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I just think MANY organizations go about it the wrong way. Piracy isn't something you can have or not have. Trying to fight it is like swimming up river. You need to facilitate it and take advantage of it where possible.

 

Lets run some hypothetical options here:

Option 1

Users sign up to this portal and become a LE SDK Trial Owner for 60 days (or whatever). They get the full SDK updater and all. When the 60 days are up they're automatically downgraded to Member status, they can no longer update the SDK, and until they become a full owner they can never release their product at all.

Advantages:

- You open up your engine to a MUCH larger audience.

- You no longer have to maintain the trial software (Which, when I tried it myself, was broken and dirty).

- You compete against the likes of UE3, which is now under a similar sales model.

- You effectively beat piracy (The user still has the software, but no support framework, which cannot be pirated).

 

Disadvantages:

- You no longer get sales from upfront buyers.

- May need to beat repeat trail subscribers (Force people to register with a credit card number?). That could be a problem.

 

I'm sure there are more, as I haven't put too much thought into it.

 

But my point is this - Its not as easy as "Oh we'll just lock it all down". That may just end up hurting your sales more than you realize.

Its food for though at the very least.

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facilitate theft? :lol:

Correct. You need to provision for piracy. I think if you want to be smart about it you will want to stop thinking of piracy as a kind of theft and more as a kind of distribution channel. Why? Because its there whether you like it or not. Don't get me wrong, you need to 'stem the flow' so to speak, but your software will always be trickling out that channel. You might as well look at ways of bringing those customers in to buy the software. For example, this forum with its support framework is a good way of reeling in customers who have a pirated copy of LE but want support.

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Correct. You need to provision for piracy. I think if you want to be smart about it you will want to stop thinking of piracy as a kind of theft and more as a kind of distribution channel.

 

 

 

a kind of theft? it is theft. You seem to base everything on the premise people who go looking for pirated software are in the market to buy? :lol:

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The community site is the only really effective prevention. Even if they get their hands on the SDK somehow, they are still locked out of the community. And we are having quite a lot of fun in here.

 

The installer/updater is for convenience, not piracy prevention. Before this was implemented we had to wait weeks in between small fixes. I would spend an hour making an installer, then find out a few days later I left out some little detail, then go back and make a new installer, then everyone had to download the whole thing all over again. It's incredibly convenient to be able to just upload one file and have everyone updated. But I agree it is a pain for the few people who have had trouble with it. Maybe we can start with a full installer, and have it include the updater, so they can install and then run the updater whenever they feel like. It would only have to download the files that have changed, so it would be fast.

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a kind of theft? it is theft. You seem to base everything on the premise people who go looking for pirated software are in the market to buy? :lol:

I'm sorry but you're missing the point. You're thinking too black and white and you're taking my comments too literially. Of course its theft. But if you treat it as such you'll get nowhere. That is simple fact. And of course not all pirates are buyers, some simply don't have the funds. But you can't do anything about that, so you focus on what you CAN do. And what you CAN do is in fact quite a bit. Research has shown that a large number of pirates actually are willing to buy a product, even after they have pirated it.

Check out what the 2D Boy devs managed to do. A huge amount of people bought the game a year after it came out, and a sift through the comments showed a suprising amount of people who bought the game well after they had pirated it and played it. This shows that given enough reasons (convenience, support, addons, etc) someone previously known as a pirate can pay money to buy software.

 

The community site is the only really effective prevention. Even if they get their hands on the SDK somehow, they are still locked out of the community. And we are having quite a lot of fun in here.

 

The installer/updater is for convenience, not piracy prevention. Before this was implemented we had to wait weeks in between small fixes. I would spend an hour making an installer, then find out a few days later I left out some little detail, then go back and make a new installer, then everyone had to download the whole thing all over again. It's incredibly convenient to be able to just upload one file and have everyone updated. But I agree it is a pain for the few people who have had trouble with it. Maybe we can start with a full installer, and have it include the updater, so they can install and then run the updater whenever they feel like. It would only have to download the files that have changed, so it would be fast.

