How do we get paid?-shareware

Lets suppose that one day i make a cool game πŸ˜›

i put my shareware version on the internet, and i want users to send 5 $ lets say and then put in a registration code and unlock the game. how would we acomplish that using coldstone? or make it work for more than 30 days, you know.

well, thanks

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tony

The only way I can think of is have them send you the money to a mailbox at mailboxes etc., if not I guess home address...They send you the money and where they want you to send a cd to. Compile the game onto a CD, and send the full version to them. I don't think there is anyway to put a code to UNLOCK it, so I mentioned the full version CD method. ColdStone is easy, but it could be more flexible for non-programmer people, along with making event-making MAKE SENSE (such as one thing to set it off, the other what happens when it's set off). Sorry...got off subject. Had to say that.

Anyway, hope I helped,
Bunny^_^

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(This message has been edited by PinkFluffyBunny (edited 09-04-2002).)

A way to have a registration-type of window pop up in your game so you can make the download the complete game is...

Have a "dialog entry" to ask what is the registration code open up right when the first map loads. When the player enters the right code have a global, gb_registration check, set to 1.

If the player does not have the registration code then disable the ending - or only allow the first 3 maps to be used, whatever limit you decide - then have whatever the limit you set to check and see if "gb_registration check" is set to one or not - if not end the game there or re-ask for the registration code.

This is really the only decent way I could think of for a registration type of entry.

I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

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thanks, very helpfull answers

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tony

If you used the method above however, there would only be one registration number (easy to distribute among pirates...).

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Originally posted by Klatu:
If the player does not have the registration code then disable the ending - or only allow the first 3 maps to be used, whatever limit you decide - then have whatever the limit you set to check and see if "gb_registration check" is set to one or not - if not end the game there or re-ask for the registration code.

In addition to the above, if you utilize (url="http://"http://www.ambrosiasw.com/cgi-bin/vftp/dl-redirect.pl/timer_dev_tools.sit?path=coldstone/resources&file;=timer_dev_tools.sit")Stray's timer(/url) and fiddled with it a bit, you could very easily put a time limit on your shareware game, so that once the timer expires the game can no longer be played until it is registered.

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You could always make a game that was so insanely great that Abrosia would publish it for you. Then you wouldn't have to worry about it.

Other than that, I've been looking for a good solution as well. Like Necro said, a single code would be distributed pretty quickly through the back alleys and slums of the internet.

Perhaps a simple registration system could be written in another program that would simply monitor your games progress then shut it down afte a bit until the game is registered. I have no idea how one would begin to go about this, though. Maybe some of the more enlightened could help.

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Good idea with the timer thing - I didn't even think of that!

As for the one registration code being distrubuted easily - I think that if your game was that good people would find a way to get one or any of the registration codes somehow - this is a problem we will always face when making our own games/software. It sucks, but it's a fact!

I was also thinking of a random global to dictate what registration code would be needed but that would be too much of a headache for the player and if they decided to start a second game from scratch they might need another registration code which will cause another headache.

I had a couple other ideas like above, but they all had similar downsides. I think that timer idea is great though - maybe a combo of my registration code idea and the timer - it still doesn't hep with the pirates still, though.

Another thing that I thought, almost forgot, is the player pays the registration and you email them a plug-in that disables whatever limitations you set - this could also be distributed by pirates, but at least they'll have to look for a download instead of a simple registration code!

I'll keep thinking!

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This raises the question of where exactly Ambrosia/Beenox draws the line between "shareware" and "commercial" licensing of your game:

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Games and plugins created by Coldstone may be distributed non-commercially at no cost; shareware distribution of games and plugins created by Coldstone are likewise free of charge.

Commercial distribution, (defined as requiring the customer to pay before they can obtain your game/plugin), whether online or retail, requires obtaining a license from Ambrosia Software, Inc.

True shareware is simply "try before you buy" - there's no limitation or "lock" on the program if unpaid, except possibly nag screens ("nagware") or a time limit after which the program simply stops running.

The systems described here are more along the lines of "crippleware" - until you pay, you can only play x number of levels or can't finish quest y. The question is whether this is considered to be shareware or commercial... In my opinion it probably classes as commercial distribution, as there's no functional difference between a commercial program (with free limited demo) and crippleware - except one less download or CD required.

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The systems described here are more along the lines of "crippleware"

This is true, but would Ambrosia consider Deimos Rising as shareware them? You can download the whole thing, but I think that you can only play the first three levels.

I don't want to sound like I'm being sarcastic - I'm actually curious about this. This way we get a clearer perception of what shareware is.

I'm just curious since Glenn brought it up.

