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Games Entertainment Your Rights Online

The Gamer's Bill of Rights 272

Edge Magazine is running a piece by Brad Wardell, CEO of game developer Stardock, in which he presents a "Gamer's Bill of Rights." Stardock teamed up with Gas Powered Games to develop a list of ideals they think all game publishers should follow. Some are rather basic operational guidelines (not requiring a disc to play, minimum requirements that make sense), and some are aimed at repairing the damaged relationship between game companies and customers ("Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers"). Wishful thinking or not, it will be interesting to see if they manage to get other publishers to sign on.
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The Gamer's Bill of Rights

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:28PM (#24805457)

    No shit. I found #4 particularly hilarious:

    Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.

    Has anyone at GPG actually tried using GPGnet? It's easily the worst online experience I've ever had. Trying to use it makes me realize just how much better Steam really is.

    I just went through GPG's website to check if you could download updates without the GPGnet client, and unless the page simply doesn't work under Firefox, you can't. It says there are no updates available, but I know for a fact Supreme Commander has been patched quite a few times.

    #6 is also somewhat amusing:

    Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won't install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their express consent.

    Don't all GPG games come with SecureROM? Because there are several prominent "SecureROM support" links throughout the site.

    In short, the list can either be read as "play on consoles" or "use Steam."

    On the plus side, I understand Stardock is much better about that list than GPG is. In fact, I'm not really sure GPG is really involved; their website makes no mention of it. Then again, the "upcoming event" on the sidebar is "GDC '07!" Apparently Chris Taylor will be giving a talk on March 7th, 2007. So who knows what's going on with them.

  • by Kooty-Sentinel ( 1291050 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:53PM (#24805641) Homepage
    Just an FYI every time I reformat, I just backup all the .gcf files in Steam\steamapps except for winui.gcf and plunk them back into the folder once I install Steam again. It's worked for the past three years for me... no activation... no nada.
  • by Psychotria ( 953670 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:55PM (#24805667)
    This is correct. Taking it a step further, all my apps are on a seperate partition, including steam. I don't even have to "restore" anything when reinstalling windows, I just make a new shortcut to the steam app (and regedit it to run automatically when I start windows if I want, but I don't find that necessary).
  • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:17PM (#24805863)

    GPG has already made an absolute mockery of rights #2, 3, 4 and 5.

    Supcom and FA both lack even the most basic functionality in critical areas, Patches were obviously not tested at all beyond making sure the game boots up, the recommended requirements are barely capable of running the game, and the only way to really get patches is through the hilariously poorly designed GPGnet.

    In short installing Supcom/FA involves creating a GPGnet account, opening it up and not being able to do anything until it finishes loading and checking for updates, and god help you if you dont get your FA and Supcom licenses done properly because they won't let you fix it if you botch it. An update involves using their magnificently bad download and install system and then NOT being able to get back into GPGnet for anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes because their own system doesn't recognize when it logs out during the patching process.

    Trying to play a game is also an exercise in futility at times. Ranked is what they decide it is, which I can accept, but it also takes FOREVER to do ANYTHING and the ranking system has a shit-ton of problems and always has.

    Non-ranked play is basically ignored, you can't even download a custom map or mod (smaller file than a single CS map usually) off of someone automatically, and the "vault" is disgusting. Even the much better replay vault is barely functional, with no way to differentiate between supcom and FA replays and files automatically saved so that the game is incapable of opening them (you need to repair the filename by hand) in a location completely seperate from the rest of the game files and a damn sight more difficult to navigate to.

  • by Kooty-Sentinel ( 1291050 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:18PM (#24805869) Homepage
    That's exactly what I do.... except for I can't get myself to run Steam (or any application for that matter) without properly 'installing'. It's Windows... you never know.
  • by donscarletti ( 569232 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:20PM (#24805887)
    Lets go over the points individually then.
    1. Not really a developer issue.
    2. Supreme Commander was stable and polished out of the box, it had a couple of balance issues and bugs like anything, but was generally fairly good.
    3. The Supreme Commander updates have been frequent, useful and quick to download and install. If it's anything like Total Annihilation the patches will keep on coming for years and will include new content as well as fixes.
    4. Honestly, I don't find starting into an updater that annoying, but for what it's worth, Supreme Commander goes straight into the main menu. Does it even come with an updater? I've always downloaded my patches from my ISP's mirror. You don't even have to use their shitty GPGnet thing either.
    5. I've played Supcom with a PC at the bottom of the specs and it worked fine on small levels and was still playable on big ones. It's required specs may be high, but then again so are the specs recommended on the box.
    6. SupCom installed SecureRom at launch but removed it in v3223. They broke their own rule, but seem to have learned their lesson. Lets wait until they next release a full game to see if they are genuine in this.
    7. SupCom is out on Steam which allows it to be downloaded in full.
    8. I don't know if Gas Powered Games or THQ think I'm a criminal. A lot of people think I might be because of the way I dress.
    9. SupCom can be played single player without an internet connection.
    10. SupCom can be played without a DVD.

    So that's eight passes, one unknown and one late resubmission. They are doing comparatively well.

  • by pcolaman ( 1208838 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:42PM (#24806063)
    No need. Stardock has never had DRM or used CD checking.
  • by thatskinnyguy ( 1129515 ) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @12:07AM (#24806203)
    This is how they annoyed the hell out of customers back in the day. link [] I'll give you a hint... "Don't copy that floppy"
  • by delt0r ( 999393 ) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @03:55AM (#24807883)
    I do believe in most countries they can't stop you. In NZ all warranty etc must also be honored even after a few rounds with eBay.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"