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Default Dead State - Post-Funding Update #37

February 9th, 2014, 05:42
DoubleBear Productions has posted a new post-funding update for Dead State about DRM-Free versions, and Steam.

DRM-Free and Steam Copies

This is important, so please read this if you do not want your copy of Dead State activated on Steam. The Early Access demo will activate on Steam and eventually become the full game, which for many backers, will be how the full game is delivered. Read carefully – everyone will get a Steam copy UNLESS you specify you don’t want a Steam copy.

The Early Access demo will ONLY be available through Steam. I’ll explain why at the end of this.

However, if you want a non-Steam version of the game, you will need to contact us here on Kickstarter. There are no current plans for the First Seven Days demo to be released separately from the Steam copy. If you backed us at the USB or box levels, you’re already getting a physical copy of the game without DRM and the Steam digital copy, so you’re covered either way.

I know there are many arguments about DRM and Steam, but here’s why we are distributing the Early Access demo through Steam.


More information.
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February 9th, 2014, 05:43
How soon people forget - Last spring there was a $hit storm when Shadow Run announced that it was only going to have expansions beyond dragon fall only on steam. Less then a year later it's on GOG and well, as usual much fuss over nothing.

Some times you just have to shake your head over the internet drama queens.
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February 9th, 2014, 06:52
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
How soon people forget - Last spring there was a $hit storm when Shadow Run announced that it was only going to have expansions beyond dragon fall only on steam. Less then a year later it's on GOG and well, as usual much fuss over nothing.

Some times you just have to shake your head over the internet drama queens.
You do realize that without all of the fuss Harebrained Schemes more than likely would have proceeded with their original plan to keep the DRM-free version backer-only and release post Berlin expansions only on Steam? The negative publicity caused by backers complaining apparently prompted them to go to Microsoft and re-negotiate to get the game up on GOG and confirm that any future expansions would be available sans Steam. Unfortunately in this world, some times you have to complain to get companies to make good on their promises.

At least HBS had the excuse that Microsoft owns the rights to Shadowrun and thus had final say in how the game with "their" IP gets distributed. Since Dead State is an original IP, Double Bear doesn't have any such excuse. I can certainly sympathize with small indie developers who say that distributing on Steam is easier and less costly for them. However, as soon as you ask people for money on Kickstarter and promise a DRM-free copy, you damn well better make good on your promise. Saying something like "Oh well Steam isn't nearly as bad as Origin / Windows Live / Uplay, so no one should have a problem with it" is a lame cop-out. If you're required to have a separate client installed, to play the game, that's DRM. To be fair, it technically seems they're delivering on their promise of a DRM-free copy but it also sounds like they're doing everything they can to deter most of their backers from requesting it (e.g., it's on backers to request it, Steam version will be out first, it will take longer to receive updates, no access to the demo etc.). Convenient that none of this was mentioned during their KS campaign…

I didn't back Dead State, but was / am very much looking forward to it and was planning to pre-order soon. However, I strongly prefer a DRM-free copy and if it ends up being the case that they will only distribute via Steam, then I'll probably wait until there's a good Steam sale. If they were serious about providing a DRM-free copy they'd be trying harder to get a confirmation from GOG ASAP rather than essentially saying "maybe we'll look into it later".
Last edited by daveyd; February 9th, 2014 at 07:08.
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February 9th, 2014, 07:54
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
You do realize that without all of the fuss Harebrained Schemes more than likely would have proceeded with their original plan to keep the DRM-free version backer-only and release post Berlin expansions only on Steam? The negative publicity caused by backers complaining apparently prompted them to go to Microsoft and re-negotiate to get the game up on GOG and confirm that any future expansions would be available sans Steam. Unfortunately in this world, some times you have to complain to get companies to make good on their promises. .
Actually NO I don't realize that! I gave them the benefit of the doubt and OOH look I have a GOG version.

Ya I would believe this if you were talking about EA, Activision or Ubisoft and their ilk as their moto is screw the customer first last and always but for now I would rather believe that the little guy will try to do right by his customers. Does not mean they always get it right but that they will try. I have to think that all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that repeatedly happens in cases like this are because people are sick and tired of being screwed over by the likes of EA, Activision or Ubisoft and their ilk and as soon as they even remotely think that something is a little off, or in all the cases I have seen poorly communicated, they start screaming and acting like the Indi that they once happily supported has turned in to a reincarnation of EA. That and Indies can't afford to hire high priced, professional spin doctors who can make you believe a turd smells like a rose.


