Timely Lord: Dr Who Adventures Out Already

By Alec Meer on June 2nd, 2010 at 9:11 pm.

Super quick link ‘em up post, as I’ll hopefully be bunging up some impressions a bit later tonight. BUT the first episode of the free Doctor Who Adventures, City of The Daleks, has mysteriously turned up for download already, despite officially not due until Saturday. UK only for now, however.

Kieron is stood behind me as I write this, and insists I write “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Doctor.” “Doctor who?” “Yes!”

That is all.

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78 Comments »

  1. Jaedar says:

    UK only unfortunately :(

  2. Dagizmo says:

    Outside the UK
    If you live outside the UK, the first Adventure Game will be available to purchase in early July. We will have more information shortly on release dates and where you can buy them, so watch this space!
    If you are in the UK and are seeing this message, you may need to contact your ISP. Please see the Help section below.

    =( purchase?

  3. The_B says:

    Karen Gillan is behind you? PIXPLZ.

  4. DollarOfReactivity says:

    I see Alec failed his punnage resistance check, despite +1 Editorship buff. You’re gunna have to grind some more to resist His aura.

  5. G says:

    It’s bad enough our license fee is making some probably rubbish game without giving it away to the foreign types. And I love the BBC! They should definitely have synchronised giving it away and charging for it.

  6. Simon Jones says:

    I look forward to checking this out – although given how they’re presumably going for a non-gaming audience primarily, I’m surprised they didn’t make it just work inside a browser, rather than requiring fiddly Java, downloading and installation.

  7. Auspex says:

    The following just came up in my twitter feed let people know if it works for you non-UK types.

    “Chris Lepine ChrisLepine_AG
    @IgorHardy To play Dr. Who outside of the UK, go to http://www.xsent.info and enter http://bit.ly/aUz1pr as the URL. Enjoy!”

    • Andreas says:

      Well, that didn’t take long.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      @Andreas, Thats what she said.

    • Dan says:

      Plea: please don’t pirate the game. I know the BBC was incredibly resistant for a long time about releasing a game, if you pirate it the chances are this will never happen again.

      Although I do agree that they should’ve syncrhonised the releases for Mac/ non-UK users.

    • Auspex says:

      @Dan.
      What i posted isn’t pirating. It’s a link to a proxy server and then a link to the Doctor Who official download site.

    • Chris Lepine says:

      Woops, apologies Beeb! I didn’t realize that the country restriction was due to the game being funded by UK taxpayers.

      Then again, that proxy I posted totally doesn’t work. Heh.

    • Nathan says:

      This totally falls under the definition of pirating.

    • Jimbo says:

      It’s ok, one of you can use my copy.

    • Nick says:

      Anything that hurts the BBC is alright by me after what they did to Bruce Dickinson.

    • TeeJay says:

      @ Dan: “if you pirate it the chances are this will never happen again”

      Surely it will just show up in the BBC’s figures as a UK download? As long as they can show that people like it (and download it) it will be deemed a “success”. They are not required to make a profit from UK viewers (or in this case downloaders). The worst thing they can do is not have enough viwers/downloaders.

      Often the BBC *want* to broadcast stuff overseas for free (eg on iPlayer) but they either can’t due to a) not having the licensing rights for some element b) having an agreement with a local broadcaster who has the ‘local rights’ c) not wanting to distort local media markets…

  8. Markoff Chaney says:

    I don’t mind paying, but make those of us who are no longer a part of the empire on whom the sun never sets wait a whole month? Is this revenge for all the times publishers from the states messed up y’alls release dates and made you wait while we played?

    Turnabout is fair play, I reckon.

  9. Inigo says:

    I think Kieron was beaten too much as a child.
    Or not enough.

  10. Andrew Peters says:

    Just finished it, it’s certainly not bad, but I expected better from doctor who.

  11. matte_k says:

    Downloading for a run through now. EEEE!!! Hope it’s as fun as they have painted it to be. Thoughts here soon.

  12. DJ Phantoon says:

    LOOK OUT, ALEC!

    KIERON IS BEHIND YOU!

  13. Taillefer says:

    Doctor Yes! was the more positive one of the twins.

    …Downloading.

  14. BaronWR says:

    Umm, isn’t there supposed to be voice acting in this? I’m

  15. Lucas Says says:

    Just so we’re clear, giving something away for free in one part of the world and charging for it in others is probably not the best business model. I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure 99% of people outside the UK are going to say, “But it’s free there!” and acquire it through slightly less legal means.

    • James G says:

      You’re welcome to pay the UK TV license if you wish.

    • Optimaximal says:

      It’s not free for anyone… the UK population have just technically already paid for it.

    • Vandelay says:

      Except for they aren’t checking whether you actually have a t.v licence before the download starts. But yes, I don’t think non-UK players have reason to complain about paying for this.

      No reason for the delay though.

