See The Galaxy: GOG’s Optional Client Sorta In Open Beta

All right, so it's not the best-looking thing.

People often ask me, “Alice oh Alice, when oh when will another I get to install another download client? I’ve got everything from GameTap to a mint condition copy of the very first version of Steam (preserved in a mylar directory, of course) but I want more.” Good news, chum-o: GOG are about to open up the beta version of their Galaxy client to everyone.

Unlike most store’s download clients, mind, Galaxy is entirely optional. GOG games still come as DRM-free installers but if you do fancy auto-patching, friends, chat, stats, achievements, matchmaking, and whatnot, hey, give it a whirl.

You’re familiar with the basics of a digital game store download client, I’m sure, but GOG Galaxy does bring one interesting novelty. It enables cross-platform multiplayer with games using Steamworks’ multiplayer bits, if the developer adds support. The cross-platform launch lineup is only a handful of games, but I hope to see it in more.

One nice feature in GOG’s future Galaxy plans is an easy way to roll back patches, restoring games to their earlier state if you don’t like something a patch does (or breaks).

Though when GOG said that yesterday “the GOG Galaxy client enters beta, open to anyone” what they really meant is that you’ll need to sign up over here and wait for an e-mail.

They’ll be setting their old GOG downloader client out on an ice floe, stopping updating it but not intentionally disabling it. Plain old downloads will, of course, stay.

82 Comments

  1. jrodman says:

    I hope this will work to increase GOG mindshare, but kind of doubt it. At the least I think it will increase my convenience when the expected kink-removing phase is complete.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Well, I am a somewhat late to the party but now diehard Steam fan (1400 games on the platform). I must admit, however, that the GOG client is definitely enticing me. I love the clean, grey interface, and it runs a durn sight quicker than the competition. If GOG were to continue throwing keys my way for games I already own on Steam, if they added support for achievements, and if GOG keys ended up in a few more bundles, I could very much be tempted to jump ship (or at least, to split my time).

    • cpt_freakout says:

      I think it will increase regardless of what happens, but of course, what’s important is how it increases (see uPlay, Origins). I sincerely hope they offer full multiplayer capabilities for old and older games; they’ve done so with Aliens vs Predator and from the comments on the site it seems to work fairly well. If they keep this up, the ‘share might increase quite lot, particularly because Steam does not offer this kind of support, and it’s something that stuff like GameRanger only partially solves.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        I’d rather see them refuse to include games that *force* you to go trough a 3rd party (like Gamespy or Steamworks servers), see my comments below.

        • cpt_freakout says:

          Yeah, after reading your points, I agree fully. I do think that GOG is in a unique position in that regard: where other platforms are trying to be Steam, GOG has a history that could allow it to explore different territory, such as re-purposing the LAN/TCP-IP multiplayer options of (at least) old games, which isn’t so far-fetched when you consider they’ve adapted AvP’s multiplayer to their platform, something that is probably even more of a hassle than the earlier option. I guess we’ll see, and hopefully the discussions you link to are being seriously considered by the dev team.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    I’d be more comfortable if they extended the promise of it being optional as far as the inky-tipped tendrils of forever, but I guess these guys have earned a bit of face-value trust.

    • jrodman says:

      Well they SAY it will always be optional, but to meet a higher bar than that I think they need to enter into contracts.

      • BooleanBob says:

        All I’m saying is, if someone from GoG signs their firstborn over to me I will continue to buy games at 80% discount during their sales. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here.

    • Cinek says:

      IT IS optional with absolutely no reason to believe it’s going to change.

  3. devland says:

    This couldn’t have come out at a better time than after the whole “paid mods” drama with steam. :)

  4. Kefren says:

    GOG is my primary game store (Steam second) but I can’t see that I’ll ever use this. I really like browsing my library then just downloading the .exe to my desktop to install (or save for later). But then again, I am probably not the target for this kind of thing.

