Tuesday, March 24th 2009

Steamworks Makes DRM Obsolete

Valve today announced a new set of advanced features delivered in Steamworks, a complete suite of publishing and development tools that are available free of charge to developers and publishers worldwide.
Headlining the new feature set is the Custom Executable Generation (CEG) technology that compliments the already existing anti-piracy solution offered in Steamworks. A customer friendly approach to anti-piracy, CEG makes unique copies of games for each user allowing them to access the application on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits on their PC.

The new features also include support for in-game downloadable content (DLC) and matchmaking. The in-game DLC support allows developers to deliver new content as they choose (paid or free) from inside the game itself, allowing users to make immediate purchases and experience the new content in the same game session. The Steamworks matchmaking now includes the robust lobby system shipped and tested in Left 4 Dead.

"Delivering this extension of services on Steamworks first anniversary, demonstrates our commitment to continually develop the platform to better serve the community working with these tools," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "As we roll out these features, we continue to look for new ways make PC games easier to create and better for customers to experience."
Steamworks was launched in early 2008 and has already shipped in products distributed at retail and electronically with major PC releases such as Empire: Total War, Dawn of War II, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, and Football Manager 2009.

The Steamworks services are offered free of charge to developers and publishers around the world. In addition to the services added in this spring's extension, Steamworks offers support for Steam Achievements, Steam Community, Auto Updating, Statistics, Steam Cloud and more.
Steamworks is fully integrated with the Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC games that has grown to reach 20 million accounts throughout the world, up from 15 million accounts just one year ago. Steam now offers over 500 applications to gamers in every country of the world. For more information, please visit steamgames.com
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56 Comments on Steamworks Makes DRM Obsolete

#1
theonetruewill
by: Steevo
This is anti-DRM, they customize your game exe file to matcha specific size, or perhaps use a hardware file to track if this game belongs on this machine.


The only downside that some whiny little bitches might have is you probably hve to be connected to the interwebz for them to "spy" on you when you start the game.
Just because I feel that I should not have to be connected to the internet to start up my games in single player mode that NOWHERE ON THE BOX state that they need an active internet connection for anything other than initial activation does not mean I am a whiny little bitch. This is exactly the sort of attitude which made me stop posting on these forums. I feel I should be able to play my games while not connected to the internet - I do not think this is irrational.
Posted on Reply
#2
ShadowFold
Steam is the best gaming platform, I don't see how this is so bad!
Posted on Reply
#3
Nyte
by: theonetruewill
Just because I feel that I should not have to be connected to the internet to start up my games in single player mode that NOWHERE ON THE BOX state that they need an active internet connection for anything other than initial activation does not mean I am a whiny little bitch. This is exactly the sort of attitude which made me stop posting on these forums. I feel I should be able to play my games while not connected to the internet - I do not think this is irrational.
So if the box says you need it, then all would be ok?

I remember these exact discussions over 10 years ago on newgroups when people were complaining why they needed graphics card to play games. They said they should be able to use software rendering because they feel like it. Sounds irrational to you in these modern days doesn't it?

I remember roughly 6-7 years ago when people were complaining about developers dropping support for Windows 95/98 and moving on to Windows XP. They said they feel they should be able to play their games on Windows 98 instead of using XP. Sounds irrational to you in these modern days doesn't it?

In 5-6 years, when people look back (hopefully PC gaming still exists by then), their gonna be saying to these people "wow, people complained about playing games requiring internet back then, my how we have evolved!!". Then imagine what will look "irrational".

In my > 15 years of PC's, I've seen it all and this is the same thing. People will complain, people will whine, people will deny, but in the end, people will adapt. I guarantee it.
Posted on Reply
#4
my_name_is_earl
by: ktr
And that is why I love steam...
I'm a steam user since "Counter Strike" and couldn't agree more. Unlimited download without disc beats having to go through a pile of junk to find that game god know where it is?
Posted on Reply
#5
Steevo
by: ArmoredCavalry
It is not, yet...



See dow2/empire TW (no choice whether you want to use steam or not if you want to play those).

I don't purchase steam games at full price, I do wait for deals.
No, it's simeple. Don't play them. Just like a phone tied to a carrier, or trying to get a Pontiac with Ford paint, or a Porsche with a BMW body.


No one if FORCING you to purchase anything.
Posted on Reply
#6
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
I think steam can be terrible.

For example I purchased Empire total war from GAME, installed it etc etc and when I went to play it, steam gave me an error message and I had to wait another day until I could. Also CoH had sound problems and L4D can be funny at times.

