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  1. #1
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    New problems for The Indie Stone

    They haven't had the best of luck so far, and now it seems that people pirating their game is costing them money.

    http://projectzomboid.com/blog/index...the-game-down/

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Not surprising. Didnít pirates also steal The Humble Indi Bundle from the hostís own website? And that allowed people to pay whatever they wanted, even 1 penny. And a good chunk of the profits were going to a childrenís charity.



    Drama aside, those pirates have some serious entitlement issues.
    Last edited by Drake Sigar; 18-06-2011 at 10:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Activated Node CWalker's Avatar
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    They seem to have the worst luck of any indie dev I've heard of :(

    I would buy Project Zomboid to support them, but I'm literally one pence away from £5, which is annoying. I hope they can turn their fortunes around big style!

  4. #4
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    We’ve always turned a blind eye to pirate copies, even on occasion recommending people who had problems with the legit version try a pirate version until the issues are resolved. We realise the potential viral benefits of pirate copies, and while obviously we’d prefer people to purchase our issue is not with those.

    What the? What sort of problems were people having that a pirate version would solve? It was an older version no longer available on the site or something?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Malawi Frontier Guard's Avatar
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    Where is the point when you're allowed to stop talking about bad luck and start talking about incompetence?

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    They have made quite a few...poor decisions. It sounds like they're using S3 for hosting semi-private files, which it really isn't meant to do. Amazon S3 is convenient and can handle enormous loads, but it ain't cheap.

    Go pay $20/month for a Linode VPS in London with 200GB of monthly transfer (ie, very likely more than they need), and set up .htaccess or similar. Problem solved.

  7. #7
    Activated Node Matzerath's Avatar
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    @Malawi Frontier Guard

    Well, at the very least, the car bomb detonated near their studio can be attributed to bad luck.

    At this point it seems they're just adapting to the situation. They aren't crying about the latest setback (a pirate version with an UPDATE button installed that uses their bandwidth to download the latest build). They've made their fair share of sales, they say, but due to the latest hack they've had to take down their browser-based demo -- so actual purchasers of the game will probably have to wait for a downloadable version, rather than consistent online updates to the alpha build.

  8. #8
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    Can fully understand them taking it down - that is a pretty horrendous pirate job, to put an auto-update function which uses their bandwidth.

  9. #9
    Obscure Node MashPotato's Avatar
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    Hello! MashPotato from IndieStone here. Just wanted to clear up a few things :)

    Quote Originally Posted by amandachen View Post

    What the? What sort of problems were people having that a pirate version would solve?
    As the version that was out was a browser-game, some people had trouble running it. We're working on fixes for that, but in the meantime people could use workarounds or pirated versions to play it as a standalone. Right now, our priority is making an official standalone version.

    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    They have made quite a few...poor decisions. It sounds like they're using S3 for hosting semi-private files, which it really isn't meant to do. Amazon S3 is convenient and can handle enormous loads, but it ain't cheap.

    Go pay $20/month for a Linode VPS in London with 200GB of monthly transfer (ie, very likely more than they need), and set up .htaccess or similar. Problem solved.
    Believe me, that is definitely not more than we need ;) We've transferred into terrabytes in the last two weeks, and using the cloud is the only option we have for reliable access that is somewhat affordable.

  10. #10
    A depressing story and this a clear version of the story where pirates are being utter dicks.
    Stealing from an idie developer who is in finacial dire straights is very hard to justify in the first place. But OK, try before you buy and shit. People sometimes really are broke even so broke that they can't afford the 5 pounds. And they might buy it later, if they like the game they will be part of word of mouth that will help sell more copies.
    But stealing bandwidth from the developer... really? Especially one that has been fucked over so many times in the past few weeks?
    I am impressed how positive the guys at the Indie Stone have stayed. I admire them for their mental strength.

  11. #11
    Activated Node mpk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Drama aside, those pirates have some serious entitlement issues.
    It's the internet. Everyone has entitlement issues.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sendmark View Post
    Can fully understand them taking it down - that is a pretty horrendous pirate job, to put an auto-update function which uses their bandwidth.
    I have no moral compunctions against piracy, but that is totally reprehensible.

  13. #13
    Activated Node Ignorant Texan's Avatar
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    In the US, this would constitute theft of services. I don't know what the relevant statue/s is/are in the UK, but I can't imagine it being much different. These people aren't pirates, thay are merely thieves.

  14. #14
    Post in response to reading the actual article:

    They have to take it all offline now and relaunch when they have a solution. Of course I doubt they will have any solution that can solve this: see below.


    ---------------



    Pretty sure its the same here in the UK (i.e. stealing a game is not piracy - maybe if you used a torrent because you're uploading? But there is no financial benefit which I would have thought is the key test for it to be piracy).