    – Auto-patching (irrelevant to me – I download and install a game, play it until I am bored or it is complete, then uninstall it)
    – Friends (no, I use email and Facebook for that. I don’t have any friends in the Steam client).
    – Chat (see above)
    – Stats (I’m only interested in ones within the game)
    – Achievements (hate these, turned off in Steam)
    – Matchmaking (nah, only play multiplayer games either locally or via LAN)

    I imagine that for people who do like the features above this optional tool could be something to make GOG more attractive to them.

    • Wowbagger says:

    • ilmara says:

      Achievements (hate these, turned off in Steam)

      As someone who will sometimes replay a game just for the sake of achievements I’m genuinely curious as to why you hate them (it it can be boiled down to a reason of course)?

      • Myanacondadont says:

        They detract from the actual gameplay experience?

      • Kefren says:

        They just seem extraneous to the game itself. If I play Heroes of Might and Magic 2 the achievement is to win the mission/campaign (and have fun doing so). External things like “collect 100 wood” don’t add to the fun or central goal, they’re just boring distractions. To me, if a game is fun to play, explore, experience, then you don’t need external reinforcement (which is what achievements remind me of, like those “Very good!” stickers and stamps that got put after our work at junior school). And if the game isn’t fun to play, explore, experience, then it isn’t worth my time.

        Sometimes when I’m playing round I do create my own extra goals, but that’s choice, part of playing, going with my whims. I don’t need anyone else to tell me to do that. In fact, it would take some of the fun away.

        I probably haven’t done a great job of explaining, but there you go. :-)

        • Wowbagger says:

          I think that is a very good explanation of why achievements can be detrimental, I’m interested as to why you only play local or LAN multiplayer though? I haven’t had the chance to run LAN games of anything for gods knows how long.

          • Kefren says:

            Because I only play games with one or two friends or family and I think only one of them uses Steam. I like to know the people I’m playing with, so we can chat and joke around while playing, as with a boardgame, and maybe talk about it afterwards.

            The main games I played via LAN (or LAN over Internet): Aliens vs Predator (1); Earth 2150; HOMM2 and 3; Isle of the Four Winds; (maybe others).

            Loads of local multiplayer, usually with one of my nephews. Will try a Lego game with them next.

            I have tried other multiplayer games, played with strangers, but the experience has varied on a scale between bland and irritating.

        • Kefren says:

          I vaguely remember being really immersed in games sometimes, and suddenly there’d be some silly popup, “Iron Award – You Saved 10 Bullets!” or somesuch, totally ruining the experience. Imagine being at the cinema, during a tense scene, and little popups in the corner kept reminding you to buy popcorn in the break, or saying you were doing well for concentrating for that long. Immersion-breaking, distracting, and vaguely patronising. I suppose those three things sum up how I feel about “achievements”.

          • BlueTemplar says:

            Yes, IMHO that the issue : you have Achievements and “achievements”.
            To take FTL as an example :
            – The “general progression” ones are quite boring, except maybe for “beat the boss” and “unlock all ships” ones
            – the “going the distance” ones are more interesting as they dare you to play in a different way (get to the end of the game without buying at a store for instance)
            – and finally the “skill and equipment feats” can be just damn fun to achieve like :
            “Some people just like to watch ships burn” : Have every square of an enemy ship on fire simultaneously, or :
            “Trustworthy auto-pilot” : defeat an enemy ship with all of your crew aboard it

            Note that to unlock ship variant B layouts you also have to do 2 out of 3 achievements, which are generally thematical to that hull (kill the enemy ship in a single cloak duration for the stealth ship) and rather fun.

            FTL is also notable because its achievements are not Steamworks-integrated – because it was designed as a cross-platform game – and here you can see another problematic aspect to Steamworks achievements – it pretty much locks games into Steam – (though the walled garden of Steam Mod Workshop is admittedly even worse in that aspect)

            Another game that IMHO does Achievements well is Starcraft 2’s campaigns.

        • ilmara says:

          Thanks a lot for the explanation, I understand your point of view and agree that they can distract from the goal you set for yourself (“No, I won’t kill anybody, much less 5 people in less than 10 sec in Dishonored thank you very much”).

