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Topic: Ever try get on steam?

teppo
Joined: 2012-01-30, 09:42
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Posted at: 2017-10-06, 07:08

kaputtnik wrote:

I think i was misunderstood, or did not explain exactly what i meant: For me it is a great difference if Steam would grab our source code and deploy it, or if we offer our game to steam to help them to earn money. The latter reason is not what i want. And this is also against the GNU philosophy, IMHO.

What about "we offer the game to Steam, to help us have some money available to Widelands development team?"


Thanks for pointing out the linking issue. If we really would want to go to Steam: SirVer has kept a list of contributors. If all those can still be contacted, we could dual-license. This probably will not work, though, since Widelands links to some GPL libraries.

The desperate approach would be that we would sell at Steam a convenience tool, that installs and launches Widelands the game as part of its execution (without linking Widelands to Steam). However, that road is probably blocked by the legal agreements involved. This would have a funny side-effect: of all the languages (see GunChleoc's post above) would still be included despite being unsupported by Steam.

Personnally, I think that's a good idea because that help to make in a way which allows somebody to sell WL through steam, as long as all the new code goes through GPL version first and the evil fork only contains the modifications needed by Steam library. a bigger player base.

Thats a good reason, but does not solve the problem of missing developers. And i don't believe the equation "bigger player base = more contributers" is true. Maybe i am wrong face-smile.png

Larger player base probably would translate into more players in the multiplayer lobby. In addition, I think that if WL would be at steam, it would make sense to be a cup-of-coffee priced game where the game would go to infrastructure costs. Who pays those nowadays? SirVer personally, or is there a legal entity?

Edited: 2017-10-06, 07:38

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trimard
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Joined: 2009-03-05, 22:40
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Posted at: 2017-10-06, 13:08

We as speakers of languages that are not on the Steam list, yes. Steam versions of games will only list availability for Steam languages, even if they have been translated into more languages.

I think if you type "game in [insert language here]" on google you'll still be able to find widelands won't you? People using these languages already know they can't rely on steam to have the versions of the game in the right version. Or did I misunderstood something?

Also, I think the more games that are on steam that proposes these languages, the more likely the steam team will listen to these requests?

And i don't believe the equation "bigger player base = more contributers" is true. Maybe i am wrong face-smile.png

I think you're wrong, but I have nothing to prove it. I would actually add an argument to your point: the population using steam is less likely to be a dev than someone searching "open source game" on google...

What I think moreover is that even without more developpers, the surge of players would actually increase the motivations of the dev, even those that didn't contribute for a long time?

Thanks for pointing out the linking issue. If we really would want to go to Steam: SirVer has kept a list of contributors. If all those can still be contacted, we could dual-license. This probably will not work, though, since Widelands links to some GPL libraries.

The desperate approach would be that we would sell at Steam a convenience tool, that installs and launches Widelands the game as part of its execution (without linking Widelands to Steam). However, that road is probably blocked by the legal agreements involved. This would have a funny side-effect: of all the languages (see GunChleoc's post above) would still be included despite being unsupported by Steam.

You're pointing out unsolvable problems here. Tell me someone has a solution? (I don't know a thing in licenses and such...)

Edited: 2017-10-06, 13:10

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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2017-10-06, 20:30

My 2c.

Steam is a FREE application for gaming...

It is only free to download and maybe free to submit games to. It is tightly controlled by a single entity, similar to most other App stores. This has advantages, but also disadvantages - and most certainly does not easily fit into the GPL. Actually adding the required hooks for steam into Widelands doesn't work without violating the GPL, since those are not open, i.e. we could not provide the source code to these modifications.

But ya you should check it out its the biggest / largest Internet Gaming Marketplace in the world.

By which metric? I'd argue the Google Play store is much larger, since it contains more games, sells more games and makes more money on games than Steam. We should get on Android if we want to increase our player base. Do we even want to right now? More players means more support burden means more work. I am quite happy with how Widelands is chugging along right now. I also doubt that we'd get many more contributors, and even if, right now we are blocked on reviewers and testers more than we are on coders.

