And Stardock raises the white flag (to Valve)

By on February 20, 2012 4:24:49 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

GoaFan77

Join Date 10/2008
+522

Its the end of an era folks.

Quoting Yarlen,
The Steam client will be required for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion for initial install, updates and Internet multiplayer, regardless of purchase location. You can choose to play in offline mode via the Steam client after initial install, though ICO features and achievements will no longer be available.

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4. Gamers shall have the right to have their games not require a third party download manager installed in order for the game to function.

...

8. Gamers have the right to use their games without being inconvenienced due to copy protection or digital rights management.

Now its debatable whether this news actually goes against the PC gamers bill of rights Stardock pushed forward 3-4 years ago, but it certainly seems an ominous change of pace for the company to me. Are the other Stardock gaming communities concerned? Will other Stardock titles follow suite? Does this symbolically show the finalization of the Steam monopoly, short of the self sufficient EA and Blizzard titles? What does the wider community think, and what can we do about it?

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February 20, 2012 4:37:02 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Brads comment about Steamworks from december 2011

Quoting Frogboy,
Quoting Rebell44, reply 443
So what will your future games use if GameStop manage to screw up Impulse Reactor (or if they dont release at all)?

 


I'm not sure.  That's the thing, people rail about Steamworks without presenting an alternative.
One of the things I regularly said (in this thread I think) is that Steamworks IS VERY GOOD and that the industry needs to provide alternatives.
Impulse::Reactor certainly has the capability to be an alternative but it has to be released to developers first.
For example, we have Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion in development. We (Stardock and Ironclad) want the multiplayer to be compelling (lots of stats, match making, leaderboards, achievements, in game chat, voice over IP) basic stuff these days.  If we choose Steamworks, you'll see a riot. But what would those users demand we use instead?
I see a lot of angst but I don't see a lot of viable solutions.

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February 20, 2012 4:43:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Rebell44,
Brads comment about STeamworks from december 2011

Yes, I remember that. And I agree that the apparent disappearance of Impulse Reactor with the Impulse sale put Stardock in a bad place. But I know several long time Sins players have sadly cancelled their pre orders with this news, and I suspect many more will follow now that its been explicitly stated. Economically they're taking a bet that people will care more about some extra multiplayer features than being Steam independent. And for the current Sins user base I don't think that's correct.

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February 20, 2012 4:45:30 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
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February 20, 2012 4:46:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


 What does the wider community think, and what can we do about it?

 

I know I don't give a shit, but I'm rare among gamers.  I'm sure you will gets tons of people to nerd-rage about this, and any other little thing any Spart-nerd-acus out there wants to rage about.  Anger of trivial shit is the way of the forum posting basement dwelling troglodyte.

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February 20, 2012 4:52:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

There is currently one billboard on the internet for gaming... it's called Steam.

Publisher's want people to SEE their game.

That's all it is.

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February 20, 2012 4:55:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

This pretty much means I have to do one of two things. Either give up on playing Rebellion or consider moving any potentially personal stuff to one machine that doesn't have Steam.

Just call me paranoid.

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February 20, 2012 4:57:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why would you have to move stuff?  I truly don't get it...  

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February 20, 2012 4:59:14 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting wbino,
That's all it is.

Sure, I'm in no way objecting to Stardock selling titles on Steam. The increased players counts are great. Its forcing players to use their whole system regardless of where they bought the game that's new and unfortunate. Perhaps it is an old fashioned view, but it was one that had a sympathetic reception here at Stardock once.

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February 20, 2012 4:59:55 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Draakjacht,
Just call me paranoid.

You're paranoid 

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February 20, 2012 5:01:16 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It practically just ostracizes people who don't want to deal with Steam.

They could have at least given us the option to not deal with Steam in anyway like Trinity. I don't care if ICO is insufficient, I just don't want to deal with Steam.

Also what ever happened to that Stardock Store or w/e?