I do think though that steam has potential but until it can let me play my games when I get them then I am happy. I don't care what kind of DRM steam uses but as long as my access to MY software isn't restricted then its all good.
Posted on Reply
#7
theonetruewill
by: Nyte
So if the box says you need it, then all would be ok?
I do not see why the boxes have to state that they require internet for the activation, but they do not have to state that they require internet to play the game at all. If I was whining, I would be using irrational and illogical arguments. I personally do not feel I am. To label me as whining could be construed as insulting. Your arguments are irrelevant in response to my argument in my opinion. Games state that they require the following operating systems or hardware to play the games. My argument was that some games available via box in stores and via Steam do not state that they require an internet connection to play the game (only that they requiree activation)- thus making it hard to tell whether you need to have a constant internet connection to have to play the game. On another note, hardware rendering/acceleration was also essential for the progress in graphics in games all those years ago. A constant internet connection is not required for the programming and design of games. Labelling anyone who disagrees with your point as whiners, complainers and deniers is not how to persuade people. I have not called you anything untowards have I.

by: Steevo
No, it's simeple. Don't play them. Just like a phone tied to a carrier, or trying to get a Pontiac with Ford paint, or a Porsche with a BMW body. No one if FORCING you to purchase anything.
I bought DOW II because it said internet connection required for activation. It did not say internet required for play. If it had I may not have purchased it.
Posted on Reply
#8
Nyte
by: theonetruewill
I do not see why the boxes have to state that they require internet for the activation, but they do not have to state that they require internet to play the game at all. If I was whining, I would be using irrational and illogical arguments. I personally do not feel I am. To label me as whining could be construed as insulting. Your arguments are irrelevant in response to my argument in my opinion. Games state that they require the following operating systems or hardware to play the games. My argument was that some games available via box in stores and via Steam do not state that they require an internet connection to play the game (only that they requiree activation)- thus making it hard to tell whether you need to have a constant internet connection to have to play the game. On another note, hardware rendering/acceleration was also essential for the progress in graphics in games all those years ago. A constant internet connection is not required for the programming and design of games. Labelling anyone who disagrees with your point as whiners, complainers and deniers is not how to persuade people. I have not called you anything untowards have I.


I bought DOW II because it said internet connection required for activation. It did not say internet required for play. If it had I may not have purchased it.
What... I can play DOW II without internet. I launch Steam in offline mode and use an offline Live profile. I don't know what you're talking about.
Posted on Reply
#9
ShadowFold
by: Nyte
What... I can play DOW II without internet. I launch Steam in offline mode and use an offline Live profile. I don't know what you're talking about.
My internet died one day and I could do the same thing :confused:
Posted on Reply
#10
theonetruewill
by: Nyte
What... I can play DOW II without internet. I launch Steam in offline mode and use an offline Live profile. I don't know what you're talking about.
Won't let me do it in offline mode - I will go to DOW forums to see if this can be fixed.
Posted on Reply
#12
Nyte
by: theonetruewill
Won't let me do it in offline mode - I will go to DOW forums to see if this can be fixed.
Steam won't let you? Or Live! won't let you? You need to make both off-line (or if you just want to avoid Steam, just make that off-line).
Posted on Reply
#13
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
I keep modified .exe's incase steam goes down and I want to play my game.
Posted on Reply
#14
ArmoredCavalry
by: Steevo
No, it's simeple. Don't play them. Just like a phone tied to a carrier, or trying to get a Pontiac with Ford paint, or a Porsche with a BMW body.


No one if FORCING you to purchase anything.
Yeah, because I know if I don't like one thing about a product, I don't buy it.... :rolleyes:

If I was looking at a BMW that I really liked, and didn't like the cupholder it had, I would complain about it, but that wouldn't keep me from buying the car. :laugh: Get it? ;)

In don't know about you, but I don't find every purchase I make to be exactly what I want...

by: Nyte

I remember these exact discussions over 10 years ago on newgroups when people were complaining why they needed graphics card to play games. They said they should be able to use software rendering because they feel like it. Sounds irrational to you in these modern days doesn't it?
Yeah, but the difference is, what does being connected to Steam offer to me, the user? There are lots of other ways to play games online without steam, that work just as good (if not better). The advantage of video cards is obvious, the advantage of steam is more about convenience (auto-updates/instant access to game) than necessity (being able to render better graphics).

by: Nyte
What... I can play DOW II without internet. I launch Steam in offline mode and use an offline Live profile. I don't know what you're talking about.
I believe you need to be connected to the internet first in order to go into offline mode, unless they changed that...
Posted on Reply
#15
Steevo
by: ArmoredCavalry
Yeah, because I know if I don't like one thing about a product, I don't buy it.... :rolleyes:

If I was looking at a BMW that I really liked, and didn't like the cupholder it had, I would complain about it, but that wouldn't keep me from buying the car. :laugh: Get it? ;)

In don't know about you, but I don't find every purchase I make to be exactly what I want...



