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Cyanic

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Cyanic last won the day on December 29 2014

Cyanic had the most liked content!

About Cyanic

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    cyanic

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  1. Version

    222 downloads

    This is the professional configuration tool for The Mystery of the Druids.
  2. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    Note Fairy Bloom Freesia is not (or no longer) DRM-free on Steam, as it is present on the Steam DRM Table of Collected Metadata. A better example would be Psychonauts, which has both achievements and cards, and does not require Steam to be running to be played.
  3. Cyanic

    Certain store links open 2 tabs

    I wonder how Google does it. Anyone want to peek at their code?
  4. Cyanic

    Episodic games?

    Just wondering, is there a way to crosslink episodic games where each episode has its own App ID to SteamDB? Currently only one App ID is associated with an episodic series, so if you try to visit PCGamingWiki from an episode's SteamDB page, the wiki comes up empty.
  5. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, and you try to launch certain games from Steam, you may notice that the Steam Overlay doesn't work. It's an odd combination, but there's a bug in the NVIDIA DirectX hooking code regarding unloading DirectX libraries. Usually games either link to DirectX libraries at compile time or at runtime. However, some games do both, most likely inadvertently. What happens is when attempting to unload the library after use in one part of the game code, the NVIDIA driver isn't smart enough to check that the library was linked at compile time and can't be unloaded, and proceeds to unhook itself. Unfortunately, the driver also doesn't check what it's actually unhooking, and ends up unhooking Steam Overlay. That's why you can't use the overlay in certain games on an NVIDIA card. I've already filed a bug report, and NVIDIA is looking into it. No idea how long it'll take for them to fix it, though. Known Affected Games Alpha Prime All Sam & Max titles from Telltale Games
  6. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    If you're going to access any paid content, it's almost certain you have to log in. That is true, but email does have its own protocol. A webmail interface is just a proxy to an actual email client. Imagine your contacts as the content. Then you get into the same situation with game distribution, where some of your contacts are on many services, while some are only on Skype. Can you find me a popular voice/video chat service that doesn't use a client? You still need a client to download anything though. I don't think I've made any claims regarding Twitch in my first point. None of that negates my claims about clients doing certain things better. I suppose you wouldn't mind it if you could access content from Steam through many different clients rather than the official client? Even if all of them required you to sign in, and maybe prevented you from playing DRM-protected games if you're not signed in? I still see Steam primarily as a downloading mechanism, even if you don't get many choices in how to connect to the Steam network. The problem isn't so much pausing and resuming, but ensuring data integrity. If there's something wrong with one of the chunks you've downloaded, you have to download it again (which may be hundreds of megabytes long), unless you know exactly where the data is corrupted. Steam has everything in smaller chunks, too many to reasonably download manually, but at least if you needed to replace a chunk it's only a couple of megabytes instead of hundreds. Just a note that that's not completely true. If you purchase anything with its Game Center Solution, you still need to use their downloader to download and play the game (it's DRM, BTW). That's two factor authentication, and is pretty common for systems where the security requirements are higher. That doesn't contribute to DRM in any way. Simple: it's easier to maintain a single distribution channel than multiple. It's probably about consolidation, but DRM doesn't have to be the first thing that comes to mind. I'd go to Steam for automatically keeping everyone up to date and getting consolidated sales stats, not for awesome piracy protection (if I wanted that, I could simply throw on SecuROM or Tages). (Valve's in house DRM solutions are really weak compared to third party solutions.) As a sidenote, this reminds me about games that are only on Steam but have third party DRM. They're certainly not there for Steam to act as the DRM.
  7. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    Well, I was saying that distribution didn't have anything to do with DRM.
  8. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    Here's what I think about distribution systems and DRM: Requirement of a client: if you think about it, everything you do with the Internet requires a client of some sort. If you want to browse the Web, you use a browser. If you want to get your email, you can use an email client. If you want to chat on Skype, you download Skype. In the case of digital distribution, the client is whatever is being offered by the company. Just because it doesn't offer a way to download via a browser doesn't mean it's DRM. Clients are made because they do a particular job better. In the case of Steam, SteamPipe is very likely better at delivering content than downloading over HTTP, and rightly has a client for that purpose. Yes, you can't download through the browser, but the data wasn't packaged to be downloaded through a browser anyway. You'd have a royal pain if you're trying to download a 10GB game through a browser, even if it was cut up into chunks. Similarly, if someone decided to release a game solely through a torrent, are you going to go call your torrent client DRM? Some types of content are better delivered through a client, and others are better through a browser. Being able to access everything through a browser is a convenience, not a requirement. Being tied to an account: This is so commonplace, both with dedicated clients and without, that I fail to see what the problem is. Many online marketplaces for games use accounts to control what you have and don't have access to. Having it done on a client doesn't change anything. If you haven't bought it, then you don't get it. It's as simple as that. "But it's preventing me from playing