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February 20, 2012 5:07:48 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Rovert10,
It practically just ostracizes people who don't want to deal with Steam.

They could have at least given us the option to not deal with Steam in anyway like Trinity. I don't care if ICO is insufficient, I just don't want to deal with Steam.

10, 15, 20 of you? How many compared to the gains of offering this on steam. I doubt they have the resources to offer a Steam and ICO version anyways but who knows maybe they will.

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February 20, 2012 5:13:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting ZombiesRus5,
Quoting Rovert10, reply 10It practically just ostracizes people who don't want to deal with Steam.

They could have at least given us the option to not deal with Steam in anyway like Trinity. I don't care if ICO is insufficient, I just don't want to deal with Steam.

10, 15, 20 of you? How many compared to the gains of offering this on steam. I doubt they have the resources to offer a Steam and ICO version anyways but who knows maybe they will.

Sad thing is that I will probably still buy this game.

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February 20, 2012 5:13:39 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

GoaFan77, Stardock first raised the white flag to Valve and Steam when they sold off Impulse to GameStop and said "goodbye" to being a provider of digital downloads and a competitor to Steam.  This was inevitable after that and the death of Impulse::Reactor.

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February 20, 2012 5:30:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Catching flies with honey, huh? Sad to say that glad that I didn't preorder Rebellion.

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February 20, 2012 5:46:08 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting SpardaSon21,
GoaFan77, Stardock first raised the white flag to Valve and Steam when they sold off Impulse to GameStop and said "goodbye" to being a provider of digital downloads and a competitor to Steam.  This was inevitable after that and the death of Impulse::Reactor.

Exactly when Stardock sold off Impulse the hand writing was on the wall.

I can't see someone who loves this game not play it because of Steam.  

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February 20, 2012 6:12:07 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

It's not like there is any good alternative to what Steam provides.  I know that a lot of people have some kind of irrational hatred toward Steam.  Thats their right, but they had better not plan on playing many PC games for long since Steam (and Steam-like systems) are the future of PC gaming.  Rampant software piracy combined with the features that Steam provides kind of forces this.

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February 20, 2012 6:13:49 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

(edited by boshimi336 to remove frustrated comments)

 

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February 20, 2012 6:17:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I thought about it for a while, not really sure what I should do.. Then I said to hell with it and decided I'd install steam and await Rebellion... Little did I know, that it would be my computer tower itself that would rebel! The moment I opened the steam exe, my computer suddenly shuddered and made these strange noises.. Then, without warning (ignoring the shuddering and voices?) it jumped up off of my desk and transformed into a 6 foot tall robot of evael. Not knowing what to do, aside from jumping back and throwing books at it (I am a black-belt in bookfu afterall), all of which it easily blocked. So standing there stammering to say something witty, at times like those I draw in on what Jack Burton would say at a time like that, but just before I could the damned thing spit out my Big Trouble in Little China dvd at me, striking me across the bridge of my nose.

 

Staggered, I took a moment to catch my balance, only.. I took too long! The Steam powered evael machine noticed my discombobulated state and seized the opening with a devastating shoulder charge to my midsection! However, at the last possible moment I caught my balance and came crashing down with a thunderous elbow upon the back of the machine! It crumbled down to one knee, at which time I took a moment to say, "What now bitch!? Yeah looks like you aren't so big and ba-" before I could finish my glorious taunt of epicausity, the bastard struck hard on my unprotected foot, causing a surge of pain so sudden that I bit my tongue. Painful. I think I taste bloo- and before I could even finish that thought, I was struck again, this time straight in the region of my testicular fortitude, which forced me to lean forward in agony, only to have my head grabbed and locked into position for a DDT through the air and into my desk.