          I guess I must be missing those school and Panini stickers I never got to collect as a child ;)

          • Kefren says:

            I should add that I have come to realise that some people like them, that’s fine. I am not _against_ them if they add to other people’s enjoyment. I just think they should be optional – some setting you click that lets you always see them or never see them. That way everybody’s happy. The problem right now is that systems don’t give you the choice, and that leads to debates and polarisation, but there’s no reason why everyone can’t be happy.

            One side issue is that I don’t think developer’s should have to include them in order to sell games on a platform such as Steam (is that the case?) It should be up to the developer where they spend limited time and money.

          • BlueTemplar says:

            It isn’t the case, but many people (much more than the opposite, seemingly) will flat-out refuse to buy a game that doesn’t have achievements :
            link to kerberos-productions.com

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            Kefren’s opinions and my own about achievements are remarkably(?) close, perhaps because we’re both old enough to have played games before achievements were a thing. A game that can’t be enjoyed for its own sake is useless, like achievements. I won’t heed their glorified to-do-lists, making a game feel like a chore is the best way to get me to uninstall it. It doesn’t give me any new ideas to play the game either, because their suggestions are bad and since I want to explore things by myself.

            I’m appalled, but not really surprised of what Blue Templar says about people refusing to buy a game without achievements. That mentality is like companies that refuse to make a game without multiplayer or some other glued-on addition that doesn’t meld well with the rest of the content. If you’re used to or even “born and raised” with having achievements and like them, then I guess you wouldn’t be too happy to see them gone, but it’s still an awfully narrowminded view.

        • Cantisque says:

          In my case, achievements are things I would come back for later. Maybe after beating a game I will come back to it again and do the scavenger hunt list. Sometimes achievement implementation is done really well, but yeah sometimes it’s pointless and distracting (looking at you, Walking Dead).

      • Eleriel says:

        my problem with it (if you or anyone else care) is – and I realize this is potentially a willpower-issue:

        one: it yanks you out of the immersion of the game.
        two: it can make me feel forced to play a game in a fashion that is NOT enjoyable.
        examples: Limbo <5 deaths playthrough made me hate the game.
        Axes High achievement in Dead Space 3, or Vaccuum Cleaner in Dead Space 2 were memorable as well…
        completing dishonored with high chaos was also quite annoying, as I kept catching myself wanting to take the low chaos route every time…

        It's especially bad when companies make difficulty-based achievements that don't stack.. forcing you to play through the game 3-5 times for "completion".

        but again, might be a symptom of lack of willpower.
        if I could disable them I would… not just hide them. DISABLE them entirely. so that even if I did the thing, it wouldn't give me the achievement … it'd be heaven.

        • Kefren says:

          “It’s especially bad when companies make difficulty-based achievements that don’t stack.. forcing you to play through the game 3-5 times for “completion”.”

          Interesting point there. To get the achievements means playing the game more – from a marketing perspective publishers would want that, showing higher playtimes for their games, which might make them add more of that kind of achievement.

        • Cantisque says:

          The curse of being a completionist at heart!

          The way I handle that is to set a target from the start, say, around 50% of achievements. That way, even if you don’t earn all the stupidly difficult ones (like play the game for a solid year!!) you don’t feel bad about moving onto another game.

          Set the target low enough that you can do it without too much effort. If you have a Steam account with an achievement showcase on your profile, it will calculate your average % on achievements for all your games. you could set a target of keeping that average at 50% perhaps?

      • uncleseano says:

        Teach me the ways of turning them off so I can enrich my nerd life. I registered just to say this

    • jrodman says:

      How do you turn them off in steam? I looked into this and it seemed all I could turn off was client messaging about them (which also meant I couldn’t see friend logins/messages which is irrelevant to you I see.)

      • Kefren says:

        It’s hard to remember, but I _think_ I had to do it as you said – globally disable the overlay thing. Achievements might still be there but I never see them. And you’re right, the message features etc are probably disabled too. It’s one of the many things I find irritating about Steam, that you can’t just disable achievements completely. I always think there should be choice – we all like different things, after all.

    • grrrz says:

      yeah I’m with you on that, I will totally pass this thing,
      and even a step further, I managed not to get on steam until now (tried it once, found it obnoxious). Plus multiplayer is not a thing for me so I keep my windows playing box off the internet to avoid the chore of antivirus/firewall maintenance.
      But it’s getting hard to find non-steam version of certain games, some publishers have them and don’t even advertise them anywhere, like buying a game through a steam link is the only regular way to play a game for healthy, normal people.

    • Michael Anson says:

      Other than the Steam-like features, Galaxy also functions as a more sophisticated version of the GOG downloader, with the library and storefront portions of GOG built in for convenience. You can download and install games to any location you like, queue up multiple downloads, and more.

      Also, one of the features GOG have been working on (for months, now) is working multiplayer net code. As a disclaimer, however, while I was invited into the netcode beta, I never actually had an opportunity to test it out. Still, if they can get the multitudes of ancient multiplayer implementations playing nice, on top of their already stellar work getting good old games working on modern PCs, Galaxy may become indispensable.

    • pepperfez says:

      Even if I don’t care about things like auto-updates and achievements (and I don’t particularly, and you kids can just get right off my lawn), my hope is that developers/publishers who [i]do[/i] care about them will have one less reason to ignore GoG. Of course, most of them are using Steam for Steamworks-is-totally-not-DRM-honest DRM, but it can’t hurt to make them admit it.

    • ansionnach says:

      Yeah, achievements are a waste of time; have never been attracted to them other than what I’ve decided to do myself (e.g. destroy the Star Destroyers where possible in X-Wing). I hear you on the multiplayer – prefer to play with someone I know, preferably in the same room. Every programme you install on your computer or phone these days wants to run all the time and auto-update – it’s as if designers think that all you want to do is run their programme and that you couldn’t possibly have a zillion others trying to hog the machine’s time. Well I don’t have any so I’ll skip this one as well!

  5. Myanacondadont says:

    I like the idea of Crossplay, for me it would probably be the only reason to use this client.

    Does this mean they will implement a master server à la Gamespy Arcade and Steamworks?
    Because that would be the ideal way of delivering all of their oldest games multiplayer access again, through an easy to use channel. For instance, the recently released Battlefront II (on GoG) would certainly benefit from this, because it no longer has a multiplayer option (aside from Gameranger).

    • jrodman says:

      I suspect this will only be for newer / actively maintained games. Retrofitting a new multiplayer communication channel into a binary sounds unreasonably difficult to me.

      • Michael Anson says:

        Most GOG games run from a DOS emulator, anyway. All that GOG would need to do is implement a wrapper for the games that simulates old networking protocols, and they should have functioning multiplayer in old games.

        • Jeroen D Stout says:

          I am not sure why but I think I just perked up and clapped my hands a little.

  6. klops says:

    Deadly Games is in GOG? I wonder if the multiplayer works!

  7. keeki says:

    About the alt-text: what’s wrong with the visuals? Personally I think it looks pretty nice. Am I just a weirdo? I’m also one of those people who likes the look of windows 8, btw.

    • Llewyn says:

      Yes, you’re just a weirdo. I’ve been a very happy Win8 user since Jan ’13 and think there’s a great deal to appreciate about it, but the visual style is not one of those things (either not-Metro, or Desktop).

    • pepperfez says:

      I mean, it looks like they just put their existing library page in the client, which isn’t terribly ambitious but also not notably unattractive. Kinda what I like about GoG anyway, that it’s functional before (and sometimes to the exclusion of) anything else.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I think Windows 8 is hideous but GOG Galaxy looks fine and functional.

  8. BlueTemplar says:

    “One nice feature in GOG’s future Galaxy plans is an easy way to roll back patches, restoring games to their earlier state if you don’t like something a patch does (or breaks).”
    This is one of my main gripes with Steam.
    I now have maybe half of a hard drive full of backups of versions of Steam games because I’ve learned the hard way that patches very often break your play-through (especially mods).
    (Yeah, I know about diff, I guess I’ll implement something like it when that hard drive starts to fill up.)
    Of course this still won’t save me from devs deciding to erase your profile/saves folder with a new patch, but thankfully, this happens only very rarely.

