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DRM

11 years 9 months ago #1 by norb-1

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  • DRM was created by norb-1
    Which method do you like better?

    Two methods, just wondering which people like more. Both methods require that you be connected to the internet to activate the app. After that you do not have to be connected.

    1) You receive a reg code, it activates the app. If you want to move the app to another machine, you deactivate the app, then you can activate it somewhere else. So you have a reg code that you can move where ever you want, when ever you want. But you have to connect to the internet to activate/deactivate. If you lose your drive with the activated app, you would contact NSD to reactivate the code.

    2) You receive a reg code that allows 5 installs. So you can install the app 5 times, then you are done. If you want to install on 5 machines, fine. But once you run out, you are out. There is no way to move the reg code as in the first version. If you send a really nice email, NSD may reset your 5, but that would be at our discretion.

    I'm just wondering which method people like more. Both methods are pretty unobtrusive and have no resident programs. They only install in the game directory.

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    11 years 9 months ago #2 by Armchair General

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  • Replied by Armchair General on topic Re:DRM
    norb wrote:

    Which method do you like better?

    Two methods, just wondering which people like more. Both methods require that you be connected to the internet to activate the app. After that you do not have to be connected.

    1) You receive a reg code, it activates the app. If you want to move the app to another machine, you deactivate the app, then you can activate it somewhere else. So you have a reg code that you can move where ever you want, when ever you want. But you have to connect to the internet to activate/deactivate. If you lose your drive with the activated app, you would contact NSD to reactivate the code.

    2) You receive a reg code that allows 5 installs. So you can install the app 5 times, then you are done. If you want to install on 5 machines, fine. But once you run out, you are out. There is no way to move the reg code as in the first version. If you send a really nice email, NSD may reset your 5, but that would be at our discretion.

    I'm just wondering which method people like more. Both methods are pretty unobtrusive and have no resident programs. They only install in the game directory.


    I don't know about other people, but I have no use for five different installs of the game. I only need one and call it good.

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    11 years 9 months ago #3 by Garnier

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  • Replied by Garnier on topic Re:DRM
    I don't see how either of these would be effective without installing something outside the game folder. Couldn't one simply copy the game directory to another computer? I am able to do that with almost all games I have, though admittedly I don't have many games from the past few years.

    The first one is annoying in that (unlike all games I own) I wouldn't be able to play LAN with my brother. I understand that's probably not intended use of the game anyway, but I'm just stating my opinion. We'd still have all the other games we own that play LAN with one copy.

    Apart from that, you can be certain that many people are going to delete the game (happens all the time) and if that doesn't deactivate it, you get a tech support call (and/or an angry customer). Other than that number 1 is fine.

    The second is very annoying because I at least reinstall stuff from time to time.. and having to contact tech support without a certainty of getting the key working again would be bad.

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    11 years 9 months ago #4 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    Garnier wrote:

    The first one is annoying in that (unlike all games I own) I wouldn't be able to play LAN with my brother. I understand that's probably not intended use of the game anyway, but I'm just stating my opinion. We'd still have all the other games we own that play LAN with one copy.


    Wow, none of the games that I own allow this. I have to buy two copies to play lan in my house or anywhere else. Which is how software is intended to be sold. You pay for one copy, you can only play one at a time.

    The second option is something that I've seen Torchlight use. People seem to like it, though they allow 10 installs. It's nice because you could play lan, though you are "supposed" to buy two copies.

    Personally, as a gamer, I really liked how Torchlight did it. I can install on two computers and play either one without having to do anything special.

    For the long term, I would like #1 better. Then I'm good no matter what happens. But "usually" games are patched to not require any DRM once it gets too old to support. So how long do I really need to worry about.

    It's a tough call and I'm trying to get all the feedback that I can. We'll be using one or the other. A lot of people don't even worry about this stuff because they figure it will be cracked so it won't effect them.

    DRM is more for the shoplifter than the armed robber.

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    11 years 9 months ago #5 by Harag

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  • Replied by Harag on topic Re:DRM
    I think option two you would loose out on revenue. e.g. my brother and I can't wait for this as we loved Sids gettysburg in the olden days, I am personally more than willing to pay for two licenses so we can play on LAN but with option two I have no need.

    How about option three, if you buy more than one license you get the 2nd cheaper (20% off price?) etc.

    On the subject of LAN, and option two, I'm guessing that I could buy one license and install it on 5 machines and have a 5 player match. Though I love this idea, I do think you will do yourself no favours, players who will play gettysburg SOW are IMHO dedicated players of the era and game type.

