Open question to scene game piraters

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Por Timmy

Master (192)

imagem de Timmy

26-05-2017, 16:07

JohnHassink wrote:

@ Timmy: But why should developers crowdfund anything, or make a special effort on top of creating something in the first place?

Sorry, I can't really answer this question for you. I don't expect getting paid from the stuff I made (yet).

The only reason I suggest crowdfunding, is that the people who want to buy your games, seem to have understand that concept. You could see it as a reach-out to your customers, perhaps (I don't know about your customers).

Por meits

Scribe (6509)

imagem de meits

26-05-2017, 16:07

If they still like MSX, they're destroying their own hobby.
If they openly enjoy that, like this dsk-pro guy does, there must be a hole in their head.

Por hamlet

Scribe (4106)

imagem de hamlet

26-05-2017, 17:38

This is hard to get by. On one side this is a powerfull tool to archive floppy disks that will loose their datas sooner or later, on the other side it make it possible to easy copy protected programs. It is useless fighting a war against dealer while there are people miss using the app. I like the way Oscar is doing: Preselling his game with additional features to raise some money to complete it. I do really understand if developers get angry and want to stop coding. But, hey, this should be a hobby and of course it should be fun. Think about Louthrax SofaX, it is a great tool, I don't wanna know how much time, sweat and tears are involved to code it. I like to thank all users that produce new soft- or hardware. If I using their stuff I try to find a way to give something back. Sometimes a simple "thank you" will be enough. There must be a reason, why Kravilec stopped the free downloads. Thing about. And please don't let stupid people destroy your hobby. John, you told it was ok to copy protectet games in your youth, remember there are alot of new and young users now koining the scene. Gibe them the change to do the same mistakes we did.

Por NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5939)

imagem de NYYRIKKI

26-05-2017, 18:20

My 5 cents:

- Protecting MSX games from copying is waste of time. It does not matter if you do brilliant protection code or sell digital copies by email. With modern tools that we have no copy protection will survive more than a day anyway if someone really wants to copy it.

- Someone really wants to copy it sooner or later and you just need to cope with it.

- If you want to make money, go collecting empty bottles or something. MSX games can't make profit. End of story.

- I do agree that it is total lack of respect to download games that are still sold. If the game is not anymore sold anywhere I will forgive you if you copy it... Personally I give it at least 5 years time to reappear before I even consider downloading it, but each one of us have our own moral and teaching such things on the forums is wasted time.

- If you want to sell programs make people want to buy them... Best idea in 10 years was on BitLogic... Some extra LEDs on the cartridge that indicate game status... Not expensive, but absolutely brilliant! Konami used sound chips and memory mapper... it worked. Beautiful cover art, quality manuals, adding a poster etc. also adds appeal... (Tip: MSX users are quite nostalgic and maybe a bit more into collecting than average Joe)

- Digital copies are a bit harder... Best point is to make them so easy and fast to obtain that it really makes no sense to start looking for pirated copies. This is pretty much the same logic as used by music industry today. Another approach is to automatically personalize the copy a bit. Give it a hidden serial number and display "Thanks to XXX YYY for buying this copy" as a splash screen before game start or something similar. Ok, it does not prevent it from copying, but when people know that they can be tracked down after leaking a copy they may behave a bit differently. For even better effect you can bribe people... "If the game does not leak to net, next Christmas you'll get extra level" or "You'll get your personal login to games homepage where you can read about development and see tips and tricks section."

The good thing after all is that I don't see the MSX piratism exploding or anything like that... Generally I think active hobbyists around have very high moral and most of the people around understand that paying tax and supporting development is something that we just need to do. Those people that have decided not to use money on MSX software will keep copying and those people who like to support development still keep buying. I don't expect big movement to one way or another.

Fair like this? Not really, but that's the way things are. I tend to think that no one is evil when they are born. If someone lacks moral there is usually some reason for it. Maybe mental issues, maybe they are just saving money to buy new pair of shoes and use MSX because they have had no money to upgrade to more modern computer? Who knows...

Por wolf_

Ambassador_ (9972)

imagem de wolf_

26-05-2017, 19:28

Hrothgar wrote:

Also the comment to use unemulatable chips shows this disrespect.

The custom chip remark was meant as a solution towards developers, it's right that it may not all be that nice towards users. However, a few notes:

- Discouraging custom chip development goes against the charm of expanding a basic system with new ideas. It's what Konami did with their SCC. Or look at the BitLogic game mentioned by NYY. I'd say it'd be fun if someone could experiment with sound processing and create a new kind of sound chip. Heck, why not? If you can bring it back to FPGA, you could bolt it onto your PCB and enjoy the same classy kind of sound Konami offered with their SCC(-I). I'd be in to design such a chip (functionally), when asked for.