    • Kefren says:

      Similarly, a while ago I was looking in to how to disable Steam games from updating at all. It turned out that, of the four updating options provided, none of them let you disable updates. When I read about how many mods were broken by updates which Steam automatically installed I was pretty surprised at how user-unfriendly that was. One of those options could just be “Do not install updates”. As the biggest client it is weird that Steam is full of so many little niggles and bugs that never seem to get fixed.

      • Chizu says:

        You USED to be able to stop games from updating, you could flat out turn it off. For reasons unknown to the sane, they removed that feature though. Its not a niggle, its a feature!

        • BlueTemplar says:

          Really, when was that?
          I’ve started using Steam in 2011, and it already had the “feature” that if Steam is aware that there’s an update for a game (which can be prevented (for a limited amount of time?) by running it in offline mode), then you won’t be able to play that game until it has been patched.
          EXTREMELY annoying if you have a bad Internet connection so that even a small 5 MB update takes an half an hour to download!
          Steam servers also seemed very capricious with unstable Internet connections as otherwise I could download 5MB in less than a minute from elsewhere – but try getting a patch from a Steam-only game from elsewhere than Steam!

      • jrodman says:

        You can choose “do not update” which for many games means “do not update until I try to run the game, at which time prevent me from playing the game and update anyway”.

        They seem to believe that update/no update is merely a matter of bandwidth control, and that there is no valid reason to want to stay on, say, a working version.

        • Premium User Badge

          Grizzly says:

          Not to mention that that setting is reset to default everytime a new update turns out. So it doesn’t actually work.

          There’s an amazing lack of quality control in steam, come to think of it. It’s hard to think that a game like Portal 2, which is polished to a fault and Steam, a launcher that has bugs that are literally years old, are from the same company.

          • BlueTemplar says:

            Ah but the probable reason it’s its not from the same Valve teams!

          • pepperfez says:

            People have a choice in what first-person puzzler they play. They don’t, practically speaking, have one in which DRM/store/client they use.

          • jrodman says:

            Agree with pepperfez, but i don’t think that’s how it actually works out.

            I think how it plays out is that making a really high quality polished game is *interesting* to developers, and making a launcher flawless is not.

    • BlueTemplar says:

      Oh, and I’d like to add that the argument “Everyone has to have the same version of the game for the multiplayer, because of bugs, stability, cheating and fragmentation issues” does not hold water anymore, because Steam now has many not-multiplayer-focused non-Valve games (some of which don’t even HAVE multiplayer!).

    • Shuck says:

      Yeah, when I saw the rollback feature on Galaxy, it immediately caught my eye because Steam needs that so badly. I’ve had Steam force updates on me that then permanently broke the game by, in at least one case, changing the OS requirements for the game such that I was no longer able to run it. That’s pretty bad – there’s no excuse for it, and it’s entirely Steam’s fault for forcing a single version on all players. I’ve got an older laptop for which I have a huge catalog of unplayed games on Steam, but my fear is that they’ll be rendered unplayable before I finish (or even start) them.

    • RedDragon says:

      Steam allows for a developer/publisher to have patch rollbacks for their game, since both ck2 and euiv by paradox have patch rollbacks. But it is up to the dev/pub to offer the feature for their games.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        Ah, indeed, though there seems to be a limited choice of versions (for CK2 at least), and it being in the properties/beta tab shows Valve doesn’t go out of their way to make that feature more widely used (like for DRM, where Paradox Development Studio games are also noticeable – for the lack of it, despite them being often Steamworks titles).

        • Llewyn says:

          CK2/EU4 have the most recent patch of each version available (ie 1.x.1 won’t be there if there was a 1.x.2). I’d estimate that the available version of both games go back as far as Valve making minor changes to beta structure to facilitate this, and no further. In CK2’s case, it also roughly coincides with the time when the patches became Steam-only – ie earlier patches would be available to DRM free customers via other means, but not to Steam ones, broadly replicating the functionality each group had previously.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    GoG Galaxy only has downloading and no social or gameification bits yet. Those are marked as “coming soon.”