In the end I have to say that instead of looking to sell our games ourselves we should strive to make a game of good enough quality so that Ambrosia will handle the sales for us! πŸ˜‰ Strive is the opperative word as time and resources are limited for most of us.

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I think that the best way to do this would be to have people e-mail you for a download rather than downloading it directly. That way you could have a different registration code for each individual. This, though a painfully slow method, will work until Coldstone updates support this function, if ever. Hope I helped.

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-50B3R K3NNy

i think i have another solution, perhaps, i can make the person download the whole game, but there is another part of the game that is still stuffed. stuffit can make things ask for a code, so if the person wants to unstuff the rest of the game, they better pay up πŸ™‚

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tony

How about simply going after them with an axe? You could write the airfare of your taxes I think.

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Originally posted by Klatu:
This is true, but would Ambrosia consider Deimos Rising as shareware them? You can download the whole thing, but I think that you can only play the first three levels.

And don't forget the most relevant game, in my opinion, which would be Pillars of Garendall. It was created by CGE. It has a timer feature(play for 30 days). And it has a cripple-ware feature in that you can only explore so far before you are stopped and told to register.

I would hold PoG up as the model to follow. Since Ambrosia considers PoG to be shareware(based on the register application stating: 'Garendall is distributed as shareware') then using the tactics found within PoG to get people to purchase your game ought to be "ok."

Granted, I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. As with all things in life, if you have questions about the legality of what you are doing, I'd recommend that you go to the source(which in this case would be to ask Ambrosia).

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I would recommend working with a company like Ambrosia who is already set up to deal with the various details of dealing with registration, codes, distribution and support. I've worked for plenty of "high tech" companies, released a couple freeware apps, and I can tell you, most of this stuff is not trivial, especially end user support.

Ambrosia has an API you can use to deal with registration. Integrated into your game, it would be easy to limit gameplay. I'm sure they could give you a hand with the registration method, since they use their own technology. They probably even have an "out of the box" method that works with CGE that you could use and doesn't require you writing a single line of code... you never know until you ask.

Here's a link to their developer FAQ:
<A HREF="http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/TechWorks/Dev.html">http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/TechWorks/Dev.html</A>

On the do-it-yourself front, you could write a separate registration application that handles the registration code (so you can use complex codes) and patches the game when you register with your registration information. Though you're looking at actualy coding, and you would need to learn more about how CGE stores data in the data files.

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Have a "dialog entry" to ask what is the registration code open up right when the first map loads. When the player enters the right code have a global, gb_registration check, set to 1.

If the player does not have the registration code then disable the ending - or only allow the first 3 maps to be used, whatever limit you decide - then have whatever the limit you set to check and see if "gb_registration check" is set to one or not - if not end the game there or re-ask for the registration code.

I thought all globals reset to 0 when you turn off the game. That would mean you'd need to enter the registration coad every time you open the game!

Personally I like the mail-the-CD approach.

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You could always use a Realmz-like System, where each copy of your game has an unique Serial code, and the registration code would result in a complex operation, like (((gb_serial*30)+3)/2)-5 <-- This one is not complex, it's just an example πŸ™‚

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ker-whack

why dont you just release a demo version that asks the person to buy the full version.

the full version should come on a cd. you should then lock the cd, so that they can't take the game or data off the cd. also if it's locked you can make it so that it can be duplicated (burned). isn't that what big game companies like blizzard do?

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ColdStoner

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Originally posted by ScrollMaker:
**why dont you just release a demo version that asks the person to buy the full version.

the full version should come on a cd. you should then lock the cd, so that they can't take the game or data off the cd. also if it's locked you can make it so that it can be duplicated (burned). isn't that what big game companies like blizzard do?

**

Yeah that's how companies do it... but we're not companies, we're just normal people. And besides, if you put the game on CD and send it to the person, I do believe that it's then under the commerial department. And for that you have to get a commerial license. Or so that's what I seem to believe, I could be wrong...

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Originally posted by FF-fanatic:
**Yeah that's how companies do it... but we're not companies, we're just normal people. And besides, if you put the game on CD and send it to the person, I do believe that it's then under the commerial department. And for that you have to get a commerial license. Or so that's what I seem to believe, I could be wrong...
**

Quite correct. Freeware would involve being able to freely download the software without penalties, shareware would involve 'try before you buy' style, with it also downloadable. I'm not sure whether 'crippleware' such as Ambrosia's would fall under the shareware or the commercial license method.

However, the mail-the-cd approach is definitely a commercial distribution method, unless the full version is downloadable online and the cd is like an optional extra. For that you require a license purchased from Ambrosia, a license which could be charged as a mass price, or a percentage-per-copy.

When Andrew gets back from Paris, remind me and I'll email him and ask about it. πŸ™‚

-Andiyar

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