Hardware Fingerprint Question

edited November 2005 in Game Support
I'm curious, I've heard that the full version generates a key based on your hardware configuration for piracy reasons. My question is that does this mean once you pay $20 the game is only licensed to that PC only? If I were to buy a brand new PC I can't play this game without buying a new key?

Please, let me know. :D

Comments

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    edited September 2005
    Hi there,

    YOU are licensed the game, not your PC. :D

    If you need to relicense your download, or manage your purchase otherwise, you can find out how to do in this FAQ

    Cheers,

    Troy
  • edited September 2005
    To be fair, that digitalriver FAQ is pretty vague at best. It's not obvious which question would answer how to relicense your download

    Any chance of hosting your own Bone-specific FAQ on this site (mentioning things like the easily overlooked red CUSTOMER SERVICE link on the splash page etc?
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    So....what happens in years when your company might not be there to relicense the game? This hypothetical of course, but lets say you went out of business tomorrow and I needed to relicense. That leaves me with a game I can't play.

    Am I correct? In order to install an another machine beyond the one that I bought it for I need to relicense online with your website. However if the website does not exist that might be hard.

    This is speaking in the future terms, mind you. I happen to play game long after they are dead (I wouldn't be playing adventures if they weren't old ;) ) so this concerns me greatly.

    Please let me know. ;)



    EDIT - BTW this should be in the Bone section :))
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    The question of, what happens if company X folds will become more and more common as everyone starts adopting this form of distribution.

    The defauilt answer is :" you aren't going to be able to play the game anymore.

    However also likely answers are:
    1. The games will be bought and managed by someone new.
    2. Before folding, the company will release a patch that will unlock keys for people who wish to continue playing
    3. Hackers will solve the problem.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    The question of, what happens if company X folds will become more and more common as everyone starts adopting this form of distribution.

    The default answer is :" you aren't going to be able to play the game anymore.

    However also likely answers are:
    1. The games will be bought and managed by someone new.
    2. Before folding, the company will release a patch that will unlock keys for people who wish to continue playing
    3. Hackers will solve the problem.

    Well I guess that answers my question then.
    No wonder it took so long for me to get a straight answer.

    1. I have plenty of old games that weren't bought or managed by anyone. If I have tech problems I'm on my own. In fact the majority of my old games are like this.
    2. I've never heard of any company releasing a patch to remove key restrictions when they're on the verge of bankruptcy.
    3. Hackers will probably solve the problem shortly after the game is released. But I don't want to depend on hackers for a solution.

    So I won't be buying - not unless this "hardware restriction" is eliminated.

    I don't mind downloading a game. And I don't mind it being on the short side. But if I pay money for a game I want to be able to back it up to something more permanent than a computer hard drive. And I'm certainly not gambling on any game company being around in a few years.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    I've already run into this problem. It still hasn't been resolved yet, even though I got to play at least to the hot springs in the game.

    I upgraded my motherboard and videocard yesterday, and switch to XP64. The demo doesn't allow me to unlock it with my order#/password. It complains about the hardware key.

    boneerror.jpg

    This was after having initial trouble having it recognize it in the first place. I did email them, but got a form letter back, I sent them the new hardware fingerprint or whatever but have not heard back yet.

    There needs to be a better way to do this. As much as I dislike Valve software's steam, they handle something similar a bit better. At least I can transfer it using that. With this it's become way too big a hassle for $20.

    On the other hand, they need to figure this out. I liked what I played so far. And hope we will get more. But man, the activation scheme has made it lose much of its luster so far.
    Hopefully the feedback is helpful to them. I think they can work this out. Honestly the system they use right now for this is just bad.

    Yes if you change your hardware you're out of the game for a while. :(
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    Atricks,

    Among the issues we've been working to resolve during this launch is an inappropriate limitation to the default number of times the game can be activated. That problem has been rectified; however, it appears that keys issued before the change are still being affected. We will resolve this by tomorrow. In the meantime, please do the following:

    1) In the reminder screen that pops up after double clicking on the game icon, click on "Enter Key Manually" in the upper left corner.
    2) In the resulting dialog box, copy and send the "hardware fingerprint" to support@telltalegames.com, along with your order number.
    3) Enter the name and key sent back to you in the same dialog box.

    This should unlock your game.

    Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience.

    Troy
  • edited September 2005
    So I won't be buying - not unless this "hardware restriction" is eliminated.

    I don't mind downloading a game. And I don't mind it being on the short side. But if I pay money for a game I want to be able to back it up to something more permanent than a computer hard drive. And I'm certainly not gambling on any game company being around in a few years.

    I guess you and everyone else who is afraid of change is going to be missing out on the future of digital entertainment if you're so against its delivery and anti-piracy methods.

    Have fun reading books. [>:)] ;)
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    I guess you and everyone else who is afraid of change is going to be missing out on the future of digital entertainment if you're so against its delivery and anti-piracy methods.

    If not being able to replay my games because of some attempt at "anti-piracy" is "change," you can keep it.
    If you want to pay for your games all over again every time you buy a new computer, you go right ahead. I don't feel like wasting my money that way.
  • edited September 2005
    > If you want to pay for your games all over again every time you buy a new computer,

    You do not need to do that. It's addressed earlier in this thread.

    > 2. I've never heard of any company releasing a patch to remove key restrictions when they're on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Telltale have said on these forums that if they go under they will release patches to ensure all their products will continue to function on future computers you may own.
  • Options
    edited September 2005

    You do not need to do that. It's addressed earlier in this thread.

    I don't see anything that addresses it in this thread. Do you want to point out which message says it?
    Telltale have said on these forums that if they go under they will release patches to ensure all their products will continue to function on future computers you may own.

    I admit I haven't read every thread in the forum. But I have read this thread.
    Where in the forum did they say this?
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience.

    Troy


    Thanks, I did. I was emailing to the support address at digitalriver and sent that along with the info to the telltellgames address.

    I'm not the type that would never buy something that required this, I'm just trying to give some feedback on the downsides (support) and general restrictiveness of it.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    So....no answer for me then? What happens if the company went under? Don't give me that "magical patch" speech because the valve fanboys say the same thing.

    I want the truth, why do we need fingerprinted keys? Piracy? I mean...I already have to buy it straight online what more protection do you need? What if I want to play the game on a PC a few years from now and there is no such patch to play the game?

    This is why internet based purchasing doesn't work, piracy protection methods become insane. I happen to like playing my games for years after they are "unpopular" and this is like a slap in the face.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    So....no answer for me then? What happens if the company went under? Don't give me that "magical patch" speech because the valve fanboys say the same thing.

    I want the truth, why do we need fingerprinted keys? Piracy? I mean...I already have to buy it straight online what more protection do you need? What if I want to play the game on a PC a few years from now and there is no such patch to play the game?

    This is why internet based purchasing doesn't work, piracy protection methods become insane. I happen to like playing my games for years after they are "unpopular" and this is like a slap in the face.

    Seems like they don't want to think about this... it's best for them to hide that as well as they can and hope people won't consider that until it's too late.
    It's a shame too, but if having to get a new CD key every time I upgrade etc. is the future of PC gaming, then I think gamers are willing to swallow TO MUCH SHIT from developers.
    It's a shame too, I was going to buy that game :(
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    I don't like it either, but it is indisputably a necessary evil...

    - so they get rid of hardware fingerprinting - what then? - sure, it'd make *your* life slightly easier, but it would also cause 90% of people to go straight to peer-2-peer, and grab 'emselves a free copy... you can't trust the good nature of people, people aren't good natured when it comes to this kind of thing.