I believe you need to be connected to the internet first in order to go into offline mode, unless they changed that...
So you are either admitting to be a whiny bitch, or a troll. ;) Cause looking a thte back of a box is stupid since it has WURDS.


From the THQ website.

System Specifications

Please note that Dawn of War II does not support Microsoft(R) Windows(R)

95/98/NT/2000.

MINIMUM SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS – please note the Service Packs

• Windows(R) XP SP2 or Vista(R) SP1

• Intel 3.2GHz / AMD Athlon64 3200+ / Intel Core (or Pentium D) 2.0 GHz

or higher CPU

• 1GB RAM (Windows(R) XP) or 1.5GB RAM (Vista(R))

• Shader Model 3 video card (NVIDIA 6600GT 128MB / ATI X1600 128MB) with latest manufacturer drivers.

• DirectX(R) 9.0c compatible sound card

• 5.5GB of uncompressed Hard Drive Space

Online Steam account

Games For Windows(R) LIVE Local Profile

http://support.thq.com/thq/consumer/kbdetail.asp?kbid=388


Woudl you buy the game to play on a Win 95 PC with 128Mb of ram and a 700Mhz Celeron then bitch that it won't play?
Posted on Reply
#16
ArmoredCavalry
by: Steevo
So you are either admitting to be a whiny bitch, or a troll. ;) Cause looking a thte back of a box is stupid since it has WURDS.


From the THQ website.

System Specifications

Please note that Dawn of War II does not support Microsoft(R) Windows(R)

95/98/NT/2000.

MINIMUM SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS – please note the Service Packs

• Windows(R) XP SP2 or Vista(R) SP1

• Intel 3.2GHz / AMD Athlon64 3200+ / Intel Core (or Pentium D) 2.0 GHz

or higher CPU

• 1GB RAM (Windows(R) XP) or 1.5GB RAM (Vista(R))

• Shader Model 3 video card (NVIDIA 6600GT 128MB / ATI X1600 128MB) with latest manufacturer drivers.

• DirectX(R) 9.0c compatible sound card

• 5.5GB of uncompressed Hard Drive Space

Online Steam account

Games For Windows(R) LIVE Local Profile

http://support.thq.com/thq/consumer/kbdetail.asp?kbid=388


Woudl you buy the game to play on a Win 95 PC with 128Mb of ram and a 700Mhz Celeron then bitch that it won't play?
WOW DUDE! This has to be the worst reply I have ever read on TPU. Congrats! :)

Did you actually read anything I typed? If so, what are you even talking about?! All you did was throw insults my way....

When did I ever say I expected to play Steam games without internet? :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#17
DaJMasta
Steam's form of DRM is one of the least intrusive and lowest performance impact solutions available. As long as they continue to offer a lean client with relatively ad free usage and lots of features, I have nothing but praise for their software, support, and innovative distribution method.
Posted on Reply
#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Steam is DRM. It's job is to determine if you are eligible to play the software despite being in possession of it. That is what all DRM does. It is an anti-consumer, pro-business platform. Again, take a hint from World of Goo and other software titles that sold without DRM of any form.

I have not, and never will buy any product via Steam because Steam software pisses me off. I like my DVDs I can pop in at my discretion and install a game in under 10 minutes without software talking behind my back to make sure it is fine with the "higher ups." Screw them. If you don't trust your customers, you don't deserve to be in business.
Posted on Reply
#19
KainXS
If it means no more securom . . . go steam
Posted on Reply
#20
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
What exactly does Steam offer that buying retail doesn't?
Posted on Reply
#21
Steevo
Updates, a common platform for players, games that valve makes by their own distrobution channel, no media to scratch, break, lose, or lose the key for, some free media, alot of really awsome discounts, no store idiots to listen to, no trip only to find it sold out, prerelease copies, multi-machine installs, update news, teams, friends, and clubhouses. Easy to use in game chat, server side software, mods.



