Create an account


Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
[SUGGESTION] Steam: why not an independent closed source launcher?

#1
Yes, I have read the blog post about Steam... and I was also reading some more recent post in this forum.

This was actually intended to be a reply to a comment, but it started getting long (and I accidentally deleted it), so in the end I might as well make a new thread. It's not the typical "I WANNA STEAM" post, I think.

I think divVerent summarized the actual concern very well in this sentence:

(10-07-2014, 03:16 AM)divVerent Wrote: We however COULD release on Steam WITHOUT using Steamworks. However, this will lead to permanent pressure to finally support Steamworks (e.g. to show achievements on Steam), which we - as stated - outright can't.

Leaving aside whether there would really be that much pressure (most Steam gamers wouldn't even care to come to the Xonotic forums) and whether this would really be worse than progressively having less and less gamers, I don't think it's impossible to support Steamworks.

You could for example have a "xonotic-steam-launcher.exe" that launches Xonotic, waits for it to finish, reads some files in the disk conveniently generated by Xonotic and use this info to report back to the Steam Workshop API and activate any archievement indicated in the data. For Steam it would be as if the launcher was the actual game and Xonotic was a mere asset.

This launcher could have a different license (could be closed source for all I care) and it wouldn't be in violation of any Xonotic license.

Furthermore, you could even have the launcher request for stats from xonstat and send the values back to steam leaderboards (not sure why would anyone want that, though... steam leaderboards are shitty). This way you could keep Steam on sync with xonstat (and even if they get out of sync no serious gamer would really give a shit.. steam leaderboards are full of hacks).

A more useful application is that the launcher could be used to keep the user configuration saved and synced to Steam Cloud.

As a newcomer myself, I think Xonotic would benefit a lot from Steam exposure, and it would actually be pretty convenient to have the user settings saved on the internet and synced in all the computers I may use.

I've also heard some worries about the game not being finished, or undergoing some rebalancing and thus being not yet suitable for release, advertising, etc.

Well, considering how slow the Steam Greenlight process can be, I would say you should submit your application already. It's not like you are gonna be forced to make a release as soon as you get greenlit, there are other open source games (like Warsow and Frogatto) that have been greenlit already and they are still not published, only because they are still undergoing preparations (for more than a year already). However, waiting now for the game to be ready and only later submitting the request might just end up stopping you from doing it at all.. who knows if there will ever be a time when everyone is really happy with the game balance? What if the game is never "ready" and is always in constant evolution? Submit it already and then we will have some indication that there's actually a plan for the game to ever be done.
Reply

#2
Version 1 is faar away, there are some big changes coming (I think), arc gun (lg) and maybe a new ammo system. There is also a lot of discussions about changing the balance the game was designed for during the time Samual activly coordinated the project back to a more 0.6-like one. These will have big influences on the gameplay of the game and will have to take some time to stabilize (because more balance changes will surely come). Also, as far as I know the core team doesn't seem to think the current game is stable enough, but to me its more stable than the average AAA game.

EDIT: OT got edited? Don't recall I had replied to this when I read it for being highlighted...
Reply

#3
(11-16-2014, 09:32 AM)machine! Wrote: Version 1 is faar away, there are some big changes coming (I think), arc gun (lg) and maybe a new ammo system. There is also a lot of discussions about changing the balance the game was designed for during the time Samual activly coordinated the project back to a more 0.6-like one. These will have big influences on the gameplay of the game and will have to take some time to stabilize (because more balance changes will surely come). Also, as far as I know the core team doesn't seem to think the current game is stable enough, but to me its more stable than the average AAA game.

Are there plans to put it on Steam once it's ready?
From what I read it looks more like they don't think Steam is a good idea even then.
Also it's not like in Steam there's no "early access" mark or games that have been in greenlight in huge advance while still getting developed and kept on hold for a long time before having their actual release.

EDIT: uhm.. I re-read the blog post (I'd admit I read it long ago). Actually they mention about the intermediate binary. So I guess the issue is that there's not enough manpower... (strange, I would have expected a shim launcher to be easier to code than adding new mechanics, weapons and stuff) forget this whole thread then, sorry.

Btw, is there some roadmap or wiki page or something where the stuff that is planned to be added or that is remaining to add/fix is documented? arc gun and new ammo system sounds exciting.
Reply

#4
The wiki is in the process of getting overhauled, but currently no planned section exists and anything about 'plans' in there is way outdated.