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah; I tried the Alpha and it’s basically a web browser hard-coded to display GOGs site (the interface appears to be literally built of web, and it sucks as hard as you’d expect, but it’s very modern to do things this way). The download functionality was a darn sight slower and less flexible than just downloading and installing it the old-fashioned way.

      Maybe in a few years it’ll have some compelling advantages. Given they dropped O meaning “old”, there’s scope for them to pick up all of Steam’s modern-game sugar-coating, like screenshots and clicking on your friends to play with them and whatnot. Right now I see little reason to use this.

      • tobecooper says:

        Alpha is supposed to get updated to Beta today, so we’ll see how far they managed to change their client.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        Well, Steam doesn’t even do the “built for the Web” part well :
        They have recently tried to introduce the option to open a new window, but it’s a joke : opening non-window “windows”, Community parts like Screenshots still not recognizing middle click (since Steam browser sucks I browse it with my regular browser, Enhanced Steam is also a must), etc…
        Hello, Steam? Opera made tabs an essential browser feature in, what, 2001? What are you waiting for?

        Hopefully GoG will make a better client…

        • LionsPhil says:

          I don’t see why I want a desktop client to be a browser. I have a browser for that.

          I would much rather have a native UI. (Not that Steam has that either, since they do their own UI widgets. But at least they’re not built out of webpages, so only suck half as badly.)

          Not integrating a sodding web browser may also mean it doesn’t need to eat a huge lump of memory I’d rather was spent on filesystem cache or such.

          • Cantisque says:

            Agree on this. There isn’t much point using Steam to browse the community and store, every web browser already does a better job. It would be weird for it to have tabs, because it’s not supposed to be used as a web browser. Rather, it should be changing the way the store is laid out so that it’s easier to navigate.

          • BlueTemplar says:

            Good point.

            Valve should just remove browser-like features of their client altogether leaving mostly only the library. Would remove a lot of bloat. But since this would cut deep into their income – Steam is so popular because it has so many (poorly) integrated features you don’t need to use other software, like a web browser to access – I don’t see this happening.

            Hopefully Galaxy will be a lot better at that since it’s modular and people will just not use the features that suck forcing GoG to improve them.

          • Kempston Wiggler says:

            When I have a game running it would be nice to have a modern browser in the overlay that doesn’t remind me so much of IE6.

            Also, this browsing engine is how you navigate the store, community, etc, and lags like a zombie marathon runner. Isn’t it supposed to be based on webkit? Isn’t webkit supposed to be fast? Steam’s implementation is just embarrassing for them and me.

          • BlueTemplar says:

            Yeah, they dropped Internet Explorer for WebKit in 2010 :
            link to tomshardware.com

      • pepperfez says:

        I’d just like to note here, unoriginally, the postmodern absurdity of “gameification of games.”

        • LionsPhil says:

          Trading cards and their ilk can burn in the sweaty fat-rolls of Gaben’s nethers, but community functionality that lets me click a friend’s face to join a multiplayer game with them is pretty much focused on actually playing games. It works out great because it’s a win-win for both parties: I want to play games with my friends; Steam wants to sell me games, though Steam, which my friends are playing.

  10. Chizu says:

    Personally I think they need a better way of displaying your library/installed games. Its overly large and clunky right now. I’d rather have something akin to steams “detail” view for the games. (Also what kind of insane person uses the Grid view in steam.)

  11. BlueTemplar says:

    I think I’m going to petition GoG (using their voting feedback system) to take a hard stance on games that don’t offer LAN/DirectConnect as an option for multiplayer.
    (Is there a difference between “TCP-IP” and “DirectConnect”? Or is it because the latter also includes UDP?)