Aye, I think this site was a great move. Its such a simple and effective way of getting people to pay. Thats another thing - People seem to have a problem paying for software. But give them something dynamic and growing like this, where they can get attached to and participate in, is a bit different.

I think the next step for you in terms of marketing the product would be to polish up your trial SDK - Maybe add the updater in there so you can at least keep the trial SDK up to date along side the full SDK (For example, updates and patches to the editor which I presume you'd include in the Trial SDK). With that setup, you could polish up the updater with some incentives for people tp upgrade then and there. For example every time a user updates the Trial have some banner stuff or a video running in the window with 'you get this this and this plus our amazing community blah blah only for $200 etc'.

On the purchasing subject - Surely you're sinking time on manually registering people? I wonder how easy it'd be to centralise everything and have the updater use the account details from WerkSpace to determine whether a user is Owner or Trialer. Thay way you could simple upgrade someones account when they pay. Job done.

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I'm sorry but you're missing the point. You're thinking too black and white and you're taking my comments too literially. Of course its theft. But if you treat it as such you'll get nowhere. That is simple fact. And of course not all pirates are buyers, some simply don't have the funds.

 

 

I am not sure which point it is I am supposed to have missed, at every turn you try to downgrade the act of Piracy from theft. The more I read of your replies makes you sound like an apologist for piracy. Again you try to infer that its only a small minority of pirates and or users of such wares that are not buyers, when clearly its the other way around.

 

I am certain Josh can handle his own marketing and knows how to present his product to the public.

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Everything should be free and we'll finally have our communist utopia. You go first.

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I am not sure which point it is I am supposed to have missed, at every turn you try to downgrade the act of Piracy from theft. The more I read of your replies makes you sound like an apologist for piracy. Again you try to infer that its only a small minority of pirates and or users of such wares that are not buyers, when clearly its the other way around.

 

I am certain Josh can handle his own marketing and knows how to present his product to the public.

I can agree with you there. It is the other way around - Looking back I think I should have used 'most' instead of 'some' on a number of occasions. But I think my points are still valid.

That said, it is just my opinion and obviously you have an opposing one. So I think we'll just leave it there.

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I can agree with you there. It is the other way around - Looking back I think I should have used 'most' instead of 'some' on a number of occasions. But I think my points are still valid.

That said, it is just my opinion and obviously you have an opposing one. So I think we'll just leave it there.

 

 

Sure no problems DJDD, I am of the opinion that Piracy is theft and hurts not only the developer but legitimate users as well, and they need to be "starved" not "fed". :blink:

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The reason people are willing to pay to enter a private community like this is because they have to. They don't have the option of pirating an account here, or they would. Which is why I want to provide a really good community experience for registered users. (Yes I know the forum is slow right now and it will be improved.)

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I don't think the wiki is appropriate for storing bits of useful code. The downloads section seems more appropriate.

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Sure no problems DJDD, I am of the opinion that Piracy is theft and hurts not only the developer but legitimate users as well, and they need to be "starved" not "fed". :blink:

Again, I completely agree. My problem is that many developers (Or more likely, their publishers) seem to think that putting in draconian DRM over their software in a direct defense against piracy works. It doesn't. In fact in most cases it hurts the legitimate customers, which can damage the developers public image and thusly long term sales.

 

The reason people are willing to pay to enter a private community like this is because they have to. They don't have the option of pirating an account here, or they would. Which is why I want to provide a really good community experience for registered users. (Yes I know the forum is slow right now and it will be improved.)

Of course Josh - That is my whole point! When someone goes and downloads your SDK illegitimately and likes it, what do you think the next logical step would be? Well of course they'll want more - They'll want updates, new features, and to continue to develop. They'll no doubt very quickly find this forum and join as a member. Sooner or later they'll see the value of what this site offers for SDK Owners in amongst the added bonus of being able to update and get new features. Then, at that point, they have a choice to buy or not to. And, I think at that point, there is a very real chances they'll buy.

