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lukeman3000

Why do some people think it's so important to pay?

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I don't really get why buying games like Space Quest is such a big deal. Believe me -- I will be one of the first people to say that you should support the developer of games that you enjoy playing.

 

However, is any of the money that I spent for Space Quest V on ebay last week going to the original content creators? What about the collection that I bought on GOG.com? Does any of that go to Scott Murphy or Mark Crowe or anyone else who was originally involved with its creation? If it does, please correct me -- This isn't an argument so much as it is just me voicing some thoughts.

 

This is made especially more frustrating by the fact that Collector's patches only work on the original media. I had an illicit version of SQ5, but I wanted to use Collector's patch so that it would be "complete", more or less. No matter how hard I searched, I couldn't find all 5 disks that SQ5 originally came on. So, I went on ebay and dropped about 15 bucks for 5 floppies and a cd transfer of the original game. I was then able to use the patch.

 

Is 15 bucks that much? Not really. But why should I have to pay for it? I'd just as soon download the game online and contribute 20 bucks to the old Sierra crew via paypal instead of paying joe schmoe or GOG.com for something that they didn't create. It just frustrates me that some people talk about how you need to "purchase the games if you consider yourself a real fan", and yet purchasing the game in no way does anything except for to pad the pocket of some guy on ebay who has nothing to do with its creation. If there are some flaws in my logic, please let me know -- I'm open to being corrected.

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SQN used to host the games, but IIRC there was a DMCA takedown from Vivendi at the time. That's generally why the games aren't going to be available freely in an above-board manner. As you said, though, they're so cheap it generally doesn't matter much more anyway.

 

I don't think most people here are going to jump on you if you have an illegal version, it's just more likely to be cracked or something which might introduce bugs, etc.

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Besides the fact that abandonwarez versions are illegal, the main reason that I do not support them with my installers is that these copies are often ripped, cracked and modified in ways that produce unpredictable results. Many is the time that people have gone to VOGONS for help with their game when all of the regulars there are unable to replicate the issue. This has more often than not turned out to be because their issue was unique to their abandonwarez version. Some issues can immediately ID that the copy is not legal, i.e. the buyer never showing in Gold Rush! and the crash when swimming to Genesta's Island in KQ4. Having the installers look for the original media is to avoid support problems not to police how people use them.

 

As far as refusing to pay for games on GOG, it is true that the original developers who never owned the rights to begin with may not get any royalties, but the IP owners do get a percentage. If they never get any return on their IP, they will never release rights for new games unless they get a lot of money up front. Jane Jensen noted as much about Activision. They need to see that there can be money to be made, still.

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Those are some great explanations.

 

Well, perhaps I will drop the hammer on the GOG collection just to make sure that everything is kosher. But, I'll be honest, I've downloaded a couple games and used your installers successfully on them and, so far, have had no issues. I also didn't realize that paying for the games through steam of GOG still benefited the franchise in at least some kind of way, so that's some incentive to pay.

 

However, what about for some of the harder-to-find games, like the AGI version of KQIV? I STILL can't find that crap anywhere, and I don't think it's included in any of the collections sold on modern-day digital distribution sites, is it? What do you do for those kind of situations? Shoot, I can't even find a version of KQIV AGI online that works with your installer, Collector. If I could find one for 15 bucks on ebay, I'd buy it, but so far, no luck.

 

Actually, I did find one, but it was v2.3. The only reason I want 2.0 is because of the novelty factor of some of the easter eggs associated with v2.0.

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I am going to offer a slightly more irritating opinion, and just as lukeman3000, I am opening myself to the proverbial bitchslaps that may follow.

 

I paid Sierra for the Space Quest Collection, and a couple of the games individually (SQ1VGA, SQ4 and SQ6), back when the people who created the games were still employed at the company. (And once more, after they didn't, which in my view is already going above and beyond.)

 

If I buy the games now from GOG.com, I feel I'm supporting GOG.com and their awesome initiative to resurrect the classics for modern gaming platforms - not the original creators.

 

In fact, I am inadvertantly dropping a percentage of my cash in the hands of Activision, whom I feel deserve nothing of the sort.

 

If I want to play the games, I have no qualms about downloading a quick ISO off The Pirate Bay instead of going looking for CD's in my basement that are, at this point, all scratched to hell anyway. I know that won't hold up in court, but I don't care.

 

That's why I am way more likely to drop cash at a Kickstarter event, because I know the cash will go straight to the developers who need them; not to line the pocketbooks of someone who happened to pick up the pieces when someone else dropped them.

 

All love and respect to Jane Jensen, but I don't see how we owe Activision squat. If Activision needs to see that there is still money to be made off adventure games, all they have to do is look at the impressive outpouring of fan devotion going on with the Kickstarters of Tex Murphy, Double Fine, Wasteland, and what have you.