    I say go with option one, with cheaper licences the more you buy at once... Now where is my credit card... :)

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    11 years 9 months ago #6 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    Good point, but I figure that people would want to keep most of their licenses around in case of crashes. I can see them giving 1 or 2 away. I can see some people using all 5 and then trying to get more out of us. But if you could play lan in your home and have some buddies over and they try it and like it, maybe it would lead to more sales?

    I use a desktop and a laptop, so I like being able to have full versions on each and can play on either, depending on where I am working.

    It's a tough call because there are good reasons for both ways.

    NSD Programmer/Producer
    "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” - Gamaliel 40 A.D.

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    11 years 9 months ago - 11 years 9 months ago #7 by Garnier44

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  • Replied by Garnier44 on topic Re:DRM

    I say go with option one, with cheaper licences the more you buy at once...

    Then I could buy a bunch cheap and resell them for a small profit on my own. That doesn't work.

    Wow, none of the games that I own allow this. I have to buy two copies to play lan in my house or anywhere else. Which is how software is intended to be sold. You pay for one copy, you can only play one at a time.

    The games I have don't stop you from installing and playing on multiple machines at once, MP over LAN, or SP. Almost universally, you can't play ONLINE from two machines with one copy, of course. For instance M2TW/RTW, BF2/BF1942, IL2 Sturmovik, EU3 (and all paradox games I've seen), Company of Heroes, Mount & Blade, and virtually all games I have from 2006 and earlier.

    It works both ways, on one hand someone might not buy it because they can play LAN with their friend anyway, but in my case, the ability to play LAN with one copy has often caused some my friends to buy games after playing them LAN, because they liked them, and want to own the games they play. Like if I have friends over and my brothers and them have a LAN party on some game and they really like it, they'll usually end up buying it. I don't know if this or the first case (them just taking a copy) are more common.
    Last edit: 11 years 9 months ago by Garnier44.

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    11 years 9 months ago #8 by Harag

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  • Replied by Harag on topic Re:DRM
    Garnier44 wrote:

    Then I could buy a bunch cheap and resell them for a small profit on my own. That doesn't work.


    Yep, I see your point here.

    One thing with TC2M is that I have it installed 3 times on ONE machine (copy and pasted the whole folder). The reason for this is that I have a fresh install, then I have a CMP3.0 installed mod and the 3rd one is another mod (rebels I think). Will this be possible with Gettysbury or is the "modding enabling" a lot better now? If not then limited installs could cause problems with modding.

    I too in the past have had friends round who have since playing bought the game.

    Norb, would it be possible to offer BOTH types when ordering. That way it would be up to the us which we would want?

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    11 years 9 months ago #9 by IronBMike

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  • Replied by IronBMike on topic Re:DRM
    Option 2 has the advantage, like people said, of easy LAN. For instance, I'll try to get my dad to play me, but he's certainly not a gamer and probably wouldn't do more than a few battles (despite my repeated efforts to get him to game starting with SMG!).

    But like others have said, what about for mods? I know that I've already installed and uninstalled TC2M about four times just to move stuff around, add mods, remove mods, etc.

    Because of that, I'm learning towards option 1. It'd be like Steam, in the sense that you could log in on any computer and install and play, but you can't have two people logged in with the same code at the same time. That works for me.

    CWGII -> SMG -> SMA -> WNLB -> ANGV -> TC -> TC2M -> SOW

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    11 years 9 months ago #10 by ratters72

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  • Replied by ratters72 on topic Re:DRM
    I'd go with option 2 so when I purchase my laptop i can put it on that as well. But honestly, I'm not overly fussed - as long as you don't have to be connected to the net each time you want to play - argghhh, i hate that one.

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    11 years 9 months ago #11 by Fish_au

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  • Replied by Fish_au on topic Re:DRM
    i prefer getting the code for limitless installs, so that you activate/deactivate the app. if you want to play MP/LAN you need 2 licences, which seems fair enough.

    i don't like the idea of paying full money for a game but having it taken away after 5 installs. i may well have installed TC2M more than 5 times on different machines and at different times (TC2M is up there for my favourite game of all time). i'd feel a bit dudded if i'd had to pay for it twice.

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    11 years 9 months ago #12 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    Harag wrote:

    Norb, would it be possible to offer BOTH types when ordering. That way it would be up to the us which we would want?


    I don't think so, but I haven't asked. It would be really confusing coding and tech support to offer both. So I'm leaning away from that.

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    11 years 9 months ago #13 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    Fish_au wrote:

    i don't like the idea of paying full money for a game but having it taken away after 5 installs. i may well have installed TC2M more than 5 times on different machines and at different times (TC2M is up there for my favourite game of all time). i'd feel a bit dudded if i'd had to pay for it twice.