    • bill says:

      @James G:

      Actually we’re not. I know I’d happily pay the license fee to get access to iplayer and bbc tv overseas. As would almost every ex-pat i’ve spoken to. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to do it…

      BBC would make a fortune if they could figure out a way to make it work, but I guess they’d have to deal with a nightmare tangle of licensing deals.

  16. Cooper says:

    If they’re gonna carge those diry foreign types, they should be doing it now. Rather than waiting.

    For if they wait, all those weirdo people in those other places of the world than these lovely isles will totally be taking it through interweb tube leakages with their dirty, dirty foreign ways.

    I hear the women in those foreign places don’t even shave their underarms! How dare they take things free from our wonderful institutions. Grubby hands. OFF!

    In other news, my bloody TV license paid for those games. The ‘freeness’ of them in the UK is debateable. It does not justify proxy whatnot downlody-ness. But, then again, any justification will do, eh? ARRR, shiver me timbers and whatnot?

    Also, time to deviation to piracy discussion at its lowest on non-directly piracy related post on RPS?

  17. LewieP says:

    I am a UK citizen, but I don’t pay the license fee, and I still get it for free. Bonus.

    • Jimbo says:

      You are truly the savviest gamer of them all! *high fives*

    • BigJonno says:

      How do you manage that? Is it already covered wherever you live, or are you just a filthy criminal?:)

    • bleeters says:

      Or he doesn’t have a television and thus isn’t charged for a license. Works for me, anyway.

    • LewieP says:

      Yeah, you only need a license if you:
      A) Own a TV
      B) and use it to watch/record live broadcasts.

      I don’t own a TV, do all my gaming on a monitor. I use the iPlayer to stream stuff after it has gone up, but you don’t need a license to be allowed to do that.

  18. Smi says:

    Aww, darn. It crashes on start-up, and I’m not sure why. Gets to the level/game loading screen (with the Daleks on it) and crashes, dumping a load of stuff into a text file. Ho hum.

  19. Rikimaru says:

    For all those worried about using proxies to get the game outside the UK – it won’t work.

    You can download the installer alright, but the installer also checks that you’re in the UK somehow, and won’t install if you’re not.

    So us dirty foreign types will just have to wait until July. :(

    I really, really don’t get the delay. I’d buy it now if I could. But by July I’ll be pissed off at having had to wait, and someone will have probably spoiled it for me and the season of Dr. Who will already be over and I just won’t be that interested in playing it anymore.

    Bad move BBC.

  20. hahaha says:

    “We are the Daleks!”

  21. greenB says:

    Assuming the License Fee covered the BBC’s development & operational cost already, I really don’t get why this isn’t free everywhere. I kinda doubt there would be a massive flood of downloaders from other countries (and if anyone should be able to cope with high demand, it’s a de facto-tax funded national broadcaster). But then, I don’t get why broadcasters like the BBC limit their content to the country anyway.

    If this is actually a move against piracy, they should get certain consultants from France in…

    • RaveTurned says:

      The licence fee only covers 76% of the BBC’s current revenue. Most of the rest is paid for by selling content to overseas providers and BBC commercial ventures – DVD box sets and now game sales based on popular franchises.

      Doctor Who is one of the five top grossing titles for BBC Worldwide. As I understand it, it has quite a cult following outside of the UK. Given that UK residents are forced to fund it to own a TV, I believe the BBC not only has a right to make money from it’s content overseas, but it could even argued that they have a duty to do so to ease the burden on UK tax-payers.*

      *Well, if you believed that the TV licence fee would ever go down…

    • greenB says:

      That’s just my point – I think they won’t get a substantial amount of money for this game. Most of the people that care will use the delay plus cost as an excuse to acquire it through magical means OF WHICH I KNOW NOTHING, and the BBC is no better off.

      By the way: any information on the pricing yet?

  22. Legandir says:

    It’s working now without any proxies at all. It’s free here in Ireland, and presumably free everywhere

  23. Rikimaru says:

    I’m in Ireland and I can download the installer but the installer complains that I’m not in the UK when I run it.

    So I’ll be a good little boy and wait until July like the BBC want me to.

    But by then I’ll probably have lost interest, so the BBC most likely won’t get a sale out of me. Not the end of the world really. Plenty of other games to play.

    • Nick says:

      If its the installer it could just be checking your windows language setting, probably not but it is, at least, possible.

    • Nick says:

      Er regional localisation, that is, its under regional and language options.

    • Klaus says:

      Well, the installer connects to the internet for some reason. And say ‘for some reason’ because I haven’t fully thought it out but I assumed it was to verify my location in the world. The game installed and plays fine from what little I played and I live in New York.

      Incidentally, I just saw “Daleks in Manhattan” yesterday. Going to the Empire State Building to look for Dalek parts tomorrow.

  24. matte_k says:

    Just finished. For a free (if you’re in the UK) episodic game, it’s pretty good quality. It is squarely aimed at the younger Doctor Who audience in terms of its complexity, but it’s quite polished for a first try by the BBC at this sort of thing, and you can tell that the input from Cecil has made it better than it could have been. Main criticisms being the slight over-reliance on the sneaky bits and use of the same puzzle, and the speech audio being a bit echoey in odd places. Also, Matt Smith’s default setting in this seems to be “whisper”, not sure why, especially when Karen Gillan is speaking normally. Still, good start, so hopefully it will do well, and as a result improve over the episode arc.
    Also quite like the mimicking of the TV Show credits, and the way they both bundle quite quickly into the Tardis for take off on the menu screen when you quit :D

  25. Wallace says:

    That fact came from the video game, that thing’s educational!

    S’alright, but too many stealth sections that are just as rubbish as they were when every developer was crowbarring them in back in the early 00′s.

  26. Matt says:

    Dear Dan: I pirated the game because it is a FREE game that they are charging for in my country. Deal with it. It’s also a pretty rubbish game and only a so-so episode of Doctor Who.

    • AlexW says:

      Good idea, Matt. Also, since most Internet competitions aren’t available to enter for free in the UK, but rather cost infinity quid, I’m perfectly justified in stealing whatever the prize is from a local shop.

    • Rinox says:

      I may not necessarily agree with Matt, but that comeback didn’t make any sense. At all. :-/

    • bill says:

      How about:
      My friend won a free iphone, but I have to pay for one… so i’m going to nick one. ?

    • Rinox says:

      Better :-D But still not the same. The distribution of the free Dr. Who game isn’t a competition.

      Anyway, I think we can all agree that the point is that the BBC was a bit naive to think that in today’s world one can get away with releasing something for free in the UK and charge for it at a later date abroad. On the internet, such silly economic borders don’t work – kinda like how I let an American friend gift me me new games over steam then repay him the American price over Paypal, instead of paying the ludicrous Euro prices.

    • AlexW says:

      Yeah, Rinox, it was intended (honest) to be pretty insane, because I thought Matt’s original comment was pretty insane too. It’s NOT a ‘free game’, any more than the BBC channels and radio are ‘free’ in Blighty: they’re paid for by an annual subscription to the organisation’s content service. It’s idiotic to think that’s the same thing.

    • Rinox says:

      True, of course, it’s made with (British) tax payer money and thus made (especially) for you Brits. But again, it’s naive of them to think that you can apply this type of thinking to a piece of software that is available for download online.

    • TeeJay says:

      @ Rinox: “…the BBC was a bit naive to think that in today’s world one can get away with releasing something for free in the UK and charge for it at a later date abroad…”

      I bet the BBC are fully aware that loads of people use proxies to access iPlayer – and will do the same to download this game. However publically they have to pretend that they are “selling” their content to overseas markets so as to not upset all the lawyers, regulators and politicans.

      I’d also guess that the people at the BBC who are producing this game will be happy if the number of “UK downloads” is high and won’t get in much trouble if it fails to sell overseas. Selling the whole series to BBC America is what brings in the overseas money and the costs of the games will just be bundled in with the rest of the series. I can’t see “games sales in the US” being a deal breaker, whereas loads of UK downloads will be treated as a ‘success’, even if everyone at the BBC knows full well that a fair percentage of them weren’t really UK downloads.

  27. ECM says:

    If you really want to play this (and don’t live in the UK and don’t have/want to use Bit Torrent, etc.) I have instructions here.

  28. wcaypahwat says:

    How do they enforce this TV license, out of curiosity?

    I’m not sure I see a need for it, since a BBC dvd costs around twice as much as their US/Australian equivalent with half the content (but often twice the quality). They’re popular enough they even get their own sections in stores.

  29. bill says:

    Does using a proxy to download something that is free for others, but not legally free for you, count as piracy?

    I guess I’d have to go with yes. Sad that the bbc didn’t make it all region free though.

  30. Sigma957 says:

    ECM you are a genius. Mahalos from the Pacific ocean.

  31. Sigma957 says:

    Now all it needs is a crack to bypass authentication at install, scene should have something soon

    • Klaus says:

      I read here, or in that other Doctor Who thread, that if you leave the proxy site open it will install with no problem. I had no idea about that, and I did in install it while inadvertently leaving the window open and it installed with no issue. I live in America by the way.

  32. ShatnersBassoon says:

    So I am from the UK, but when I try to install it sticks its fingers in its ears and tells me I’m not connected to the internet, despite obviously being so. None of the limited advice on the BBC page has helped.

  33. Wulf says:

    So, I was just looking around in the Doctor Who folder with me partner, and we found a couple of interesting things.

    - The whole damn thing is built on Lua.

    You can edit Lua files and change/break the game in incredibly hilarious ways. Don’t like some of the wire puzzles? Edit them out. :p

    - There are audio files from the next episode, there!

    We found some Cybermen stuff. Such as “You will be deleted!” and so on.

  34. Unaco says:

    For those people who have stolen this piece of Software from us decent, honest TV License paying individuals… Copies on P2P Networks are chock-full of Malware! Enjoy!

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