Posts Tagged: ‘DRM’

DRM Is Evil. Game Maker Has Horrible DRM. Game Maker Is Evil.

November 28, 2012 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Game Maker DRM is EvilCross Posted from Divine Knight Gaming.

I will never understand why companies continue to insist on using DRM. It makes absolutely no sense to punch your paying customers in the gut, call them pirates and tell them to stop stealing your stuff. These are your paying customers. They paid you. Why would you insist on treating them like thieves?

DRM is absolutely one of the most evil inventions in software. If you read anything I write here or elsewhere, you will know how I feel about DRM and companies that use it. I will never use it in any game I develop nor would I be willing to deal with DRM as a consumer. As a Linux user, I have to deal with the fallout from DRM on a most everyday basis. I am not legally allowed to watch DVDs on my computer. I couldn’t until recently watch Netflix on my computer. (I only can because some very clever developers not affiliated with Netflix made it possible.) And many games will not run properly even through Wine because the DRM is incompatible. All these things have soured me to any company that uses it.

That is why the recent news of Game Maker’s absolutely disgusting DRM implementation has me gagging. YoYo games go so far beyond what most companies do with DRM that they are beyond redemption. This company has designed their software that if it so much as gets a hint of you being a pirate, they will permanently vandalize your game. Seriously. They will force images of the Jolly Roger onto all your sprites in a bid to shame you into… what… paying? Paying for software you already paid for? That is the kicker. The people getting hit by this “retribution” paid for the software. They are not pirates.

The problems with this DRM seem to be so bad that the only way to recover from it is to completely uninstall Game Maker, delete every last trace of the program from your computer and reinstall. That is absolutely unacceptable. So not only is the developer out the time it take to clean up their computer and reinstall the software, they also have to spend days possibly weeks restoring their artwork. For what? They privilege of paying? I am sorry. That is evil.

To make matters worse, according to one former paying customer, they have absolutely horrid customer service that will at the earliest possible moment, accuse you of piracy. Then they will treat you like crap and silence you if you try to complain. No. That is wrong on every level.

I had long ago made the decision to not use Game Maker in my game development work. Primarily because it lacks support for Linux. But this seals the deal for me. I will never recommend this tool for any game developer, ever. I will never willingly submit anyone to such destructive and abusive developers. No one deserves to have their hard work destroyed in that way.

It doesn’t even matter that YoYo has promised to strip out that particular action from the DRM. Why? Because they will continue to rely on other just as bad if passive attacks on you the paying customers. It is time that this company felt the pains that come with such tactics. They need to lose business. Those using the tool, need to stop. There are plenty of other great tools available that you could use. I have talked about several. There are many more that I have not talked about.

We just need to stop supporting DRM using companies altogether. If they insist on treating paying customers like trash and thieves, they do not deserve our business. They deserve to fail. That is all there is to it.

Don’t Hate Your Fans

August 6, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

It has come to my attention, in a rather unsettling way, that content producers are more and more often turning to an adversarial relationship with their fans. I have seen this over the last year in the games industry as more and more game companies are turning to always on DRM (Ubisoft, Blizzard) or are turning to forcing fans to pay extra for online play if they get the game second hand (EA, THQ among others). This type of adversarial behavior is not even confined to games. It happens in film, music and television. Just recently, I had an encounter with SyFy over the policy of punishing fans of their shows who choose to watch online.

In everyone of these cases, the content producers are somehow “surprised” that their decisions are met with backlash from their fans. I don’t really understand why anyone can be surprised by that reaction. When you treat someone well for many years and then, for seemingly no reason, decide to slap them across their face, it should be no surprise that your fans will react poorly. (more…)

PS3 Troubles Abound

February 4, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Dead PS3

Not my PS3

Well, I have been enjoying my PS3 since Christmas, at least when it works.

I can’t play all PS3 games for it. I have no idea why. I borrowed Folklore from my brother and the game locks up right at the beginning. I have been able to play it for maybe 5 minutes. But after that initial 5 minutes the game completely locks up and I have to hard shut down the PS3. So I gave up on that. I gave it back to him and borrowed White Knight Chronicles. Fun game if you ignore the graphics glitches.

Next I bought three games for it (all brand new), Valkyria Chronicles, Disgaea 3 and Resonance of Fate. Valkyria Chronicles and Disgaea 3 play just fine and are really fun. Resonance of Fate, however, is a different story.

Resonance of Fate gives me an infinite loading problem. The first transition between levels locks up on the loading screen. Sega has been of little help. According to this forum thread, this is a fairly widespread issue, but Sega refuses to acknowledge the problem. When I contacted support, this is all they said:

Hi,

After thorough testing our QA team have been unable to replicate the issue.

This indicates the problem is hardware related (as opposed to software)

In order to fix the issue, please follow the solutions below:

1. You can try to create a new user account on your PS3.
2. As stated previously ensure you possess the latest firmware.
3. Ensure the disc lens is clean
4. If you bought a second hand disc ensure there is no scratch or dust on the surface of the disc

Best regards,

SEGA Customer Support

Yeah, big help.

So I tried replacing my PS3 with the same model (CECHA01) and the game disk with the same result. So thanks Sega for the great game I can’t play.

Now my PS3’s disk drive died on me. I went to play a game and ejected the music cd that was in it and the gears gave out. Now it won’t take in any disk. I plan on taking it to the store I got it from and they said they will see if they can fix it. If they can’t I may just return it and use the money to fix my computer. Maybe.

Maybe this is all for the better. Sony is doing some really annoying things in regards to their “security” issues. Capcom has decided that you have to be logged in to PSN to play single player games and it seems more of this is coming. Is it really worth it to own a console that the manufacturer doesn’t think you own? Is it worth it to invest in games that the developer doesn’t think you own? I am really beginning to wonder about the direction of the mainstream games industry.

Sell Me Local and Online Play Separately

June 29, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

With EA’s decision to charge $10 for online play and Ubisoft and THQ looking to follow suit, is it about time that game publishers started selling local and online play separately? Drop the price of the local play to $50 and charge another $10 for those who want to play online.

It seems obvious that $10 is the price that EA has given online play is all they value that feature at. So why make everyone pay for it when getting a new copy when those who purchase used have the choice?

I find it hard to believe that everyone who buys a game new will play for any extended period of time. EA has already decided to give everyone a 7 day free pass designed around the idea that people will borrow or rent their games and want to play online for that time. Why not give that option to everyone who buys used or new and then charge everyone the $10 if they want to go online for longer than that. (more…)

Our Ever Connected Gaming World

June 29, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Over the last few months, I have been thinking more deeply about the ever connected gaming world and what exactly that means, not just for the consumer but also for the games we play.

This console generation is the first generation of consoles to all have a connection to the internet. All three consoles have online multiplayer, downloadable content and servers that need to be maintained in order for that functionality to continue.

This generation of game consoles have also brought about the ability to patch and update not just the games on the console but also the console itself.

Have you ever thought of what that means for the games of this generation when the switch on those servers is turned off?

There is already some evidence of what will happen. (more…)