 

I feel like including a smilie at the end here, because otherwise, I fear that someone might dig up an old photo of me and start photoshopping moustaches onto me. :)

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It is not a matter of Activision being morally owed for the IP (screw them), but a matter of incentivizing Activision to release the rights to the developers for new games. Jane has asked Activision for rights to do a new GK game before and was offered it for outrageous terms. I would have to track it down again, (perhaps a post she made on her Pinkerton Road site) but I believe it was something like half a million in addition a big cut of the profits, too. She just told them good luck getting that. If Activision is not shown that adventures can make money, they will just continue to sit on the rights letting it gather dust for all they care. This is also why it is important for the 2 Guys and Jane's new games do well AND good sales numbers of the old games if we want them to give the go ahead for new SQ and GK games for reasonable terms. This is an argument for pragmatism, not one of morality.

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Indeed. One would have thought that a good adventure game would sell very, very well on the iPad and tablet-type devises with the smaller processing power and lack of keyboard in comparison to laptops/desktops. The "app" may well reinvigorate the genre.

 

Or, and this is also a possibility, it might not.

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I have a lot of problems with IP and how it's handled in the US and can be sold from company to company, and suddenly the person(s) who came up with the idea are no longer getting any money from it, which makes the whole set of laws for protecting IP basically keeping corporations rich. So I don't have any moral qualms about it, as you said.

 

I don't have a good impression of Activision either. I'm not hopeful that if a SQ spin-off does well, they'll do anything original to make money off it. They might re-re-re-release the games but that's about it. IMO the only creative group in Activision is Blizzard, and that's rapidly going south as well. (And CEO Bobby Kotick is a tool)

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I had a thought about this, and I want to get you guys' opinion on it:

 

Someone said, "Well, Mark and Scott are together, and Gary Owens is on board. This is SQ7."

 

My question is: Do they really need the Space Quest name to carry on the glory? I mean, if "The Two Guys from Andromeda" name isn't trademarked, and "Roger Wilco" isn't either, what's to stop them from just carrying on the torch by calling it Spaceventures?

 

Other than, of course, the fact that Activision could quickly poo-poo the plan with a lot of ugly lawyer talk. I agree, playing it safe around Activision is the most prudent thing to do. At the moment.

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I believe copyright law would still protect the original work in this case, which includes protection against any derivative works.

 

(Actually, Activision wouldn't have grounds to sue for the use of the Space Quest name - that's trademarked to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. So trademark doesn't come into this at all.)

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I had a thought about this, and I want to get you guys' opinion on it:

 

Someone said, "Well, Mark and Scott are together, and Gary Owens is on board. This is SQ7."

 

My question is: Do they really need the Space Quest name to carry on the glory? I mean, if "The Two Guys from Andromeda" name isn't trademarked, and "Roger Wilco" isn't either, what's to stop them from just carrying on the torch by calling it Spaceventures?

 

Other than, of course, the fact that Activision could quickly poo-poo the plan with a lot of ugly lawyer talk. I agree, playing it safe around Activision is the most prudent thing to do. At the moment.

I'd actually like to see the new game move slightly away from the whole SQ universe, although hopefully it will retain the charm of the old Sierra games. A new universe to explore would be neat.

 

But anyway, I suppose it will be effectively SQ7, unofficially. Even if the ego isn't a janitor, he's sure to be an accidental hero overwhelmed by the adventure that has been thrust upon him.

 

To get back to the point, I think the community has proved that there is demand for these games and, if necessary, they can produce them for free. The question is, does the business case really need to be put to Activision? Personally, based on VSB and Incinerations, if those teams were to produce another adventure game that didn't infringe on the copyrights of Sierra/Activition/A.N. Other, I'd shell out for it.

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Personally, based on VSB and Incinerations, if those teams were to produce another adventure game that didn't infringe on the copyrights of Sierra/Activition/A.N. Other, I'd shell out for it.

It'd be pretty expensive to pay for a decade of work. :) But thanks.

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It'd be pretty expensive to pay for a decade of work. :) But thanks.

I actually felt the whole project was a bit rushed. We should start with about 25 years for the next one and see how far we get with that.

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Personally, based on VSB and Incinerations, if those teams were to produce another adventure game that didn't infringe on the copyrights of Sierra/Activition/A.N. Other, I'd shell out for it.

It'd be pretty expensive to pay for a decade of work. :) But thanks.

Obviously I'm not going to pay you for ALL of your time. But that's your own damn fault for taking so long. :P

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Good to see a thread like this. I once posted about a similar idea on Abandonia, and got my ass handed to me.

