inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

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Riboflavin
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Riboflavin » November 14th, 2018, 9:44 am

Its scary. I am sure its a good decision for Inxile as far as money goes but probably bad in the long run for people who love and are passionate about their games. I'm a big believer in using past history to determine future results with a company which doesn't treat Microsoft well when viewed through this lens. Anyway, not pumped about the announcement, looking forward to Wasteland 3 then we'll wait and see.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by dozzo » November 14th, 2018, 11:09 am

Is a version of The Bards tale remastered trilogy in the works for MAC ?
you just mention commitment to develop the BT4 Mac version...

please let me know

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by demeisen » November 14th, 2018, 11:15 am

Riboflavin wrote:
November 14th, 2018, 9:44 am
not pumped about the announcement, looking forward to Wasteland 3 then we'll wait and see.
That's how I'm looking at it too. I'm quite looking forward to WL3, but MS has long been the antithesis of what I want in games. Shucks, never mind games, they've been the antithesis of what I want in software in general. DRM is a non-starter: if you won't sell me your game without DRM, I don't buy your game, end of discussion.

For a while, it seemed like with the rise of studios like InXile and Obsidian we might be in for a new golden era of cool indie RPGs, but this news is a big wet blanket, made all the wetter by the marketing spew coming out of MS about it. My hope at this stage is that we'll see new upstart, mid-sized studios filling the DRM-free, indie RPG gap going forward.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Milamber33 » November 14th, 2018, 2:36 pm

thebruce wrote:
November 14th, 2018, 8:19 am
So I'm not confident the ruling makes much of any allowance for personal hacking of games with server-based DRM. I could be wrong, but that's not how I understood it.
My reading was this was only permissible in cases where the ONLY thing being done server side was license validation, and only by museums and archives. Otherwise you need legally obtained original server code.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Jozape » November 15th, 2018, 5:10 am

Does Microsoft release any games on GOG or DRM-free at some later point? I would probably be more comfortable with whatever DRM Microsoft intends to put on Wasteland 4 in the short term if they eventually release the game DRM-free.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by demeisen » November 15th, 2018, 7:14 am

Jozape wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 5:10 am
Does Microsoft release any games on GOG or DRM-free at some later point?
It's hard to say there is not somewhere a single exception, or cases where a studio they bought or acted as publisher for a game released on GOG. But speaking generally, they don't seem to be friendly to GOG, even for their older titles. At least, that's been the case for the few I looked for on there. They want everyone to be locked into their DRM'ed Windows store, or better yet, XBox, which is a locked down ecosystem. The idea of an open platform is under strong attack.

Their trend as a company seems the opposite direction from GOG: more intrusive DRM, "OS-as-a-service", ever more "telemetry", and less and less control available to you as a customer.

Which is why I'm unhappy that they bought two of my fav game studios, who at once made good games and had customer-friendly business practices to support DRM-free distribution and non-Windows platforms. Not that I blame them for selling out in a cash crunch, but it probably means I have to look elsewhere for my games in the future.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 15th, 2018, 8:01 am

Jozape wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 5:10 am
Does Microsoft release any games on GOG or DRM-free at some later point? I would probably be more comfortable with whatever DRM Microsoft intends to put on Wasteland 4 in the short term if they eventually release the game DRM-free.
The only one I know that's supposedly published by MS is Dust: An Elysian Tail. According to Wikipedia, MS are listed as one of the publishers. But GOG page doesn't list them, so it's not clear. There are many requests in the GOG wishlist to release older MS games there, and MS did nothing to advance that. Example.

MS also has a bad reputation of being involved in various DRM related scandals. Their view on DRM isn't a secret, and so far I don't see any indication that it got any better.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Lakstoties » November 15th, 2018, 9:03 am

With this... InXile enters the gilded, Microsoft branded cage. Note how quietly Microsoft will close and lock the door... As they've done before.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Zombra » November 15th, 2018, 9:27 am

More than anything, I'm worried about silly exclusives like forced Windows 10 compatibility and Microsoft Store-exclusive availability.
Image

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Gizmo » November 15th, 2018, 9:45 am

Zombra wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 9:27 am
More than anything, I'm worried about silly exclusives like forced Windows 10 compatibility and Microsoft Store-exclusive availability.
But of course; the money comes at a price. Image

*But it might be just a means to an end; Bungie [eventually] bought back their freedom, and still has MS as a minority equity partner.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Firkraag » November 15th, 2018, 11:18 pm

Heh. It was nice while it lasted.

"All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in a rain." (c) Blade Runner by Riddley Scott.

Good luck and have fun, you all.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by IHaveHugeNick » November 15th, 2018, 11:43 pm

Spectralshade wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 1:38 am
sure it can get worse.

you install your old game, because you want to have some relaxing fun with an old friend. Then you get greeted onscreen with: "cannot connect to server." and your install files are as usefull as a snowball is in hell. Don't think it can happen? Already have. I stopped buying microsoft games many years ago after I got exactly that message after trying to install a game to do some singleplayer playing.
All of that is already the case with every gaming platform apart from GOG. Steam could be turned off, Origin could be turned off, Uplay could be turned off. You're not describing a way for things to get worse, you're describing how things already are.
Spectralshade wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 1:38 am
The whole 'service' pitch is bogus because it restricts you from using the product to only being as long as the service-provider bothers to provide it. It's a huge devaluation of the product and is a parallel to enforced life-cycles of products certain companies have been trying to enforce in their products to ensure future sales.
If it's a service then you're not paying for ownership of individual games, you're paying for access to the whole library. You can't get restricted from using a product that you never owned in a first place.

It's a much more logical system than Steam/Origin/Uplay where the pretense is that you're paying for ownership, but you don't actually get to own anything and platform holder can shut down at moment's notice, making products you supposedly own become unusable forever.

The simple fact is that big publishers are tired of paying Steam tax and you cannot blame them. I would much prefer if my money went to people who actually create the games instead of filling Gaben's pockets.

If Valve haven't been so greedy maybe we wouldn't be in this situation. But unfortunately while Steam provides great services. tools and opportunities for indie developers, big publishers, your EA's, your Ubisofts your Microsofts, they can handle all of that stuff internally, both much cheaper and much better without losing 30% profit on every sold unit. So predictably you have all big players slowly breaking away and creating their own walled-garden platform.

The big advantage of GamePass over current business model, is that big publisher now has a financial inventive to actually support and develop smaller games. And that's a critical difference. Remember how oldschool isometric RPGs died in a first place? Publishers wouldn't fund them, because they were all about mass producing $50 million blockbuster shooters. Well that now has changed.

Obviously all of this can still go horribly wrong, because this is still Microsoft and we all know how lovely they can be. But let's not bullshit ourselves here - after two flops in a row InXile was either going under or they'd have to switch to making more mainstream games to survive . At least now maybe they have a fighting chance to keep doing what they do.
Two rite whiff care is quite a feet of witch won should be proud.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by kilobug » November 16th, 2018, 12:22 am

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 11:43 pm
All of that is already the case with every gaming platform apart from GOG. Steam could be turned off, Origin could be turned off, Uplay could be turned off. You're not describing a way for things to get worse, you're describing how things already are.
Humble provides DRM-free installers for many (but not all, careful) games too. But apart from that yes, but that's why I never buy games anywhere but GOG or Humble (or direct download of an installer from developers, which is a thing among smaller studios).

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Spectralshade » November 16th, 2018, 12:33 am

kilobug wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:22 am
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 11:43 pm
All of that is already the case with every gaming platform apart from GOG. Steam could be turned off, Origin could be turned off, Uplay could be turned off. You're not describing a way for things to get worse, you're describing how things already are.
Humble provides DRM-free installers for many (but not all, careful) games too. But apart from that yes, but that's why I never buy games anywhere but GOG or Humble (or direct download of an installer from developers, which is a thing among smaller studios).
you can play steam games in offline mode too. You don't NEED to connect to the mothership (steam server) to be able to use your installed steam games.
I couldn't play my installed single player microsoft game because microsoft had taken down the server.

Huge difference.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Gizmo » November 16th, 2018, 7:29 am

Firkraag wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 11:18 pm
"All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in a rain.""
*Equally unexpected too; not in the script, a line conceived, written and performed by Rutger Hauer. ;)
kilobug wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:22 am
Humble provides DRM-free installers for many (but not all, careful) games too. But apart from that yes, but that's why I never buy games anywhere but GOG or Humble (or direct download of an installer from developers, which is a thing among smaller studios).
Same here.
Spectralshade wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:33 am
you can play steam games in offline mode too. You don't NEED to connect to the mothership (steam server) to be able to use your installed steam games.
I couldn't play my installed single player microsoft game because microsoft had taken down the server.

Huge difference.
Really?

This is what greeted me the when I tried installing my New Vegas DVD, collectors edition...
Image
That's from DVD disc, where presumably all it had to do was authenticate; and it shouldn't have even had to do that. The DVD should have been able to install the game offline—even if withholding access until verified; no different than depositing a Steam-Library folder.

Steam's offline mode is a joke; intended for brief stints when the wifi cuts out. It still demands updates, and can still refuse to allow playing for whatever reason it decides. Steam is a nightmare in rural areas where Internet access is metered cellular, satellite, dial-up, or nonexistent. A person who lives there might be able to use their account to get it to install on a friend's computer, laptop/tablet (or library PC?) in town, then transfer it to their desktop at home—and maybe get it to play offline for a while.

Any updates to the game means repeating the process again. It might be 40 miles for them; as it was for me—x2 (both there and back again, plus the expense of the endeavor...gas, coffee bill, PC rental, owing a favor, etc).
They don't offer offline [on disc/SD-chip] installers; apparently not even in boxed retail DVDs.

And then there is the support from Steam. Image

When I bought Bloodlines from Steam years ago... it did not load. They have an installed client that can read the PC specs, and sold me a game that did not load. I made a support ticket, and waited two weeks. Their eventual advice was instructions for an alternate BOOT configuration for Windows, that would purposely [and indefinitely] cut my installed RAM in half; to be used anytime I wished to play the game. :shock: :shock:

I found a user patch that flipped a bit to allow it to run just fine. :evil: :evil:

With GoG... I had the same thing happen with Witcher two; sold me a game that wouldn't load... They responded in hours, figured out the problem, and sent me a recompiled executable with their .Net code removed—it was used for their leaderboard feature. Game worked just fine after that. Custom service in a few hours. That is a huge difference. ;)

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Spectralshade » November 16th, 2018, 8:59 am

a developers misguided usage of 'install software' isn't proof of anything.
My first encounter with steam was trying to install speedball 2, and it did the exact same thing.
Turns out the game was crap compared to the old amiga clasic and the usage of an entire cd for just an install file for the steam client was telltale of the shoddy develpoment of the game itself.

I've never had issues with installed games. I've had extended net work break downs and been able to play my installed games just fine. Sure, it attempts to connect to start with, but then it asks if you want to continue in offline mode. If I wanted to, I could download my entire game library and disconnect the net connection and still be able to play my game collection. I wouldn't be able to install new games from steam without connecting, of course, since my install files are on their server, but there is nothing to hinder me from playing the games without a connection once I already have them downloaded.
Streaming services like some of the companies are trying to push, means you can't even play games without being forced online, and >that< sucks.

Also, I already have experience with microsoft shutting down the ability to play a single player game due to their network DRM, so I'm really not interested in giving them any credit on that front. Especially when I compare with steam that always allowed me to play offline or even continue installing and playing games I bought while they were on the store, but got removed from the storefront later on for various legal reasons. (and if you are wondering, when following the 'storepage' link from those games in my library, they just return to the default store window, rather than the specifics game store entry, as those entries are no longer present in the store, but still available to download and play for those that bought them while they were there.)

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Gizmo » November 16th, 2018, 10:13 am

Spectralshade wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 8:59 am
a developers misguided usage of 'install software' isn't proof of anything.
Of course it is—if even it was their fault... (which we don't know, and doesn't seem likely to me). The game would not install ~period. No such problems with the GoG version of NV. ;)
My first encounter with steam was trying to install speedball 2, and it did the exact same thing.
Turns out the game was crap compared to the old amiga clasic and the usage of an entire cd for just an install file for the steam client was telltale of the shoddy develpoment of the game itself.
That's bad. I can recall developers at the E3 2008(?) joking about the DVDs in the box being coasters.

In New Vegas' case, the disc has the game on it; it uses 6.27 GB of data. GOG's installers are 7.7 GB; that could be lesser compression, or that the Steam version had some of the files not on the disc; a required download. That could mean that it would be impossible to install from home in a rural area with limited Internet access; offline mode or not.

Sure, it attempts to connect to start with, but then it asks if you want to continue in offline mode.
In my experience, it doesn't always agree. The Offline mode is by no means expected to be the primary use case, and it is problematic for anyone with limited or restricted Internet access.
If I wanted to, I could download my entire game library and disconnect the net connection and still be able to play my game collection.
Try that sometime. Block Steam from the Internet, and rate your experience after a while. ;)
Streaming services like some of the companies are trying to push, means you can't even play games without being forced online, and >that< sucks.
True... but also that is their service. Do you mean companies that stream the output of a game played on their hardware, to a gaming client installed on low-spec machines? Such connectivity is intrinsic to the service—it is the service.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 16th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Spectralshade wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:33 am
you can play steam games in offline mode too. You don't NEED to connect to the mothership (steam server) to be able to use your installed steam games.
I couldn't play my installed single player microsoft game because microsoft had taken down the server.
Steam is still not DRM-free, since according to their TOS you can't just go around backing up your games and then re-installing them from your own backups. You need to use their client to install (legally). I.e. in case of let's say their service going down, your backup installation will be questionable (even if possible technically). In contrast, actual DRM-free stores provide you standalone packages, which you can install without prerequisite of that service being around. Installation from backup is as much of a requirement for DRM-free as actual usage.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by demeisen » November 16th, 2018, 3:42 pm

shmerl wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:05 pm
you can't just go around backing up your games and then re-installing them from your own backups.
Not only that ((1) needing permission for each reinstall), and (2) according to many posts on the net, needing to ask the server permission to enter offline mode to start with, but if the 3rd hand info I've heard is to be believed, (3) even "offline" mode requires periodic permission from the server, or possibly permission triggered by some local event. That is to say, it's only offline for a finite period, not indefinitely. I have heard complaints about this, where due to (2) and the user being bumped out of offline mode, they must re-authenticate to play their "offline DRM" games.

I don't know if that is true, and I can't verify it myself since Steam is not allowed on my computer.

It would also be interesting to know if the permissions survive local hardware changes. Some DRM schemes do not.

Edit: trying to tie into the original thread topic: whatever Valve does with DRM, I would expect Microsoft to be materially inferior. For instance, it seems that the Windows store offline DRM is a pain, and you can only change the offline device a few times per year.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Woolfe » November 16th, 2018, 4:34 pm

demeisen wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 3:42 pm
shmerl wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:05 pm
you can't just go around backing up your games and then re-installing them from your own backups.
Not only that ((1) needing permission for each reinstall), and (2) according to many posts on the net, needing to ask the server permission to enter offline mode to start with, but if the 3rd hand info I've heard is to be believed, (3) even "offline" mode requires periodic permission from the server, or possibly permission triggered by some local event. That is to say, it's only offline for a finite period, not indefinitely. I have heard complaints about this, where due to (2) and the user being bumped out of offline mode, they must re-authenticate to play their "offline DRM" games.

I don't know if that is true, and I can't verify it myself since Steam is not allowed on my computer.

It would also be interesting to know if the permissions survive local hardware changes. Some DRM schemes do not.

Edit: trying to tie into the original thread topic: whatever Valve does with DRM, I would expect Microsoft to be materially inferior. For instance, it seems that the Windows store offline DRM is a pain, and you can only change the offline device a few times per year.
It is dependant on the game

Steam has DRM. But it is also a distribution method. I have games distributed through Steam that run on machines that don't even have Steam installed.

It is entirely up to the Developer as to what level of DRM they want in the Steam environment
It's not too late. Make it Eight!

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