As far as DoubleBear goes in regards to the demo/early access alpha on steam I don't know how much clearer they can make it that they will have the final finished game DRM free and accessible else where. The demo/early access alpha is on steam because it is easy to update and get feed back and a cost effective way for them to do it, that and a chance to sell some early access copies to steam customers. I would guess there by giving them a cushion to spend a bit more time to finish the game and release it when its done rather then when they have to because of running low on funds.

As usual we see a few easily excited people giving in to the drama that they see in their minds eye and running around like chicken little proclaiming the sky is falling.
Last edited by Terry; February 9th, 2014 at 09:00.
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February 9th, 2014, 09:44
Does it read that if you do nothing or if you accept the key for the Steam Early access demo version, you forfeit the opportunity of getting the DRM free version?

In any case, the rest of the KS update contains some nice and free advertizing for Steam, coming out with strangely inadequate arguments like losing physical stuff over the years, who cares, since both versions are going to be digital etc

Hurrah for the ethical smal business that bury the big, bad corporations.
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February 9th, 2014, 14:57
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Does it read that if you do nothing or if you accept the key for the Steam Early access demo version, you forfeit the opportunity of getting the DRM free version?
You do not have to accept the steam key it is automatically sent to you if you don't say otherwise, for me that is the only problem that the default platform is steam. If they would only give steam early access to those who want it(forfeiting the drm free version), that would be better PR.
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February 9th, 2014, 15:33
I don't think this is true with regards to the fuss. I mean it might have been true depending on how the change came; i.e, the fuss might have convinced MS to change the terms but in any extent it was beyond their control. With regards to Dead State they are merely stating that early release is on Steam not hat it is Steam exclusive and there is a good reason for this approach. It is the same reason that Larian only does early release on Steam even though the final game is on GOG. It is because it is much easier to distribute the updates.
-


Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
You do realize that without all of the fuss Harebrained Schemes more than likely would have proceeded with their original plan to keep the DRM-free version backer-only and release post Berlin expansions only on Steam? The negative publicity caused by backers complaining apparently prompted them to go to Microsoft and re-negotiate to get the game up on GOG and confirm that any future expansions would be available sans Steam. Unfortunately in this world, some times you have to complain to get companies to make good on their promises.

At least HBS had the excuse that Microsoft owns the rights to Shadowrun and thus had final say in how the game with "their" IP gets distributed. Since Dead State is an original IP, Double Bear doesn't have any such excuse. I can certainly sympathize with small indie developers who say that distributing on Steam is easier and less costly for them. However, as soon as you ask people for money on Kickstarter and promise a DRM-free copy, you damn well better make good on your promise. Saying something like "Oh well Steam isn't nearly as bad as Origin / Windows Live / Uplay, so no one should have a problem with it" is a lame cop-out. If you're required to have a separate client installed, to play the game, that's DRM. To be fair, it technically seems they're delivering on their promise of a DRM-free copy but it also sounds like they're doing everything they can to deter most of their backers from requesting it (e.g., it's on backers to request it, Steam version will be out first, it will take longer to receive updates, no access to the demo etc.). Convenient that none of this was mentioned during their KS campaign…

I didn't back Dead State, but was / am very much looking forward to it and was planning to pre-order soon. However, I strongly prefer a DRM-free copy and if it ends up being the case that they will only distribute via Steam, then I'll probably wait until there's a good Steam sale. If they were serious about providing a DRM-free copy they'd be trying harder to get a confirmation from GOG ASAP rather than essentially saying "maybe we'll look into it later".
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February 9th, 2014, 15:41
Originally Posted by Xarg View Post
You do not have to accept the steam key it is automatically sent to you if you don't say otherwise, for me that is the only problem that the default platform is steam. If they would only give steam early access to those who want it(forfeiting the drm free version), that would be better PR.
1: do nothing: not reading the update and not being aware of it
2: accept Steam key: reading the update and accepting by sending nothing to them.

