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Chris "moar DRM" Taylor signs a deal with Stardock

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Herbert West, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. Herbert West Arbiter

    Herbert West
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    Haha, that one made me laugh! Taylor who has recently been ridiculed here for his dark prophecies about the death of PC gaming at the hand of piracy, signed a deal with Stardock. Stardock will be the sole digital and retail distributor of GPG latest game, Demigod. And it will have no DRM whatsoever

    Here's the interview with the Stardock guy:
    http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/gas-powered-games-project/864995p1.html
     
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  2. Xi Arcane

    Xi
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    It's going the route of steam though. Steam is a form of copy-protection. Retail sales are down while digital sales are up. They are saying "Fuck you" to the publishers who get there games into retail stores, and instead relying on the profits from digital sales.(Which are higher) These sales will put more money into the hands of the developer and essentially remove the publisher from controlling in-house development. Sounds like a good idea, but stop pretending that it has no protection. You're going to have to install there "Impulse" client.
     
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  3. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    You've obviously never dealt with Stardock or used their online delivery systems, have you Xi?
     
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  4. Xi Arcane

    Xi
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    Never have, but I read that they are developing "Impulse" because of the success of steam. IMpulse will utilize Stardocks to network their "Impulse" client. Maybe I'm wrong, but from reading it, that's what I get.

    So it appears that Stardock will essentially offer the bandwidth, maintenance, and sales transactions for there new Impulse system. They will plug it into the existing Stardock network. Maybe I'm wrong though. Maybe they are just going to offer a digital download without protection because that's such a "new" and innovative technique that has never been used before. Right?

    So you just log into the Stardock website to get this feature? Hah, no. You install their impulse, aka Steam, Client.(Which is in development):

     
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  5. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    Xi, Stardock currently has a digital distribution app named Stardock Central that hosts a bunch of Stardock and indie games. Stardock does offer bandwidth, and maintains the service free of charge and you can download your games from there to as many computers as you want with no copy protection thrown in. You can even delete Stardock Central and still play the games that you downloaded.

    Impulse is basically going to be an enhanced Stardock Central that borrows some of the matchmaking and community aspects from Steam, but not the draconian copy protection scheme.

    If you don't believe me then read the damn article. It even says that Demigod won't have copy protection. If you still don't believe me I'll bet ya.
     
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  6. Human Shield Augur

    Human Shield
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    I glad to see Stardock spread its wings. It has made a great reputation along with Valve and will become a well-known name as the market moves towards quality names.
     
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  7. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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    And it's also nice they give an alternative to Steam.
     
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  8. Fez Erudite

    Fez
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    Good news all round then if Stardock are getting more business too.
     
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  9. Xi Arcane

    Xi
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    Installation requires that you have the client running. I'm also willing to bet they will take that a step further even. It has copy-protection, they're just trying to make it more transparent, which is a good thing. Still, requiring the client to be running on install is copy protection, and we don't know the entire feature set of the new Impulse client.

    Edit:

    OK here's some more digging of features:
    http://tgnforums.stardock.com/174783

    Maybe I am incorrect here /shrug

    Try iy yourself:

    http://storage.stardock.com/files/Impulse_setup.exe
     
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  10. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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    I don't think the issue is the copy protection itself but the way you have to interact with it.

    Stardock games use a serial number. It is also another kind of copy protection but you only have to associate it with your account once, it won't be asked after. It will be checked when you update the game but you won't have to do anything with it.

    So yes you need to have the client running to install. Actually it downloads and installs the game for you and can also tell you when an update is ready and ask you if you want to install it. Other than that you can simply ignore it. You can even have the client download files as archive and burn them so you can easily reinstall it yourself later without having to reinstall the whole lot.

    Now I do not think the copy protection itself is the issue, the issue is if it forces you to do annoying things such as insert a cd, run a client and/or have an active internet connection to actually get the game running.

    Personally I prefer the way Stardock treats me as a customer, hassle-free.
     
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  11. Disconnected Scholar

    Disconnected
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    From the info so far, it seems like you'll only be forced to use Impulse if you buy your games via Impulse, or update your games via Impulse.

    I'm having a hard time seeing the problem with that. Actually, a purchase, patching, multiplayer & community portal that isn't title specific, and doesn't do weird shit you don't need it to do, sounds pretty fucking nice to me. I've wanted an app like that for more than a decade.
     
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  12. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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    I just tried the current version of Impulse and it's pretty nice. Can't get beta version which means I can't install Twilight of the Arnor from there even though it checked my key. Stardock Central will still be around for a while but so far Impulse looks good.
     