Now lets be realistic - As Marleys Ghost rightly pointed out, someone who downloads the SDK illegally has a high chance of NOT buying your software. I think research says its around the 10% mark that do buy.

So what do you do?

A great many developers/publishers opt for the option of spending many resources and money locking down the software itself in a plethora of security measures. Unfortunately all that does is starve off the pirates for a day or two and if the DRM is bad enough it can directly impact the customer experience. In fact, more than once there has been a HUGE public backlash when a title has entered the market with a notoriously bad DRM (Google the Spore release).

That is what I have a problem with. I think that option is so stupid, so fool-hardy and so ill-concieved it pains me every time I see it.

The real way to attack piracy is increasingly being used and discovered:

Great customer experience - Valves Steam allows one to buy a game instantly and download it at often lightening speeds. Updates can be released at any point and require no user intervention. There are always specials and deals on games and they are often $10 or more cheaper than retail. The point is, it is often easier to just buy the game on Steam than download and crack it.

Provide services that cannot be downloaded and cracked - Steam is another good example. Any game that requires multiplayer and is run on steam cannot be cracked. Therefore games like Left 4 Dead and Counter Strike must be bought, otherwise they aren't worth playing. I guess this is where LeadWerks comes in as well. The online updater and forum community system cannot be cracked and are a great incentive to buy the software.

 

Now this is where my previous points tie in - If you are able to promote and utilize those options to attack piracy, then piracy becomes more of another distribution channel because now you're focusing on showing them that life is better if you pay whats owed.

 

And please let me iterate one more time - I realize the majority of pirates just won't pay up. Thats just the way it is. You can't get them all, but you can at least try in the best way possible.

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Again, I completely agree. My problem is that many developers (Or more likely, their publishers) seem to think that putting in draconian DRM over their software in a direct defense against piracy works. It doesn't. In fact in most cases it hurts the legitimate customers, which can damage the developers public image and thusly long term sales.

 

 

What DRM has LE got? you seem to be advocating a public full version with time limit and or crippled in some way... thats the very versions pirates like and the reason is obvious :blink:

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I don't think the wiki is appropriate for storing bits of useful code. The downloads section seems more appropriate.

So we're keeping the wiki as a store for engine function definitions but useful code chunks are stored in the forum?

Hrm. I'm not sure I like the idea of splitting the two code repositories up. But I can understand why you want to make the move to a more secure environment.

Josh, I'd like to suggest you look into integrating the Wiki into IPB. As I suspected there is already a well established plug-in to make this possible for you: http://www.ipbwiki.com/Ipb_Wiki:Integration_Of_Invision_Power_Board_with_MediaWiki

This means you can still use the wiki but utilize the power of IPB.

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What DRM has LE got? you seem to be advocating a public full version with time limit and or crippled in some way... thats the very versions pirates like and the reason is obvious :blink:

I'd like to point out that you seem to have a nasty habit of taking my posts out of context - I have never said that LE has DRM. And that option was a hypothetical I made mention of a few posts back.

Please take a step back and look at what we're discussing here, because unfortunately you seem to be attacking small portions of my opinions and taking them out of context instead of actually having a real conversation.

For example, start with things you agree with me on. Surely you agree that some forms of DRM are self defeating (Starforce)?

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I'd like to point out that you seem to have a nasty habit of taking my posts out of context - I have never said that LE has DRM. And that option was a hypothetical I made mention of a few posts back.

Please take a step back and look at what we're discussing here, because unfortunately you seem to be attacking small portions of my opinions and taking them out of context instead of actually having a real conversation.

For example, start with things you agree with me on. Surely you agree that some forms of DRM are self defeating (Starforce)?

