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Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified

The Kickstarter page for Shadowrun Returns has word from Harebrained Schemes about their promise to provide a DRM-free version of the Shadowrun revival, and how this will and will not conflict with their plans to offer a version on Steam in addition to a standalone release. They explain that their license agreement with Microsoft actually requires the game and its DLC to include DRM, and while they managed to negotiate an exception to provide DRM-free editions of the game and the Berlin Campaign reward DLC for their backers, this will not apply to any other releases, so they will not be able to sell the game on GOG.com or in any other DRM-free way, and all future DLC after Berlin Campaign will be only release though Steam. So to sum this up: Kickstarter backers of Shadowrun Returns are entitled to a DRM-free standalone version of the game with editor and mod support (and future patches) as well as a DRM-free copy of the reward DLC, but if they want to purchase future DLC after that, they must install the Steam version (which is also included in their backer rewards). Thanks nin.

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118 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 4.
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58. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 03:26 Cutter
 
Flatline wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 02:46:
Cutter wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 01:32:
I didn't realize it was a checkpoint system. Sigh. This game just seems to be getting worse and worse.

If the game's a hit they may be convinced to add a save system. Which would be hilarious if they offered at-will saves and looting in the steam-only version. I'd laugh my balls off.

Haha! That would be funny. The should do that just to piss the whingers off.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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57. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 02:55 Flatline
 
Jerykk wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 02:40:
While the lack of loot and quicksave are disappointing, they aren't necessarily going to be game-breakers. From what I've seen and read, the areas in SR are going to be relatively small and I assume that checkpoints are triggered whenever you enter an area. If checkpoints are also triggered before and after combat as well, I don't really see any problems. This isn't a game about exploration or dungeon crawling. As for loot, RPGs don't really need it if their character progression systems are deep enough. The Witcher didn't really have any meaningful loot and it was still a great RPG.

In regards to requiring Steam for DLC, it is a bit weird but at this point, if you refuse to use Steam, you're already missing out on many games. Activision, 2K, Paradox, Sega, Capcom, Namco, Codemasters, Square, Konami, Bethesda and Deep Silver all use Steamworks now. EA uses Origin and Ubisoft uses Uplay. If you refuse to play any game with DRM, that leaves you with very few games to play.

From a GM perspective I fucking hate loot. It's a pain in the ass. Want to challenge your players? Well, if you gear up your NPCs, and the PCs gank them, congrats, your PCs have just jumped significantly in power, and will be hard pressed to go back in power level without invoking player screwage (rightly so). So you either accept that your players are on an inordinately steep power curve, or you throw lots of junk at them, or you throw creatures or NPCs with weapons/equipment/abilities that can't be looted. Usually the second and third options are the most frequent, and you're reduced to looting to generate money- and usually chump money at that.

In that respect, I can already think of ways around no corpse looting- It can be done in a narrative mode. After combat bust out a "do you loot the bodies?" question. If you do, it adds to the nuyen you generate *after* the mission (After the mission, you go hit your fence and unload the 15 Renraku brand SMGs, only used once, slightly stained with blood, Economy Value!). With the engine running the way they said it would, you could feasibly even introduce repercussions to taking the time to loot inside that scripting engine, such as taking too long and security beefing up.

And really, since 95% of all looting goes straight to your bankroll anyway, I'm *TOTALLY* fine with this.
 
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56. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 02:46 Flatline
 
Cutter wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 01:32:
I didn't realize it was a checkpoint system. Sigh. This game just seems to be getting worse and worse.

If the game's a hit they may be convinced to add a save system. Which would be hilarious if they offered at-will saves and looting in the steam-only version. I'd laugh my balls off.
 
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55. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 02:40 Jerykk
 
While the lack of loot and quicksave are disappointing, they aren't necessarily going to be game-breakers. From what I've seen and read, the areas in SR are going to be relatively small and I assume that checkpoints are triggered whenever you enter an area. If checkpoints are also triggered before and after combat as well, I don't really see any problems. This isn't a game about exploration or dungeon crawling. Checkpoint saves also have the benefit of preventing save-scumming, as less disciplined players are prone to quicksaving before they perform any risky action, then reload their save if they don't get the desired result. As for loot, RPGs don't really need it if their character progression systems are deep enough. The Witcher didn't really have any meaningful loot and it was still a great RPG.