I can't comment on all the steam things and the yes vs no.
Except the closed source launcher. Would steam require it to be closed?

That would suck for keeping it up to date, never know when the dev who wrote it might disappear, and who would he share it with in a closed manner?
Even if it would be closed, as a wrapper of the real game it wouldn't take much work at a power users' hands to have it wrap another wrapper instead.
Then it's easy to modify and send any kind of bogus data back to steam once the real binary quit but before the launcher app sees the data.
Which makes the launcher being closed source irrelevant when the real client is open (so what's the point?).
// nyov in disguise
Reply

#5
(11-19-2014, 06:38 AM)nilyt Wrote: Which makes the launcher being closed source irrelevant when the real client is open (so what's the point?).

The point is licence incopatibility, you can't integrate steam with gpl2/3 and viceversa without licence violation

It may not need to be closed source, just having a comaptible licence, maybe BSD 2 clause or X11, CC0 or some of the open ones(i'm just guessing so don't take my word on this), as long as it does not cause conflict with steam, and i think even if the binary is closed source, i bet the source to compile it would be public(i don't think the xonotic team will accept it otherwise)
[Image: 9074.png]
Reply

#6
(11-20-2014, 01:41 AM)Ari Wrote:
(11-19-2014, 06:38 AM)nilyt Wrote: Which makes the launcher being closed source irrelevant when the real client is open (so what's the point?).

The point is licence incopatibility, you can't integrate steam with gpl2/3 and viceversa without licence violation

It may not need to be closed source, just having a comaptible licence, maybe BSD 2 clause or X11, CC0 or some of the open ones(i'm just guessing so don't take my word on this), as long as it does not cause conflict with steam, and i think even if the binary is closed source, i bet the source to compile it would be public(i don't think the xonotic team will accept it otherwise)

They should have just said that from the beginning instead of no Steam till 1.0.
[MoFo] Servers - North America - Hosted in Kansas USA - Admin DeadDred [MoFo]
Reply

#7
Steam isn't necessarily Steamworks.

Although I am not sure if that "no steamworks in GPL licensed stuff" isn't actually a myth. From a quick look it is an API which you could talk to from GPL code without integrating any incompatible code from the SDK. There is even this: https://www.openhub.net/p/opensteamworks which seems to be an open implementation of the code to talk to the API (I am just guessing though).

P.S.: I hate that "1.0 is far away" stance btw. Xonotic is a pretty complete and playable game and if it isn't officially launched and opened up to a broader player-base it will just quietly die (this has pretty much happened already sadly).

Edit: This might also be a good reference to get communication with the API running: http://steamworks.github.io/ (but it is written in C#).
Reply

#8
(11-20-2014, 04:31 AM)end user Wrote: They should have just said that from the beginning instead of no Steam till 1.0.

Said what exactly?

EDIT: I suggest poVoq and end user to read the blog post again. Is opensteamworks officially supported, or even stable at all? Xonotic not being ready for Steam is a debatable issue indeed, but the rest of the post is pretty valid IMHO. In any case, Xonotic on Steam is quite low priority, so if someone wants to join and help the devs, raise your hand.
Reply

#9
(11-20-2014, 03:45 PM)Mr. Bougo Wrote:
(11-20-2014, 04:31 AM)end user Wrote: They should have just said that from the beginning instead of no Steam till 1.0.

Said what exactly?

EDIT: I suggest poVoq and end user to read the blog post again. Is opensteamworks officially supported, or even stable at all? Xonotic not being ready for Steam is a debatable issue indeed, but the rest of the post is pretty valid IMHO. In any case, Xonotic on Steam is quite low priority, so if someone wants to join and help the devs, raise your hand.

I was referring to divVerent original explanation since no one mentioned that before, usually it was just not going to happen since we want 1.0 and we didn't get a proper answer. Would have save people asking the same question.
[MoFo] Servers - North America - Hosted in Kansas USA - Admin DeadDred [MoFo]
Reply

#10
(11-20-2014, 05:50 PM)end user Wrote:
(11-20-2014, 03:45 PM)Mr. Bougo Wrote:
(11-20-2014, 04:31 AM)end user Wrote: They should have just said that from the beginning instead of no Steam till 1.0.

Said what exactly?