SirVer has kept a list of contributors. If all those can still be contacted, we could dual-license.

The only list I have is the development list and CVS/SVN/BZR logs. For many contributors the email addresses are probably no longer valid and for some we do not even have them. Even if we had, asking all > 100 contributors for their consent to relicense is a major undertaking, quite likely impossible. Also I think the GPL suits Widelands and its goals: being a FOSS game for everybody to enjoy and contribute to.

In addition, I think that if WL would be at steam, it would make sense to be a cup-of-coffee priced game where the game would go to infrastructure costs. Who pays those nowadays? SirVer personally, or is there a legal entity?

I pay it and am also the owner of the domain. I also receive the donations, though I want to remove the button since I am no longer a student that is starving and perfectly happy to shoulder the costs. Since January 2007 till today, Widelands cost me ~1460€ and I received ~1265€ in donations, so in general a pretty cheap hobby :).

I feel that Widelands could use more devs and players, but is not in a bad spot: OpenHub is tracking project activity over time. For Widelands it reports 2487 commits in the last 12 months, an increase of (30%) from previous 12 months and a monotonously increasing community. The activity of the project compared to its history is also far from low. For the Widelands website we even have a 83% increase in commits. So the project is far from being dormant right now.

In general, I think Widelands development is healthy, and while we could probably grow both dev and player base, I know that if the player base increased over night, I would probably need to stop doing anything for Widelands, because it would overwhelm my bandwith. More players means more bugs reported, more issues to look at and more discussion to keep track off.

Edited: 2017-10-06, 20:32

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teppo
Joined: 2012-01-30, 09:42
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Posted at: 2017-10-06, 23:30

SirVer wrote:

By which metric? I'd argue the Google Play store is much larger, since it contains more games...

In my mind, Google play is Android-only. Is this outdated info?

Android is most likely doable, but requires more work compared to what Steam would require if it was possible.

In my mind, the only reason to go for wider audience would be that now the internet gaming lobby is rather often empty. It would be funnier if finding human opponents would require less planning. How easy would it be to play an entire networked Widelands game on a mobile phone?

I pay it and am also the owner of the domain. I also receive the donations, though I want to remove the button since I am no longer a student that is starving and perfectly happy to shoulder the costs.

Happy to hear that.


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stdh
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Joined: 2013-08-04, 22:05
Posts: 41
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-10-07, 01:04

From what Wikipedia has to say, Valve indeed seems to keep a lot of control over Steam, and through it over 'desktop gaming' (if that's the term). Their ambition seems to be to keep players inside their platform, with forums, gamification of games (!) and of spending money on games (!!). I don't suppose Steam would be interested in hosting a "Widelands Downloader", that seems rather clumsy. Do I understand it right that any practical advantage for eg. Widelands' multiplayer aspect is impossible without the proprietary SDK? Is that SDK necessary for having a game hosted on Steam? I wonder if other FOSS games are available on Steam and what their experience is like. As far as I can tell, Battle for Wesnoth isn't available yet.

I also estimate that the extra players an app-store would bring would mean more developers/testers/... but not enough to compensate for higher support needs. If an Android version of Widelands is worth the (big?) effort, maybe it could be published on F-Droid? I have no idea what kind of reach that would give to our game.

A somewhat more serious thought, at least partially relevant: would it be a good idea to provide builds in Flatpak or another of those fancy distribution systems? I don't know if any are particularly suited for games. Also, I think GNU/Linux distros as we know them are excellent for providing some review for the packages they offer, but the idea of Flatpak etc. seems particularly well suited for leaf packages such as games.


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GunChleoc
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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
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Posted at: 2017-10-09, 21:01

Personally, I just don't have the energy to get into researching what would be needed for Steam. Even if we go for it, we would need somebody willing to take on the project both coding and research-wise - we could surely ask other FLOSS games hoe they're handling it then.

And it's not just the legal and coding bits, there would also need to be some marketing effort - well, maybe less so now that they're not using Greenlight any more.


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