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Double Fine Adventure Will Be Available DRM Free For IOS, Android 117

Posted by timothy
from the wishing-for-an-open-source-sunset-clause dept.
New submitter Garth Smith writes "Tim Schafer has a video update for his crowdsourced project, Double Fine Adventure. Because of the nearly $2 million in funding, the budget is now large enough for language translations, voice acting, music, and more platforms. The XBox and PS3 are absent. I wonder what would the chances of a DRM-free release have been if funding had come from a traditional publisher?"
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Double Fine Adventure Will Be Available DRM Free For IOS, Android

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  • by IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:53PM (#39064641) Journal
    I would believe that this project would not be able to come from a traditional publisher on the basis that a "traditional publisher" nowadays feels that a game is not able to survive without DRM. Behold the brave new world of independant publishing ( am i showing my optimism there?)
    • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:57PM (#39064721) Homepage Journal

      Be optimistic. One of the "promises of the web" is coming true. We actually have democratization of a process that used to be limited by the wealthy. Just don't be irrational, and don't expect this to end the existing model which works just fine for what it is (able to produce highly marketed, general audience games).

      • by w_dragon (1802458)
        And it's only getting better. KickStarter is great, but limited (intentionally) to a specific list of project areas. Imagine what could happen if you crowd-sourced VC or angel financing. Bypassing the stock market to be able to acquire shares of a company pre-IPO when they need start-up funds, having the high-risk, high-reward options currently only possible for people with millions. And from the other side, it would be an option for companies that want financing without the traditional VC breathing dow
        • Not currently legal in the United States. Kickstarter is expressly a money->product business. Buying shares or bonds of a start-up this way would be illegal, and you'd probably land in hot water with both the IRS and the FEC. If you believe legislators could be elected to fix this problem, go for it.

          • by SomePgmr (2021234)
            I'm not disagreeing, just curious... why is it illegal? VC firms, individuals and existing companies invest in start-ups well before they ever go public (for those that ever do) all the time. Why does doing it through a Kickstarter-like service make it illegal?
            • If you dig deeper, you may be able to discover powerful vested interests.
            • Google the phrase 'Chinese reverse merger' to see why this is the case, this was a scheme for companies to avoid securities laws by being registered in China and avoiding a traditional IPO. While paternalistic, regulations force companies which sell to the investing public to register their securities and provide certain information relating to the companies assets, cash flows and earnings on a quarterly basis. Likewise, representatives who broker the sale of securities are required to be registered by FI
    • by LordLucless (582312) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @05:43PM (#39066307)

      The whole point of this sort of model is that nobody really needs to care about piracy. I blogged about it four years ago [livejournal.com] (and basically describe Kickstarter in that post) as a way for creative industry to adapt to a digital world. If everyone's paid (by backers) before production begins, then there's no complaining about lost income due to "piracy". I wonder if I can get a job as a futurist?

      • Except that this is not the case here. The original Kickstarter target wouldn't have covered costs, and they would have needed sales. Even now, I suspect they will still need additional sales to make a profit. They won't be giving it away for free, so they may end up still complaining about piracy...
  • DRM free versions will be available for Mac, PC and Linux. The game will also be made available through Steam, and the IOS App Store, etc.... which definitely have DRM. Title here (and other places) make it sound like it will be DRM free only.
    • by Drinking Bleach (975757) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:57PM (#39064725)

      Steam games don't necessarily have DRM -- not even the kind that Steam itself provides. See for example DOSBox games on it, Witcher 2, VVVVVV, and a few others that allow you to copy the game files and play without Steam, without the need to crack them.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Steam is DRM. If Valve turns off their servers, you lose all your games.

        With a DRM-free download, I back up the installer and can keep playing as long as I can find hardware to run an OS that the game can handle.

        People often mistakenly say Steam isn't DRM because it's less annoying to them than the more in-your-face measures that Ubisoft and their ilk employ, but it's still a measure that gives Valve the capability of taking your purchases away sometime in the future.

        • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @04:21PM (#39065027) Homepage Journal
          If you've downloaded one of the DRM free games (like VVVVVV), you can run it directly from your Steamapps directory even if Steam does go down.
          • by Kalriath (849904)

            You can always run games straight from the SteamApps directory - they just launch Steam first. Have you confirmed that Steam does not launch when you run the game?

        • That's true for the most part. DRM is a major function of Steam and the vast majority of games there are dependant on Steam allowing you to play them, but there are exceptions. Obviously games that run through some sort of VM (such as ScummVM, DOSBox, Snes9x, possibly Flash, etc) can be run independently of the Steam service, but there are also a handful of native games that don't bother asking for Valve's permission to play. Binding of Isaac, Super Meat Boy, Dungeons of Dredmor. The post to which you are r

          • Yes; I didn't mean to imply that DRM-free games are the norm on Steam, but they do happen, rarely. And for what it's worth, I've experienced all of those Steam woes myself except for losing games or my account. Steam is quite frustrating and annoying when it doesn't stay out of your way.