    I understand. But software is moving away from owning it to more renting it. But I know what you mean. I just replayed Tron 2.0 with my son. I pulled out the old disk and put it in and we played. That doesn't work for direct download software though, no disk.

    This is just brainstorming.....
    What if the price was lower, and you got 2 installs from 1 purchase. You basically paid for installs. You could not deactivate or anything really. If you needed more installs you would buy two more. No reason to worry about running out because the price point would expect that you might need more. Maybe offer discounts for the more you buy. Treat it more like a consumable, 2 installs, then it's done.

    No matter which way we decide, someone is going to hate it and tell us that they're not going to buy the game because of it. I realize that. But we want to make as many people happy as possible and make it as transparent as possible so that you can enjoy the game.

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    "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” - Gamaliel 40 A.D.

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    11 years 9 months ago #14 by Janh

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  • Replied by Janh on topic Re:DRM
    Hmmh, how long will NSD support the game, i.e. what will happen if I want to reinstall my game say 7 years from now and don't have my license anymore (case 1)? Or do you plan to patch it after a couple years to DRM free anyways? That would relieve me of a lot of worries.
    Sounds then like the 5 licenses version is much better if I can then reinstall my game as often as I want with each license. Or sell it again when I move on to the next game. Though I don't see why 5 and not 2?

    I personally prefer having the option to install on my desktop as well as on my notebook too since I travel a lot. It would be a huge hassle to have to reactivate every time I switch, particularly since when travelling a stable internet connection is all but granted.

    UBI is just doing something potentially disastrous and I hope customers will vote with their wallet against permanent online DRM. At least it seems from subsim and other forums that ~84% (n=~1000) people want to boycott new games and lots cancelt preorders. Some companies appear to misuse "piracy" as a simple explanation to cover-up bad design decisions, or reduce reselling of games. I thought the temporary drop in music CD sales in the past 5-8 years and the partial recovery after companies started to remove copy protections in that branch should send a pretty obvious signal.

    For me it is a serious problem due to traveling, and I simply cannot buy any of their games anymore if I can't play 2/3 of my time. Maybe as budget title in a few years, without DRM. Guess I have seen many generations of games, so if a title comes 3 years late, I don't care anymore. There are anyways so many games out there for my little free time.

    Good thing your ideas don't seem to be such a hassle, Norb. I am really curious to play against the new AI. I hope it beats the TC2M AI by lengths. Did you already come up with plans to release a development kit with manual? I'd like to check that to see how much more moddable the AI will be and how many more scripting commands you guys have implemented.... that would be a real selling point to me!

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    11 years 9 months ago #15 by pakfront

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  • Replied by pakfront on topic Re:DRM
    Thanks for asking, Norb. And also thanks for not requiring an internet connection to play - that drives me bonkers.

    I prefer the 'iTunes' option:
    1) You receive a reg code, it activates the app. ...

    Ideally I'd like to be able to install on 2 machines at a time though (desktop and laptop). Or
    it would be nice if, like the old Combat Mission, an unregistered version could be used to play on LAN so that I wouldn't have to buy 2 licenses for the rare times I have someone else in the house who might enjoy the game. If the demo allows LAN play as a client but not a host perhaps?.

    However, I can see how that might be exploited. Chances are I'd buy 2 copies if this was not possible. Just make sure we can have multiple registrations synced to a single email address!

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    11 years 9 months ago #16 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    We do plan to release a dev kit with the manual, but have no date for that yet. We need the game to come out and to support any issues.

    You will only need to connect to activate/deactivate. It's pretty lite stuff. Nothing crazy, just to stop the shoplifters.

    I fully expect to remove the drm stuff at some point. I like to do that once we're done with it ourselves.

    A ton of our work now is on the AI, mainly because the rest of the game is done so we have a solid base to test against. There have been a lot of changes. It all started with us not wanting men to march through each other and went on from there. Everyone is working very hard to make sure that it surpasses any previous project. But we won't know until people play, soon.

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    11 years 9 months ago #17 by Garnier44

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  • Replied by Garnier44 on topic Re:DRM

    This is just brainstorming.....
    What if the price was lower, and you got 2 installs from 1 purchase. You basically paid for installs. You could not deactivate or anything really. If you needed more installs you would buy two more. No reason to worry about running out because the price point would expect that you might need more. Maybe offer discounts for the more you buy. Treat it more like a consumable, 2 installs, then it's done.

    Interesting idea, but I think it would lead to more unhappiness than the rest.