EDIT: I suggest poVoq and end user to read the blog post again. Is opensteamworks officially supported, or even stable at all? Xonotic not being ready for Steam is a debatable issue indeed, but the rest of the post is pretty valid IMHO. In any case, Xonotic on Steam is quite low priority, so if someone wants to join and help the devs, raise your hand.

I was referring to divVerent original explanation since no one mentioned that before, usually it was just not going to happen since we want 1.0 and we didn't get a proper answer. Would have save people asking the same question.

That's because the team had no official stance on this. They weren't that much interested, and hadn't considered the overcoming of potential obstacles to it. Besides, people still ask the same question, even after the blog post.

http://forums.xonotic.org/showthread.php?tid=4943
http://forums.xonotic.org/showthread.php?tid=5112
Reply

#11
(11-20-2014, 03:45 PM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: Is opensteamworks officially supported, or even stable at all?

That seems to be a non-issue as the C# open source 3rd party implementations are already used in Unity games available on Steam as far as I can tell.

Sure someone would have to step up and do it (my time and skills are not sufficient), but that is pretty much a "kill argument" that is commonly used by people on this forum to discard ideas they don't like or aren't interested in.

Sadly there seems to be a non-spoken undercurrent opinion of people who are happy with the elitist and newcomer hostile environment Xonotic currently is. I can remember quite a few time when people showed up around here and wanted to contribute to development, just to be discouraged by this (myself included).
This and nothing else is the reason the player counts are so low and also that development is relatively stagnant. Look at Red Eclipse for example, which in many ways started of way worse than Xonotic, but due to it's more newcomer friendly atmosphere has a relatively healthy player population, which Xonotic doesn't (it's all old timers that sooner or later will quit).
Reply

#12
(11-21-2014, 09:29 AM)poVoq Wrote: Sure someone would have to step up and do it (my time and skills are not sufficient), but that is pretty much a "kill argument" that is commonly used by people on this forum to discard ideas they don't like or aren't interested in.

I agree, and I dislike this too, but I honestly feel like this is the situation we're in at the moment.

For the sake of transparency, I'll admit that I indeed have some strong dislikes about this, especially the fact that we're dealing with integration with nonfree software and even going as far as suggesting that we develop some of our own. I'm also unsure how I feel about awaking the steam community's interest in our game, because I have no clue what kind of mindsets we'd be dealing with (although I think I can assume that not many of them are in it for free software).

On the other hand, I feel like publicity is needed, especially to audiences that might take an interest in helping us. I don't think it can harm us that much in the end. But from my perspective, I don't see how steam is special compared to the other publicity we haven't explored yet due to the same "not ready" arguments. And I don't even know where I stand on the issue of determining which one of "feeling ready" and publicizing should come first.

I want to ask you how you think steam and newcomer friendliness are linked at all. What kind of hostility do you see right now?
Reply

#13
(11-21-2014, 02:34 PM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: [quote='poVoq' pid='69480' dateline='1416580155']


I want to ask you how you think steam and newcomer friendliness are linked at all. What kind of hostility do you see right now?

With the more populated servers being minsta and mostly experienced players playing on them and the game being so fast anyone new to it will have a seriously hard time sticking around long enough to get good enough.

Minsta CTF for new players is all but impossible to score in unless you are stubborn enough to stick around for a few week playing 7 hours per day or an already experienced FPS player.

The reason I stuck around was I found the vehicle server which allowed me to have a more relaxed intro into the game play as it allowed me to at least cap the flags using vehicles.

When I joined the ESK minsta servers it took me about 2 months of playing a LOT (since I own my own business I had plenty of time to do play) to be able to learn the maps and score here and there.

Also really experience players can mess up the balance of the game really fast.

Maybe we can get servers that limit connections according to player ranks? So we can have intro/new player servers.
[MoFo] Servers - North America - Hosted in Kansas USA - Admin DeadDred [MoFo]
Reply

#14
(11-21-2014, 03:33 PM)end user Wrote: Maybe we can get servers that limit connections according to player ranks? So we can have intro/new player servers.

The problem with that is most likely that those servers are always empty then, as of now there are very few intermediate players left.

I am personally not such a big fan of steam either (also because of the DRM/closed source nature of it), but it isn't all that bad and it has a lot (!) of users that would be exposed to Xonotic. It is also a convenient way to get updates and be reminded of the game if it is in your library.