People who do nothing (that is not checking their KS mail box) will be in for something special.

The Steam version is obviously the default version. DRM free was just a bait to
increase fund rising.
Originally Posted by you View Post
It is because it is much easier to distribute the updates.
-
The demo version might be updated, it might not be updated. Updating a demo is nothing vital.

It is on Steam because the visbility will generate extra revenues. That is why it is on Steam.
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February 9th, 2014, 15:45
Originally Posted by you View Post
With regards to Dead State they are merely stating that early release is on Steam not hat it is Steam exclusive and there is a good reason for this approach. It is the same reason that Larian only does early release on Steam even though the final game is on GOG. It is because it is much easier to distribute the updates.
-
Yeah steam's dev tools are extremely helpful in running betas - it generates hardware statistics for your specific user base, offers integrated bug tracking and error reporting tools (including options for automated mini-dump collection), and as you mentioned makes updating a bit easier on the devs as well. So at least for a beta/early access version I can completely understand using steam exclusively.
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February 9th, 2014, 16:02
I think this is a pretty smart way to do it. If they stated that all of the people who DO want a steam code would mail them, they would be flooded. Because most of us don't have a problem with Steam. Those that do can send them a mail saying so, and they will receive a DRM free copy. If people can't be bothered to check their E-mail once in a while. then they shouldn't complain and call the developers unethical.

They promised a DRM free version and they still plan to deliver one, so what's the damn problem? They haven't gone back on their promise. I have more understanding for the fuzz in regards to HBS. So far DoubleBear has done nothing to warrant nerd rage.
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February 9th, 2014, 16:07
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Yeah steam's dev tools are extremely helpful in running betas - it generates hardware statistics for your specific user base, offers integrated bug tracking and error reporting tools (including options for automated mini-dump collection), and as you mentioned makes updating a bit easier on the devs as well. So at least for a beta/early access version I can completely understand using steam exclusively.
That's true and I don't think too many of the backers are objecting having the early demo exclusively on Steam. The problem is, if backers want to play the Dead State demo on Steam, that apparently locks them into the Steam version for final release. Larian is handling this much better. They have early access on Steam, but once the actual game is released, backers still get to choose whether we want a DRM-free copy or a Steam copy.
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February 9th, 2014, 16:08
People against Steam just come across to me as people who 'need' vinyl or, worse yet, advocate the gold standard.

Ideology that trumps reality.
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February 9th, 2014, 17:34
Originally Posted by Merin View Post
People against Steam just come across to me as people who 'need' vinyl or, worse yet, advocate the gold standard.

Ideology that trumps reality.
The 'reality', as you call it, is that I have no use for Steam's extra features and benefits. Since I don't want the benefits, it's an inconvenience to me. It might be the friendliest DRM in the world, but it's still DRM.
I don't mind that devs release on Steam. Anything that makes them more money is fine with me. Just release a DRM-free version too.

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February 9th, 2014, 17:52
I really used to not care for Steam, but that was years ago, when playing offline barely if ever seemed to work. The past 3 yrs or so it has worked just fine for most games for me, and I can actually appreciate the convenience of what Steam has to offer. With that said, I'm not willing to have other platforms just sitting on my PC, Steam is, should be, and will be enough for me. Anything that requires another platform will be ignored or flatout mocked.
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February 9th, 2014, 17:54
Originally Posted by Merin View Post
Ideology that trumps reality.
How is this ideology?

If there is ideology involved, it is involved when depicting small business as ethical in opposition to the big, bad corporations (funnily, Steam is big business too, so definitively ideology involved here)

The DRM free version was a sales argument. The more it unfolds, the more it feels developpers think this DRM free version drags them behind.

Nil ideology involved here. The situation would be reversed (a Steam version pimped up, a demo release only in DRM free), it would be the same. No double standards, equality of treatment or something like this.

As to reality, what is going to be released? A demo? A beta version? What is the use of updating a demo? A demo is usually assembled to showcase a product in the best light possible. It is not forcefully representative of the final product.
A beta version serves other purposes.

The studio is already behind schedule for this game and they are going to spend time updating a demo?

As to the updates on the final versions, they are going to be done on both versions: DRM free versions and Steam versions. So what from this point?