this game I've downloaded if I don't have it running!" See the next point. Also, you can't resell your games, but neither can you at your favorite DRM-free online store, and you never complained about that being DRM. Clients that are not inherently DRM exerting DRM-like influence: I'll use HTML5 video DRM in this example. I don't know if it's commonplace, but certain HTML5 videos are delivered with DRM and consumed through your browser. Now, does that make your browser DRM? No, it's a component within the browser that is imposing the DRM. With Steam, a similar separation can be made, but instead of splitting it within the Steam client, I'll split it at the games. Just like in your browser you have the browser itself, and then the DRM module and DRM-protected content, on Steam you have the client, and then the DRM-protected game and whatever content it's holding. The first part may reach into the second part from time to time, but without the second part there is no DRM. And that's the case with Steam, that it is the games that choose to employ DRM, not Steam itself, which I've explained in the first post. Choice of platform for delivery: Let's take Twitch. Someone posts a video on YouTube and Twitch. Some time later, that person takes the video off YouTube, and set it to subscribers only on Twitch, and maybe give some of his YouTube subscribers a subscription to his Twitch channel (hypothetically, AFAIK you can't gift subscriptions). Now you can't watch it on anywhere but Twitch. Now does this make the entirety of Twitch DRM? No, because it's the uploader's choice for this to happen; Twitch didn't demand it. This is a similar situation to what can happen on Steam, where publishers take games off of other venues (like GOG) and make it Steam only, so you'd have to use the Steam client to download your game. But does that make Steam DRM? No, because it's the publisher's choice for this to happen, and Valve had no say over it.
  9. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    Why do you insist there is a difference between an installer and installed files? If you didn't have an installer from GOG, any games you've yet to download or lost crucial files for is also lost to you. If you want an installer from Steam, zip up the files you've downloaded and call that an installer. There is no distinction to make between installers and installed files. Remember installers are provided on GOG for your convenience. In all cases, an installation would be exactly the same if they had supplied you with a .zip file and maybe some instructions needed to set up the particulars (which would be analogous to the install scripts shipped with Steam games that need them). Where are you reading that Desura and Humble Store purchased copies of Trine require Steam? Both clearly have the DRM-free badge on their respective store pages. The presence of the Steam icon in the far right of its availability chart only indicates that you will receive a key that you can optionally activate on Steam if you'd like. It may be true that the numerous retail versions may have some sort of DRM, but there are just as numerous sources where the game is DRM-free. In the perfect world, it shouldn't be. But it happens that developers want to put DRM on things. Whose choice is that? However, Andytizer said this: The line stating that Steam is DRM is unsupported by references. Although Steam is listed on the DRM page on the wiki under account-based DRM, much of the same can be said of other online distribution services. The only distinguishing factor is the restriction that an account can only be active on one computer at a time, but this restriction has no bearing on DRM-free games obtained from Steam. If you say this distinction makes Steam a form of DRM, I would remind you that restricting a game to run only on an account that owns it is only enforceable by the addition of DRM to the games, something Steam does not do automatically.
  10. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    There's nothing stopping Bethesda from pulling their games from Steam and forcing everyone to use GOG either. That still leaves you with reduced choices of where to purchase from, but would you complain about it? You're basically simplifying to any unnecessary software you are required to use at some point is DRM. By that logic, what if there was a site that offered DRM-free downloads, but only worked with Firefox? Would you consider Firefox to be DRM? What if the site required you to use a download manager, but after downloading, didn't need to be running to play the game. Is that DRM? Now, what if some game developers decided it'd be cool if the download manager was running while the game is running, and for some reason wouldn't allow the game to run if the download manager wasn't running? Now we're approaching games encumbered with DRM, but who's imposing the DRM? Not the download site, for certain. I'll reiterate, Steam is a platform that has no inherent DRM requirements, and developer/publisher choices do not change that fact. Developers and publishers are free to add DRM to their games on Steam; that still doesn't change the fact that none was required in the first place. If developers and publishers decided to distribute only via Steam, that's their freedom; no one is forcing them to distribute solely through Steam.
  11. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    How does downloading from a website differ from downloading from a client? In the end you still get your game files. It's not like Steam prevents you from downloading your games once you've purchased them. And does Steam prevent you from playing Fallout 1 and 2 (obtained from Steam) if you don't have the client running? Reports around the Internet say no. If you have the game installed before it was pulled and it contained no additional DRM, you could still continue playing it. In this case Steam did not pose any additional restrictions on what you can do with the game, merely having downloads redirected through the client. If any emulation was necessary, it was because of developer/publisher choices. Does that make Steam inherently DRM-encumbered? Of course it's possible to transfer the data with any game on Steam. They're just files. I lay no claim to whether or not they can be played without Steam, as any such dependency is by developer's/publisher's choice. That is correct. There is no requirement for a game's code to be modified to work with Steam, while for other DRM solutions the code must be modified for the