            Hell, even when I want to play a game on Windows, I usually avoid it. Windows Updates, Steam updates, Firefox updates... everything seems to want to hammer my disk and CPU time as soon as I boot Windows. Just makes me av

          • by Patman64 (1622643)

            Yeah, nothing worse than "Sorry, we've arbitrarily decided that the game you purchased with your money and already installed on this computer is now unavailable for no particular reason. Please try again when the stars re-align."

        • by WCLPeter (202497)

          If Valve turns off their servers, you lose all your games.

          I used to think this way too, until I realized that just about every game eventually goes on sale for the amazingly cheap 75% - 90% off. I've never bought a game full price, most of my stuff is in the 10-15 dollar range, and I get a lot of hours of enjoyment out of it. At that cheap price its like a rental I never have to return, making it incredibly convenient.

          Besides, its not like I can't go online and find cracked copies of the executable files

          • by EvanED (569694)

            Same here. I've only bought one Steam-only game at full price, and that was Portal 2. I won't buy a full-price, heavily-DRM'd game (anything which requires online activation) just on a whim. I can't say I have the willpower to completely resist, but it has to be a damn good game for me to do that. (Starcraft 2 is the other one I've gotten like that.)

            However, I have a ton of cheap-ass games I've picked up on their holiday sales. I have enough that I can't say that I'd not care if Steam went down, but at leas

    • by pdboddy (620164)
      Steam's DRM is ... sign in to play. The game will likely allow you to play offline, without the need for a CD Key, jumping through hoops, or installing rootkits that slowly shred your hard drive and CD Rom.
      • Double Fine Adventure will be available for iOS, Android, and Linux.
      • Double Fine Adventure will also release a DRM-free version to backers of the project.

      As the story submitter, I realize now that the title makes it sound like the iOS and Android versions of the game will be DRM-free. Sorry! I majored in mathematics, not english. >.<

    • My take from watching the kickstarter video he posted, was that people that donated would be the only ones to receive the DRM free copies.
  • iOS and PC. :)
  • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @04:03PM (#39064805) Homepage Journal

    I wonder what would the chances of a DRM-free release have been if funding had come from a traditional publisher?"

    Somewhere between zero and the temperature (in Kelvin) at which Hell freezes over.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "For IOS, Android"

    What happened to /.?

    • The title originally included "and Linux" but it got cut off for whatever reason. Slashdot could use a character limit in the title field of new submissions if this is a common issue.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't everything on an iPhone under DRM? I mean you can't transfer ownership or anything.

    • They said that there will be a DRM free version, not that all versions will have no DRM.

    • Isn't everything on an iPhone under DRM? I mean you can't transfer ownership or anything.

      You are most likely correct. Tim's update doesn't say the iOS version specifically will be DRM-free, just that the game will have a DRM-free version available. Also, the game will be released for iOS. I tried to make a concise title that hit both these points but instead managed to add to the confusion. I regret that now and wish I could go back in time to correct myself.

  • Will I be fined twice for playing it? Versus just once for other big-name game producers, that is.
  • "And for all our lovely friends overseas, we'll be localizing the text in French, Italian, German, and Spanish."

    Spanish makes sense, but not the others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers [wikipedia.org]

    I have a hard time believing that, for instance, Italy has a larger market for games than Brazil, Russia, India, or China.

    • I have a hard time believing that, for instance, Italy has a larger market for games than Brazil, Russia, India, or China.

      I too wondered this. The only reason for EFIGS I can think of is that it must be easier to release the game for the EU market as a whole than it is to prepare releases for individual markets around the world. I don't know if this is for legal or regulation reasons. Perhaps Double Fine has more experience dealing with EFIGS than it does for Russian. E.g. they might not have anyone in the

    • by godrik (1287354)

      maybe this has to do with the population that gave money more than the world's population distribution.

      • by BeShaMo (996745)
        Which again comes down to where they play this kind of games. Lucas Arts were always huge in especially France and Germany, while I would think China less so. Another language they ought to consider i Japanese. The old school Lucas Arts games were quite popular there. Of course another consideration is that adding a whole new writing system adds another level of complexity to the language question.
    • Markets are markets. I've been to Spain, France and Italy in the last couple of years, and I can personally attest that adventure games -- including the old Lucasarts titles -- are more prominent in games shops than in the UK. There are studios actively developing adventures in Spain (Pendulo) and in Germany (Crimson Cow). Central/Western Europe is there best target market.
  • As it stands the game is effectively pre-funded. Every sale Double Fine makes on top of the Kickstarter campaign is going to be pure profit so long as they don't go over budget, which greatly changes the market dynamics. DRM is first and foremost about being able to recover your investment, after which there's not nearly as great a need to stop freeloaders. So I don't think anyone should be surprised that their game will be DRM free; it's a nice gesture for sure, but it's not as if Double Fine is in a posit

    • Even more so since Notch is effectively writing them a blank check for their next game, Psychonauts 2

      I wish! However Notch has admitted he didn't realize how expensive the budget for Psychonauts was. It was $19 million. So while Notch wants to be a major investor to the tune of a few million dollars, he alone is not able to completely fund Psychonauts 2 by himself. I have no doubts that Double Fine can find creative ways to make up the difference though! ='p

    • With a couple of exceptions, there is no such thing as freeloaders with regards to piracy. DRM, however, is a cost that continues to grow for as long as the company is in business.

      DRM is like poltergeist-proofing your office space.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      * Even more so since Notch is effectively writing them a blank check for their next game, Psychonauts 2

      I hadn't heard anything about Psychonauts 2, so googled it. Apparently it's not actually the next game, and not positively on track at all.

      http://www.gamespot.com/news/psychonauts-2-pledge-made-semi-jokingly-minecraft-creator-6350572 [gamespot.com]

      I'm a big fan of the original, even though I'm stuck on the last level. (It's so frustrating that I try it then give up for months..)

  • by westlake (615356) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @05:17PM (#39065941)

    I look at the web page and I see talk about funding, platforms and DRM.

    But I haven't a clue about the game itself other than that it appears to patterned on the old-school low-res Lucas Arts graphic adventures.

    What I need to know as an investor is whether you have a story, characters, setting and design as original and compelling as Grim Fandango. What I want in a developer is someone who can say no to the crowd and it make it stick.

    Duke Nukem Forever is the perfect example of the game as fan service.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      If the guy who made the Monkey Island series is behind it, my kids and I will be buying it and playing it.* (*As long as it is content-appropriate and not rated M or something.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Garth Smith (1720052)

      I *donated* to Double Fine because of Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert's reputation for making great adventure games. I fully realize that new game developers would not have the same success on Kickstarter. There is a benefit to putting in the time and effort to build a reputation! I find that myself I have much more opportunities available to me now than I did at 18. I realize that is because others feel more comfortable gambling on me when I can show that gamble has paid off in the past.

      Also, Kickstarter is no

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Co-writer/co-programmer: Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2.
      Co-designer: Day of the Tentacle.
      Project lead/writer/designer: Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, Brütal Legend.

      All of these felt like they were developed with next to no executive interference. These are games that amused the people who made them, first and foremost.

      Also note that Ron Gilbert (lead on most of the rest of Lucasfilm's adventures) is involved with this project in some capacity. The team for this game has a HELL of a go

    • by gargll (1682636)
      Your comment reminds me of a Billy Bob Thorton interview in which he states he accepted to star in the Cohen Brothers' film "The Man Who Wasn't There" without even reading the script since he liked everything they had done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6tWv-HaHAc [youtube.com]. Whether or not you consider the track record of Schafer and Glibert sufficient to blindly give them money is another story, but I actually like the way this project is being funded on no other ground than "it will be a point & click adventu
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @05:47PM (#39066377) Homepage

    Apple does not allow that. Or are they selling it only on the Cydia store and skipping the apple store? That would be interesting if they only sold to jailbroken Apple owners.

    • Copy-pasting:

      Double Fine Adventure will be available for iOS, Android, and Linux.

      Double Fine Adventure will also release a DRM-free version to backers of the project.

      As the story submitter, I realize now that the title makes it sound like the iOS and Android versions of the game will be DRM-free. Sorry! I majored in mathematics, not english. >.<

  • There is also a game news report talking about Double Fine:

    Game report [youtube.com] (Double Fine part is at 0'45")

    It is russian spoken but I don't know why I didn't found it difficult to understand the whole report.

  • ...they are already going to have to include over 4,000 people in the game's credits. Anyone who donates $100 or more gets "special thanks in the game's credits".

    (Yes, my name will be one of those.)

  • Dear EA...

    Please follow this example and do a refresh, please no remakes or re-imaginings, of the Wing Commander series.

    I, and a few friends I know, would be more than willing to drop 50 - 100+ dollars into a Kickstarter project that would portray the original Wing Commander stories with modern updated graphics, sound, all new voice overs with the established series voice actors, and full HOTAS [wikipedia.org] support.

    I'll even drop an extra 50 bucks if you provide a Steam-Play version so I can play it natively on my Mac.

    T

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