    Perhaps more people would buy the game at first due to the low price. Those that notice the DRM and understand what it means are going to protect their two installations so they never lose them. On the other hand those who don't understand it or simply make a mistake, are going to end up losing their game that they paid for, and that will certainly discourage them from buying it again.

    I don't know, I'm all against renting software, but apparently it works as seen by the MMOs nowdays. The question is whether the market for this game is going to like it, and as I think it is generally an older target audience, I'm thinking it wouldn't.



    I would follow the example of the best developer/publisher there is, Paradox. If you haven't noticed, their forums are full of happy customers, unlike almost all other official game forums.

    With GamersGate you can download your games anywhere as often as you need to. To play online, and to visit the FAQ, Tech Support and Bug Reports forums you have to have a unique key registered with your forum account. I think that system works well myself. It makes the fanbase very happy and a happy fanbase will grow.

    You could try to ensure that no one uses the game illegitimately, but this in the end is going to give the game less exposure and if it makes fans unhappy, it's going to mean less original customers.

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    11 years 9 months ago #18 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    Garnier44 wrote:

    I don't know, I'm all against renting software, but apparently it works as seen by the MMOs nowdays. The question is whether the market for this game is going to like it, and as I think it is generally an older target audience, I'm thinking it wouldn't.


    I used to be too, until I started spending 5 years of my nights and weekends working on them. Attitudes change a lot when it's your sweat and blood in the product.

    Garnier44 wrote:

    With GamersGate you can download your games anywhere as often as you need to. To play online, and to visit the FAQ, Tech Support and Bug Reports forums you have to have a unique key registered with your forum account. I think that system works well myself. It makes the fanbase very happy and a happy fanbase will grow.


    They received a ton of criticism for Gamersgate. It took many years for the fanbase to accept it. Many people refused to buy their games for a long time. People hated it. But like anything else, it just takes a while for the consumers to realize that it's not as bad as the haters make it out to be. They're getting better, but they went through a tough road to get there.

    NSD Programmer/Producer
    "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” - Gamaliel 40 A.D.

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    11 years 9 months ago #19 by O. O. Howard

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  • Replied by O. O. Howard on topic Re:DRM
    I have installed an uninstalled TC2M literally countless times on 5 or 6 different computers as I have been transferred around to different places - all for my own use. I have had it on two computers at a time, but given the choice between multiple computers and lots of re-installs - I would go for limitless re-installs.

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    11 years 9 months ago #20 by BOSTON

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  • Replied by BOSTON on topic Re:DRM
    A boxed CD would really shine for me! It (CD) would be like money in the bank for when you really need it. I own 3 TC2Ms, 2 are still in the wrapper as backups. Three computers later that 1st Cd still works just great.

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    11 years 9 months ago #21 by Garnier44

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  • Replied by Garnier44 on topic Re:DRM

    They received a ton of criticism for Gamersgate. It took many years for the fanbase to accept it. Many people refused to buy their games for a long time. People hated it. But like anything else, it just takes a while for the consumers to realize that it's not as bad as the haters make it out to be. They're getting better, but they went through a tough road to get there.

    I must not have have been watching at that time. But here, I don't think you'd get such a response. I bet a lot of your potential early customers already use gamersgate with paradox titles (paradox leads the historical strategy game market). It also says something that they did get to where they are now.

    I used to be too, until I started spending 5 years of my nights and weekends working on them. Attitudes change a lot when it's your sweat and blood in the product.

    I respect that. What I wouldn't want to see are potential negative effects of bad decisions because of it.
    For example I've seen modding projects where the developers treated the users badly, thinking they should be grateful for the hard work. They may be right, but the result is they lose their fanbase who go off to something better in a competitive world.

    Mod communities that thrive are those where the consumers (players) get good treatment (like an easy to use product) and feel like the producers (modders) care about them as a group. I think this can be translated to a for-profit game community. NSD obviously is doing a good job of this so far, as evidenced by this thread itself.

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    11 years 9 months ago #22 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    BOSTON wrote:

    A boxed CD would really shine for me! It (CD) would be like money in the bank for when you really need it. I own 3 TC2Ms, 2 are still in the wrapper as backups. Three computers later that 1st Cd still works just great.


    Having a CD is something that could happen in the future. We are controlling this thing and we'll see how everything works out. I would love to sell CD's, but the main advantage of the PC is the direct download. It's also a great option for a small indie firm with no capital :)

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    11 years 9 months ago #23 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    Garnier44 wrote:

    I respect that. What I wouldn't want to see are potential negative effects of bad decisions because of it.
    For example I've seen modding projects where the developers treated the users badly, thinking they should be grateful for the hard work. They may be right, but the result is they lose their fanbase who go off to something better in a competitive world.


