Author Topic: Descent on Steam!  (Read 17856 times)

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Offline Fury

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Dragon does have a point with Steam and FSO though. You see, all games in Steam library use executables provided by their respective developers, in co-operation with Valve to make sure all Steam related features work, not just the overlay UI. Retail executables of FS2 may not even work properly on modern Windows OS, at least the retail launcher does not.

What this means is that someone needs to modify these executables to work without issues from WinXP to Win8. And I honestly don't think these people will think twice about SCP and rest of the HLP. Which means when you drop FSO executables in there, not all Steam related features may work anymore.

But I don't think it's all that big of an issue, the overlay UI should still work just fine and everything else I can think of are mostly trivial. Unless they get around to provide multiplayer services. Getting Steam's multiplayer service working with FSO might be a challenge. I don't know how Valve likes open-source projects using Steam infrastructure or whether they have well documented APIs exactly for this.

 

Offline The E

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That's assuming, of course, that Interplay will do any work on the executables, which is the part I find highly doubtful. At best, they'll copy the GOG version and leave it at that.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
You do realize that you're praising a system which has taken any sense of ownership of your games away from you right?
Steam doesn't "take away any sense of ownership of your games away from you". On the contrary, you can go to any computer in the world that has Steam, log in under your account, and install/play any game in your collection.

Do I prefer to own games through a DRM-free service like GOG? Absolutely. Do I have any objection to owning games on Steam? Of course not! This isn't Origin here; I actually find the Steam community features incredibly useful. I want to play multiplayer with someone? I click the drop-down menu next to their name and hit "join game". Steam not only launches the game, it also makes it immediately send a connection request to the server the other person is playing on. If you think features like that aren't the reason people use Steam, you're very mistaken.

Quite simply, if I didn't want to deal with any of Steam's secondary features, I would crack the games to remove all Steam functionality. It has been done plenty of times; clearly, it can be done in the future. I continue to use Steam because I like it, not because I'm forced into it. This has been the case since I originally got Steam, back when the Orange Box came out.

Can you sell your game?
No?
Then you don't own jack.

Steam doesn't sell games. It sells a service that allows you to play games. You subscribe to the service, you buy access to games through that service but at no point do you actually own your game. And license issues of the past aside, I could at least then (and with consoles now) take in my disk to a store or online and sell it to someone else.

 
My New Vegas Mod Manager launcher gives Steam exactly zero problems.

I object less to the content of the suggestion, and much more to the fear mongering Dragon was up to.  Perpetuating flat-out wrong myths about one side or the other under the guise of "discussion" is disingenuous.  At best.

The Nexus Mod Manager only moves data files around in the game directory; when you tell it to actually run the game, it just launches the executable that comes with the Steam version. Even things like SKSE just serve as wrappers for the Steam executable, which contains the actual code for interfacing with Steam. FSO, on the other hand, completely bypasses the retail Freespace2.exe: it's not run at all, and neither are its Steam features. This, again, is assuming Interplay have any of the resources needed to add Steam integration; they likely don't.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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My New Vegas Mod Manager launcher gives Steam exactly zero problems.

I object less to the content of the suggestion, and much more to the fear mongering Dragon was up to.  Perpetuating flat-out wrong myths about one side or the other under the guise of "discussion" is disingenuous.  At best.

The Nexus Mod Manager only moves data files around in the game directory; when you tell it to actually run the game, it just launches the executable that comes with the Steam version. Even things like SKSE just serve as wrappers for the Steam executable, which contains the actual code for interfacing with Steam. FSO, on the other hand, completely bypasses the retail Freespace2.exe: it's not run at all, and neither are its Steam features. This, again, is assuming Interplay have any of the resources needed to add Steam integration; they likely don't.

There is some precedent for this, however.  The Steam versions of the Thuief games can have their executables entirely replaced with engine-upgraded versions without breaking the minimal Steam integration.

