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Old 04-14-2006, 10:23 AM   #1
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Default Copy Protection

I have a question about your form of copy protection. You have opted to use a hardware fingerprinting system with Bone Episode 1 (I'm not sure about 2, maybe you could clarify that) and thats one of the chief reasons I have chosen not to buy this product.

The reason being that, and you've acknowleded this on your forum before, that you must 're-activiate' the product every single time a piece of hardware changes in your system. That is probably very painless for the most part, but what about when your website goes down? Oh well right? Just wait a few days. What if (and a large if) the company went down? What if you moved on and no longer cared about bone?

The point is that Bone is only playable for as long as you deem it fit. Once that link between the game and website is broken the game is useless. Now, I know you've said "there will be a patch" but thats the same speech valve has given me about steam and its not a band-aid.

If online authentication is attached to a single player game then I refuse to buy it. I know you are probably trustworthy and would release a patch, but why not ask the many companies over the years why they went under? Telltale is just like everyone else.....eventually things change and you won't be around forever.....so that worries me about Bone and my continued ability to play it years down the line.

I still play King's Quest all the years later because of its amazing experience, I just want to be able to say the same about your games.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:40 AM   #2
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Well,

Running a business requires that we make some decisions that don't always add up the best experience for absolutely everyone. We chose the DRM method we did after evaluating a lot of options, and it's working pretty well for us so far. We're really putting a lot of effort into making sure that the experience is a good as possible, but we simply could not have started Telltale if the business model was different.

I agree with you in principal, but I enjoy things like iTunes and XM too much to shut them out of my life. It's a compromise, but so is buying physical media. If all your game collection get stolen, you'll need to by new ones. ( I know, my house was broken into years ago and all my CD's we're stolen, and it cost me a pretty penny to rebuild )

All I can say is, the times they are a-changin, and TV, music, movies and games are all racing online. But it might not be for absolutely everyone. I still have a phonograph at home, but I've moved all my records to my iPod.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:15 PM   #3
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Interesting answer.

See I do have reservations about online distribution, but if forced I could loosen up to it. However its these protection schemes that stop me from bothering. I like how you guys offer a phsyical copy of bone, but does that also require hardware fingerprinting + authentication? I just wish there was some sort of other way.....because protection methods like these end up hurting potential customers rather than stopping piracy.

Do you guys think that this form of protection is your best bet? No thoughts on maybe trying something different in the future?
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avatar_58
Do you guys think that this form of protection is your best bet? No thoughts on maybe trying something different in the future?
Do you have any other protection schemes to suggest?

I can't imagine if Telltale announced they were going to do away with online authentication and use Starforce instead, that fans would be very happy.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
I can't imagine if Telltale announced they were going to do away with online authentication and use Starforce instead, that fans would be very happy.
Jesus god no...... Imagine a day when digital distribution is choice, but we have to endure protections that hurt our DVD drives....that would make little sense!

My suggestion? I can't give that, because I have my own reservations about protection in general. I've seen many companies exist and flourish in the face of piracy without resorting to any protection at all. Stardock comes to mind here, as do companies like iD software that let go of their protection schemes in patches after a few months of sales.

Personally I feel that if someone wants to pirate a game, you can't stop him. He will do it. Those people don't want their own copy, nor do they care. Those aren't customers. However the ones who do buy games won't pirate if its 'just easy', because lets face it any game on the market right now with the exception of HL2 (steam) is easy. However using protection schemes like starforce or preventing them from full control of the life of their product (bone, hl2) can scare off potential customers.

