Author Topic: Dev thoughts on gog.com?  (Read 4331 times)

Offline Dizzard

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« on: March 27, 2012, 01:16:49 PM »
With the relaunch today of gog.com. The site will be accepting newer games on to their service.

http://www.gog.com/

I read somewhere that in terms of new games they'll be focusing on games released in the last 1-3 years. So it would probably mean more for Ai War and Tidalis than it does for AVWW.

I'm wondering what the devs think of the strict no DRM policy GOG has and if you would consider eventually bringing AVWW (Ai War & Tidalis also) to the service.

(I'm not entirely sure how games make it on to the gog service or how easy it is....I suppose there isn't much of a precedent since before they would for the most part only accept old games.)



Offline x4000

  • Chris McElligott Park, Arcen Founder and Lead Dev
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,651
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 01:21:52 PM »
The only DRM we have is a license key, but that's absolutely non-optional because of how we distribute the game and updates to the game.  If we made a non-license-key version for GOG, their customers would not be able to receive any future updates from us without it reverting them to a license-key-enabled version, and thus locking them out of the game they'd bought.

If GOG supports license keys, then it's a possibility, but if by "no DRM" they mean "just a raw executable and nothing else," that simply can't ever work with our games.  It would only work if we never ever released another update for a specific game again, or if we stopped doing public demos of our games that can be updated to the latest version of the game, etc, etc.  I highly doubt that GOG would provide enough revenue for us to justify having an entirely separate update path for them alone; right now Steam is the only vendor that meets that particular criteria for me.

Best of luck to them, though; it's great being able to get old games from them, and if selling newer games helps them in their goals then great.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Dizzard

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 01:24:36 PM »
If GOG supports license keys, then it's a possibility, but if by "no DRM" they mean "just a raw executable and nothing else," that simply can't ever work with our games.  It would only work if we never ever released another update for a specific game again

It would seem incredibly bizarre to me if gog.com didn't allow for game updates. (if not now then at least sometime in the near future) I might do some rooting around on the gog.com forum to see what the deal is going to be with that.

Offline x4000

  • Chris McElligott Park, Arcen Founder and Lead Dev
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,651
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 01:26:48 PM »
If GOG supports license keys, then it's a possibility, but if by "no DRM" they mean "just a raw executable and nothing else," that simply can't ever work with our games.  It would only work if we never ever released another update for a specific game again

It would seem incredibly bizarre to me if gog.com didn't allow for game updates. (if not now then at least sometime in the near future) I might do some rooting around on the gog.com forum to see what the deal is going to be with that.

No, you misunderstand; we have our own game updater, of course.  I don't care if they have their own.  But if they were to require a build from us that stripped out our license keys, and wanted to distribute that, then that would be a unique build to GOG.  Next time the player did an in-game update using our existing updater, they'd be back to a standard non-GOG build that would ask them for a license key... that they wouldn't have.  Hence the problem.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 01:29:54 PM »
Yea, there are some ways where absolute enforcement of the rule "the program may not make any effort whatsoever to determine whether you have purchased the game and/or any/all of the expansions" makes it harder to provide good customer service (namely, quicker updates because the updating process is easier for us, and an always-up-to-date demo that doesn't require a second installation to get the full version).

But yea, GOG is a great site.  I get most of my games on Steam, but after them GoG is definitely the next most common source.  And the lack of DRM is one of the selling points, for me.  I wouldn't mind needing to copy/paste a serial key once, of course ;)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Dizzard

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 01:41:44 PM »
That's a shame.

Gog seem pretty strict on the DRM policy....although personally I don't see how licence keys would hurt anyone.  :-\

Offline Terraziel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 01:45:14 PM »
Whilst obviously not directly comparable situations, but I got The Witcher 2 from GOG and they provided you a cd-key for that.

Offline x4000

  • Chris McElligott Park, Arcen Founder and Lead Dev
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,651
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 01:48:29 PM »
Whilst obviously not directly comparable situations, but I got The Witcher 2 from GOG and they provided you a cd-key for that.