 

Except, some of the forum mods at Abandonia were preaching ideals like, and keep in mind this was an abandonware community, pirating games from 20 years old is like *stealing a car from somebody*.

 

People (in the retro gaming community) have all kinds of idiotic views about IP, copyright, abandonware and it's highly frustrating. The very notion of paying for something we've mostly all paid for a zillion times (how many times have I bought a SQ4 disk or CD version? I shudder to think), is abhorrent to me.

 

Especially when the money goes to GOG or Acti.

 

I don't have a problem with forum mods in places keeping it somewhat hush hush so their forum doesn't get closed. That's smart business (smarter than me apparently). But lots of forums won't allow any discussion about it whatsoever. You would think, especially as time has marched on, the percentage of people who played, say, SQ4 in the last decade mostly pirated the game versus buying it on eBay/Amazon/Galaxy Galleria Mall.

So by shutting out these people, you would think this shuts out later-adopting fans of adventure games.

 

Now, I take Collector's point. But guys like Crowe and Murphy, and Al Lowe/etc, are making money in new ways, they're not basing new IP off of sales of collections on Amazon (at least I hope not).

 

I also would think that Activision would put a higher price on IP that is popular, rather than one that people are pirating and they're not getting any revenue anyway. But we're getting into longbow territory now, and not a Conquest-brand one (whoops, QFG joke not SQ).

 

Rant over! Poke holes as needed.

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I don't dislike GOG, I think they serve a purpose. But for someone who has legal and illegal copies of pretty much every adventure game he cares about, it just doesn't have a lot of appeal for me.

 

Don't get me wrong- It's good for the community to have a legal place for new adopters of old games to get them, for sure.

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Philosophically, I am favorable to the concept of abandonware. I don't think that IP should be held by any entity in perpetuity. All advances are built on top of what came before it. Authors, composers and other creators should be allowed to profit from their creations for a reasonable time, but it should fall into public domain after that time, especially if the IP holder is doing nothing but just sitting on it. Any arguments I made for people buying the games from the likes of GOG and Steam were practical arguments of prying licenses from Activision.

 

That said, the first post was indicating displeasure at my installer's lack of support for abandonware copies of the games, so from my view point, it was more than just yet one more "ethics and legality" of abandonware rants. There are very specific reasons that I have not bent over backwards to add compatibility for abandonware. I don't try to prevent someone from using them with abandonware. If they just happen to work, fine. But while I am willing to add support for other official versions (if the user is able to work with me to do so,) I am not going to alter my scripts just for (how many variants?) abandonware.

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Good to see a thread like this. I once posted about a similar idea on Abandonia, and got my ass handed to me.

 

Except, some of the forum mods at Abandonia were preaching ideals like, and keep in mind this was an abandonware community, pirating games from 20 years old is like *stealing a car from somebody*.

 

People (in the retro gaming community) have all kinds of idiotic views about IP, copyright, abandonware and it's highly frustrating. The very notion of paying for something we've mostly all paid for a zillion times (how many times have I bought a SQ4 disk or CD version? I shudder to think), is abhorrent to me.

 

Especially when the money goes to GOG or Acti.

 

I don't have a problem with forum mods in places keeping it somewhat hush hush so their forum doesn't get closed. That's smart business (smarter than me apparently). But lots of forums won't allow any discussion about it whatsoever. You would think, especially as time has marched on, the percentage of people who played, say, SQ4 in the last decade mostly pirated the game versus buying it on eBay/Amazon/Galaxy Galleria Mall.

So by shutting out these people, you would think this shuts out later-adopting fans of adventure games.

 

Now, I take Collector's point. But guys like Crowe and Murphy, and Al Lowe/etc, are making money in new ways, they're not basing new IP off of sales of collections on Amazon (at least I hope not).

 

I also would think that Activision would put a higher price on IP that is popular, rather than one that people are pirating and they're not getting any revenue anyway. But we're getting into longbow territory now, and not a Conquest-brand one (whoops, QFG joke not SQ).

 

Rant over! Poke holes as needed.

No, it's an excellent point. My rule as a forum mod is very simple. You can discuss what you like, as long as you're not telling people to go out and pirate.

 

Open discussion is excellent, and I'm a big advocate of debate. As with all things though, the right to free speech has to be tempered with certain rules on an internet forum to protect everyone. Unfortunately, too many people can't be trusted to discuss things properly without resorting to mud flinging, calls to arms and links to illegal material.

 

"The law is an ass", as a great man once wrote. What is legal is not necessarily moral; and vice-versa.

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It's very refreshing to see a debate on this without the thread being shut down. This would have been no-go back in ye olden days where these games were, ironically enough, a lot harder to find than they are now. And I should know!

