ahead with their Steam-exclusive plans and the media fallout would be a disaster for them, no matter how many people see it as a non-issue, because apparently enough people are ticked off about it to make it an issue. But it's just because there are people making it an issue, not because of anything DF has said in the past. The situation is logically unfair I grant you. But saying the fault lies in DF's past statements is entirely different than that.

Hahaha, it's funny to say that wouldn't be fair to those who already are getting preferential treatment as the majority. Shades of white privilege. If everyone is bound to lose in some way we should all be losing in the same way at the same time. That would be the fair thing.

Note: I'm not quite sure if you're merely speaking up for the DRM-free group here, in the camp who can't use Steam for internet connection reasons, or simply won't use it out of personal conviction, so if you're not in the latter of the three, please don't take this as being directed at you:

See, I would agree with you that it would be obnoxious of me to say that if you didn't have the same privileges as we do. But you do, you just choose not to use them. This isn't DF's fault for singling you out, this is your fault for singling yourself out. So this isn't a supremacist thing, it's a separatist thing. And not one DF should be responsible for (they could if they wanted to and that would be awesome of them). Just because we don't mind Steam and you do doesn't mean that we're getting preferential treatment. It just happens to be fortunate for us and unfortunate for you. It would certainly be the fair thing if we were all in the same boat and all had the same convictions about DRM, but we don't. The people without internet connections can't help it, but the people who take a stubborn stance against Steam can, they just won't. So if DF caters to people who refuse to use Steam due to personal convictions, that IS NOT fair to the rest of us. That reasoning is at least as valid as yours. You can paint me as a supremacist for that just as much as I can paint you as a stubborn radical activist. The fact is that we all ARE on equal ground and have the same privileges. The fact that you choose not to use them for even reasonable reasons, like being against DRM, doesn't make you special and in need of compensation at the expense of DF's time, energy, money and everyone else's patience. THAT'S obnoxious. Past DF statements don't apply here as ammunition for your cause until DF clarifies/overrules them. That makes this your problem not DF's.......yet. Remember, this is a temporary arrangement. An unfortunate one yes, but it is temporary.

Luckily people in the no-Steam camp have a chance (and more of a moral standing) to have their way since there are people with legitimate reasons why they CAN'T use Steam. THAT I support. It's painless, temporary, and free to use Steam with Act I and there's no excuse other than blind stubbornness not to use it if you're not in that camp. You're not "supporting" DRM or Steam itself by using it for a free product and neither is Double-Fine (yes it is free, because you're getting both a Steam key and a DRM-free version for the same price). If Broken Age ended up only being on Steam, I'd be right there with you asking for a DRM-free version on principle, but it just isn't the case. This is a temporary situation which makes it completely different. People who choose not to use Steam should just be waiting until the full game comes out. It sucks, but that's the consequence of their decision. You can either wait until Act II is released, or you can break down and use Steam. Either way, you are not entitled to a DRM-free release like you say you are.

But as I said, this is all null and void because there are legitimate claims for a DRM-free Act I. But even then, someone can install Steam and Act I once on their system and then go on playing it offline. The game is only 3-4 hours long so it's not like you'll run out of whatever offline time limit Steam might have (a few weeks to a month or something before it asks you to log in again). That's little comfort I realize, but it's possible. Logistically not easy, but possible. And unfortunate.

and here I agree. I don't know that everyone will end up feeling that way tho. At least a few people within this thread have popped in just to declare they are thru with DF based on this, what they see as a breach of trust. Hence my concern, and why I brought it up. I didn't have a moral standpoint on Steam prior to this discussion.

To those people I say 'good riddance.' If they're just going to throw their hands up in the air before the game even releases they shouldn't be entitled to anything.

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Broken Age isn't meant to be two games. It's split in half for now, but after Act II is out the Act I version will cease to exist. It will be all one game. Was Broken Sword 5's two parts combined into one? Or are there plans to? Or will they remain two separate builds? That would make the difference.