Ultimately, I don't see Steam applying all kinds of the more advanced features to a game as old as FreeSpace - but, with distribution and forums associated with Steam, it provides a massive opening for encouraging people to convert their retail install to FSO.
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 
Note that the Steam overlay isn't 'true' Steam integration (i.e. use of the Steamworks API); it's a simple wrapper which can be run with any game, to my knowledge.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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By using the "add a non-Steam game" option, you can already run FreeSpace Open with the Steam overlay (well, assuming the overlay can interface with FSO in the first place; I don't remember if I actually tried it).
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline BloodEagle

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Note that the Steam overlay isn't 'true' Steam integration (i.e. use of the Steamworks API); it's a simple wrapper which can be run with any game, to my knowledge.

The overlay is supposed to work with any game running DirectX, IIRC.

 
Some experiences that Steam can't replace:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4A-T1-R_4Q

 

Offline Mongoose

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Can you sell your game?
No?
Then you don't own jack.

Steam doesn't sell games. It sells a service that allows you to play games. You subscribe to the service, you buy access to games through that service but at no point do you actually own your game. And license issues of the past aside, I could at least then (and with consoles now) take in my disk to a store or online and sell it to someone else.
You realize that pretty much no physical used games store I can think of dealt in used PC games for many years now (if ever), right?  In fact there's no real way they COULD do that, because there was nothing to stop someone from keeping their game key, copying their disks, and selling a now-unusable copy back to the store.  (Assuming that said game performed an online check on the key during installation; I know some old games only did it if you attempted to play online.)  I'd certainly never trust buying a used PC game on something like Amazon, for the exact same reason.  The freedom you speak of Steam infringing on didn't really exist in the first place anyway, at least not for PC games.

And yes, you can throw a FSO shortcut into Steam and have the overlay work just fine; I do that myself.  It still entails having to list the game as a separate non-Steam entry in your library, though, which isn't the most optimal solution.

 

Offline Fury

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I should add that IIRC Steam does allow you to trade games with someone else, assuming neither have played the games to be traded. In addition, when it comes to selling used games you should remember that it's not really Steam's place to allow that, but publishers and developers. You have to remember that neither will get anything out of used game sales. They would rather people buy new copies so they can get their money.

For used games sales to happen, there would have to be money in it for Valve, publishers and developers. All three are required to make it happen. Also remember that even before Steam happened or became popular, publishers did their best to make sure everyone got their own copies by using cd-keys and various other measures to individualize each copy of the game. So really, is Steam at fault here? I think not.

 
Can you sell your game?
No?
Then you don't own jack.

Steam doesn't sell games. It sells a service that allows you to play games. You subscribe to the service, you buy access to games through that service but at no point do you actually own your game. And license issues of the past aside, I could at least then (and with consoles now) take in my disk to a store or online and sell it to someone else.
You realize that pretty much no physical used games store I can think of dealt in used PC games for many years now (if ever), right?  In fact there's no real way they COULD do that, because there was nothing to stop someone from keeping their game key, copying their disks, and selling a now-unusable copy back to the store.  (Assuming that said game performed an online check on the key during installation; I know some old games only did it if you attempted to play online.)  I'd certainly never trust buying a used PC game on something like Amazon, for the exact same reason.  The freedom you speak of Steam infringing on didn't really exist in the first place anyway, at least not for PC games.

Used PC market doesn't exist? Tell that to the dozen+ used games I have in my room right now which play perfectly fine.

If the game used online activation then of course you don't buy it used. But many other games didn't use such DRM. Freespace for example, the game this forum is built around, uses disk-in-drive DRM. There'd be nothing stopping me from selling that game to someone else and nothing stopping them from enjoying it.  Older games used code wheels and all kinds of other nonsense.

As for used games in stores. Prince of Persia Sands of Time I bought used from EB Games.

For used games sales to happen, there would have to be money in it for Valve, publishers and developers. All three are required to make it happen. Also remember that even before Steam happened or became popular, publishers did their best to make sure everyone got their own copies by using cd-keys and various other measures to individualize each copy of the game. So really, is Steam at fault here? I think not.

YES they're at fault. First of all why in the **** are you defending a corporation in the first place? A corporation which has taken away any sense of ownership? It's baffling. Seriously.