    Copy protection isn't about *stopping* piracy either, its about making it too difficult or just inconvenient for the average joe - sure, all these games will get cracked despite hardware fingerprinting, but Telltale are forced to keep it nonetheless, as it will at least ensure that 50% can't be bothered pirating it, and actually pay.

    I honestly cannot think of any way around the problem - piracy is rife on the PC, its not harming the console market (despite their ravings about losing 20-billion a year or whatever) - but it *is* taking its toll on PC games...

    - who remembers the Amiga? - brilliant! - why's it not around any more? - because it had no copy protection, copying was a piece of cake, and probably 90% of software anyone owned for it was pirated. Developers simply stopped developing for it, because how were they going to make their money?


    I would say that any digital delivery system needs to make this copy-protection as near-invisible as possible. Steam is getting there. If the copy protection is as inconvenient as the process of actually copying and cracking a game, then its a no-brainer what will happen. Telltale need to work on getting this as unobtrusive as possible.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    Why is every person (including developers) thinking in the here and now? Think about the future! Why must our games have a ticking timebomb on them because "someone somewhere might try to steal it".....because I'm damn sure a keygen will pop up very soon. This fingerprint method is the death of telltale games, because I don't care how hyped Sam'n Max is I'm not buying them if this type of shite is attached.

    Telltale, do you or do you not have an answer to my question? Perhaps you don't care so long as you get money today? They hell with us in the future right?

    Its funny...people raise hell at publishers for their nonsense but put up with massive BS from developers like you guys and Valve.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    Why must our games have a ticking timebomb on them because "someone somewhere might try to steal it"

    - they must have a (perfectly safe) form of protection because 90% of people everywhere would steal it! - I'm sorry, but as I said in my previous post, you cannot possibly use the good nature of people as an argument against copy protection... they *WILL* pirate it... copy protection *MUST* exist.

    I'm certainly not happy about it as a general case, it can be a pain in the arse, but if I'm completely honest, hand-on-heart, I have copied games before, and I'm willing to bet that the majority of people on these forums have done the same at some point.

    Personally, I make it a rule to pay for any game I believe is more than a cynical cash-in - but there's plenty of people who that wouldn't even occur to.

    Every developer is "thinking in the here and now" because they want to keep their company afloat, and without copy protection, they'll be lucky to last a week.

    Get used to it... god knows, you've had long enough to get used to it on retail games... this is just a natural and necessary progression, and is *NOT* going to change any sooner than human nature does. Either buy the game, or don't - bitching about it will fall on deaf ears.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    I'm all for copy protection on games. I, myself, took several programming languages in college. Most people don't understand how much effort it takes to make an application, especially a game. I know several people that make big money at my workplace, but don't pay a cent for any of their computer programs. They are stinking pirates. But on the other hand, it is everyone's right who owns the game, to be able to play it and also back it up.

    What I would like to know is why Telltale is now using DigitalRiver and findmyorder.com? I bought the Texas Hold'em and it activates directly from Telltale website. But now I have to go to a second website to activate all other games? What is the privacy policy of DigitalRiver and findmyorder? They better not sell my information to third parties or send me spam!
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    Copy protection is necessary, but this kind of copy protection is taking it too far. I'm against all kinds of copy protection that sets a time limit on how long I can play my game (the day the company goes under or simply decides to go out of business). I don't want to rely on developers to make a patch one day in order to make my game playable after their demise.. one cannot be sure that they will do that.
    Buying any game with this kind of copy protection is like renting it, it's like you are granted a license to play the game for a limited amount of time.
    Also, if too many developers and publishers start doing this kind of thing, many gems may be lost in the future.
    I still play Kings Quest from 1984 and had that game had such a copy protection, it would be hard to do that today (legally at least, and I disagree that I should have to find cracks for games I've legally bought).

    So Telltale - why won't you reply?
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    I'm also a little worried about this, since I upgrade my PC on a fairly regular basis. I tend to buy a new PC by changing one component at a time until I've upgraded everything, so if each time I add or remove a component it causes this game to lock, that would add up to a lot of hassle.

