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"DRM free"

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Post January 3rd, 2014, 6:30 am

Posts: 5
The description "DRM free" seems to be a little vague regarding games that can be (also) redeemed on Steam.
As I had already negative experience with other shops due to games purchased which were not so DRM free after all,
I'd really favor a clear description for which platforms (Win, Max, Linux) a game is available for download
and for which it is available on Steam/Desura. Also of course games which are available for download but which
are not DRM free due to additional need for activation should be clearly marked.

Post January 3rd, 2014, 8:45 am

Posts: 136
Yes, I also think this needs to be done.
I hope the owner of the site will do it in a timely manner.
You can also give your voice a vote at IndieGameStand Most important Store Feature topic and in the Customer Feedback for Indie Game Stand.

Thanks for letting IGS know what you want!

Post January 3rd, 2014, 10:01 am

Posts: 591
Location: Wilmo Delaware! Represent

Everything that is marked DRM free comes with direct setup/download files for all of the platforms. We do not sell "Steam" Only versions of games in our store and the only 2 times we have done a deal with Steam keys only was with Papo and Yo and Guns of Icarus - in both cases we made a note on the sale alerting everyone to this DRM.

Post January 3rd, 2014, 11:30 am

Posts: 1500
Location: Ottawa, Canada

mgnade wrote:
Everything that is marked DRM free comes with direct setup/download files for all of the platforms. We do not sell "Steam" Only versions of games in our store and the only 2 times we have done a deal with Steam keys only was with Papo and Yo and Guns of Icarus - in both cases we made a note on the sale alerting everyone to this DRM.

Fields of War was available as a direct download, but not really DRM-Free, though right? I didn't buy that one, but it was my understanding that it required an online account activation code (provided in the wallet) which is a form of DRM. Sky Nations was the same. I think that sort of thing might be what he's talking about. They both said 'DRM-Free' on their feature pages.
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Post January 3rd, 2014, 11:57 am

Posts: 5
mgnade wrote:
Everything that is marked DRM free comes with direct setup/download files for all of the platforms.

Ok, good to hear. Maybe the wording should still be clearer. Some people consider Steam games to be "DRM free" if they don't have additional need for activation or online checks. Same is true for Desura.
And as said before, there are some games which will require activation (and therefore use DRM) even though they can be downloaded directly (Torchlight 2 comes to mind, even if it's not sold here).

Just for the background: I recently bought "Dust - An Elysian Tale" in the Humble Store since it was on sale and marked DRM free. At this point (before I complained), the textual description sounded as if it was DRM free for all platforms. As I bought it, I only got a Steam key though - and in the mean time direct downloads appeared for Linux and Mac - but apparently I will never get the download version for Windows that I thought I bought. So until this bad experience, I would have stated that every game marked as DRM free in the Humble Store was DRM free for all available platforms - which is unfortunately not true.
So it's really nice that this is handled in a more customer friendly way here.

Post January 3rd, 2014, 12:16 pm

Posts: 160
GnomeSlice wrote:
Fields of War was available as a direct download, but not really DRM-Free, though right? I didn't buy that one, but it was my understanding that it required an online account activation code (provided in the wallet) which is a form of DRM. Sky Nations was the same. I think that sort of thing might be what he's talking about. They both said 'DRM-Free' on their feature pages.


Are you sure? I remember noticing a conspicuous lack of the 'DRM-free' logo on Fields of War's feature page.

Post January 3rd, 2014, 12:22 pm

Posts: 274
Definations are a bit silly nowadays or just abused.
'indie', 'drm-free', 'aaa' etc etc used to mean something not long ago, but now
either it's generic or means just really nothing at all anymore really.

If it's truly DRM-free there is never any form of log-in or registration of the game
required.

The very only store that hasn't blurred the line but warned when a game did break
this rule is GoG. Don't Starve e.g. is not DRM-free as sold by them as it requires
you to register the game with Klei after purchase as well.

Games sold by Humble as DRM-free most the time are but will have e.g. a delayed
DRM-free file launch (e.g. Hammerwatch) or Steamworks multiplayer (e.g. Monaco) at
times.