 

So there I lay, foot hurting, tongue bleeding, testicular fortitude in question, head aching, pride uncertain, I use the last ounce of my strength to stare at the damned thing and utter, "The checks in the mail--" then it was lights out. The next thing I knew I was a petite blonde with pigtails staring into a window staring into myself staring into a mirror. I looked down at myself from head to toe and I could feel a tear starting to well up in my right eye, then.. the mirror shattered with the Steam powered fist of the evael machine, I just got sucker punched! The End.

 

 

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February 20, 2012 6:26:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Why are you acting like this is shocking?

 

Its no secret that even in Stardock there was some Steam love. When they had Impulse they were at competition with them so...you get the anti Steam from them.

They dont own Impulse so any non Steam views are gone from a competitive stand point.

 

Its not Stardock's fault, its not Ironclad's.

 

You wanna blame anyone for their choice in Steamworks. Blame GameStop, blame any other digital distribution service. If you want games not to use Steamworks, then give Devs a great alternative to Steamworks.

 

The reason you see more and more games use Steamworks and other Steam realated toys(Steam Workshop  ) is no one is making products to challenge them. Till someone creates something that can do MP support, achivements, easy patching, etc etc etc. Why would any Dev not use Steamworks?

 

On a related note, From Yarlen post you can still play Rebellion in SP offline. So the 'DRM' is just like what Stardock does already. A one time online activation. 

 

 

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February 20, 2012 6:39:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting wbino,
I can't see someone who loves this game not play it because of Steam.  

In this thread you have more than one though.

 

Quoting -Ue_Carbon,
You wanna blame anyone for their choice in Steamworks. Blame GameStop, blame any other digital distribution service. If you want games not to use Steamworks, then give Devs a great alternative to Steamworks.
 

Why bother? The "enlightened" users flame anything that would mean they not being able to use their Steamlove. "Why use a new born clone of Steamlove when I already have everything in Steam?" is not new.

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February 20, 2012 6:47:37 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I have no problem if Stardock makes it AVAILABLE on Steam for those that prefer that platform, but NOT REQUIRE it for those of us that don't. As far as I'm concerned, REQUIRING Steam is a total betrayal by Stardock. I will NOT buy anything that REQUIRES me to use Steam.

I could have sworn I saw a Stardock post a while back stating that we would be able to use the "new" Stardock client for all our Stardock games. I was looking forward to Rebellion, not anymore. Goodbye Stardock.

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February 20, 2012 6:59:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There is a new Stardock download thingy in development. I know it is supposed to work for Elemental. I never got to play Sins online because by the time I bought it everyone had become too good at it or just left. Plus you can't have mods in multiplayer. So in essence this won't affect me in the least. Probably a good call to put an MP focused game on Steam. Losing the odd SPMaverick is probably best for the company anyways. 

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February 20, 2012 6:59:45 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I am looking forward to Rebellion release

Also I hope game will have SteamCloud support

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February 20, 2012 7:11:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting seanw3,
Plus you can't have mods in multiplayer.

 

Where did you get that info? Mods are played all the time on ICO and LAN.

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February 20, 2012 7:13:14 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

In all these discussions, I have never heard someone suggest what alternative should be used for the features Steamworks provides.

The issue for us isn't Steam. It's Steamworks. I've talked about this very issue for literally years.  IMO, the OS vendor should be providing this stuff for free and aggressively supporting it. But they're not.  

Frankly, as a game developer, I think it's ridiculous that there aren't viable alternatives to Steamworks. But there aren't.  And at the end of the day, we want to make great games. And Steamworks helps us do that.  

If someone wants to point to a viable alternative to Steamworks, then do so.  Otherwise, asking us to cripple the experience for 95% of the player base (in-game achievements, leader boards, multiplayer help -- people are going to freak when they see how well Rebellion does in MP compared to Trinity, player stats, etc.) is unreasonable.  People want these features. They're expected in modern games.  

Too much of this reminds me of the days when people railed because we started making Windows games (when we started out an OS/2 developer).  We just want to make cool stuff that people enjoy using.   

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