I'm pretty certain it's going to stay as 2 separate episodes.

Even still, there is no reason why they can't release Broken Age on more than 1 platform for Act 1 (Steam & DRM-free) and make everyone happy. Unless of course Valve is giving them a boat load of money for exclusivity of the first act. That's the only way this makes any sense. Why needlessly piss off a bunch of your customers/backers? There were things they pretty much let go out of control (spending, scope, blah, blah, blah.) This they can pretty much fully control.

I'm sure GOG would be more than happy to sell it now (& the Humble Store with the DRM-free copy as well) based on Broken Sword 5. I doubt there's any complaints from that end about not getting a DRM-free copy. Also, they sold Cognition before it was completed (albeit a week or so before.) They also sell DLC too, so it's pretty safe to say their old policy of only selling full games once they're complete is gone.

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Note: I'm not quite sure if you're merely speaking up for the DRM-free group here, in the camp who can't use Steam for internet connection reasons, or simply won't use it out of personal conviction, so if you're not in the latter of the three, please don't take this as being directed at you:

See, I would agree with you that it would be obnoxious of me to say that if you didn't have the same privileges as we do. But you do, you just choose not to use them. This isn't DF's fault for singling you out, this is your fault for singling yourself out. So this isn't a supremacist thing, it's a separatist thing. And not one DF should be responsible for (they could if they wanted to and that would be awesome of them). Just because we don't mind Steam and you do doesn't mean that we're getting preferential treatment. It just happens to be fortunate for us and unfortunate for you. It would certainly be the fair thing if we were all in the same boat and all had the same convictions about DRM, but we don't. The people without internet connections can't help it, but the people who take a stubborn stance against Steam can, they just won't. So if DF caters to people who refuse to use Steam due to personal convictions, that IS NOT fair to the rest of us. That reasoning is at least as valid as yours. You can paint me as a supremacist for that just as much as I can paint you as a stubborn radical activist. The fact is that we all ARE on equal ground and have the same privileges. The fact that you choose not to use them for even reasonable reasons, like being against DRM, doesn't make you special and in need of compensation at the expense of DF's time, energy, money and everyone else's patience. THAT'S obnoxious. Past DF statements don't apply here as ammunition for your cause until DF clarifies/overrules them. That makes this your problem not DF's.......yet. Remember, this is a temporary arrangement. An unfortunate one yes, but it is temporary.

Luckily people in the no-Steam camp have a chance (and more of a moral standing) to have their way since there are people with legitimate reasons why they CAN'T use Steam. THAT I support. It's painless, temporary, and free to use Steam with Act I and there's no excuse other than blind stubbornness not to use it if you're not in that camp. You're not "supporting" DRM or Steam itself by using it for a free product and neither is Double-Fine (yes it is free, because you're getting both a Steam key and a DRM-free version for the same price). If Broken Age ended up only being on Steam, I'd be right there with you asking for a DRM-free version on principle, but it just isn't the case. This is a temporary situation which makes it completely different. People who choose not to use Steam should just be waiting until the full game comes out. It sucks, but that's the consequence of their decision. You can either wait until Act II is released, or you can break down and use Steam. Either way, you are not entitled to a DRM-free release like you say you are.

But as I said, this is all null and void because there are legitimate claims for a DRM-free Act I. But even then, someone can install Steam and Act I once on their system and then go on playing it offline. The game is only 3-4 hours long so it's not like you'll run out of whatever offline time limit Steam might have (a few weeks to a month or something before it asks you to log in again). That's little comfort I realize, but it's possible. Logistically not easy, but possible. And unfortunate.

and here I agree. I don't know that everyone will end up feeling that way tho. At least a few people within this thread have popped in just to declare they are thru with DF based on this, what they see as a breach of trust. Hence my concern, and why I brought it up. I didn't have a moral standpoint on Steam prior to this discussion.

