Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

Steamworks Versus DRM

Valve announces new "Custom Executable Generation" (CEG) technology "that compliments the already existing anti-piracy solution offered in Steamworks" is now part of the Steamworks package of free developer tools, claiming this makes DRM "obsolete," presuming you do not consider this DRM. Coincidentally, GameSpot quotes 2D Boy's Ron Carmel calling DRM a "waste of time." Here's word on the new Steamworks feature:

STEAMWORKS MAKES DRM OBSOLETE

Suite of Services Expands With Customer Executable Generation (CEG), Support for DLC, Matchmaking, and More

March 24, 2009 - 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.

View
36 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 ] Older >

36. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 25, 2009, 05:19 Z9000
 
@Flatline - Whether it will lead to trouble is just speculation. The environment isn't favorable for a satisfactory result. If you really must clip parts of several posts to make a point, there's really no need discussing an ancient technology like watermarking with you.  
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
35. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 25, 2009, 01:20 Jerykk
 
I'm not really sure how effective watermarking would be. Pirates would obviously try to protect their sources and make sure to scour the code for anything incriminating. If they can crack DRM, I'm pretty sure they can find and remove watermarks.  
Avatar 20715
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
34. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 25, 2009, 01:19 Flatline
 
But who knows, that's just speculation.

So the writing on the wall is just speculation?

Oh I see you're talking out your ass. Gotcha.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
33. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 22:39 Z9000
 
Music, Movies, and Software are all in the same mire, and they are working together to try and solve it. Not a bad thing really as long as it doesn't dictate and infringe upon reasonable use and ownership. But getting one side of a symbiotic relationship in on the issues, while barring the other is asking for trouble, and I think that's what will come of it. But who knows, that's just speculation.  
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
32. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 22:32 Flatline
 
Why is this so hard for some of you to understand?

Because the RIAA has nothing to do with software and the warez scene.

The RIAA, or the companies it represents, can't take me to court for downloading a copy of Crysis, because they don't own the copyright to it .

That's like saying Ford can sue you for swiping pain killers from your doctor.

The RIAA isn't the end-all-be-all of *all* copyright infringement enforcement you know. That's what makes you sound overly paranoid.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
31. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 22:28 Flatline
 
Can you do that? I thought watermarking executables on discs was physically impossible because they're made via mass production stamping.

You can publish everything but the exe files, and then get those customized to you when you register the game. This was how Half-Life 2 was released to cut down on 0-day warez. When you activated the game on launch day, you got, among other things, the exe files.

But during development, if you can nail down the watermarking system, every time a build is distributed, it gets watermarked to every person who has access. Then if it gets leaked out, you can tell who leaked it and fire their ass and spread around the industry that this person is juiced into the warez scene.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
30. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 21:20 ViRGE
 
Interestingly enough, if a dev environment was set up properly, *every* exe throughout development could be custom-watermarked and tracked during the dev cycle, and thus, over the long term, could track the individuals who work inside the industry who get hold of the game and leak it to the cracking groups for 0-day releases. I'm sure there's a relatively small number of them who are responsible.
Can you do that? I thought watermarking executables on discs was physically impossible because they're made via mass production stamping.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
29. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 20:50 Z9000
 
Why is this so hard for some of you to understand?

Piracy concerns overstated and fanned to epidemic levels... Check!
Pirating elevated to rico like standards and allow for seizure of pirates property... Check!
RIAA rampages suing people left and right over infringement but then agress to calm down... Check!
Obama gets ellected and designates 2 huge RIAA people to important poisitions in his administration... Check!
Information industry based countries swirling in financial turmoil and looking to the US for help... Check!

I could go on and on but here are links to the "Top Secret" treaty news coverage and discussion. It is a matter of national security that this treaty is kept from our eyes according to the government.

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/03/16/report-video-game-biz-lobbyist-cleared-secret-ip-treaty-info

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/13/1446206&tid=153

Half of it is probably pretty angering to consumers in general, but I would also think it would reveal plans, tactics, techniques, technology and methods to deter piracy. I have seen huge stings several times over the decades. It's about time for another.

Best way to avoid anything that happens, if it happens, is not to pirate.

This comment was edited on Mar 24, 2009, 22:33.
 
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
28. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 18:54 Ruffiana
 
I don't think lobby system is the same things as server browers. They might be referring to the pre-game lobby, where you've got voice chat, can select games, set difficulty, etc.  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
27. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 18:43 Flatline
 
Which probably leads in to the top secret multinational treaty that is being finalized along with the obvious cabinet member appointments from RIAA.

Dude... seriously, what are you smoking, and where can I get some? They have a word for that you know... "unhinged".

The writing is on the wall if you have been following the news stories.

Yeah but that same wall says "for a good time, call Judy at 555-4545".

My point was that most of the 0-day warez come from press reviews and people with access to the dev pipeline, and those people will get a big black mark on their resume and quickly run them out of the industry for taking part in it.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
26. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 17:49 Z9000
 
The writing is on the wall if you have been following the news stories. Pirate at your own risk.  
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
25. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 17:01 RP
 
Would you buy Steam games if Valve tossed in a free tinfoil hat and black helicopter detector, Z9000?