Post January 3rd, 2014, 5:05 pm

Posts: 882
0xdeadbeef wrote:
mgnade wrote:
Everything that is marked DRM free comes with direct setup/download files for all of the platforms.

Ok, good to hear. Maybe the wording should still be clearer. Some people consider Steam games to be "DRM free" if they don't have additional need for activation or online checks. Same is true for Desura.
And as said before, there are some games which will require activation (and therefore use DRM) even though they can be downloaded directly (Torchlight 2 comes to mind, even if it's not sold here).

Just for the background: I recently bought "Dust - An Elysian Tale" in the Humble Store since it was on sale and marked DRM free. At this point (before I complained), the textual description sounded as if it was DRM free for all platforms. As I bought it, I only got a Steam key though - and in the mean time direct downloads appeared for Linux and Mac - but apparently I will never get the download version for Windows that I thought I bought. So until this bad experience, I would have stated that every game marked as DRM free in the Humble Store was DRM free for all available platforms - which is unfortunately not true.
So it's really nice that this is handled in a more customer friendly way here.


And just to add even more of grotesque in this situation, Dust windows version IS available drm-free on GOG.com.
ANother example, Anomaly 2 is not available as downloads in Humble Store, BUT was available in last Humble android bundle 8
P.S. I think they eventually add win builds for Dust too. So far linux builds was added because.umm...they fear piracy for win builds? (like Trine 2)
But you know, description is clearly says how situation is "Please note: Dust is currently available via Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and also available DRM-free for Mac and Linux."

Post January 3rd, 2014, 5:58 pm

Posts: 914
Location: Utah
SirPrimalform wrote:
GnomeSlice wrote:
Fields of War was available as a direct download, but not really DRM-Free, though right? I didn't buy that one, but it was my understanding that it required an online account activation code (provided in the wallet) which is a form of DRM. Sky Nations was the same. I think that sort of thing might be what he's talking about. They both said 'DRM-Free' on their feature pages.


Are you sure? I remember noticing a conspicuous lack of the 'DRM-free' logo on Fields of War's feature page.

I second SirPrimalform's note. I did not see the drm-free logo on Fields of War. I bought it knowing it would probably have a game key, which it does.

You can still see its lack of drm-free logo on the Fields of War past deals page. https://indiegamestand.com/deal/?saleId=140
Sky Nations also lacked the drm-free logo https://indiegamestand.com/deal/?saleId=113

Post January 3rd, 2014, 9:25 pm

Posts: 5
Toyotame wrote:
But you know, description is clearly says how situation is "Please note: Dust is currently available via Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and also available DRM-free for Mac and Linux."

It does now.

Post January 3rd, 2014, 10:58 pm

Posts: 1500
Location: Ottawa, Canada

SirPrimalform wrote:
Are you sure? I remember noticing a conspicuous lack of the 'DRM-free' logo on Fields of War's feature page.

My mistake, not sure why I thought it had one.
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Post January 4th, 2014, 10:36 am

Posts: 29
0xdeadbeef wrote:
mgnade wrote:
Everything that is marked DRM free comes with direct setup/download files for all of the platforms.

Ok, good to hear. Maybe the wording should still be clearer. Some people consider Steam games to be "DRM free" if they don't have additional need for activation or online checks. Same is true for Desura.
And as said before, there are some games which will require activation (and therefore use DRM) even though they can be downloaded directly (Torchlight 2 comes to mind, even if it's not sold here).

Just for the background: I recently bought "Dust - An Elysian Tale" in the Humble Store since it was on sale and marked DRM free. At this point (before I complained), the textual description sounded as if it was DRM free for all platforms. As I bought it, I only got a Steam key though - and in the mean time direct downloads appeared for Linux and Mac - but apparently I will never get the download version for Windows that I thought I bought. So until this bad experience, I would have stated that every game marked as DRM free in the Humble Store was DRM free for all available platforms - which is unfortunately not true.
So it's really nice that this is handled in a more customer friendly way here.