In regards to requiring Steam for DLC, it is a bit weird but at this point, if you refuse to use Steam, you're already missing out on many games. Activision, 2K, Paradox, Sega, Capcom, Namco, Codemasters, Square, Konami, Bethesda and Deep Silver all use Steamworks now. EA uses Origin and Ubisoft uses Uplay. If you refuse to play any game with DRM, that leaves you with very few games to play.

This comment was edited on Apr 14, 2013, 02:48.
 
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54. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 01:33 Creston
 
nin wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 01:26:
I understand people can be very passionate about DRM. But I find it hard to believe that HBS was intentionally trying to mislead or deceive people. I suspect the topic of DRM comes up not when the game itself is being designed (levels, characters, etc), but in the final months before "shipping" (box design, any advertising, who's hosting the servers, etc). And that's exactly where they're at right now.

I was actually hoping for steam workshop integration, so this has all been awesome to me. If people don't like it, they can go their own way and (per the chart) get their own content and manually install it. And frankly, I'd be shocked if the add-on content exclusive to steam isn't packaged and hosted by *ahem* SOMEONE, on a torrent somewhere.

It's near impossible to please everyone all the time. I'm happy to be getting the game we're getting.


Yeah, the anti-steam crowd is upset, but they can still get a localized, non-DRM copy from HBS' website. And they've already said you CAN use all the third-party stuff that people make with the editor from other sources than Steam. So why all the whinging? That they require LATER content, for which you didn't pay and the KS has no connection to, to be acquired over Steam? Why would they release that in any other way?

I'm glad they clarified it, and if people are now still complaining, get a refund and find the non-Steam game of your dreams elsewhere.

Creston

 
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53. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 01:32 Cutter
 
I didn't realize it was a checkpoint system. Sigh. This game just seems to be getting worse and worse.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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52. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 01:26 nin
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 01:02:
nin wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:42:
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:13:
I wasn't following the KS for this, but am I correct in gleaning that they never disclosed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, and what strings were attached to that? If so, I'd go so far as to say I couldn't trust them for any future projects...

It's mention in the pitch video (@1:55) that they had to get a license (not MS specifically), as well as the front page:
The game we want to make is very humble by modern blockbuster game standards but it is still way beyond the ability of a small start-up to fund by itself. The restraints on the license from Microsoft made it impossible to get established publishers interested in Shadowrun and so it remained just a dream for a long time until Jordan saw the recent successes of some other veteran designers on Kickstarter.


Also mentioned in Update 41

So basically this stuff has been known from the start, if you read what they posted on KS. So people are bitching about nothing. They are delivering what they said they would deliver, and if for some strange reason you still feel cheated, you can get a refund.

What the hell is the problem?


I understand people can be very passionate about DRM. But I find it hard to believe that HBS was intentionally trying to mislead or deceive people. I suspect the topic of DRM comes up not when the game itself is being designed (levels, characters, etc), but in the final months before "shipping" (box design, any advertising, who's hosting the servers, etc). And that's exactly where they're at right now.

I was actually hoping for steam workshop integration, so this has all been awesome to me. If people don't like it, they can go their own way and (per the chart) get their own content and manually install it. And frankly, I'd be shocked if the add-on content exclusive to steam isn't packaged and hosted by *ahem* SOMEONE, on a torrent somewhere.

It's near impossible to please everyone all the time. I'm happy to be getting the game we're getting.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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51. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 01:14 Tanto Edge
 
Thanks for the success, everyone!
Now suck it down, cause we're gonna make you our bitch!
 
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http://www.youtube.com/user/tantoedge
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50. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 01:09 NKD
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 01:02:
nin wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:42:
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:13:
I wasn't following the KS for this, but am I correct in gleaning that they never disclosed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, and what strings were attached to that? If so, I'd go so far as to say I couldn't trust them for any future projects...