This comment was edited on Mar 24, 2009, 17:01.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
24. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 16:49 Z9000
 
That way, they can track *who* leaked the copy of the game that eventually became warez.

Which probably leads in to the top secret multinational treaty that is being finalized along with the obvious cabinet member appointments from RIAA. It all adds up to some serious rooting out of piracy on a large scale. Not worried here as I don't pirate nor distribute my stuff. But to me it's fairly obvious something large is planned and if it means one day I can actually buy a PC game again, cool beans. If it doesn't reach that goal then wasted money, time and effort.
 
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
23. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 15:49 Flatline
 
Actually this sounds like a form of exe watermarking. I'd wager they're doing something like re-arranging the locations of the functions in the binary for each individual Steam user, for example. That plus lots of other techniques would have the same effect as schemes like SecuROM i.e. discouraging casual copying.

You're probably relatively close to the truth here. I remember Age of Empires 2 randomized values during a multiplayer game in the page file that it kept to prevent online cheats, but the problem was that the "randomization" really wasn't very random, could be predicted, and if memory serves there wasn't any other cheat prevention mechanism, giving way to rampant online cheating.

The problem with such a watermarking is if they use any kind of "formula" for randomization, it'll be predictable, and thus can be broken. Then again, avoiding the online portion activation/checking in with servers nullifies the whole point, but at that point you can't patch, upgrade, or connect online.

If I had to guess, what you'll see is a combination of your watermarking idea, with impulse/steam's ability to download wherever you have a steam account. I expect they'll rely more heavily on online activation, delivering the exes online during activation, to help limit day one warez, with a checksum of the exe bound to your account. That way, they can track *who* leaked the copy of the game that eventually became warez.

This still won't stop the warez scene, but it might put a dampener on 0-day warez, which is where the serious fight seems to be focused on. Most rational devs have flat out stated that they know piracy will never go away, and focus on limiting it in the first 60-90 days, with a focus on 0 and 1-day releases.

Interestingly enough, if a dev environment was set up properly, *every* exe throughout development could be custom-watermarked and tracked during the dev cycle, and thus, over the long term, could track the individuals who work inside the industry who get hold of the game and leak it to the cracking groups for 0-day releases. I'm sure there's a relatively small number of them who are responsible.

I suppose even that could be circumvented though by modifying the exe extensively enough by the crackers. There might be enough forensic evidence though left to determine the source though, depending on how it's done.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
22. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 15:45 Bhruic
 
So how is this actually different from what Steam already does? They say it's in addition to, but I really don't see any difference?

From the user-end, there's really no difference. But it's aimed at stopping "wide-spread" piracy. Basically, as someone mentioned, they are effectively "water-marking" the executable. So if pirates use an account to download the game and then disseminate that version, the Steam server will quickly pick up the account that the water-mark is tied to, and disable it, as well as that executable (although that would seemingly only be useful for online games).
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
21. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 15:32 RP
 
I wish more publishers would let you register retail games with a client-free web downloader if you so choose. Blizzard (Battle.net), Paradox (Gamersgate), and Stardock (Impulse) allow you to do that with their respective games, which adds value to my retail purchase. With those publishers, I don't need internet connectivity to play single-player and I'm not saddled with stupid on-disc DRM or install limits.  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
20. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 15:31 Mostly_Harmless
 
the robust lobby system shipped and tested in Left 4 Dead.
Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl Rotfl

This comment was edited on Mar 24, 2009, 15:32.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
19. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 15:30 Creston
 
So how is this actually different from what Steam already does? They say it's in addition to, but I really don't see any difference?

And make no mistake, Steam IS DRM. It's just less draconian than Starforce, SecuROM, Tages and all the other bullshit, so we put up with it (mostly because it's also attached to an excellent storefront). But it's still DRM.

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
18. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 15:09 Z9000
 
I think digital distribution has a place as a choice. It's 10 years (atleast) too soon to expect it to hit exceptional numbers as an exclusive primary distribution method. You can't look at consoles who have created their own hardware and markets and expect to fly as successful on a PC which is open and free, people plonked large amounts of cash and time for their rigs and don't appreciate invasion by corporate types.

On consoles I already get to buy the core game hard copy which has ceased on PC, giving consoles another advantage in my eyes and I *was* hardcore PC. I am pretty much totally out of the PC market excepts for Starcraft and Diablo 3. If and when consoles start pulling the stunts the PC market has, I will find a new hobby and play my oldies.
 
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
17. Re: Steamworks Versus DRM Mar 24, 2009, 14:44 RP
 
Steam's the only major digital distributor still forcing you to use a client at all times. Gamersgate, GOG, and Direct2Drive are client-free and Impulse's next "phase" will further diminish the role of the client. Unfortunately, the aforementioned services still have glaring problems, such as crappy websites (GG, D2D), limited game libraries (Steam has some of the most popular games in the world) and lack of "mindshare." (When I post Gamersgate sales on other forums, people are reluctant to buy from them because of lack of trust.)  
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
36 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 ] Older >


footer

.. .. ..

Blue's News logo