I've had similar sorts of issues with Humble. A game I bought that included DLC *was* DRM-free, but the DLC required online activation. Another included the game itself in the download, but called to the web for a variety of Microsoft-related dependencies (they were apparently trying to reduce the file size by using web-install calls instead of including the libraries, but it resulted in the install freezing and having to be forcibly killed if it couldn't reach the internet - not exactly an elegant solution).

I think Humble (along with most sites) leaves the exact definition of "DRM-free" in the hands of the developers. GOG is the only site I know of that takes a hands-on approach - ensuring games are DRM-free, come packaged with any necessary dependencies, and don't invisibly call home with info. (Maybe others do too, and just don't advertise it as well.)

Post January 4th, 2014, 11:39 am

Posts: 274
Anamnesis wrote:
I think Humble (along with most sites) leaves the exact definition of "DRM-free" in the hands of the developers. GOG is the only site I know of that takes a hands-on approach - ensuring games are DRM-free, come packaged with any necessary dependencies, and don't invisibly call home with info. (Maybe others do too, and just don't advertise it as well.)


'DRM-free' is mostly read as 'stand-alone client' by most users and (re)sellers alike, which is of course not the same..

GoG sells partially DRM-ed games and will increase the amount of these in their catalogue if they hold to the results of the community votes and their own decisions from that which were published on GoG.com last year.
It's mostly patching (GoG tends to be far behind on patches) and multi-player though but then that goes for most 'Humble DRM-free sold games' as well. The whole stand-alone-comes-later I've only seen at Humble so far though.

Most games come with all the required (Microsoft/Apple/Unity/Unreal etc) dependancies in a neat little folder, but these are normally all web-installers. You will not be getting out of that though, it is the only way to make sure these frameworks are installed properly and in their latest patched up versions. Beyond the files being outdated in most cases, you'd end up with several hundreds of MB extra to download along your game each time instead of say 5 MB each.

Post January 4th, 2014, 1:45 pm

Posts: 29
Duck wrote:
Anamnesis wrote:
I think Humble (along with most sites) leaves the exact definition of "DRM-free" in the hands of the developers. GOG is the only site I know of that takes a hands-on approach - ensuring games are DRM-free, come packaged with any necessary dependencies, and don't invisibly call home with info. (Maybe others do too, and just don't advertise it as well.)


'DRM-free' is mostly read as 'stand-alone client' by most users and (re)sellers alike, which is of course not the same..

GoG sells partially DRM-ed games and will increase the amount of these in their catalogue if they hold to the results of the community votes and their own decisions from that which were published on GoG.com last year.
It's mostly patching (GoG tends to be far behind on patches) and multi-player though but then that goes for most 'Humble DRM-free sold games' as well. The whole stand-alone-comes-later I've only seen at Humble so far though.

Most games come with all the required (Microsoft/Apple/Unity/Unreal etc) dependancies in a neat little folder, but these are normally all web-installers. You will not be getting out of that though, it is the only way to make sure these frameworks are installed properly and in their latest patched up versions. Beyond the files being outdated in most cases, you'd end up with several hundreds of MB extra to download along your game each time instead of say 5 MB each.


You're right that the online multiplayer portions of some GOG games *do* require individual license keys - so yes, even they aren't 100% DRM-free for all functionality. But yes, they *do* get out of the web installer thing, and yes, it increases the file size of the installer considerably. It's a trade-off, with no cut-and-dry solution.

Post January 5th, 2014, 11:46 am

Posts: 160
Duck wrote:
Definations are a bit silly nowadays or just abused.
'indie', 'drm-free', 'aaa' etc etc used to mean something not long ago, but now
either it's generic or means just really nothing at all anymore really.

If it's truly DRM-free there is never any form of log-in or registration of the game
required.

The very only store that hasn't blurred the line but warned when a game did break
this rule is GoG. Don't Starve e.g. is not DRM-free as sold by them as it requires
you to register the game with Klei after purchase as well.

Games sold by Humble as DRM-free most the time are but will have e.g. a delayed
DRM-free file launch (e.g. Hammerwatch) or Steamworks multiplayer (e.g. Monaco) at
times.