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  13. Jeff Graw StarChart Interactive Developer

    Jeff Graw
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    Stardock games will install without a serial number, but you won't be able to get any updates. At least that's how it was with Galciv 2. They also had this nice big "change serial number" button on the launcher so that if you had a pirated copy you could make it legit just by purchasing a serial number from Stardock's online store. Really smart system actually.

    You only need to have the client running to install if you buy the online version (obviously). The CD/DVD version doesen't require the app to be running and neither do any backup DVDs you make with the app.
     
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  14. Herbert West Arbiter

    Herbert West
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    I do hope that Impulse gains momentum. Steam and D2D need some quality competition and Impulse sounds good.
     
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  15. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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    Good you said it, that's for the cd versions. You have the choice to register it at install but it isn't mandatory, you can do it later when you want to patch. But I was talking of the download version which might have caused the confusion. Incidentally the serial of a cd version can also be used to download the game for free in case you lost the cd or don't have them available.
     
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  16. Nightjed Liturgist

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    i dont like online distribution, having to check with a server to install, play or patch comes with the big unanswered question : what happens when impulse/steam/whatever dies, goes broke or just stops support for old games (dont tell me it will never happen, you KNOW it will eventually) ?
     
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  17. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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    In the case of Stardock you can archive the files anywhere you want. You can make your own copy of the game patched at the latest version to reinstall later. As far as I know you do not need to activate it online for that or use SDC/Impulse but please correct me if I am wrong.

    Same could be said about a cd or dvd you buy, what if you loose it or it deteriorates? Nothing is 100% certain.
     
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  18. Burning Bridges Enviado de meu SM-G3502T usando Tapatalk

    Burning Bridges
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    Have you done it? I didnt get the archive function to work, and I think stardock central sucks. I want to have an installation routine and not that proprietary stuff (what was the file extension again was it sdc ?) especially if that needs other stuff (stardock central must be installed, internet must be running). A simple install.exe will do.

    Of course, as long as I keep the serial and have a fast internet connection, I see no problem.
     
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  19. Nightjed Liturgist

    Nightjed
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    i have to find cracks and mini isos but at least i can backup those (i backuped my discs when i got a cd burner and i backuped my cds when i got a dvd burner (and ill backup my dvds when i get a bluray burner).

    how do you backup an "internet connection to a server" ? the funny thing is that pirates will be able to keep playing those games in the future while legitimate buyers wont
     
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  20. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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    You need Stardock Central (will probably be able to do it with impulse if you can't already) but you can make a zip archive of the current installation of the game, burn it to a dvd and later restore it with SDC. It might not be the ideal way to do it (I like the stand-alone installer idea) but it's there and it works.

    Also how do you know the service will stop working? And when? Stardock has a very good quality of service and make the whole thing very easy and transparent.

    If anything I'm more angry at systems à la Bioshock where you need to download the game exe and verify online with a limited number of activations.

    Edit : the archives do not need online activation as they are already activated. As for SDC I agree that it could use some improvement though it didn't fail me yet. Stardock think the same because they are developping Impulse to replace SDC.

    As much as I dislike Steam for online distribution, I have to say I like the way Stardock does it. Small differences but they count.
     
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  21. mathboy Liturgist

    mathboy
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    The even funnier thing is that you fail to see the similarity between a crack that allows you to play while not connected to the internet and a crack that allows you to play without the cd.
     
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  22. The_Pope Scholar

    The_Pope
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    There are steam emulators which mimic the client without actually connecting to valve. Everything can be cracked - the best counter to piracy is to treat customers properly, as they're paying by choice.
     
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  23. Xi Arcane

    Xi
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    Certainly a building offers protection from the elements, but to think that a retailer could leave all of their belongings outside and not to expect theft is just ignorant, regardless of how well they treat there customers. I would say that software also needs a building to protect it while no one is looking because the internet is essentially an open field of software for the taking.
     
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  24. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
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    Your analogy doesn't hold because a retailer choosing to house himself in a building does not inconvenience paying customers. Perhaps the analogy would hold if the door into the retailer's store has a tendency to lock people out who just want to come in and pick something up. Or if the store was located out in the middle of nowhere and people had to spend 90 minutes driving there.
     
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  25. GeneralSamov Prophet

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    It still wouldn't hold, because pirates tend to get an easier life than honest fellows, with no copy protection checking your CD drive every 5 minutes :)
    Maybe if the bandits actually lived nearby, and had an underground tunnel with access to the building, while the ordinary people had to drive for 90 minutes...
     
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