DRM free version owners having to wait longer than Steam version owners? How long?
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February 9th, 2014, 18:07
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
As to reality, what is going to be released? A demo? A beta version? What is the use of updating a demo? A demo is usually assembled to showcase a product in the best light possible. It is not forcefully representative of the final product.
A beta version serves other purposes.

DRM free version owners having to wait longer than Steam version owners? How long?
The Early Access/Demo version is of course a way to showcase their product and hopefully make some money, I won't argue there. Releasing it on Steam only is because of convenience, as the game is NOT finished it will need several updates. When the game IS finished, everyone who wanted a DRM free version will get one. At the same time as the Steam audience will get the finished product. So no, no one will have to wait longer unless they aboslutely want to play the game before it's finished, but that's their choice. There is no double standard, there is nothing they've promised that they haven't fulfilled. There is nothing to rage about.

If by the time the game is finished they say "Oops, we kind of forgot the DRM free version", THEN you can rage and I'll gladly join in.
Last edited by tomasp3n; February 9th, 2014 at 21:08.
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February 9th, 2014, 22:03
I see some are stating that everyone will get the DRM free copy, that is NOT what the update says, to whit:"if you want a non-Steam version of the game, you will need to contact us here on Kickstarter. NOT if you want a 'non-steam version of the demo'; 'of the game'. Steam is, at this point, strictly opt out, not opt in for the full game. Note also as confirmation, from the KS thread…

Q: ***Is there anything I can do or not do today in response to this update, that will either endanger or ensure my non-steam copy of the full game later?***

A:Message us and tell us you do not want a Steam version.
May change later, but that is most definitely the situation as stated in the update.

Opt out systems are used by scammers and data miners, especially when it's a variance from the tiers still clearly displayed on their backer page, ie DRM free copy, not steam copy. The backer survey should be used to determine who gets what version if you're going to be a tight arse and not give backers both- which would be the sensible solution. Sure, some people will farm out their spare key but it's kickstarter, most won't. And that is what multiple other KS have done.

Originally Posted by Merin View Post
People against Steam just come across to me as people who 'need' vinyl or, worse yet, advocate the gold standard.

Ideology that trumps reality.
That might be true for people who are against DD on principle, though there are perfectly good reasons in some cases. It's pretty hilarious seeing a steam fanatic try to win an argument by saying "just move to an area with good internet" as if it's an actual argument rather than telling someone to uproot their life to continue… playing computer games.

Then again, people who advocate steam on everything come across to me as being pretty despicable, or not really thinking at all about what they're saying. Is there any other product in which "well I like it, so it's fine to force others to use it" is considered a valid argument?
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February 10th, 2014, 09:21
This is not a Steam vs something thread.

The initial offer comes with both a Steam version offer and a DRM free version.

From that point, people could go for any version for all reasons they wanted. Nobody has to question those reasons because the initial offer included both.

It is all about seeing both versions are handled.

Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
The game is NOT finished it will need several updates. When the game IS finished, everyone who wanted a DRM free version will get one. At the same time as the Steam audience will get the finished product. So no, no one will have to wait longer unless they aboslutely want to play the game before it's finished, but that's their choice. There is no double standard, there is nothing they've promised that they haven't fulfilled. There is nothing to rage about.
At the moment, the release to come is a demo. Demos are not meant to be updated. They can be but there is nothing vital to it, especially for a studio that is behind schedule.

The above quote implies that at some point, a full Steam version of the game is going to be released. And that is wont be released at the same time as the DRM free version since the Steam version is going to be updated until polished version of the game.

I've read nothing up to now that would indicate such pattern of release.
But if it is the case, then there is no double standards?

All people who pay the same money for the game might have to forfeit the opportunity of playing the demo, will forfeit the opportunity to play the full game at release, will forfeit the opportunity of providing feedback to orient the game relatively to their tastes, will go through multiple spoilers on the content of the game etc, but there will be no double standards.

Denying a problem is always a way to solve a problem.
If by the time the game is finished they say "Oops, we kind of forgot the DRM free version", THEN you can rage and I'll gladly join in.
So far, nobody has "raged" but if indeed, the release of the DRM free version only comes when the Steam version is fully patched then it is going to be a very good test to see if indeed backers all back the same vision.
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