    This is important because I’ve lately seen games that had LAN/TCP-IP removed (Dawn of War 1 and Homeworld : Remastered).
    To add insult to injury, these games had old matchmaking systems like Won and GameSpy that weren’t working anymore (which were replaced by Steamworks matchmaking (and game hosting?)) – but why removing the only 3rd party independent way (and I doubt Steam will be there, in a form similar to the current, as long as the Internet) to play these games!?
    My suspicion is that it’s not so much because LAN/TCP-IP is hard to maintain (after all, Steamworks still has to use the underlying code managing connections over the Internet through TCP/UDP-IP, hasn’t it?), but because of the “piracy” issue.
    And GoG has positioned itself in a stance that it’s better to have some piracy (which even Steam has) than DRM.

    By the way, AFAIK, Steam doesn’t force anyone to use DRM in their games, not even their Steamworks games :
    link to pcgamingwiki.com
    (note the presence of several Valve games in the list)

    So it would seem that it’s the developers that are the ones deciding to put DRM into their Steam games.

    And that’s why GoG’s no-DRM stance is important, and why they should also have the stance :
    “if your game has (real-time) multiplayer, you HAVE to offer LAN/DirectConnect as an option”;
    rather than just the stance :
    “it would be nice if your game offered LAN/DirectConnect as an option, but we’ll still let you to sell your game in our store if you don’t”

    Do you see any holes in my reasoning?

    • BlueTemplar says:

      Also see the discussion here :
      link to gog.com

    • twig_reads says:

      Well, to be fiar, it was not Valve that enforced the losing of LAN functionality but Sony’s choice. Valve has nothing against having lan-capable games on steam, heck even team fortress 2 still has lan capability.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        What does Sony have to do with that?

        • twig_reads says:

          Dammit, Sega, not Sony… Now this is embarassing. But still, the change to steamworks multiplayer and no lan came with Sega ownership. And as TF2 shows, steamworks multiplayer and lan are not mutually exclusive.

    • Cantisque says:

      For newer games anyway, I’d say the reasoning is more to do with catering to the majority. It’d likely save time to implement a single multiplayer system rather than support multiple standards.

      If they want to build a decent multiplayer community, they would usually need matchmaking. If they use matchmaking, they’d need some sort of central server. If they have a central server, they may as well use that for all multiplayer traffic.

      It’s not like it was much easier in the old days. Even if you had a LAN and a copy of Empire Earth or whatever, it wouldn’t let you run the game on multiple PC’s at the same time from the same disc and many prevented you from copying them.

      Anyway, I dunno but I think with the amount of Internet-connected devices these days, direct LAN isn’t worth the effort for them to focus on, regardless of how small that effort is. Add an Internet connection to your LAN and you’re golden.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        I should probably be more precise : what needed is not “LAN discovery support”, neither “LAN emulation over the Internet” matchmaking (though those would be certainly nice to have) but just a user interface for direct TCP-IP connection (as in “input host’s IP adress”).
        I’m not even sure there IS a game that doesn’t use TCP-IP (basically = Internet) for its multiplayer.
        Of course there are old games that use IPX or those that don’t use real-time multiplayer like Play-By-E-Mail instead, but I’m not talking about those.

    • BlueTemplar says:

      Other discussions about this here :
      Very in-depth one :
      link to gog.com

      A more recent one :
      link to gog.com

  12. Smashbox says:

    I’m not your chum-o, pally.

  13. edwardh says:

    Now THIS is fantastic news!! I’ve been waiting for this ever since they first announced it. Still sounds as great as when they initially talked about it. And even better with that “revert” feature or whatever it is called. (To revive old versions of a game if updates screwed up stuff)
    On the downside, exactly that feature might encourage developers even more to release alpha-stage software but oh well… overall, I’m still damn excited about this client and hope that even more games will be released not just on Steam but GoG too, so I can make a lot of use of this client.

  14. BlueTemplar says:

    This release date might not be a coincidence, today is the #DayAgainstDRM :
    link to defectivebydesign.org

    Let’s (re)read some wise words about what it all means in the long term :
    Lockdown : the coming war on general-purpose computing by Cory Doctorow :
    link to boingboing.net