    I think this team has been around the boards long enough for people to know what they get with us. We have our rep, for better or for worse. I feel we are very responsive to questions and do what we can for the community. Just the fact that the MMG board is completely run by members of this team on their own time attributes to that fact.

    I want the best solution, CD Check is the easiest, but not an option in direct download. So it has to be some type of DRM. These are the only two options that I really like. It seems that most here like the 5 install option. But people have to understand that resetting anything is completely up to our discretion. It is not meant for the purchaser and 4 friends. It is meant for 1 or 2 installs on your computers and then 3 for backup.

    NSD Programmer/Producer
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    11 years 9 months ago #24 by AP514

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  • Replied by AP514 on topic Re:DRM
    I would go for option #1......If some one wants to install on another computer at the same time buy another copy. Plain and Simple.
    If you have friends over and want them to try the game out well stand behind them and show them the ropes...If they like what they see they will buy a copy. Now you have your Lan group started.. Plain and Simple.


    AP514

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    11 years 9 months ago #25 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    I would think option one would be best too. You can install it where ever you want. Then when you want to play on a different install, you go to a menu, say deactivate. Then go to the other machine, go to that menu, and press activate. As long as both are hooked up to the net, it's simple and fast.

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    "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” - Gamaliel 40 A.D.

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    11 years 9 months ago #26 by chris merchant

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  • Replied by chris merchant on topic Re:DRM
    wow, neither options appeal as both schemes are fraught with technical danger.

    However if I had to choose I'd say go with once-off online activation with a documented promise that once sales have dropped off you'll patch out all DRM.

    cheers Chris

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    11 years 9 months ago #27 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    chris merchant wrote:

    wow, neither options appeal as both schemes are fraught with technical danger.

    However if I had to choose I'd say go with once-off online activation with a documented promise that once sales have dropped off you'll patch out all DRM.

    cheers Chris


    That is an issue and we'll test the heck out of it before we release it. But both are once-off online activation. Neither requires you to be connected to play.

    The conflict is that people are used to buying a game and owning it. It's yours. You have the CD, the box, the manual, and you own it. Based on the feedback, people like the 5 install option. So for the sale price of the game, you get 5 installs. Keep them around in case your hard drive crashes. It may not work for us resetting thing, so there is the possibility that if you need more than 5 you have to buy more. We do plan on supporting the game, adding content, features, so I do not feel that it is unreasonable that if you blow through 5 that you pay again. Of course it will upset people. Of course people will use it as an excuse to hack the game. But it is a very fine line between an indie's survival and keeping the customers happy.

    I have been thinking about the install model, sell packs of 2-5-10 maybe. That way you know what you are paying for and no one needs to pay for more than they want. But it does mean that rather than buying a new game, people will pool and go in on games.

    I also reinstall windows regularly, but I keep all my games and apps on a seperate drive so that I don't have to reinstall them or wipe them. If you reinstall the game to the same computer, I believe that it will not require a reset.

    btw - I appreciate everyone's feedback. This is a great thread and it helps a lot to know what everyone thinks about this. Many people are touchy about DRM and feel they have certain rights, as do the developers. So it's really never going to make everyone happy, but we'll do our best to find the best compromise.

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    "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” - Gamaliel 40 A.D.

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    11 years 9 months ago #28 by Garnier44

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  • Replied by Garnier44 on topic Re:DRM
    I was thinking about this more and I really am intrigued by how Paradox does it. I wonder if they:

    1. Know that the game will be easy to pirate but have such confidence that people are going to like it that they'll end up buying it to get multiplayer and/or tech support and the FAQ.

    2. Building on 1, they figure that the more people who try it, even via piracy, the more publicity it gets and the more sales they make in the end.

    3. Are completely clueless that their games are easy to copy for singleplayer purposes. (I highly doubt this.)



    On the one hand I wouldn't like someone stealing something from me, but if it ends up bringing in even more legitimate sales because more people are exposed to the game, from a business perspective that's a good thing.

    A recent overwhelming indie success with the same DRM (or lack of DRM) situation is Mount & Blade.

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    11 years 9 months ago #29 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:DRM
    When I published with them, they used securom. It was hacked within a week of release.

    I've had some less than desirable experiences with them, so excuse my lack of infatuation.

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    11 years 9 months ago #30 by Kerflumoxed

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  • Replied by Kerflumoxed on topic Re:DRM
    My vote: Option #1.

    J

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