 

I didn't actually own the "Space Quest"-games legally till I bought the 2006 collection around 08 or 09. I owe my love for "Space Quest" (and a lot of other games) to abandonware, but even if those games had been available legally to me without major hassle, I have always thought there is something awfully ass-backwards about going to eBay and shelling out the big bucks for some outdated collection of CD-ROMs that'll wear out a few years later anyway. The problem is also carrying over to downloads. While GOG offer very reasonable pricing, lots of freebies and total freedom over the games once you've bought them, the overpriced and DRM-ridden services such as Steam still have a ridiculously huge market share. And worse, they have lots of major developers on their roster. I mean, for the love of God... why on Earth would I want to pay €9.99 for a partial download of "Quake"? Partial because, as I've mentioned in another thread, you don't get the soundtrack. Not even as an extra. And good luck ripping a pristine copy of that from a used 1996 CD-ROM.

 

I'm actually in a similar dilemma these days; recently, my battered old copy of "The Curse of Monkey Island" was stolen, along with a couple of other oldies I had lying around. One of the other games have since been released as freeware ("Command & Conquer"), one of them is available for next-to-nothing on GOG ("Fallout 2"). Heck, I already bought one of them ("Outcast") off GOG because of compatibility issues with the physical version. But that's where the fun ends, because for some reason, CMI - my favourite adventure game of all time - can't be downloaded legally anywhere. Mind you, the CD-ROMs were next to unplayable anyway, so the fact that they were stolen doesn't anger me that much; I have been thinking about how I was going to replace them for a while. But still, I paid for it once, so I'm heavily considering torrenting it wherever I can. I've looked on eBay, and the prices are just not reasonable when you take the age of the game and the relative fragility of the physical medium into consideration. Illegal as all this is, I just don't see why it's unethical. It's not as if LucasArts are losing more money on me downloading it than they are if I buy it second-hand.

 

That was a bit of a rant, but as you can tell, the issues of copyright and the increasingly greedy tendencies of IP holders are huge interests of mine. I'd argue you can draw a direct line from "You're stealing someone's car when downloading this ancient game" (paraphrasing the example Ali mentioned) to the recent entertainment industry lobbyism for SOPA/ACTA/CISPA. It's a very slippery slope, and I think IP holders need to reconsider why they're even in the business to begin with. I'd wager most artists (in a sense, these games are art) didn't start with "Well, I'm gonna make me some money and treat my customers like they're drooling idiots."

 

Wow. That was a long rant. Hopefully it still makes sense, if only to a certain extent. And now you'll have to excuse me. I'm off to download "The Curse of Monkey Island."

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And, of course, the artists that created the games see very little of that money. Obviously, without investment the artist cannot have a canvas, but by the same token without the artist all the developer has is a shit-load of blank canvasses lying around its studio.

 

One of the good things about the rise of internet technologies is that people can produce quality games with very little investment (well, financial investment - the time costs are huge), and VSB, Incinerations are good examples of this. Companies need to realise that, ironically, pirating and unofficial spinoffs can actually lead to increased sales overall. Yet all they see are the "percentages" of the number of copies in existence and the numbers of sales they make. They don't realise that 50% of £100 is much bigger than 100% of £25.

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And good luck ripping a pristine copy of that from a used 1996 CD-ROM.

You don't take care of your CDs? ;) Most all my CDs are still in great condition. And likewise, all the old used CD games I keep finding in Value Villages everywhere are all in near perfect condition, to my surprise! Some real gems I find as well. Loom, Sim City, Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Torin's Passage, Shivers, Broken Sword 2, Journeyman 2: Buried in Time, the list goes on. All of them, not a scratch on them.

 

But that's where the fun ends, because for some reason, CMI - my favourite adventure game of all time - can't be downloaded legally anywhere. Mind you, the CD-ROMs were next to unplayable anyway, so the fact that they were stolen doesn't anger me that much;

Works quite perfectly in ScummVM, though. Without any issues.

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You don't take care of your CDs? ;) Most all my CDs are still in great condition. And likewise, all the old used CD games I keep finding in Value Villages everywhere are all in near perfect condition, to my surprise! Some real gems I find as well. Loom, Sim City, Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Torin's Passage, Shivers, Broken Sword 2, Journeyman 2: Buried in Time, the list goes on. All of them, not a scratch on them.

Oh, I certainly do now. Evidently, I wasn't very good at it when I was younger :P

 

Works quite perfectly in ScummVM, though. Without any issues.

I was referring to the CDs themselves there. They were pretty much worn-out. Last time I played CMI, I used ScummVM as well (which does indeed work like a charm) and copied the game files from the CDs to avoid playing from them. That process took a lot of patience, though. That my laptop clearly has a lousy DVD drive didn't make things better.

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