If someone is laying on the ground, and three guys kick him in the head, if the fourth person (valve) kicks him in the head because it's the thing to do is he not responsible? Of course he's ****ing responsible because they've taken the policy and run with it. A company is not blameless for doing what everyone else is doing, nor are they blameless for providing the means to do what everyone else is doing.

Their DRM is deliberate and it's insulting. And the fact that people defend it as some positive thing in your life is . . sad quite frankly. If Steam benefits PC gaming as a store, as a digital distributor, that's fine, but the DRM side of things? It's entirely condemnable.

Either way I choose not to use Steam when at all possible.

 

Offline Nakura

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ITT people living in 1995 who are baffled that PC games have CD-keys and cannot be resold. What makes it even more hilarious/sad is that you are attacking perhaps the only good company on the market, Valve, a company that has done everything in it's power to put customers first and to eliminate DRM. Hell, a company that single-handedly saved PC gaming and supports indie developers. Yet you're mad because you can't sell your copy of Half-Life 2 (something you wouldn't have been able to do anyway)?

 

Offline karajorma

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Speaking of GOG. All the D&D games for a hair over $20. And you've got about 3 hours for their Valentine's Day Sale (Be my Player 2 :D )

They're also giving away Dungeon Keeper for free. Just to make EA look bad. :p
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline Scotty

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First of all why in the **** are you defending a corporation in the first place?

I just want to draw attention to this particular sentence.  I'd add a bit more context but the context really only specifies it a little bit toward Valve.  This speaks to a certain blind hate for corporations that is both irrational and non-sensical.  A corporation is no more inherently evil (or good) than you are, and hating the very concept of them makes you look like you're trying to crusade against the robber barons of the late 19th century.  This is not 1900, and all this blind refusal indicates is a sadly misguided understanding of the way Valve works.

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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This thread is an interesting microcosm of the views on Steam, generally.  You have a tiny minority of diehards who hate it entirely and do everything they can to avoid using it, yet are still forced to do so at least some of the time, while the vast majority are at worst ambivalent and mostly fairly enthusiastic about its positives.  This is why Steam has been so successful - for the vast majority of PC gamers, the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives, given the alternatives (Balkanized heavy DRM, basically).
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 
ITT people living in 1995 who are baffled that PC games have CD-keys and cannot be resold. What makes it even more hilarious/sad is that you are attacking perhaps the only good company on the market, Valve, a company that has done everything in it's power to put customers first and to eliminate DRM. Hell, a company that single-handedly saved PC gaming and supports indie developers. Yet you're mad because you can't sell your copy of Half-Life 2 (something you wouldn't have been able to do anyway)?

There seem to be some historical innacuracies in your statement (as well as a bit of ad hominem :/).
When Half Life 2 was released, being able to resell games was still quite a thing (Even MP only games, who had a "only one CD key online at one time" policy instead of tying it to an account). Valve's Half LIfe 2 and steam were one of the most stringent DRMs of their time. As far as I know, they were the first company to enforce online activation for single player games. They have not stepped down from this policy ever since, whilst copies of, say, Call of Duty could be resold up untill MW2 (when the series moved towards steam).

Valve has not done anything to eliminate DRM. Companies like Paradox and CD project are far more progressive in that regard.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Valve's Half LIfe 2 and steam were one of the most stringent DRMs of their time.
...So you're saying Steam is worse than StarForce?
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline The E

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Valve has not done anything to eliminate DRM. Companies like Paradox and CD project are far more progressive in that regard.

What they did do however is create a DRM system that users will accept, rather than be annoyed with. Not because Steamworks is so secure, it isn't, but because it rewards people who stay in the system through easy multiplayer access, cross-game chat functionality, and other community features.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
Valve's Half LIfe 2 and steam were one of the most stringent DRMs of their time.
...So you're saying Steam is worse than StarForce?

There is a reason why I said ONE of the most :P.

Quote
What they did do however is create a DRM system that users will accept, rather than be annoyed with. Not because Steamworks is so secure, it isn't, but because it rewards people who stay in the system through easy multiplayer access, cross-game chat functionality, and other community features.

True, and I don't disagree with steam as a principle (even though it took them a while to get it fully sorted). It's just that this MO does not match up to what Nakura claims, which I felt needed pointing out.