    I understand the theory that copy protection is necessary, but in practice it always seems to cause problems mainly for the legitimate users of the software, while pirates just hack it and ironically end up with a version that's easier to use.

    I'm sure it wouldn't take much to produce a crack for this protection, if the makers have already said they'll make one in the event the company ceases trading then it's clearly possible. So the protection isn't really protecting anything, it's just an annoyance for all the people who aren't breaking the law.

    :(
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    If there is a crack I'll consider buying the game and then cracking it.
    If there is no crack, then I will definately not buy it.
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    edited September 2005
    Personally I'm going to buy the game anyway, and hope that the makers produce a patch to legitimately remove this hardware-based protection.
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    edited September 2005
    I've changed my mind, I won't be buying any games with this kind of copy protection. As much as I'd love to play those games, it goes against every fiber of my being to support this kind of extreme and highly annoying copy protection.
    I only hope they keep inventing more and more annoying ways to protect their games... perhaps then people will finally be fed up and make a stand against this.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    I'm just going to say this once:

    What is wrong with you people?

    Telltale is a small company, and they NEED money! They NEED a good copy protection system! It's only twenty bucks for the game, and they say that the whole "hardward based protection" is a flaw that will be worked out! So what's your problem with supporting the only good adventure company left, now that Cyan is shutting its doors?

    I can't say anything about the external sites, but I'm sure Telltale made sure that they're perfectly secure.

    It saddens me that so many people refuse to buy the game because of some petty issue with buying games online. So you like having something physical? Make a CD cover and burn a copy! You don't like the copy protection? It will be fixed and Telltale has stated they'll release a patch to make effectively make it abandonware if they go out of business!

    Can't you see Telltale is in this because they love making games, and they loving telling stories! "Tell Tale" Games? Tell Tale?? You see? They're not trying to rip you off or piss you off, so why can't you support them and just give them that twenty dollars?

    Although I am rather a hypocrite, as I haven't bought anything from Telltale yet, the moment they port something to Mac, my order form will be filled out and sent the moment that Submit icon lights up!
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    Don't give me that self-rightous "Save the genre" speech. If the only way to play adventure games is by buying downloads with anal protection that limits the life of the games then guess what? I can make due without them.

    A "bug"? No no, its called copy protection friend. This is to ensure that the game is payed on one PC and one PC alone. I do not agree with copy protection that labels me as a crook when I choose to actually purchase the game. I kid you not....as much as I was against purchasing a download only I was willing to look into it. Once I heard about this fingerprint system I knew it was too good to be true. Why do developers automatically assume their game is going to be stolen by pirates? The ones who steal games won't buy them anyway no matter what protection is in place. There are those of us who buy our games thank you very much and this is like a slap in the face.

    This is actually, in fact, worse than steam for HL2! At least with HL2 they have ways around it and it can last after steam's eventual demise. This game however, will be lost to the ages if nothing is done. I don't feel like taking that risk.

    Also please don't quote me prices, because I can find many more games in the bargain bins at Ebgams for far less (and they come with CDs and manuals!) so that won't work.
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    I'm not quoting prices about the downloading, I'm simply saying it's not much to pay, and not much to lose. And the thing with only running on one computer is a flaw that Telltale is trying to work out, they've said so. You buy the game, it's yours. They've always made that clear. They'll work it out. If they don't, someone will crack the game eventually, anyway.

    And we've gone over the reasons why it needs to be a download already. Telltale needs cash, no publishers, worlwide distribution, etc.

    I really don't want to say this, but all you're doing is complaining about something that Telltale can't change, at least not yet. They've said in interviews that they're considering other distribution methods, but right now Telltale Now! is the only viable option.

    I'm not trying to be self-righteous. Hell, I'm hardly even trying to "save the genre." We'll always have the classics. I just think you should support a small company that's doing a good thing, and stop complaining about things they can't change or are trying to change.
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    edited September 2005
    I want to express my opinion too...