It's mention in the pitch video (@1:55) that they had to get a license (not MS specifically), as well as the front page:
The game we want to make is very humble by modern blockbuster game standards but it is still way beyond the ability of a small start-up to fund by itself. The restraints on the license from Microsoft made it impossible to get established publishers interested in Shadowrun and so it remained just a dream for a long time until Jordan saw the recent successes of some other veteran designers on Kickstarter.


Also mentioned in Update 41

So basically this stuff has been known from the start, if you read what they posted on KS. So people are bitching about nothing. They are delivering what they said they would deliver, and if for some strange reason you still feel cheated, you can get a refund.

What the hell is the problem?

Apparently people would rather have no game at all than have to deal with some licensing oddities.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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49. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 01:02 Wowbagger_TIP
 
nin wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:42:
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:13:
I wasn't following the KS for this, but am I correct in gleaning that they never disclosed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, and what strings were attached to that? If so, I'd go so far as to say I couldn't trust them for any future projects...

It's mention in the pitch video (@1:55) that they had to get a license (not MS specifically), as well as the front page:
The game we want to make is very humble by modern blockbuster game standards but it is still way beyond the ability of a small start-up to fund by itself. The restraints on the license from Microsoft made it impossible to get established publishers interested in Shadowrun and so it remained just a dream for a long time until Jordan saw the recent successes of some other veteran designers on Kickstarter.


Also mentioned in Update 41

So basically this stuff has been known from the start, if you read what they posted on KS. So people are bitching about nothing. They are delivering what they said they would deliver, and if for some strange reason you still feel cheated, you can get a refund.

What the hell is the problem?
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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48. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 00:43 phorce phed
 
Prez wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 23:01:
When devs pick and choose what pertinent info about the development/licensing/production they are going to share with publishers (even about potential licensing deals like the one with Microsoft owning the license to the one they wished to make), they run the risk of damaging that relationship.

The fact that Microsoft owns the rights to digital Shadowrun games is public knowledge. The fact that Harebrained Schemes does not own but is licensing these rights was stated at 1:53 in the initial Kickstarter pitch video. Anyone familiar with the history of Shadowrun should have already been well aware of it, however. The reason HBS didn't go into the licensing details is because the license does not come directly from Microsoft but by way of the Smith & Tinker deal.

Anyway, there might be a few misguided people who pledged solely because they wanted to see more DRM-free games on the market, but how this game would be made available to non-backers is not something that was specified at any time during the Kickstarter. These people should have done their homework before pledging.

 
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47. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 00:42 nin
 
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:13:
I wasn't following the KS for this, but am I correct in gleaning that they never disclosed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, and what strings were attached to that? If so, I'd go so far as to say I couldn't trust them for any future projects...

It's mention in the pitch video (@1:55) that they had to get a license (not MS specifically), as well as the front page:
The game we want to make is very humble by modern blockbuster game standards but it is still way beyond the ability of a small start-up to fund by itself. The restraints on the license from Microsoft made it impossible to get established publishers interested in Shadowrun and so it remained just a dream for a long time until Jordan saw the recent successes of some other veteran designers on Kickstarter.


Also mentioned in Update 41


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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46. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 00:39 jacobvandy
 
NKD wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:26:
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:13:
I wasn't following the KS for this, but am I correct in gleaning that they never disclosed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, and what strings were attached to that? If so, I'd go so far as to say I couldn't trust them for any future projects...

They pretty much explained it: They didn't know what strings would be attached until very recently, long after their Kickstarter concluded. And they are willing to refund anyone who has a concern about it, by the way.

Oh, so they aren't deceptive, they're just somewhat incompetent? Lol, that might be just as bad. How do you pen a licensing deal and not know all the terms? Unless it was signed after the campaign was successful? Still doesn't look good on them.
 
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45. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 00:34 RollinThundr
 
Flatline wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 20:03:
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 19:30:
NKD wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 14:28:
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 14:23:
So why did they even need a Publisher and of all the Publishers MICROSOFT?? You can self-publish on Steam...............