Apparently registering Don't Starve with Klei is completely optional, so that makes it DRM-free unless GOG is lying. Monaco also has a LAN multiplayer mode which doesn't require Steam at all.

Post January 5th, 2014, 3:32 pm

Posts: 274
Anamnesis wrote:
You're right that the online multiplayer portions of some GOG games *do* require individual license keys - so yes, even they aren't 100% DRM-free for all functionality. But yes, they *do* get out of the web installer thing, and yes, it increases the file size of the installer considerably. It's a trade-off, with no cut-and-dry solution.


The pre-packaged requised files are fine to get the game running indeed. They are however, generally outdated so not recommended. You'd have the game running, but you'd still have the need to update online ASAP. Not really an advantage therefore as you'll need internet connection anyways to download a game..

SirPrimalform wrote:
Apparently registering Don't Starve with Klei is completely optional, so that makes it DRM-free unless GOG is lying. Monaco also has a LAN multiplayer mode which doesn't require Steam at all.


Completely? Not really. Sure, you can play an outdated version like the other games have as well, but GoG compared to Steam is at least weeks to months behind on pathes and updates in general and not just for recent games. Same to a lesser extent is true for Desura compared to Steam, mind. GoG is not lying about you being able to play the game without it, but then again nor are EA, Ubisoft, Rockstar, 2K and just about any other company around. Can play? Yes. Can play the full, updated game '100% offline'? Hardly ever.

LAN requires no access at all to the internet, Steam or otherwise. You just need 2 users with close to identical copies of the client software and compatible and connected hardware.
If it's a major update behind, it often will not work, let alone be missing content. Steamworks multiplayer is online MP though and hasn't really got anything to do with local co-op/MP. True local co-op aka 'hot-seat' gaming goes further in only needing the game to support it and perhaps adding a controller or so.

Post January 11th, 2014, 4:57 am

Posts: 29
My studio's game, Dungeon of Elements is the current daily deal. It is truly DRM free. The game you get has no online activation.

You *ALSO* receive a Desura key, but that is in addition to the DRM free download.

If/when we get Greenlit on Steam, you will *ALSO* receive a steam key. But that is in addition to your DRM free copy and your Desura key.

So with Dungeon of Elements you get a TON of options and hopefully every possible way you want it. :)
Michael Hartman
Frogdice
Our Worlds, Your Imagination
http://www.frogdice.com

Post January 11th, 2014, 9:18 pm

Posts: 1
Hi Michael / Frogdice,

Just wanted to say your post above just secured another purchase from me.
Dungeon of Elements, cool game btw. Looking forward to funding providing some sort of a multiplayer spin off/DLC at some point in the future? Could be fun.

Also should be noted as not strictly mentioned above, Steam/Desura keys usually require a "minimum" $1 pledge.
So would urge you to edit above for ease of clarification.

Also in case you check here first, Question of steam keys with IGS has been asked in Steam page comments by
(Morbeous) "This is todays deal on Indiegamestand. Will those that buy from there get a Steam key when available?"

So might be worth a quick Dev response there to grab some more sales.

Wishing Frogdice well this year. :geek:

Post January 12th, 2014, 6:05 am

Posts: 29
Thanks Overseer - both for getting the game and also for explaining some things for me.

Yes, $1 and up for Desura/Steam keys. I thought $1 was the minimum here so I had assumed that was implied. Maybe not so I guess it is good to be clarifying here.

I also posted a message in the Steam comments to address the concerns of folks there also.

Thanks!
Michael Hartman
Frogdice
Our Worlds, Your Imagination
http://www.frogdice.com

Post January 12th, 2014, 7:43 am

Posts: 914
Location: Utah
Frogdice wrote:
I thought $1 was the minimum here so I had assumed that was implied. Maybe not so I guess it is good to be clarifying here.

Although the average tends to be a decent amount over $1, 25 cents will secure you a drm-free copy with no keys should games release on desura, steam or other platforms going forward. At least that was the way last time I checked. There is very rarely a reason to pay less than $1, so I think a lot of us forget about that.

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