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Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Moderator: zeussy

Poll ended at Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:10 pm

What do you think about completely converting to Steam, getting rid of the stand-alone launcher?

That’s fine, I would prefer Steam anyway.
724
82%
That’s inconvenient, but okay when it helps development.
104
12%
That’s not an option for me; I want/need a stand-alone launcher.
60
7%
 
Total votes : 888
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VicVictory

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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:51 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Borobej wrote: It's also letting a middleman between me and the developer - something you don't do if you really, really don't have to. Stupid and unthinkable. I want to pay you for your product and not some agent just for standing between us.


Clearly you do not produce a good or service yourself that you distribute through an electronic medium, or you would never make such a statement.

I do (not games, book). What you just said is tantamount to "I'd like to buy your books directly through you, because Amazon is a middleman, and that's stupid to go through them". Quite the opposite. Going through Amazon makes my market and audience so much larger it's ridiculous, and it would be stupid of me NOT to use them.

Pretty much the same here with Automation and Steam. And the developer was NICE ENOUGH to ASK your opinion rather than just simply making their own decision.

The fact that the vast majority of the users that answered the poll prefer the Steam only option should tell you two things:

1) you're getting butthurt over the CUSTOMERS' preferences (because that is what the devs were polling)
2) you're in the very... VERY... small minority. It's not a backstabbing or betrayal. It's a company catering to the majority of their consumers' wishes. You can't please everyone with everything. So aim for the largest number.

Don't like it? Start your own game with your own launcher. Go capture the 6% of the market that is vehement enough against Steam to be in your corner. 6%.

Or at least interact with the devs in a civilized way, instead of throwing a tantrum that's on par with my 6 year old kid.

(Or hey, wait to find out if they ACTUALLY go Steam-only, or decide to keep a separate launcher as an option. I know that's a novel concept...)
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steve45

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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:00 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Although i play with this regularly i dont really come on the forum very often, but after receiving an email i thought with a big move like this on the cards i may as well give my opinion.

I'm very much for going down the steam route, i have been a firm believer in steam since its early days and have the vast majority of my game collection on steam, thats not to say i limit myself to only purchasing games on steam but its a lot more convenient for me if games are steam based.
I feel that if you were to use steam as a distribution method it would open up the game to a much wider audience, personally i happened upon the game by chance, i think steam would boost the sales side of things vastly.

at the end of the day i'm happy either way, but i think it would benefit the Devs in the long run if they were to go with steam.
but i'll support whatever action the devs take.
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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:08 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Borobej wrote:I want to pay you for your product and not some agent just for standing between us..



Note that there will most likely be a way of buying a Steam key directly from our website, for which Valve does not take a cut. Also it's worth noting that from our point of view as a developer, the share Valve takes of sales compared to the services they provide us are pretty good value.


Also we're going to see if we can do a version that works without Steam (but doesn't have any kind of Multiplayer features). So folks who really really want to avoid Steam can do so, as long as they don't want Multiplayer. I'd therefore hold off on calling it a backstab quite yet.
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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:56 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

It's a bit dramatic and misguided to call your actions a "back stab". Taking the time and effort to ask your player base what they want and what would best suit them is the complete opposite of a back stab!
Anyway, I voted for steam only. Though it would be good if you could make the game available to the people who won't/can't use steam my vote IS for my personal preference and that is that you invest the time that would be spent on keeping a second version of the game going on making the steam version of the game better.
TBH, for years I was one of the "I'll never use steam" people, I hated the very idea of it! I didn't want everyone to know what I was playing and when etc etc, all the usual stuff. But then a close friend wanted to multi-play a game on steam so I relented an got an account but it was "only going to multi-play that one game, I'm not using it for anything else".
Fast forward a few years later and I'm a true convert now, Automation is the only game I ever play that isn't on Steam.
There are so many reasons I love steam, most centre around convenience, patches are easy, mods are easy, DLC is easy, multi-player is easy, not having dozens of DVD's to cart around every time I move house is easy.
So what if my friends know what games I'm playing? I might get more friends playing my favourite games and get more people to play with because of it.
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Diax1324

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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:20 pm

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Steam fucking sucks
I hate this. I just want the stupid launcher as it is. It works fucking fine. I don't want to have to link up a bunch of shit.
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Dwarden20

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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:39 pm

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

I don't like steam but I wouldn't call it a backstab either! I appreciate that you asked. That courtesy goes a long way!
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BigFatStupidHead

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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Daffyflyer wrote:Well, we can probably promise that if anyone randomly loses a copy of Automation that we'd provide a new key for free. But if folks aren't willing to use the service then I just don't know.