    The thing that also needs to be borne in mind is that a game downloaded for free is not a lost sale:

    1) Someone downloads it who never will pay for it
    2) Someone downloads it who might have bought it is they couldn't steal it
    3) Someone downloads it as a proper demo, likes it purchases it
    3ii) Someone downloads it as a proper demo, likes it purchases it, recommends it thus generating further sales.

    Now - 1 never would have made you money anway, 2 is a problem, 3 is not a problem, 3ii is a benefit.

    Now the question is is 2 a bigger number than 3 and 3ii?

    ----

    If you listen to the GalCiv developers is not really that big a deal - and they run very little DRM. AI War - no DRM. Indie games can succeed inspite of people stealing their games.

    You can't stop it, complaining about it does nothing, you just have to live with it.
    Last edited by Lightbulb; 20-06-2011 at 11:21 AM.

  15. #15
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    Bless you lightbulb, but you should probably read the actual story.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewC View Post
    Bless you lightbulb, but you should probably read the actual story.
    Yeah I just did so and need to rephrase some of that. Just realised the implications of a cloud based server infrastructure...

  17. #17
    Activated Node Ignorant Texan's Avatar
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    To be fair to Lightbulb, I'll clarify my thoughts behind my earlier post. While Publishers(along with the RIAA and MPAA) call piracy, ie unauthorized use, 'theft', I consider it a matter of conscience. I'll let this quote explain what I believe moves/d this from piracy into thievery(italics in the original quote):

    “These ‘auto updating’ versions of the game could screw us completely. We have a cloud based distribution model, where the files are copied all over the world and are served to players on request, which means we are charged money for people downloading the game.”

  18. #18
    Activated Node Basilicus's Avatar
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    I have to echo Malawi Frontier Guard. I feel for the devs, and they've come up with some creative solutions to their prior problems, but this wasn't well thought-out. You have to know piracy is going to happen and if you're releasing something that costs you money every time its downloaded, how do you make it (even as an Alpha) without the basic DRM (I know I said a naughty word) to guard against: A) pirate versions doing the same; and B) the game updating when there's no new version to update to?

    Maybe I'm missing something and the pirates worked around such safeguards that were already present. I don't have the full story beyond what I've read on the Indie Stone site and RPS.

    If a lack of safeguards was due to a stance against DRM...look, the big publishers take it way too far, but DRM does have its place and the little publishers need it even more than the big guys. They can't take the same kind of hit and survive. If these safeguards weren't in place for something the devs know costs them money for every download...that's a mistake, pure and simple. Not that they aren't allowed to make mistakes or that we're not allowed to feel bad for them, but sometimes the devs need to take some of the blame on themselves, too.

    I do hope they stem this off; I f*cking hate pirates and every bullsh*t reason they come up with as to why their activities are ethically acceptable. I don't have a ton of money, but I still pay for my games. I still pay for my music. I still pay for my movies.

    I also hope that Indie Stone succeed. I'm very interested in the game and intend to buy it once (and if) there is a final game. They just...I hope they learn from all these setbacks, that they don't just blame them on others, but also realize what they can do differently in the future to protect themselves and a piece of work into which they've obviously put considerable intellectual and financial investment.

  19. #19
    Obscure Node MashPotato's Avatar
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    Basilicus, take a look here :) http://projectzomboid.com/blog/index.php/2011/06/545/
    I know there are many questions/concerns about how we handled this (and other stuff in the past), but we're trying our best to serve our customers, which take priority over pirates. We knew from day one it would be cracked, and we were at peace with that, but we didn't anticipate the auto-update. Perhaps we should have. However, here's something that makes me personally think that maybe we weren't that far off in our judgment: after the auto-updater was released, we got in contact with some of the pirates, and when they realized that we were cloud-based, all were apologetic. Links were taken down, and videos removed, voluntarily :)

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MashPotato View Post
    We've transferred into terrabytes in the last two weeks, and using the cloud is the only option we have for reliable access that is somewhat affordable.
    No, it really isn't. S3 is $0.15/GB. You'll find that the going rate pretty much everywhere non-"cloud" is $0.10/GB or less. For $160/month, Linode gives you 1600GB of transfer *and* a very powerful VPS with 4GB of RAM that you can use for much more than just file hosting. And Linode is far from the cheapest; you pay a premium for their great customer service, reliability, and high bandwidth.

    Shop around. S3 is an appropriate choice when convenience is more important than money; otherwise, they're a ripoff. HostEurope is a good option if you really want to cut costs.
    Last edited by TillEulenspiegel; 20-06-2011 at 04:04 PM.

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