Is insurance on your car also a huge scam, them telling the goverment if you have it on a car or not to determine if you get a licanse for the car? Ohez noez!!! They KNOW!!!!!
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Updates - I download them once and place them in a pool of downloads on my server. If I erase and decide to install it again, it takes a few seconds to copy it from the server. I also only put stuff in there that is known to work without conflicts. That means, I don't necessarily even have to check for new updates although I might.

Common Platform - Windows for me. I don't need 3rd party software playing the role of game jockey.

Valve Games - Aside from Portal, their software doesn't interest me.

Media - It is also physical proof you own the product. If they be an ass over it, you can show them a picture of the retail CD and they really have no grounds to argue with you on.

Media Storage - I have 4 x 200-208 disk binders. The disks come out of there only once in a while. None have been damaged beyond repair and none have been lost.

Media Keys - I put the key in an Excel spreadsheet as I install them then copy the key from the spreadsheet into the installer. That confirms the key that is in the spreadsheet has no copy errors. I then store the media separate from the CD binders.

Free Media - Have yet to encounter one that is good.

Discounts - Buying boxed, you have dozens of vendors to get it from with numerous promotions and the like. Hell, I got a The Sims 2 expansion pack for free from Amazon as an incentive for getting their card. I've also purchased numerous games from Sam's Club at about 20% discount from every other retailer out there (e.g. most of The Sims 2 expansion packs are $29.99 at most places, Amazon will have it for $27.99, and Sam's Club could have it for around $24-25).

Store Idiots - I haven't encountered one of those.

Sold Out - Call in advance or order online.

Prerelease - I have no interest in betas and/or marketing gimmicks to get me to use crap software.

Multi-machine Installs - The anti-piracy protection of the software determines this. Of course, there's always relatively easy ways around it.

Update News - gamershell.com

Teams, Friends, Clubhouses, game chat, server side software, mods - Don't use any of these either. I'd rather not be disturbed while playing a game and mods just ruin it for me.


Reasons not to use Steam? Google is your friend. I can't be bothered to list them all individually.
Posted on Reply
#23
Nyte
by: FordGT90Concept
What exactly does Steam offer that buying retail doesn't?
A salary for the game developers. Because buying retail is hardly existent in these days of piracy.
Posted on Reply
#24
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: Nyte
A salary for the game developers. Because buying retail is hardly existent in these days of piracy.
That's exactly what Sony DADC (authors of SecuROM) made them believe. Look at it this way: If you owned a shoe store and got robbed by someone, do you consider the robber a potential, paying customer? Hell no! You want him paying for the damage he's done with a swift kick to the ass so he doesn't do it again. An eye for an eye is a natural human response.

What Sony DADC and the other anti-piracy software companies have done is convinced publishers that they need anti-piracy software built into their software. Publishers have been utterly convinced (by the people that profit from it) that the criminals are paying customers. The publishers have been made to believe that if they hand over $20,000 to protect their product, you will "convert" more than enough "customers" to cover the cost of protecting it. In reality, those that pirate aren't customers at all. They are thieves. If they try and fail to rob one store, they'll rob another one that is easier to rob (e.g. no security system). There's no sense paying to keep a criminal customer. This market is completely fabricated by those who profit from it.


Buying retail has kept the industry alive for 20+ years and shows no sign of stopping.

Here's an article you may find interesting:
http://www.politicalmachine.com/article/342982/Its_not_about_Steam_vs_Impulse_vs_anything


I think who wins this contest for software distribution will be something like Amazon and how they handle music. That is, you buy the product from them, you download a standard format (like ISO), and you burn it with software built into operating systems. The only reason why digital distribution of music took off is because the downloads are pretty small. The only way game distribution will take off is when Internet connections, on average, are fast enough to download a game in a matter of minutes. It'll probably be another 20-50 years before this comes to fruition to a degree that it has with music.


So yeah, "meh" to Steam. If you love your Valve software, you'll be using Steam because they force you (e.g. Portal). If you love EA software, you'll be using EA Download Manager because they force you to (e.g. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Uprising). Don't bow to their demands. You're the customer: you make the demands.
Posted on Reply
#25
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: FordGT90Concept
So yeah, "meh" to Steam. If you love your Valve software, you'll be using Steam because they force you (e.g. Portal). If you love EA software, you'll be using EA Download Manager because they force you to (e.g. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Uprising). Don't bow to their demands. You're the customer: you make the demands.
I completely agree with that. I hate EA's forced install of gamespy, Empire total war needing steam etc. I think that these large companies are deluded that piracy is bigger than it actually is I mean this is similar to pirate dvd's and video tapes its rediculous.
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