We will investigate further if it's possible to maintain a non-steam version that still works yet doesn't take up our entire lives to maintain, I suspect if it is doable the tradeoff is that multiplayer might not be workable in that version

Another game (of many, no doubt) that has faced a similar situation is Kerbal Space Program. A steam key, as well as a launcher is available (I don't use either), and they also have a full download available on their webstore. I have no idea if a webstore download is even plausible for your team, but it would avoid the need to maintain a launcher.

No multiplayer is not an issue for me.
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Daffyflyer

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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:49 pm

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Diax1324 wrote:Steam fucking sucks
I hate this. I just want the stupid launcher as it is. It works fucking fine. I don't want to have to link up a bunch of shit.


Yeah, lucky installing Automation is much more simple and reliable than Steam :P
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Daffyflyer

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Post Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:52 pm

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

BigFatStupidHead wrote:Another game (of many, no doubt) that has faced a similar situation is Kerbal Space Program. A steam key, as well as a launcher is available (I don't use either), and they also have a full download available on their webstore. I have no idea if a webstore download is even plausible for your team, but it would avoid the need to maintain a launcher.


Yeah, it's made a bit easier for them by lack of Multiplayer, but I think we can work something out. Folks will just have to accept that the cost of their refusal to use Steam might be lack of multiplayer, and a more complicated, less reliable patching & installing process.

On the topic of people being worried that Steam is A: difficult to install/sign up for etc. or B: buggy/unreliable. It's worth noting that our current launcher is both quite unreliable at patching, and confusing enough that we get quite a few support emails regarding the activation or install process.
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hillybilly

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Post Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:48 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

A thing that nobody has mentioned, I think that the guys who does not want the steam launcher are generally pirates who does not use steam ;) Also for me online is no issue I do not online game so a stand alone game to download from the forum will be fine, if you decide to do it. Will probably get some hate from this post but I think it is the cold hard truth.

Im against steam too :oops:
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heriotz

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Post Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:08 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

If really its going to affect to final design or quality i prefer steam option
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martelle

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Post Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:11 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

I'll chime in here, as someone who can understand both sides of the argument (For: Easier Patching, Social, Multiplayer - Against: Another app eating system resources, steam's quirks, privacy, lack of reliable internet connection) and as someone who's worked in IT Infrastructure, it seems to me that some folks are missing the point.

I know that Steam can be a PITA to deal with (heck, I'm not crazy about it at times), but it provides a lot of the infrastructure that the devs need and they don't have to double up their workload for updates + maintaining servers, network infrastructure, database backends, etc. And seeing as they're only about 6(?) guys, that's a lot of work to do. Heck, it takes a team of 6 just maintain the servers in the small building I work in (and that's just only 500 people).

To be able to create a standalone version, you'd need to develop an API and back-end to allow the launcher to talk to the server to authenticate your game, check for updates, process transactions, verify that they aren't fraudulent, etc. Well... that requires more time and work from the devs, possibly hiring a specialist (or two) to help develop the system, then they need to learn how to maintain said system, fix it if things bork up, etc., etc. Thus, taking time away from creating more content and ironing kinks out. Also, you lose out on multi-player and possible DLC (as that takes even more work to add into a system).

By using Steam, the devs can just use a common API and tools to handle the bulk of the above work and technical issues and all they have to do is focusing on putting a quality product. Steam takes a cut of the profits, but it would end up saving the guys a lot more time and money in the long run as someone else is dealing with the infrastructure and supply chain so to speak... let's face it, renting racks in a datacentre (or hosting your own) ain't cheap and I should know, I rent a rack of machines from a datacentre in Montreal and it costs me a pretty penny and I have to maintain it all on my own (apart from hardware replacement and cabling which is handled by the datacentre) and they make sure I pay for everything... electricity, connectivity, the space the rack occupies, access to a remote KVM...
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Killrob

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Post Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:13 am

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

martelle wrote:And seeing as they're only about 6(?) guys, that's a lot of work to do.

Make that 3, out of which one has a normal day job as well. :) Otherwise you are correct! The Steam integration seems to be very dev-friendly, too.
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Post Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Hate to say it but the current launcher could be alot better. it only downloads 1 update at a time and i find the download servers to be rather slow. steam implimentation would make updating a far more simple and straight forward process. however good it would be to have the option to use either, it is much better use of resources to focus on steam release as that will be a much larger croud to tend to. the people who cant play on steam, sad to say its probably going to have to be the only way. poll says it, 666 people (82%) have voted for steam only.
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Daffyflyer

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Post Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:56 pm

Re: Steam & Launcher Poll + Discussion

Deigima wrote:Hate to say it but the current launcher could be alot better


No need to hate to say it! We're not very happy with it either :)
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