I don't think Xonotic should divert scares programmer resources to develop their own "opensteamworks", but it is worth evaluating if some existing code might do the trick and or see if other GPL games that are already on Steam or at least have been Greenlit (Warsow) might be in the same boat and a common solution could be found.

P.S.: Thanks for keeping the discussion civil, I know my last comment was a bit troll like...
Reply

#15
I am not knowledgeable in the difficulties of getting the game on steam, however I do think this game is great and has a bright future if it gets a larger player base. I do agree that mostly Minsta servers being populated is a problem for new comers. I started playing recently and the only reason I Was able to get into it is because I do not mind a hard challenge and I have a good amount of experience in fps games. Also I agree with end user that it takes a lot of playtime to be able to compete with the veteran players, and these veteran players can easily carry a minsta ctf game.




(11-21-2014, 03:45 PM)poVoq Wrote:
(11-21-2014, 03:33 PM)end user Wrote: Maybe we can get servers that limit connections according to player ranks? So we can have intro/new player servers.

The problem with that is most likely that those servers are always empty then, as of now there are very few intermediate players left.

Servers being always empty is a problem with the player base not being large enough. If Xonotic got an influx of players then we would have to do something about the servers. I am not sure if a ranking system is the best path, however I do think something needs to be done. At this moment it is quite difficult to find servers as a new comer. Personally, as a new comer myself recently, it has been difficult to find a good server to play on. when I finally join a server it is most likely minsta, and I have to download a ton of stuff in order to play on it. as a person downloading a small free game just to try it out this can be quite discouraging. I think having official Xonotic servers With little to no downloads playing with little to no mods would benefit the game quite a bit. I have read about possibly adding in Gamemode sections into the server list might help as well. Anything to help differentiate between modded servers, minsta servers, weapons servers, etc.

(11-21-2014, 03:45 PM)poVoq Wrote: I am personally not such a big fan of steam either (also because of the DRM/closed source nature of it), but it isn't all that bad and it has a lot (!) of users that would be exposed to Xonotic. It is also a convenient way to get updates and be reminded of the game if it is in your library.

I am new to the open source and free nature of software and games. I only started getting into it while using Linux so please read what I have to say while knowing this.

I think the game coming to steam can open a lot of doors. If Xonotic came out on steam then we could get a lot more players, that alone would either fix a lot of the problems currently being mentioned or speed the process of them being fixed. I completely understand the want to push a finished game with no bugs to steam so that people do not get the wrong impression of the game, however I believe that now is the time we should get more users. If we keep waiting for the perfect game then we might miss the opportunity to have players to play, or even see this game.


Thank you for reading an opinion of a noob like myself, have a good day.
Reply



Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  [SUGGESTION] A small Xonotic launcher Sigma 24 20,426 10-17-2015, 03:53 PM
Last Post: BuddyFriendGuy
  [SUGGESTION] Rocket Launcher model idea Beagle 5 3,958 05-27-2015, 07:45 PM
Last Post: Ogger73
  [SUGGESTION] Add "FPS" to .desktop Launcher electricprism 1 1,796 05-22-2015, 01:33 AM
Last Post: machine!
  [SUGGESTION] Steam ID in contact information djstrikes3 10 5,423 11-28-2014, 02:08 PM
Last Post: Mr. Bougo
  [SUGGESTION] Steam and Xon promotion. end user 35 22,865 10-09-2014, 02:51 AM
Last Post: PinkRobot
  [SUGGESTION] [SUGGESTION] Please Release Xonotic On Steam Iconoclast 4 4,182 12-25-2013, 10:11 AM
Last Post: Mr. Bougo
  [SUGGESTION] Distribution through Steam VNilla 169 104,876 02-17-2013, 11:35 AM
Last Post: Mr. Bougo
  [SUGGESTION] Getting Xonotic to work with the Steam Community overlay MC SE7EN 4 5,183 01-07-2011, 11:38 PM
Last Post: Nesquick
  [SUGGESTION] Rocket Launcher vs. Mortar Balance Sir Emeth Mimetes 14 11,363 11-28-2010, 02:47 PM
Last Post: rainerzufalldererste
  [SUGGESTION] Fireball launcher suggestions XV22 3 4,072 06-14-2010, 03:56 AM
Last Post: XV22

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)

Forum software by © MyBB original theme © iAndrew 2016, remixed by -z-