- It's a a way to sell cartridges, that's right. And you can have all sorts of discussions whether a regular job is more fruitful than relying on a handful of MSX-dimes. Either way, you'd sell such expanded cartridges to MSX-owners, probably not to virtual MSX-owners. Though I'm not quite sure whether the MSX Cartridge Reader can just work with new custom chips. If people running emulators feel left out, they can either buy a suitable MSX, or there could perhaps be a deal with the makers of the game. Within the first year(s), the design of the custom chip remains a sectret. After that period, the makers can bring the code to e.g. the openMSX developers so they can add it. That should work with a regular ROM dump of the game (I think), and indeed after a year the makers can decide to release the ROM dump for free. Meanwhile, the makers will design the next chip for their new game. Wink

Por wolf_

Ambassador_ (9972)

imagem de wolf_

26-05-2017, 19:25

Let's add to that the fact that it would be nice if a batch of games gets sold out before things get spread for free. Such cartridges + extra chip + manual + box cost money too, you know. That's a reason to be somewhat less relaxed about people just copying/cracking new stuff.

Por Kai Magazine

Paragon (1418)

imagem de Kai Magazine

26-05-2017, 21:15

Hamlet, I am very glad you like the idea of offering exclusive contents for the preorder version. We will include extra features in the game if a certain amount of preorders is reached as well, such as Versus mode and Survival mode.

Nyyrikki, I like your ideas very much, thank you.
Those protections are easy to crack, off course, but if people are lazy enough to ask for a digital pirated version in order to avoid writing an email and or doing the purchase process, perhaps they will be lazy enough to crack those protections.

Wolf, I always loved the idea of adding extra hardware to a cartridge and I support that (lilo, kai magazine collection 1 and a very limited edition of Life on Mars cartridges include SCC via fpga).
Also, I love to experiment with new hardware with my msx, and being able to expand it and if possible, include it into the game cartridge at a reasonable cost, even better.
For example: an fpga opl2 would be fantastic, would it not??

In the other hand (and cartridge manufacturers will kill me for saying this), the digital version of our games have become every time more and more common. Each new game receives more digital orders, and as the time passes, older and newer games are being purchased in digital format.
Faithful supporters count on the digital format, and the digital format is becoming more and more popular, in just a matter of 18 months, so I would dare to say people are growing accustomed to it and they are slowly beginning to accept it as a viable and real way to get the game or to support the developer.

At this moment, to remove the digital purchase for us is no longer an option, it has become too important for the users and for me.
Every once in a while I receive a message from our online shop saying someone just purchased the whole kai magazine catalogue in digital version, and that makes me really happy because I can support myself and my kids for 1 whole week with just that little amount of money.

Also, in my experience, and as someone already said here, if someone is willing to support the developer or purchase the game to play it, they will do it anyway, regardless of pirated copies flowing around. And those who play pirated versions would probably not purchase it anyway.

So, personally, I believe all msx developers should try to offer their games in digital format. They might be surprised.
and remember, I was the most skeptical about digital versions 18 months ago, and I never believed it would be worth.
I am happy to be wrong.

In the case of Myths and Dragons, since it needs a v9990 cartridge and there is a limited amount in circulation at this moment, many openmsx users have pre-ordered the digital version, after making sure the game will work on openmsx, so that is yet another reason to do a digital version.

It looks like the digital version is here to stay (for us).

Por AxelStone

Prophet (3121)

imagem de AxelStone

26-05-2017, 22:59

It's realy sad game piracy in such small comunity. I can even understand piracy in young people, but most of them are mid-aged and should apreciate the work behind a game. A digital copy is really easy to get and quite cheap. Does people really thinks that a game is not worth of about 10€? I can't understand.

@NYYRIKKI very cool ideas, I like specially the one with message for buyer.

Por MsxKun

Paragon (1111)

imagem de MsxKun

27-05-2017, 00:26

Kai Magazine wrote:

In the other hand (and cartridge manufacturers will kill me for saying this), the digital version of our games have become every time more and more common. Each new game receives more digital orders, and as the time passes, older and newer games are being purchased in digital format.
Faithful supporters count on the digital format, and the digital format is becoming more and more popular, in just a matter of 18 months, so I would dare to say people are growing accustomed to it and they are slowly beginning to accept it as a viable and real way to get the game or to support the developer.
...
So, personally, I believe all msx developers should try to offer their games in digital format. They might be surprised.
and remember, I was the most skeptical about digital versions 18 months ago, and I never believed it would be worth.
I am happy to be wrong.

This is an interesting data you gave there, Kai. Maybe someday I should try that if, by then, I'm not totally unmotivated like John must feel now. Having enjoyed his work on Pengo (and of course -as user- on other games), I find his work very valuable and I'll miss his musics.

Por Lazzeri

Champion (272)

imagem de Lazzeri

27-05-2017, 03:00

John, I truly hope you change your mind. Your work is amazing and surely will be missed if you quit.

About the pirate and his petty group, I´m an oldschool guy. I think we should consider hanging them by the testicles in the tallest tree in town. Just for the fun of it. Smile

(They should be exposed. It won´t change anything but at least people will know)

About "watermarking" digital downloads: How hard is to hide a 3-digit number in the middle of a ROM? I know shit but I think it might be easy to do and hard to find. And if you are mean enough you might keep active collecting leaked ROMs and buiding a database of pirates to reveal it after 5 games, or a year, or 20 users tagged. That would be fun.

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