Long time readers will remember (and are probably tired of) my gripes and rants against Valve Software’s Steam platform for digitally distributing games. I just want to say that this is how digital distribution should be done.
Impulse is the digital distribution platform from Stardock. It is concerned with offering convienence to the user, not treating them like a pirate. You don’t need to have Impulse running to play your game. You can back up your game to CD / DVD. If Stardock gets hit by an asteroid tomorrow, your copy of the game will continue to work even if you re-install. You can have it auto-update your software, or you can do updates when you decide it’s time to update. If ever. The choice is yours, not theirs.
It has all the advantages of Steam, and none of the annoying artificial restrictions. It’s convenient and treats you like a customer instead of a foe.
Steam will, of course, still have the more robust selection of games, but I just wanted to point at what Stardock is doing and say, “These guys are doing it right.”
LATER: For contrast, here is an avid fan of Steam who has had a good experience with Valve, and isn’t quite as impressed with Stardock as I am. Also a story of someone who reached Gabe Newell’s voicemail.
As to Stardock software “phoning home”, I wasn’t aware it did this. Can anyone provide a link describing what Stardock software does this, and when? I’m aware that GalCiv will submit your score to the metaverse when a game ends, but are there other shenanigans going on?
Project Button Masher
I teach myself music composition by imitating the style of various videogame soundtracks. How did it turn out? Listen for yourself.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
MMO Population Problems
Computers keep getting more powerful. So why do the population caps for massively multiplayer games stay about the same?
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Grand Theft Auto Retrospective
This series began as a cheap little 2D overhead game and grew into the most profitable entertainment product ever made. I have a love / hate relationship with the series.