If that's the case, then we might be able to do the same sort of thing here.  We're anti-DRM also here at Arcen, but there's some debate amongst the anti-DRM crowd about whether or not CD keys constitute DRM.  My stance is that they do not if they aren't checking in with central servers, having install limits, etc.  Although I believe that a CD key just for the sake of a CD key is also kind of pointless: we do it so that we can put the full game files out on the internet all over the place, and then all you need is the short little key to make that go from demo to fullversion (plus all those other benefits of being able to demo the latest beta if you want, etc, etc, etc).

DRMCops really liked our no-DRM stance and thought that the license key that we had did not constitute DRM.  But I don't know how GOG would feel.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2012, 01:52:55 PM »
Yea, the whole "is it DRM?" question, about basically any approach, tends to get pretty idealogical and proof-by-assertion usually wins the day ;)

I think the key distinction in our case is: we don't ask for a license key to protect our rights (it doesn't, at all, these games are extremely easy to pirate), we ask for a license key to add convenience for the user by making it easier for us to provide the updates and the demos.

Whilst obviously not directly comparable situations, but I got The Witcher 2 from GOG and they provided you a cd-key for that.
I'm guessing they did that so you could register it on steam, rather than asking you to use it to activate a copy you downloaded from GoG?
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Dizzard

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2012, 01:53:54 PM »
How can anyone really complain about licence keys? If you actually did buy the game then it's a total non issue.


Offline x4000

  • Chris McElligott Park, Arcen Founder and Lead Dev
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,651
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 01:55:53 PM »
How can anyone really complain about licence keys? If you actually did buy the game then it's a total non issue.

The general complaint: what if I lose it?  Then I can't play anymore.

My general response: what if you lose the CD itself, if you bought it physically?  Then you also can't play it anymore.  What if your house burns down or your computer gets stolen?  Back up your stuff.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Terraziel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 01:56:30 PM »
Whilst obviously not directly comparable situations, but I got The Witcher 2 from GOG and they provided you a cd-key for that.
I'm guessing they did that so you could register it on steam, rather than asking you to use it to activate a copy you downloaded from GoG?
To quote directly from the email....

"Using the CD-Key is not required to play, but we recommend you register your copy of The Witcher 2 with it as it grants you access to direct updates, additional language packs, future free DLC and more."

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 01:59:59 PM »
"Using the CD-Key is not required to play, but we recommend you register your copy of The Witcher 2 with it as it grants you access to direct updates, additional language packs, future free DLC and more."
I don't know if that's "No" DRM :)  (/being-a-jerk)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Dizzard

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 02:05:09 PM »
How can anyone really complain about licence keys? If you actually did buy the game then it's a total non issue.

The general complaint: what if I lose it?  Then I can't play anymore.

My general response: what if you lose the CD itself, if you bought it physically?  Then you also can't play it anymore.  What if your house burns down or your computer gets stolen?  Back up your stuff.

I completely agree.

If somebody loses their key of course that does suck but it's silly to go around blaming the game companies. At the end of the day it wasn't the game companies who lost it. They should look closer to home if they are looking to play the blame game.

For me personally I don't really have much of an issue because I normally enter licence keys right after I buy the game. So I don't have much chance to lose them anyway.

Offline Volatar

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,055
  • Patient as a rock
Re: Dev thoughts on gog.com?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2012, 02:09:11 PM »

I think the key distinction in our case is: we don't ask for a license key to protect our rights (it doesn't, at all, these games are extremely easy to pirate), we ask for a license key to add convenience for the user by making it easier for us to provide the updates and the demos.

Indeed. One of my friends, being a cheap jerk, cracked AI War (this was back in the 1.0 days). However, the rest of our gaming group had bought the game. We kept up to date with the daily (or sometimes more often) patches, and he would have to crack the game each and every time. Cracking a game once is fun for him. Cracking a game four times in one day is not fun. He broke down and bought the game after a couple weeks.  :)

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk