Starfire Apps

Home of SOLAR STARFIRE, 6th edition, rules based on the upcoming history of the Terran Solar Union.

Moderators: SDS Members, SDS Owner

Forum rules
1. Nothing obscene.
2. No advertising or spamming.
3. No personal information. Mostly aimed at the posting of OTHER people's information.
4. No flame wars. We encourage debate, but it becomes a flame when insults fly and tempers flare.

Try to stick with the forum's topic. Threads that belong to another forum will be moved to that forum.

Re: Starfire Apps

Postby Cralis on Thu 22 Jun 2017 12:47

Whitecold wrote:Honestly, I fail to see why this would have to be online. The supposedly 'closed part' is all revealed in the Rules PDF, so no need to be secretive about it. You could wrap the functions into some nice library, and make that available to developers.
Making it offline relieves you of the trouble of identifying who has access rights to your functions, especially for scripts which run offline in the first place, and if someone wants an online app, they run the library on your server.


You are quite right, it could be done as a library. There are many reasons for and against both methods. And it's not just about access rights, but also maintenance and security. Either way we choose, it would be an interesting support option to our software agreements.

If the idea is to provide some online DRM, getting a commercial DRM software into your project is probably more useful.


I'll skip the lecture. No.

I implemented most tactical functions for my unfortunately on-hold tactical simulator. The proprietary part would be the xml files storing range tables, the actual combat can be determined from quickstart rules. Putting those online just makes the game unplayable offline, makes it reliant on some server staying up, and removes the automatic mod support you get from having an accessible database.


An accessible database would be the opposite of a library. There is no way to provide a secure data store, especially if you rely on xml format. The advantage of a library is that we can black box functionality. But you are correct in that it doesn't provide full moddability, and that is part of the strength of our rules systems.

Choices... choices...
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10031
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Starfire Apps

Postby Geolama on Thu 22 Jun 2017 20:28

The problem with libraries or data store is that they are prime for abuse and IP theft if no protection scheme locks down their use to only licensed users/purchasers: developers could just hand out their app with SDS libraries/data store and SDS would be none the wiser.
Most commercial packages that I use implement a hostname or MAC address scheme to lock the software to a particular PC, Linux or Mac computer; this only works if there is ever only one computer that a user will ever use to run a game. However, most companies allow you transfer the license, provided you have kept up your maintenance payments, to another machine by supplying the new hostname or MAC address.
Geolama
Shuttle Pilot
Shuttle Pilot
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon 19 Jun 2017 19:02

Re: Starfire Apps

Postby Xveers on Thu 22 Jun 2017 20:41

Geolama wrote:The problem with libraries or data store is that they are prime for abuse and IP theft if no protection scheme locks down their use to only licensed users/purchasers: developers could just hand out their app with SDS libraries/data store and SDS would be none the wiser.
Most commercial packages that I use implement a hostname or MAC address scheme to lock the software to a particular PC, Linux or Mac computer; this only works if there is ever only one computer that a user will ever use to run a game. However, most companies allow you transfer the license, provided you have kept up your maintenance payments, to another machine by supplying the new hostname or MAC address.


If somebody wanted to, they could steal ALL of Starfire (the newer stuff especially) with $20 USD and a downloaded spreadsheet. That would get them everything they want to make it a game including more than a little example code.

Thieves will nick what they want if they want it badly enough, and in the end the only thing any kind of paywall or DRM costs the developer is customers. Beyond the security provided by Steam or GOG, there's little that can properly deter someone.

And to be honest, there's plenty of other similar IPs out there to Starfire when it comes to game mechanics. including ones that could probably be reverse engineered even easier than stealing some libraries.
Xveers
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
 
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed 15 Jul 2009 02:26
Location: New Westminster, BC, Canada

Re: Starfire Apps

Postby Cralis on Fri 23 Jun 2017 00:39

Geolama wrote:The problem with libraries or data store is that they are prime for abuse and IP theft if no protection scheme locks down their use to only licensed users/purchasers: developers could just hand out their app with SDS libraries/data store and SDS would be none the wiser.


And truthfully, if we hit upon a way to monetize the game that doesn't mean "sell the rules" then we'd give the rules away and sell that. It's part of the reason we've experimented with miniatures and swag. If we had a computer game that sold we'd be in the same boat.

We've got some ideas but they take time to actually bear fruit, and unfortunately we are limited only to what time we have after we spend the bulk of our time working for someone else to pay the bills.

I think we have some ideas that can work for us. But it might take a while to get there.

Most commercial packages that I use implement a hostname or MAC address scheme to lock the software to a particular PC, Linux or Mac computer; this only works if there is ever only one computer that a user will ever use to run a game. However, most companies allow you transfer the license, provided you have kept up your maintenance payments, to another machine by supplying the new hostname or MAC address.


And the bulk of those products are very limited use or they cost a LOT of money. People use Blender, for example, because AutoCAD has extremely strict DRM and costs thousands of dollars. (and yes, I know they aren't directly comparable, but I know at least one company that did this)

DRM typically either makes life harder on the legitimate user than the pirate, and I know quite a few people who buy a game then download a pirated version so they can ignore the DRM. On top of that, entire companies have gone down the drain when DRM made their product unstable. Titan's Quest comes immediately to mind on that front.

That's why web services and online games have gotten so much traction. The developer completely controls the content and all access to that content, but in return they gain a constant income flow and can afford to continuously update the game/program for the users. It's really win-win these days but it takes a LOT of time and effort to get the ball moving.

Before we can contemplate that, however, we either need to find a game developer who isn't greedy (yep, happened) or get enough of the things done we have now that we can get a foothold to where we can pick up the slack.

It's an age old problem and I'm apparently slow on the uptake.
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10031
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Starfire Apps

Postby aramis on Sat 15 Jul 2017 14:04

Geolama wrote:The problem with libraries or data store is that they are prime for abuse and IP theft if no protection scheme locks down their use to only licensed users/purchasers: developers could just hand out their app with SDS libraries/data store and SDS would be none the wiser.

The material encapsulated by the rules-text is not protectable under US IP laws.

One could write a game that plays exactly like Starfire, and as long as they don't use the same wording for the rules, nor the trademarks, there is no legal violation.

Game mechanics are one of the few things explicitly NOT protected by US Copyright law.

Only the actual literal text of game rules is protected. Reword it, and it's a different IP under the law.
aramis
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon 01 Mar 2010 00:42
Location: Eagle River, Alaska

Previous

Return to Solar Starfire

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron