Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s News In Briefs

By John Walker on March 17th, 2011 at 5:03 pm.

Available at all branches of Marks & Spencers.

The Headlines:

New ‘Locked Box’ DRM demonstrates 100% success rate against piracy

Developer spends too much time on mediocre soundtrack, inaccurately believes it merits CD release

New poker hand introduced as games run out of titles

New ‘Locked Box’ DRM demonstrates 100% success rate against piracy

Today DRM middleware provider, SecureTrap, have reported the absolute success of their latest game security tool, Locked Box. CEO Brian Roughly told press, “Our clients are delighted to tell us that even a month after release there has been a zero percent piracy rate. We believe Locked Box is the ultimate answer for preventing the unauthorised duplication of intellectual property, ensuring that both publisher and client are completely secure in the knowledge that no one will be playing their games.”

Anti-DRM campaigners have complained that the tool is too draconian, preventing legitimate customers from receiving the full experience of the game. Alistair Can’t, of the pressure group DRMless Sleep, fired back at the announcement arguing that the basic rights of gamers are being abused. “Locked Box is the most draconian DRM we’ve seen so far. And what happens after publishers go out of business? Who has the key?”

Developer spends too much time on mediocre soundtrack, inaccurately believes it merits CD release

Development team Redcake Games, buoyed with the success of their recent surprise hit Entry Level, are hard at work on Entry Level 2. Extra publisher funding has meant the team is able to concentrate on aspects of the first game they thought were lacking, including a revamped graphic engine, and a mediocre original soundtrack. “We’re so delighted with what we’ve produced,” explained project lead Danny Caravan, incorrectly believing the resulting music is of a standard deserving an independent release. “Our audio team have been working with local composers, creating a soundtrack that will enthral gamers.”

Journalists were recently given a studio tour, where a disproportionate amount of time was spend in the recording studios, in the mistaken belief that this aspect would be written about in previews. Looking at the ceiling, their notebooks hanging at their sides, members of the press listened to a portion of the soundtrack in stereo, and then again in 5.1, to highlight differences that no one cared about. “The soundtrack will be made available with the special edition of Entry Level 2: Second Floor,” said a confusingly enthused Caravan, who had spent altogether too much time on this aspect of the project. “Or it can be purchased directly from our company’s website.” No one will.

New poker hand introduced as games run out of titles

A Lady's Treat, 4 to 10.

With last week’s release of Two-Seven-Offsuit Poker, the final remaing poker term was taken for naming related games. A terrified casual gaming industry has been petitioning the International Poker Foundation to step in for the last six months, and it seems finally some action is being taken. The IPF is introducing a number of new official terms, and a whole new hand for all poker variations.

The new hand, “A Lady’s Treat”, requires alternate even cards in only two suits. For instance, 4 spades, 6 diamonds, 8 diamonds, 10 spades. It will beat three of a kind, and below, but be outdone by a straight and higher. However, “A Lady’s Special Treat” – any version of the hand featuring a Queen hearts – will beat a flush.

Not all of the new poker terms have been revealed, but we’ve had the following confirmed by the IPF:

Lazy Flap: Flashing a burn card that’s only seen by fewer than half the people in the hand.

Uncomfortable Saddle: Being on fewer than ten big blinds.

A Glum Pincher: Being beaten by a rag hand that was accidentally raised by a distracted player.

Canary’s Triumph: Six, seven clubs.

Fat Man’s Stride: Two Lady’s Treats of equal value, splitting the pot.

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102 Comments »

  1. The Dark One says:

    That last entry makes me want to go and read some John Hodgman again.

  2. DanPryce says:

    Can this be a regular feature please?

    • McDan says:

      Please let this be a regular feature, it’s brilliant.

    • joeymcjoeysalot says:

      Leave news spoofing to The Onion. No offense, but they are waaay better at it.

    • bascule42 says:

      But this is British spoofing. I’d like to see an RPS gaming version of this, sadly now defunct – or decommissioned, site:

      http://www.portadownnews.com/27Apr01.htm

    • John Walker says:

      Gosh, it really warms my heart to see people asking for no one other than The Onion to ever write spoof news. I remember the day The Onion invented the concept – what a day in our history it was.

      If you think I did a shit job, have the decency to say so. But what, would you like Private Eye to shut up shop as well?

    • Vinraith says:

      @John

      Pay no attention to grumpymcgrumpsalot up there, I agree with the others that this should be a regular thing.

    • Jimbo says:

      “I remember the day The Onion invented the concept – what a day in our history it was.”

      I know I’ll never forget where I was.

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      Yes please oh please make this a regular thing! WEEKLY EVEN! And with dirty bits too!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I briefly imagined John gaining puppy dog eyes and tearfully typing out that bit.

      But the mental image wasn’t as funny as the writing once I realized it was partially satire. Well done sir. (That mental image is quite funny to me.)

  3. DrugCrazed says:

    “John is obviously putting off doing something”.

    Best. Tag. EVER

  4. heartlessgamer says:

    Question that really needs to be answered. How many legitimate customer’s did they lose compared to what losses they would have had because of piracy? I suspect that if the developers are so quick to put numbers on how much they lose to piracy, they should be as equally quick to tell us how many legitimate buyers were scared away or prevented from playing the game due to the Locked Box DRM.

    • Jables says:

      Prediction:

      Soon enough you will feel a warm sensation that will turn you face a pleasant shade of rosy red. :)

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      LOL well done John I think we have a winner & it only took until the 4th comment!

  5. Shakermaker says:

    I’d buy those pants.

  6. Bilbo says:

    I commented that I didn’t find this as funny as RPS throughput generally is and that it’s a bit try-hard, and immediately felt like a troll and edited it out. Instead, here’s a picture of a bunny. http://cute-n-tiny.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/bunny-in-the-shadows.jpg

  7. The_B says:

    I am outraged and appalled at the lack of DRAGON RALLY coverage in RPS. Especially with it’s confirmation of DRM in DRAGON RALLY MARBLES.

    THE CAMPAIGN STARTS HERE!

  8. Mr_Hands says:

    Wait. All of these sites are broken. I keep clicking the links, but nothing’s happening.

    Where do I go to help out with DRMless Sleep?

  9. ChainsawHands says:

    When this story popped up in google reader I had a horrible fear it would involve pictures of RPS in their pants.

    I clicked anyway.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      You seem to have typed “had a horrible fear” when you actually meant to type “ambitiously hoped”.

      Don’t worry, happens to us all from time to time.

    • Mr_Hands says:

      Every time I use the internet, I vainly hope I’ll be presented with pictures of the RPSmen in they undapants.

  10. salad10203 says:

    Why does the picture feature Assassin’s Creed. Not only does Brotherhood not feature this DRM they actually scaled back their DRM so now it only requires internet during installation similar to Steam. But I guess its more fun to rant against the man and have a false sense of superiority.

    • The_B says:

      I guess it’s more fun to have a false sense of superiority by being overly pernickity about a post which is essentially a light hearted good natured humour post.

      But y’know…

    • karthink says:

      This.

      Ubisoft has eased off somewhat on their DRM. We should find someone else to parody, no?

      (EA come to mind, with the whole forum+game ban fiasco.)

    • Durkonkell says:

      I disapproved of Ubi-DRM as it prevented me from playing single-player games when my internet broke.

      Brotherhood requires an internet connection when I start the game each time, so if my connection fails I STILL can’t play.

      PROGRESS?!

    • oatish says:

      I, for one, am outraged that Ubisoft are still content to screw the consumer with yet another of their corrupt DRM schemes. I will never NEVER buy another of their games and for all you sheeple who keep supporting them? Why don’t you just take your Credit Cards already over-saddled with debt and buy buy buy to keep this evil Oligarchical Corporatocracy afloat!

      I AM BETTER THAN YOU.

    • karthink says:

      @Durkonkell: It’s really hard to tell if you’re serious. Just to be safe:
      AC:B only requires Internet access on install, and will run offline from that point on. (No need to connect each time the game is launched.)

      This is at most as bad as Steam; Most people (including me) can live with it.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Last I heard “The PC version of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, after an initial login, will be playable offline in single player mode.”

      Which everyone seemed to take as “You must log when you start the game in the Starcraft II manner”. That’ll teach me for getting my gaming news only from RPS…

      I stand correctified.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      It’s entirely appropriate to feature AC:B given that problems with the release on at least Steam have stopped players being able to play the game on release date.

      “Hello Steam-based Assassins!! I wish that I was posting to you under happier circumstances… rest assured that there are lots of people working hard to figure out exactly what is going on. Ubisoft is committed to ensuring that you get to play as soon as possible, and I am sure our digital distribution partners are as well.

      As far as explanations are concerned, I must admit that I am not qualified to give one… I’m not a programmer. What I can tell you is that as soon as somebody informs me of a resolution, you will have that information as well.

      I know this must be frustrating… you have waited a long time… all I can ask is that you remain patient for just a little while longer. ” – UbiGabe
      http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?p=21311438#post21311438

  11. Moni says:

    Did John jump the gun on April Fools’ss’ses day?

  12. Hoaxfish says:

    This is the first step on the deadly downward spiral of gaming addiction, blog-style journalism, and underpants.

  13. sbs says:

    didnt we have something like this, once before, i cannnot find it.

    • Acorino says:

      Was also overcome by a sense of dejavu.

    • qrter says:

      Yes, there was. This is the second try, I guess.

      Still not very strong, I’d say, but quite a few people seem to enjoy it, so I’ll shut up.

  14. salad10203 says:

    @The_B

    I am sorry for expecting some factual reporting.

  15. Acorino says:

    Please don’t try so hard to be the next Old Man Murray. :-/

    • ShawnClapper says:

      At least there is no “try” when it comes to jackass comments

    • dysphemism says:

      Clearly you’re unable to recognize the signs when somebody’s ingested too much Onion. Know your comic influences, son!
      Seriously, though, I know everyone’s going to be talking about the DRM gag, but it’s the other two that kill me. Ha! “A Lady’s Treat,” indeed.

    • Acorino says:

      Since I never read Onion, barely when the occasional link is posted to it, yeah…

    • Acorino says:

      >>Er, huh?

      Wonderful! I had the same reaction about this newspost of yours. I guess we’re even then. :P

    • Acorino says:

      >>At least there is no “try” when it comes to jackass comments

      Wot? I try all the time… :(

    • Acorino says:

      I have to apologize. Now that I’m in a halfway mentally stable state again I do think that this post is quite funny! Oh well…

    • Robert says:

      You clearly can’t compare OMM and RPS: RPS is notable, OMM is not notable enough.

      Plus, my personal onion: I like RPS more than I ever liked OMM.

  16. RegisteredUser says:

    And here I was about to point out that AC:B is already “released” when I realized that IT’S A TRAP!

    ..(you coulda secretly linked to linetrap, you know..or the crysis-roll)

  17. Colthor says:

    I hope that’s a stock photo.
    Or you bought those pants just for this post.

  18. Daiv says:

    So that’s where I left my pants.

  19. ShawnClapper says:

    Quick! Someone buy up these domains and cash in on the day’s bandwith!

    :)

  20. Unaco says:

    Score!!

    Well done John.

    • stahlwerk says:

      I’m having a hard time deciding whether that says more about a) John’s Photoshop skills or b) the average reader’s quality expectancy concerning header/teaser images on the internet.
      I’m in a good mood today: a.
      Well done indeed, John!

    • pandora says:

      It is actually sad that somebody was able to do a torrent search and a screenshot to prove their point, but wasn’t able to check for the articles’ sources like a press release, report or something. It is sad because it is exactly the same as when people & media rage over some irrevelant or even untrue matters trusting what amuses them not what is worth their trust while a real evil happens unnoticed somewhere in public…

  21. Valvarexart says:

    I really don’t understand this locked box thing…How does it work?

    • MarloBrandon says:

      @Valvarexart
      A lock is placed on the game box, preventing opening. Legitimate customers who buy the game have to take the box to the publisher (which has the key to the lock), submit to a psychological test and a background check, and if they pass, the publisher unlocks the box, allowing said legitimate customers to install and play the game upon having returned home with the game box. Those who do NOT pass have their game box confiscated. Game boxes that suffer attempts at forceful opening will self destruct.

    • Dozer says:

      It’s quite simple. To prevent piracy, each game is sold inside a locked box. The keys are held in a vault under the publisher’s headquarters, encased in a block of concrete that is constructed into a wall. This prevents pirates from accessing the game, as they are unable to open the box without breaking into the vault, identifying the correct brick in the wall from among hundreds of identical bricks, and breaking it open to recover the keys.

    • bascule42 says:

      It was either this or the “Hole in the Ground Covered in Cement DRM”.

    • Colthor says:

      @Dozer
      I can’t believe they made such a schoolboy security error as using locks that actually have keys.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Looks like they’ve already paid for that mistake. Based upon the 404 Error when going to their website, their lock has been picked and they’ve obviously already been sued and gone out of business for delivering a product inferior to what they were contracted to deliver.

  22. Metonymy says:

    Wow, I was just about to write a ragepost about how good multiplayer is the only effective DRM. I got taken to school.

    I think it’s a sign of how preposterous our world is, that I read the first two paragraphs without blinking an eye.

  23. dysphemism says:

    Also, John, the poker terminology bit made me think of this old gem:
    Poker Terminology I Feel I Could
    Get Away With Saying If I Ever Played a Tournament.

    Why don’t more games have this? Why is the codified language of computer games so much more dull, so much less hilarious in its opacity?

    • thegooseking says:

      Have you ever tried explaining computer games to a non-gamer?

      We’re plenty opaque enough!

  24. Down Rodeo says:

    I am surprised that there are people not getting this immediately – it’s what you might call classic Walker nonsense, and is really rather funny :)

  25. Deccan says:

    Fact * Importance = News

    This is fearless reporting in an age of uncertainty.

  26. roethle says:

    Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood cracked as of Tuesday (march 15)

  27. willfarb says:

    I likey likey :-) Also, that poker news story is half-credible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get picked up by print as fact.

    Please do more! But not “once a week” or it’ll feel like a chore for you, just put suggestions into a big jar, and once you’ve got 3 good suggestions or so, do another feature :-)

  28. therighttoarmbears says:

    *Yawn.* Kotaku posted this all last week.

    ;)

    • Thermal Ions says:

      That’d be a first. I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve seen Kotaku pick up after RPS (or link to them) recently. Mark’s R18 / Australian specific articles are the only reason to visit there. There one particular writer there who obviously skipped the journalism class on fact checking.

      /RPS defense mode off

      Keep ‘em coming John.

    • therighttoarmbears says:

      I know, dude. Tongue planted firmly in cheek. I don’t even read Kotaku.

  29. DrazharLn says:

    They didn’t mean it John! John… John. John, please don’t cry… ah, there there.

    See what you did, you big nasties.

  30. thesundaybest says:

    It’s nice that people make the effort to come here and read, even when they clearly don’t like the writing. And then that they…oh, nevermind.

    Join my voice to the chorus of mohr pleez.

  31. Ace Jon says:

    Loved the Entry Level 2 paragraphs. Pure brilliance in writing. Reminiscent of OMM, but with its own flavour too. Good job. I want moar.

  32. Navagon says:

    Very informationalising!

    We need an article on DLCDLC: the DLC that lets you customise your DLC so that you can itemise while you accessorize.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      I was thinking, don’t be ridiculous – until I remembered the number of announcements of announcements of games that publishers have been making lately.

    • Navagon says:

      Ridiculous? I’ll tell you what’s ridiculous: people buying a new $19.99 hairstyle for the player character of their favourite FPS and then not being able to buy the relevant $4.99 Highlights & Hairdyes #104394 DLCDLC just because people like you have a problem with DLCDLC. That’s what’s ridiculous!

  33. kavika says:

    I believed the writing until “no one will be playing their games”. Got me! GJ.
    Also, funny, esp the new poker hand parts.

  34. pipman3000 says:

    rps tries to be the onon and succeeds because the onion hasn’t been funny for years.

  35. Radiant says:

    This article tells me that John is playing poker in his undies whilst torrenting bible stuff.

  36. drewski says:

    I didn’t not like it.

  37. Nagz says:

    “ensuring that both publisher and client are completely secure in the knowledge that no one will be playing their games.”

    … Well they got that bit right at least.

  38. Aankhen says:

    Brilliant.

    Also, more please.

  39. HermitUK says:

    Some day in the future, someone’s going to buy those domains. What will RPS inadvertently link to, I wonder?

  40. bascule42 says:

    anyone from anon wanna ddos that shoes guy?

  41. Molybdenum says:

    No, what have you done

    Someone, somewhere, is now preparing a cosplay costume

  42. Blissett says:

    This was better than a Now Show parody. But only just.