To those people I say 'good riddance.' If they're just going to throw their hands up in the air before the game even releases they shouldn't be entitled to anything.

First, thanks to the respectful and argumented discussion... really...

I agree that we will have access to both (DRM-free and steam keys) at the end, and it costs us nothing more to play the game that running steam once and we'll have our DRM-free version later, we can play that game now and have the benefit of the DRM-free at the end, this is the important thing, yes.

I will add an argument i think i didn't see until now (wouhou !)

I just want to add, as a gamer and a game developper, that the monopoly of steam for your game visibility is a problem for me. If you develop a game for PC, today your success is almost linked to the only fact you're on steam or not. Developpers depend on one and only distributor to live, Valve, and that is a problem for me.

Distribution channel monopoly is an issue, especially when they are responsible for its advertisement on the front page of the store.

That's also the reason i support DRM-free gaming.

But what do i gain by not playing this on steam, even without paying it TO steam ?

Studios often choose their distribution channel by the number of potential sales (it makes total sense, we have to eat) and by playing on Steam even once, event if it's free, i encourage them, by adding my name to statistics of "players owning BA on steam", in the belief that Steam is their only real solution and other channels are "details".

Developpers look at the number of people playing on steam and use this number, amongst other statistics, to draw conclusions for their next game, and so on... That leading to some developpers only distributing on steam, because the investment to go to other platforms is not as interesting, seeing these numbers.

And i know, because i'm one of them, that PC developpers can hardly live without being on this store today and that they're not all OK with this.

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Note: I'm not quite sure if you're merely speaking up for the DRM-free group here, in the camp who can't use Steam for internet connection reasons, or simply won't use it out of personal conviction, so if you're not in the latter of the three, please don't take this as being directed at you:

I'm not in the latter of the three. I just see clearly, and sympathize with their position. More than that, I very quickly realized the damaging potential to DF this scenario could have depending on how it plays out. I love this project, and these people, and I want for their continued success.

You bring up alot of good points, thank you for doing that, and I'm glad we can both agree there needs to be, at least, an official statement on the matter.

I just want to add, as a gamer and a game developper, that the monopoly of steam for your game visibility is a problem for me. If you develop a game for PC, today your success is almost linked to the only fact you're on steam or not. Developpers depend on one and only distributor to live, Valve, and that is a problem for me.

Distribution channel monopoly is an issue, especially when they are responsible for its advertisement on the front page of the store.

That's also the reason i support DRM-free gaming.

But what do i gain by not playing this on steam, even without paying it TO steam ?

Studios often choose their distribution channel by the number of potential sales (it makes total sense, we have to eat) and by playing on Steam even once, event if it's free, i encourage them, by adding my name to statistics of "players owning BA on steam", in the belief that Steam is their only real solution and other channels are "details".

Developpers look at the number of people playing on steam and use this number, amongst other statistics, to draw conclusions for their next game, and so on... That leading to some developpers only distributing on steam, because the investment to go to other platforms is not as interesting, seeing these numbers.

And i know, because i'm one of them, that PC developpers can hardly live without being on this store today and that they're not all OK with this.

I think those are all very good points from a unique perspective. They also reflect at least some portion of the concerns expressed by those opposed to steam on principle alone. This campaign has been up to this point discussed in many circles as a paradigm shift for game development and distribution. Bucking the system in a real way because Tim is a shining star of the Gaming world, and game history. Similar, I would say, to Louis C.K. disrupting the usual distribution channels of original comedy specials by selling them directly and DRM free, or with Radiohead's album a couple years back being released as a digital pay what you want. Radical movements toward change. That spirit is lost at least partially with even a temporary steam exclusive sale to the public on launch.

That would be little better than SHODANFreeman coming in here to insult the vocal minority like the bully he is.

Cool, I'm a bully for telling people the truth.

Nope. You’re a bully because you use mean spirited shame tactics to try to embarrass and silence people with different, and unpopular points of view.

just because a few crybabies can't be bothered to open Steam for a couple hours.
I'm an entitled baby that doesn't understand how expensive game development is or any of the completely logical reasons why they would delay multi-platform releases until the game is actually finished. I expect special treatment because of my own choices and inability to understand what I am purchasing, and will lash out at anyone who tells me I am being unreasonable.

I agree with this completely.

bul·ly 1 (bl)

n. pl. bul·lies

1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.

Instead of whinging, why don't you all email info@doublefine.com with your concerns, it might actually get you somewhere.

Didn't know the proper channels. I've seen DF staff comment in any thread I've ever looked at, so I figured this one would get the same attention. Thanks for the condescending suggestion. After noticing Greg's comment in the GOG thread I did PM him about 4 pages ago (approx. one earth day), apologizing for the distraction, then suggesting he take a peek over here - but still no word back.

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Greg can take months to reply to PMs, because he is constantly flooded by them. So everyone who is concerned about this issue, definitely email info@doublefine.com

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Greg can take months to reply to PMs, because he is constantly flooded by them. So everyone who is concerned about this issue, definitely email info@doublefine.com

Double Fine is aware of this thread, I guess - and even then, the hopes of changing that stance are slim, so consider this one a mere review thread. ;)

Officially the stance is that it is not episodic.

First, thanks for the way you're continuing this conversation above. The thread was recently flooded with people who have no knack for walking in other people's shoes for a single step.

Concerning the episodes, well, Steam Season Pass. Sellling it like that, I think, is an implicit statement to the game being episodic. It doesn't matter what the official stance is, it releases in episodic form, just like, for example, Broken Sword 5 - which may or may not eventually be sold as a 'complete' game, but that doesn't change the episodic nature of its release. I've been told the cliffhanger for BA is quite effective - while I can say from personal experience that the BS5 cliffhanger isn't, really.

While I won't say at this point that it was obvious that we shouldn't expect Act I as a DRM-free release alongside Steam,

I'll just add here, afraid that opinions might be twisted into hyperbole, that releasing Act 1 DRM free would be step 2, and I'm still on the fence if this is something I'd "demand". Heck, maybe I WANT to wait until Act 2 is released. I mean, I've been taught by "next month" Telltale, and I'm viewing the May projection for Act 2 as borderline impossible now.

In my view of the situation, what needs to be fixed with a first step is to not make Act 1 a Steam exclusive.

Shady business?

I personally do not support this opinion. The exclusive dealings with Steam were, I suspect, an act of convenience.

I agree that DF would probably be making a bad PR decision at this point if they went ahead with their Steam-exclusive plans and the media fallout would be a disaster for them

An issue that is not raised in a video game company's PR hardly makes it into the media. VG journalists are like that. Your game episode is three months late? Don't issue a press release and no one will report it. That concerns Steam exclusivity especially, as it usually is a non-issue for strictly commercial, not backer funded games. Factually, Double Fine is better off not addressing this issue, I'm saying that much. They've balls if they do.

See, I would agree with you that it would be obnoxious of me to say that if you didn't have the same privileges as we do. But you do, you just choose not to use them.

That is the case usually; I routinely see it as the industry's preselection of the games I get to play, leading me to - thank God - spending less time playing games. The market's sated anyway. But you do understand that people of all three mentioned trains of thought, as a way to escape those industry chains, back on Kickstarter, see 'DRM free' explicitly advertised and absolutely expect that they'd never be penalized in comparison to the other backers?

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

You should know by now that there is no such thing as "pleasing everyone" most of the time if we are talking about large amount of people. Just you wait that someone complain your DRM free build doesn't auto-patch itself or that it auto-patches itself and someone doesn't some strange reason want that.

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

Greg! Not the beta!

It's entirely clear that the beta will be on steam. But when you are done "pushing frequent patches" (you don't want to do that for all eternity, do you? -- you need to work on Act II!), then this is a thing. That's what the conversation is about.

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