Cross-Platform Licensing

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jaidormi
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Cross-Platform Licensing

Postby jaidormi » Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:42 am

Is it possible to use my Macintosh Darwinia license on the Windows (steam) version? I know Steam probably doesn't make this easy, but really as a licensee I feel like it shouldn't matter what platform I play on (for example, Lux, the Risk clone, has this policy).

Thanks, and great game!
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Dave2
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Postby Dave2 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:25 am

The Mac version is published by Ambrosia Software whilst the Win32 version is both self-published with boxed copies, and distributed online via Steam. As such, such an arrangement would quite probably involve one company either losing or at the very least not gaining money for providing an extra service.

You can use the Win32 version on Linux and vice versa, though (though with the Steam release this is unsupported), it's just that the Mac publishing isn't in-house.
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Postby xander » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:52 pm

As Dave2 alluded to, you are really asking two different questions here. Before dissecting them just a bit, a word about versions:

There are basically three "versions" of Darwinia. There is the Windows/Linux version, which is published by IV. When you purchase this version from the IV online store, a CD will be mailed to you. If you want the Linux version, you can download that immediately, but you will have to wait for the CD to arrive to play the Windows version. Next, there is the Windows-Steam version. This version is only available from Valve, and must be downloaded via Steam. Finally, there is the Mac version. The Mac version is published by ASW, and must be purchased from them. It, also, is download only, and includes no physical media.

First, "Can you use the Mac license to play the Windows or Linux version of the game?" Legally, I believe that the answer is no. The Windows (non-Steam) and Linux versions are published by by IV software, packed into crates, and shipped around the world. If you buy the Win/Linux version, you can download the Linux version, but not the Windows version (as per IV's agreement with Valve). The Mac version is published by Ambrosia Software. The agreement with ASW prevents IV or anyone else from selling a Mac version, so if you want to Mac version, you have to go through ASW. On the other hand, ASW has no interest in selling a version that works on Windows or Linux (and, I assume, are prevented from doing so by their contract), as they would have to support it. So, as I said above, I do not think that you can legally buy the Mac version and expect to play on a Windows or Linux box. That being said, it is probably technically possible, though I am not going to outline how it might be done on this forum.

The second question is "Once I have the Windows/Linux version, can I add Darwinia to my list of Steam apps?" Again, the answer is no. Darwinia does not use any form of copy protection, or CD keys. Once a CD leaves IV, there is no way of uniquely identifying it, so there is no way for Steam to know that you legitimately own the program, and thay you are not playing with an illegal copy. While there are many people with legitimate CDs that might want to play via Steam, there is no way to verify their status. Furthermore, Valve doesn't make any money off of sales that go directly through IV -- why should they be expected to pay to support those people when they made no money off of them? In this case, it is both legally and technically impossible. By the way, this has been discussed on the forum before:
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/darwin ... php?t=3005
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/darwin ... php?t=2707 (read through the entire topic -- it is brought up here and there)

Now, if you have bought the Steam version, it is possible to copy the appropriate files to a different directory on your computer, and play Darwinia without Steam (i.e. on Linux). The official word on this method is, basically, "it is possible, but if you do it, neither IV nor Valve will support your setup -- however, if you do get it working, good for you." Again, I am not going to tell you how to do that here, though a quick search of the forums should help you find the appropriate information.

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Postby jaidormi » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:02 pm

Well, that is rather obnoxious. It kind of reminds me of buying a CD with DRM. Legality, content distribution, 3rd-party port developers, etc, etc.

I guess I'll just have to download a crack...
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:12 pm

Speaking of obnoxious. . .
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trickfred
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Postby trickfred » Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:03 pm

Paying to play the Mac version does not entitle you to play the Win32 or linux version. Paying for the Win32 or linux version entitles you to play them.

Do you whine when PS2 games don't play on your Xbox, too?
Last edited by trickfred on Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dave2
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Postby Dave2 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:09 pm

jaidormi wrote:Well, that is rather obnoxious. It kind of reminds me of buying a CD with DRM. Legality, content distribution, 3rd-party port developers, etc, etc.

I guess I'll just have to download a crack...

Er... Darwinia has no copy protection at all, so I'm not sure where you're going with this... Ambrosia Software handle sales of Mac Darwinia, thus it is a separate product to Linux/Win32 Darwinia, with a separate path of money. If IV themselves published Mac Darwinia, I'm sure it'd just be another set of binaries to apply to the Win32 CD. That's all.

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