Microsoft isn't publishing the game, but they own the rights to making Shadowrun games, so they needed a license agreement for this game.

Whoaw... I did not know that... how the heavens can a licensing agreement force you to use DRM? Well that's MS for ye...

Still this is borderline evil, if they did know this before they should have made this clear during kickstarting. And not months after with no way for recourse. Maybe they just don't understand what DRM Free version means. Backers were offered the GAME DRM FREE, not "A version of the game you can't buy any DLC for"

Mhh...

And you'll get the game DRM free. And the editor. And everything else the promised you. AND you'll get a Steam key.

What's the big fucking deal? And to Julio, how is it fraud? You get 100% of what you paid for. So future DLC is out of the picture. Most people bitch about there being DLC in the first place.

I swear, if everyone was given free blowjobs some of you folks would bitch about having to give up your Precious Bodily Fluids.

Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.
 
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44. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 00:26 NKD
 
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 14, 2013, 00:13:
I wasn't following the KS for this, but am I correct in gleaning that they never disclosed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, and what strings were attached to that? If so, I'd go so far as to say I couldn't trust them for any future projects...

They pretty much explained it: They didn't know what strings would be attached until very recently, long after their Kickstarter concluded. And they are willing to refund anyone who has a concern about it, by the way.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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43. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 00:13 jacobvandy
 
I wasn't following the KS for this, but am I correct in gleaning that they never disclosed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, and what strings were attached to that? If so, I'd go so far as to say I couldn't trust them for any future projects...  
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42. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 14, 2013, 00:07 Cutter
 
Flatline wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 20:03:
I swear, if everyone was given free blowjobs some of you folks would bitch about having to give up your Precious Bodily Fluids.

Let's face it, there are no free blowjobs. Ever.

Prez wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 23:01:
Steam is awesome. I own over 1000 games on the service. But it IS DRM. And while the devs are honoring the letter of their pledge to deliver a DRM-free version of the game, by requiring Steam for all future content updates they really aren't honoring the spirit of that pledge. No, it isn't fraud or anything close, but it is something worth bringing up, if for no other reason than to keep future kickstarter devs honest. The relationship between the kickstarter developer and the backers is built on a "good faith" relationship. When devs pick and choose what pertinent info about the development/licensing/production they are going to share with publishers (even about potential licensing deals like the one with Microsoft owning the license to the one they wished to make), they run the risk of damaging that relationship. It's a buyer beware situation, no doubt, but being coy and misleading about potentially unsavory tidbits of information is still not the way kickstarter devs should go about their business when asking backers to front them money based on nothing more than a name and a vision.

^
This. While they weren't exactly dishonest, it's certainly disingenuous to do this. I love Steam so it doesn't affect me, but I can see where others would be pissed about this. It'll certainly be an issue going forward for any future KS projects. That's what I love abotu Larian and their Divinity KS, they've been clear from the start about it. I'm curious how big a mess this whole affair might turn into and if there may be legal repercussions. Anyway, Harebrained has certainly damaged their reputation with this.
 
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41. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 13, 2013, 23:25 nin
 
other news about Shadowrun came out today too, and they were not DRM related, and much more horrible. No corpse looting, No own saving. (Just checkpoints)..

Welcome to a month ago...

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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40. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 13, 2013, 23:19 eRe4s3r
 
nin wrote on Apr 13, 2013, 23:15:
Nobody would have a problem then....

Oh, I seriously doubt that... This thread is proof that some people will never be happy...


Actually this appears so because other news about Shadowrun came out today too, and they were not DRM related, and much more horrible. No corpse looting, No own saving. (Just checkpoints).. I think this is just a nice example on how not to manage how Information is released ;p

No "free" saving is a pretty dang absurd limitation for a tactical game like Shadowrun. Actually, I am surprised nobody brought that up yet, because now THAT is a real reason to get all hyped up over. No Free Saving. No Looting! Revolution! Pitchforks!
 
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39. Re: Shadowrun Returns DRM Clarified Apr 13, 2013, 23:15 nin
 
Nobody would have a problem then....

Oh, I seriously doubt that... This thread is proof that some people will never be happy...

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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