Joewoof

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Websites like Desura and GOG sell their games DRM-free.


Should I be worried about piracy if I distribute with them?


As a small developer, I think obscurity is more dangerous than piracy, and if the game gets famous, it's going to be pirated anyway.


Still, just want to hear some opinions from anyone here who dabbled in this decision before.
 
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Uzuki

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If someone really wants something they'll find a way to get it. Best case scenario is someone pirates it, liked what they played, buys the game. Worst case: You lost a sell that was never going to be made in the first place.
 

Andar

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yes and no...


I agree with you that as a small developer, the problem with piracy is a lot lower than with main company games (not zero however, there are pirated versions of games and resources of the RM community).


However, it also depends on the resources you use - you don't need full DRM, but if you use purchased shop resources a lot of them (not all, but especially most of the older Ace resources) require you to at least encrypt your game data (the encryption function included in Ace was considered sufficient for this, but that option is no longer included in MV)
 

kovak

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Yes, you should.


Also you will get 5 times what you've got from both sites if your project is on steam.
 

Tsukihime

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What do you mean by "obscurity is more dangerous than piracy"?


Consumers do not need unrestricted access to the data that comes with the game in order to play your game.


They do not need the ability to copy your soundtracks or your graphics.
 

ロリ先輩

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What do you mean by "obscurity is more dangerous than piracy"?


Consumers do not need unrestricted access to the data that comes with the game in order to play your game.


They do not need the ability to copy your soundtracks or your graphics.


I don't think encryption is the same as DRM really. 

I think encrypting and preventing users from accessing your data is a crucial must-implement component of a release, but DRM not so much.


@Joewoof The best DRM implementation is the most transparent one that gets out of the way- in most cases, having it tied to a logged in Steam account (some games are purchased and downloaded through Steam, but lack DRM on the executables unless developer implements it). Other DRM methods, like activations, always online, SecuROM...etc. get in the way users consuming the product. In any event, DRM is ineffective against piracy, and only keeps honest users, well, honest. 


It all boils down to your values regarding how your product should be consumed. GOG believes that DRM is harmful, as they state that "...the only people who are hurt are the legitimate consumers, stripped of their fair use rights, such as the ability to make backup copies", and that they "believe that a DRM-free world would be a better place and that's why you won't find any DRMs or other intrusive copy protection in items available at GOG.com."

As far as Desura goes, to the best of my knowledge, it's DRM agnostic. If you ship them a DRM-free package, that's what they give to buyers. They do allow some level of DRM, so it's possible that the games you've seen from there are from developers who choose not to implement DRM.
 
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EternalShadow

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I don't think encryption is the same as DRM really.



This, pretty much. DRM is mainly to prevent the transmission of the game itself (and thus to prevent piracy by preventing a non-legal copy of the game from being played) whilst encryption prevents the copying of things like music files, the game project, etc as individual components. If I were to send an RM game to you with DRM, you wouldn't be able to play it unless it was downloaded from your Steam account or something like that, nor would you be able to copy individual files (except music...)


Essentially DRM =/= encryption. Encryption can occur within DRM. They are not the same thing.
 

Tsukihime

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I don't think encryption is the same as DRM really. 

I think encrypting and preventing users from accessing your data is a crucial must-implement component of a release, but DRM not so much.


This, pretty much. DRM is mainly to prevent the transmission of the game itself (and thus to prevent piracy by preventing a non-legal copy of the game from being played) whilst encryption prevents the copying of things like music files, the game project, etc as individual components. If I were to send an RM game to you with DRM, you wouldn't be able to play it unless it was downloaded from your Steam account or something like that, nor would you be able to copy individual files (except music...)


Essentially DRM =/= encryption. Encryption can occur within DRM. They are not the same thing.



Encryption is not DRM, but protecting your product's data through methods such as encryption is a form of DRM.


That is the sole purpose of encrypting your assets.


That's why I'm confused when @Joewoof argues that "obscurity is more dangerous than piracy" because that would suggest simply protecting your resources itself is dangerous.
 

ロリ先輩

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@Tsukihime As far as I'm aware, DRM may use encryption, but the crux of it is control usage of your product versus outright encrypting it. For media assets, they tend to fall into the same boat, but not necessarily for games or applications. Bethesda, for example, applies DRM to the executable, but doesn't encrypt game assets or game scripts. As far as I've seen it, DRM is more about enforcing usage rights than protecting data as a goal- although one may have to protect data to enforce usage rights (I'm the case of media).
 

Tsukihime

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@Tsukihime As far as I'm aware, DRM may use encryption, but the crux of it is control usage of your product versus outright encrypting it. For media assets, they tend to fall into the same boat, but not necessarily for games or applications. Bethesda, for example, applies DRM to the executable, but doesn't encrypt game assets or game scripts. As far as I've seen it, DRM is more about enforcing usage rights than protecting data as a goal- although one may have to protect data to enforce usage rights (I'm the case of media).



I guess as far as a game product is concerned, the data is not what makes the game, so even if they had access to the data, they couldn't actually go and play the game (such as building their own copy of it)


Which is what the DRM is for: preventing people from playing the game without proper licensing.


In that context, I would agree that protecting data wouldn't be DRM.


Then again...RPG Maker's a bit of a different story even in that regard, since me having access to your data would allow me to easily build my own copy of it. There are DRM schemes that are based on the executable, and we've seen DRM solutions completely fail because someone could simply replace the exe with RM's shipped exe.
 
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