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Moonpod Homepage Starscape Information Mr. Robot Information Free Game Downloads Starscape Highscore Table
CD's, unlocking, grammar and stuff
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thoughts on CD Vs Download. It sounds like there's a mix of unlock worries/physical backup/kleptomania!

I sometimes wonder if we will be the last generations that care about this kind of thing - the future is surely that all media gets downloaded and stored somehow, or even that it's just streamed on demand.

I totally get why some people like having a nice boxed copy, and it sounds like that would still be the case even if there was no protection. Oddly enough, the download option should be inherently safer - you could burn your CD, and trash your computer, and you'd still be able to get the game. We still need to implement timeout codes in Starscape, but once they are in then download should have no drawbacks and benefits of safety.
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Weeble
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think no matter how easy you make the unlock system, people won't fully trust it. They won't expect it to still be working in a few years. From past experience they have learned to expect such systems to fail. Emails and email addresses are lost, companies go out of business, keys are misplaced. Even though you've taken steps to address these problems, many potential customers probably won't realise or won't believe you.
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the whole CD vs. download thing...

I don't really worry that much about safety. Like you said, as long as I can just input a code and then download the game again, that's perfect. All I need. However, I'm a bit of a collector and a completist. I'm deathly afraid of missing out. This goes for all things. I can't stand the thought that there may be something more to whatever it is. I need all of it. Also, though, I feel I own a game to a higher degree when I have an official, pro-printed cover for it and a proper manual.
I was severely disappointed when Titan Attacks was just a CD in a paper slip cover and with "Titan Attacks" printed on a white label in Times New Roman. It disappointed the collector in me. Where in my shelves am I going to keep this? Nowhere. I threw the darn CD away. Starscape and Bone, however, look excellent. They make me "proud" to own them, if you know what I mean.

Blah.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weeble wrote:
I think no matter how easy you make the unlock system, people won't fully trust it. They won't expect it to still be working in a few years. From past experience they have learned to expect such systems to fail. Emails and email addresses are lost, companies go out of business, keys are misplaced. Even though you've taken steps to address these problems, many potential customers probably won't realise or won't believe you.


Yes, that's what I've been wondering. I guess I'm want to know if there's anything else we can do, or if what we are doing already is the right balance. If CDs were that important for example, perhaps we could switch to only selling them (with a download still of course). If we had enough money in the future, we might be able to do larger runs and bring the price down (although postage is now our main concern).
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnulus wrote:
It disappointed the collector in me. Where in my shelves am I going to keep this? Nowhere. I threw the darn CD away. Starscape and Bone, however, look excellent. They make me "proud" to own them, if you know what I mean.


I totally understand that too. We've talked and talked about adding a small booklet to our games containing something else a bit interesting. I'm pretty hopefully we'll manage that at some point. It's a big pain for us being in the UK and posting internationally - if we add a booklet, you bump price quite a bit, and also bump postage Sad
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Magnulus



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's one drawback with being indie, I suppose. But then again, I'm much more lenient towards indie games' packaging. Physical manuals are a bonus (I haven't seen one yet, to be honest) for indies, but I feel cheated if there are none for the bigger titles. The new Pirates! had a thick thing with it. So thick that it wouldn't have fit in the DVD case itself. That's the kind of thing I like. So did WoW. When I got WoW the day of release, we went away for the weekend before I could actually start playing. I read through the entire manual word for word while away. I was very happy about that manual at that point. ^_^

If you DO get the chance to print a booklet, think about doing some lore bits and things like that. Pirates! had these little stories and jokes and quotes amongst the technical pieces that actually often helped explain the technicalities in a more abstract way, and WoW had lots of background info on the Warcraft universe and lore. It gives them a purpose outside of just teaching you how to play. I love that.
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Kajamakuji



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there going to be some sort of pre order option comming out eventually?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnulus wrote:
If you DO get the chance to print a booklet, think about doing some lore bits and things like that. Pirates! had these little stories and jokes and quotes amongst the technical pieces that actually often helped explain the technicalities in a more abstract way, and WoW had lots of background info on the Warcraft universe and lore. It gives them a purpose outside of just teaching you how to play. I love that.


Oh definitely. To be honest, just doing a manual hardly seems worth it (although I suppose that depends on the game). We are in touch with some comic artists, and also some writers. So a comic and/or story would be pretty cool. It might be nice to plunder Poo Bear's 'History of Starscape universe' archives, as there's a wealth of material there. Although we tend not to talk about it too much, as you can end up painting yourself into a box (plotwise) in future projects.