DRM solution to be used. To clarify what I mean by modifying game code, I don't mean modifying the source code, but the compiled code. Many DRM systems work by modifying the compiled executable so that the original code is obfuscated and requires the DRM solution to run. On Steam, such modifications are not required unless the developer chooses to use Steam DRM, CEG, or another DRM solution. Note I keep on using the qualifier "DRM-free". There is no analog on GOG for Steam games with DRM, and any comparison between games that contain DRM and those that do not will be unbalanced. If we only focus on DRM-free titles, all such downloads on Steam are also self-contained. Although you may need to do some installation steps manually, there are no requirements for an external program to conduct that installation. For any game with DRM, there is no requirement for them to have DRM directly imposed by Steam. If Valve all of a sudden required every game on Steam to be DRM free, no changes whatsoever will need to be made to the Steam client because it is not DRM or have an inherent need to enforce DRM.
  12. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    Sorry, I'm having trouble understanding you. Are you saying Steam should be considered DRM because even for DRM-free games distributed on Steam you can only download them with the client?
  13. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    Installers are not used as much because they're becoming unnecessary. There are numerous games I downloaded from ShinyLoot that merely came in a .zip file with the game files. We were talking about DRM-free games, right? You can only make the comparison while talking about DRM-free games, where your argument about Steam emulation doesn't apply. As for games with Steamworks/DRM, I've already said that was the developer's choice, and not anything forced by Steam. And it's not as if games from GOG can't depend on Registry entries. I'd prefer to know what's getting installed rather than with an installer hiding it from me. That was in response to "That distinction matters because when you are dependent on Steam, which loads data for you in specific locations as a form of installation, for a majority of your games, that means you're dependent on them for access to your legal purchases every time a new install is requested." It sounded as if you were claiming that it would somehow be difficult to obtain and transfer the game files once they were downloaded. There's no technical reason for Steam to be DRM, and it wouldn't be if developers would behave. Compare that to common DRM solutions, where their entire purpose is to control the use of the software they protect.
  14. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    The case I'm making is that the actions of developers and publishers make Steam appear DRM-like, but Steam itself does not intrinsically contain any DRM restrictions. Hence why I didn't factor in distribution, because that is still a publisher decision and not something required by Steam itself. If the Steam client itself actively prevents you from installing games purchased from non-Steam sources and also actively prevents you from attempting refunds or resale, then I'll factor those into DRM. Technically Steam is not DRM, and people should stop claiming it is. If someone has an issue with DRM or distribution, they should take it up with developers and publishers, because it was their choice. I don't see why you make a distinction between an installer and installed game data. Most games these days don't require specific installers to be run before they can be played. As long as their files are available, they can be run. It is an unfair comparison to make between GOG and Steam because Steam does not use distinct installers. After a game has been downloaded (and in the case of GOG, installed), the files can be moved around freely unless the game depends on installed Registry entries or files in esoteric locations. In this case, where it is somewhat more difficult to find with a GOG installer, Steam has the necessary install script put alongside the game files in a human-readable form. You can easily move a game to another machine, read through the install script, and add whatever is necessary to make the game run. Steam does not prevent you from accessing your installed game files. In fact, there is a button in each game's properties box that takes you directly to the game files. If Steam was to shut down in a week, I'd download all of my games and archive them. If I want to play them, I'll find a Steam emulator to replace Steamworks' dependency on the Steam client. If the game was DRM free, I'd still be able to play it just fine, as if I got it from GOG (and for games with Steam DRM but not Steamworks, I've got a private solution for that).
  15. Cyanic

    Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM

    That is what I am claiming. Imagine that no one chose to use Steam DRM, CEG, and third party DRM, and all those who integrate Steamworks does so such that the games will still function fully without Steam. In this case, how would Steam differ from GOG? There is nothing in the client that forces programs to run under it. OK. So what if a game was only downloadable via GOG, and no matter where you've bought it you only get a GOG key? Does that make GOG DRM? Or maybe a developer only wanted you to download a game from their website, regardless of where you bought it from, but once you've downloaded it you can do whatever you want with the game. Does that make the developer's site DRM? The Steam client is part of the delivery process, just like the website you try to download a game from. How a game is distributed is the choice of the publisher. In fact, Valve has explicitly stated that they do not require exclusive distribution rights: Steamworks - Frequently Asked Questions If you look at retail stores and their policies regarding returns of software products, many of them will have the condition that such products may only be returned if unopened, and if opened, only exchangeable for the same product. You can't return games once you potentially had access to the data. Would you say the store is levying DRM on you? Again, it's more of a policy issue than a technological one. A distributor has every right to determine what they will and will not distribute, just as a store can choose to not carry certain products. Which games Steam carries is unrelated to whether it is DRM.
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