It seems to me the wrong choice of protection can = loss of sales moreso than piracy itself. Isn't that worth looking into? I know I'm not alone in my thoughts, as I've been agreed with on forums and among friends alike.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:27 PM   #6
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Here is a suggestion : buy the game,go through the authentification then find the cracked version so that you can play it in ten years.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vimes
Here is a suggestion : buy the game,go through the authentification then find the cracked version so that you can play it in ten years.
So then isn't that admiting that it is useless? If its been cracked, then whats the point?
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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How about no protection. Crackers generaly get a kick out of breaking them and that actualy speeds up the illegal distribution.
Steam didn't stop hl2's rabid pirating, programs like Daemon tools can actualy emulate some protection methoods and even I know how to eliminate starforce from my system. Point is, you can't stop piracy, and even if you did, it would not ad sales.
I'm sorry if my rant sounds harsh, but I'm sick and tired of cleaning my regestry of dead protection files or re-instaling certain drivers because certain programs changed them. (I even had to re-install windows the other day because of a program that delated a certain file necisary for the windows validation tool to deam my perfectly legal copy valid).
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:33 PM   #9
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I wouldn't want to speak for Telltale but I think that the goal is to dissuade people from using the crack version by delaying its apparition as much as possible... it's like posting guards in banks, they won't prevent a very well thought hold-up but they will dissuade and block most of people to attempt to rob the bank.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vimes
I wouldn't want to speak for Telltale but I think that the goal is to dissuade people from using the crack version by delaying its apparition as much as possible... it's like posting guards in banks, they won't prevent a very well thought hold-up but they will dissuade most of people to attempt to rob the bank.
However wouldn't a crack for Bone 1 = a crack for all the other episodes? Unless they make a new model the cracks for the next few episodes are possible in mere hours. Just a thought.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:35 PM   #11
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A valid point, but it still hurts the customers.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:38 PM   #12
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hardware fingerprinting is used both in windows and in almost every (worth protecting) PPC software from the last few years... so its not such a new thing. and as compromise ithink it works great (BTW it worked much less painlessly in TGCR than in OFB)..
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vimes
I wouldn't want to speak for Telltale but I think that the goal is to dissuade people from using the crack version by delaying its apparition as much as possible... it's like posting guards in banks, they won't prevent a very well thought hold-up but they will dissuade and block most of people to attempt to rob the bank.
And those guards are usually the first ones to die in that well-planned hold-up.

Poor suckers.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreyMatter
hardware fingerprinting is used both in windows and in almost every (worth protecting) PPC software from the last few years... so its not such a new thing. and as compromise ithink it works great (BTW it worked much less painlessly in TGCR than in OFB)..
However I do not wish to use Windows XP in years time. Windows is an operating system/application that will be tossed aside when Vista and future versions come.

Bone, however, is a game that I would like to enjoy beyond its life. I still play the games I played when I was only 5 years old, and I still enjoy them. Why should I expect any less of these games? Hasn't gaming improved and evolved? Why are these methods then destroying the ability to enjoy them?
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:45 PM   #15
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then let's be a bit more constructive and show them a good solution, that works good enough, and promises one cutomer - one game solution.

and please dont give the CD-KEY idea, since we know how easy it is get those on the internet.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avatar_58
So then isn't that admiting that it is useless? If its been cracked, then whats the point?
If you're so certain that the games will be cracked anyway, why are you so worried about Telltale shutting down? Surely in that event, if they don't provide the patch you're suspicious about, that people will be putting it on p2p servers like they do everything else?
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
If you're so certain that the games will be cracked anyway, why are you so worried about Telltale shutting down? Surely in that event, if they don't provide the patch you're suspicious about, that people will be putting it on p2p servers like they do everything else?

So then your saying "Who cares, just crack it" right? I could say the same to people who refuse to buy games with starforce attached.....

The point of the matter is that I shouldn't have to. Why must we rely on pirates just to play the games years from now? I don't consider that a solution at all.

I want to live in a world free of DRM, not to live around it.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreyMatter
then let's be a bit more constructive and show them a good solution, that works good enough, and promises one cutomer - one game solution.

and please dont give the CD-KEY idea, since we know how easy it is get those on the internet.
CD keys are okay, they protect the software to a certain extend and make it REALLY hassle free for you to use it.
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:53 PM   #19
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But they really only work for games that focuse on multiplayer gaming, no ones going to know if there are 2 people playing an adventure game with the same CD key
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
If you're so certain that the games will be cracked anyway, why are you so worried about Telltale shutting down? Surely in that event, if they don't provide the patch you're suspicious about, that people will be putting it on p2p servers like they do everything else?
That's not the point. The point is you should not have to illegally modify your leagaly acquired copy, just to get it to run (or patch it).
It should be ready to go right out of the box, or after you download it, and it should be ready for another play years later, even tough a future operrating system would probably not support it. (thank you dosbox).
And some of us like to be able to play our games on computers that are not conectet to the internet (another reason why I detest steam).
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