 

 

well, I thought we were discussing Leadwerks, so what has DRM got to do with it? or even Starforce? I address only small portions because its those parts that have any relevence to the product in question. So I am not really taking anything out of context, just trimming the fat :blink:

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well, I thought we were discussing Leadwerks, so what has DRM got to do with it? or even Starforce? I address only small portions because its those parts that have any relevence to the product in question. So I am not really taking anything out of context, just trimming the fat :blink:

Ah I see. No I have been talking about piracy in general.

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I don't want to be shunned or anything, but I fell into that 10% mark.

 

When I was 12 I got Garry's Mod 9, I thought it was the best game ever, then Steam popped up about Garry's Mod 10 for $10, but at the time I didn't have PayPal access, so it was a no-go. I had recently stumbled onto the likes of uTorrent, The Pirate Bay, etc., and gave it a try.

 

I played cracked GMOD 10 from The Pirate Bay using some kind of fake Steam API it included for about 2-3 days, and it was so fun that I begfed my mom to buy it for me.

 

I can guarantee you that, at the time, had I not had the chance to "try out" GMOD 10 without buying it I would have never bought it. And the reason I did buy it was so that I could play online with other people, get updates, etc.

 

Again, I don't want to be shunned here, and I know I won't be, because I can guarantee everyone out there has illegally downloaded SOME type of digital media ;).

 

 

Just my 2 cents on how piracy is GOOD in some cases, but BAD in the long term,

Tyler

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Macklebee, I'd like to ask you something -

Lets say you just finished making your dream game. Looks awesome, plays awesome, is going to sell reasonably well. Well enough that you'll sell it on both a digital distribution channel (Steam, etc) and on store shelves. What methods will you employ to protect your game from piracy?

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Macklebee, I'd like to ask you something -

Lets say you just finished making your dream game. Looks awesome, plays awesome, is going to sell reasonably well. Well enough that you'll sell it on both a digital distribution channel (Steam, etc) and on store shelves. What methods will you employ to protect your game from piracy?

 

I wouldn't implement any type of DRM or piracy protection.

It would only affect legitimate players, since crackers are more skilled than most actual game developers and publishers out there, and it would only hinder actual gameplay. The first thing I do when I buy a boxed copy of a game from EA is grab the NO-CD patch, since it actually reduces memory consumption and fixes some bugs I may incur.

 

DRM is stupid. Everything has been cracked. Anything in the future for security will be cracked. It is just how it works...

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Macklebee, I'd like to ask you something -

Lets say you just finished making your dream game. Looks awesome, plays awesome, is going to sell reasonably well. Well enough that you'll sell it on both a digital distribution channel (Steam, etc) and on store shelves. What methods will you employ to protect your game from piracy?

 

Honestly I am no where close to even having to worry about that right now. But when I do, I will let you know. But I can guarantee I will try to lessen the blow of piracy. To do nothing is to just encourage it even though there is no way to completely stop it. Its like everything else illegal in the world. If you do nothing to try to curb it, it will turn to chaos. But its a pointless question for me at the moment, until I am actually at that point or even close to it.

 

There is no way you have never even listened to a song you didn't pay for.

 

Well, Tyler I am not a kid. I didn't grow up in the age of napster or torrent, where downloading things illegally was the norm. Just because you cannot imagine not ever downloading something illegally does not mean everyone has or will. Call it a generational thing, a personal choice, or whatever, but sorry, I have never personally downloaded anything illegal. If I want something enough I will just buy it, even if I have to save up.

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Honestly I am no where close to even having to worry about that right now. But when I do, I will let you know. But I can guarantee I will try to lessen the blow of piracy. To do nothing is to just encourage it even though there is no way to completely stop it. Its like everything else illegal in the world. If you do nothing to try to curb it, it will turn to chaos. But its a pointless question for me at the moment, until I am actually at that point or even close to it.

Well humor me Macklebee, I'm trying to illicit some meaningful discussion here.

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