Trouble is, all those things are things you could have as a download. What could you do that would be truly unique to a box set?
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Deraldin



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the games that you get, but more and more these days with the smaller boxes, a printed manual is pretty unique for a boxed copy. Razz The problem with having a manual included as a PDF or as a separate download is that you still don't have anything physically in your hand. You can't reference it while you play the game and you can't read it while not at the computer. Sure, you could print it off yourself, but have you ever done with with a pdf manual before? To be honest it looks like **** when you have to assemble it yourself, or at least it has everytime that I have attempted it.

On the topic of hard copy vs. digital download: I prefer to have a hard copy that I can hold in my hand. There is something about being able to see and hold the disk in my own hands that gives me a sense of ownership that I just wouldn't get with a digital download. I still have the game boxes for every game that I have purchased in my 10+ years of buying games. I keep them all up on a shelf by my computer as a kind of showpiece. They aren't just game boxes, it's decoration for my computer room. Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like games with in-character printed materials, like Bioforge, Fallout and Wing Commander Something-or-Other. I think what's nice about that is that you can put a tiny piece of the world in the box. It doesn't need to be anything very important, it can be something of little consequence to the world itself, and as such it doesn't tie your hands too much later on. It's just nice to see little influences of the the world, the trivialities of people's day-to-day life, language shaped by circumstance, the relationships between individuals and groups.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I always loved the manual to Elite, which was presented as a ship owner's guide + guide to the galaxy.
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Darth Dallas



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of a comic book very much. That's different enough that it hasn't been done (maybe it has with some of the superhero games that have come out but I don't own them) and very few films have things like this with them.

A Sin City comic book came with the collector's edition film - maybe something along those lines in a superduper 'all our Moonpod games in one' edition would be cool. I'm also still keen on trying to get some kind of fan art going around here but its hard to find the time. I did manage to get a few sketches done and I do have a cool idea for a watercolor painting though.

Back to the copy protection/unlock codes for the CDs, I don't know if the makers of games like Call of Duty have had problems with piracy or not, but what about providing a code for each copy? I'm not familiar with the technicalities involved but is this a reliable alternative?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darth Dallas wrote:
I like the idea of a comic book very much. That's different enough that it hasn't been done (maybe it has with some of the superhero games that have come out but I don't own them) and very few films have things like this with them.

Beneath a Steel Sky (now free to download ) had a little comic with it. Although it wasn't particularly great, it did have art by Dave Gibbons. I still have it somewhere, so it goes to show that things like that are collectable.

Darth Dallas wrote:
I'm also still keen on trying to get some kind of fan art going around here but its hard to find the time. I did manage to get a few sketches done and I do have a cool idea for a watercolor painting though.

Once Mr. Robot is dusted, I really want to put a fan art/fiction/etc section together for the site, although I think we'd have to kick start it with a competition Smile It's really cool when anyone does Starscape fan-stuff, and we appreciate the time anyone takes to do anything. I got quite excited by the limited fan-fiction we have had, but nobody followed up their initial intro chapters.

Darth Dallas wrote:
what about providing a code for each copy? I'm not familiar with the technicalities involved but is this a reliable alternative?

I'm not sure I follow - isn't this what we do already? CD version is locked to the CD, but you also get a download code so you can play whilst you wait for the game to arrive.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm not sure I follow - isn't this what we do already? CD version is locked to the CD, but you also get a download code so you can play whilst you wait for the game to arrive.


I suppose its the same thing. Each download has its own identity. The difference I think is probably that they have it stenciled on each copy's manual. So whether the game changes hands later on or not, they have a code that makes it legit. Again I'm terrible at the specifics and tech involved, or even privy to the statistics of piracy of such things, but a code per copy is probably what I'm talking about. I think that's what you have already its just that with the COD 2 example, the gamer has it also on the back of their game booklet to use.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darth Dallas wrote:
I think that's what you have already its just that with the COD 2 example, the gamer has it also on the back of their game booklet to use.


Yeah, it's pretty similar. I see what you mean about getting your code printed somewhere on the box. I have thought about that, but it's another of those things that only make financial sense when you do hig voulmes of printing, at which point it starts to work out. Of course, I could probably come up with some system to print a label and stick it in the box by hand Smile

I'm still not totally sure about CDs -are they popular because people are scared of keycodes, or is it 'collector' based?

Would nobody want a CD if there was zero protection and you could just download and backup to a CD? or would it be preferable of the price up a bit and you got a comic, collectors tin, Starscape crew uniform, blow up JJ doll etc. ?
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