    I've played the demo and I really liked it! Very cute! I was going to buy the game until I've heard it's not the full story (more episodes are on the way). Those will cost too ? Correct me if I'm wrong!. And now you're talking about a stupid copy protection!

    I do like to support the gender and the only games I spend my money on are those adventure games that I consider worthy. So I would spend $20 on a good adventure, even it is not delivered in a box. I really appreciate boxed editions even if they don't make them like in the old times. I remember a manual of King's Quest V. Now, they barely put a small balck and white paper inside a cd case. They say they want to make the game cheaper! Yeah, like if I want a decent printed version of the manual or cover, it would be realy "cheap" for me to print it! Everyone have cheap printing technology in theirs bedrooms!
    I will not complain about the delivery system anymore.

    Let's complain about the episode format!
    As I understand, it's not like Monkey Island1, Monkey Island2, Monkey Island3, and so...
    It's not even like Ben Jordan 1, Ben Jordan 2, Ben Jordan 3, and so... if you know what I'm talking about. Those games the each have their stories and each manage to finish it.
    Here, you seem to spend $20 for only a piece of the story. Since an adventure game is mostly represented by it's story, you actually buy only a piece of the game.
    So the game costs $20 * episodes_count (again, my appologize if I'm wrong about this). That could be a lot for a game or for someone to spend.
    The episode format is common with independent developers, because they can't get the whole game at once. They need to have something to show, to get feedback and motivation to do the rest. I don't remember independent developers asking money for their work. Or at least not more than delivery and printing costs.

    You say TellTaleGames is a small compay and we should help it. Help it to do what? Becoming a big one? And start to deliver crap, like Lucas in these days ?
    If they do it "from the passion for games" how come they charge gamers so much?
    If you make a study about game prices you can easily find what it means. Most of a game price is publisher and seller money. Sometimes, from a $35 price only $5 goes to the developer. That's why games costs so much. A lot of people to pay.
    TellTaleGames is "small" you say. They are the developer, the publisher, no printing costs, no transport, no selling costs. Just them! So, again $20 is pretty much for a piece of a game!
    I know there is a licence for Bone. I don't know how much is that out of the $20, but if it is a lot, they should create their own characters and set a decent price.


    As for the copy protection... the world has gone mad!
    A few months ago I've bought Myst4 Special Edition (more $30), installed in my computer, started it and Surprise! It keept requesting the second DVD! And so it would until now, if it weren't for the internet and the no-dvd crack! Of course UbiSoft have nothing to say about their buggy games!

    In the end,
    I think I will wait for the full story and the cracked version of Bone!

    My advice to TellTaleGames and it's Bone game is to finish the game, make it good and deliver it properly in a decent box or at least a decent price. Then I'll buy it!
  • edited September 2005
    Why do developers automatically assume their game is going to be stolen by pirates? The ones who steal games won't buy them anyway no matter what protection is in place.

    If you're saying nobody that buys "Out From Boneville" will (try) to pirate it, you are really a blueeyed fool my friend. The problem is that there needs only be one "weak link" of the consumers, and the game is available "to all". If there's any way of preventing that completely, why not? Where do you think warez-groups get their releases from? They couldn't possibly be....*gasp* buying them? I can see the point about "pirating doersnt really hurt your sales, people will pirate no matter what blah blah" and i tend to agree. But if i, as a developer, had the choice between choosing a non-too-abrusive protection (which only really asks for a "cd" every time you get a new computer) and having my software wide open, i think i know which i would choose.

    People seem to get up in arms about both this and the digital distribution, when the only valid points i can see are that they might or might not be able to play this game in ten years time (whereas os will probably play a bigger part in that), and that they won't have a shiny cd to tuck in at night. I can to a certain degree understand the "10 years" problem, but it doesn't really matter THAT much to me. The biggest value for me with a game/movie/whatever is when I watch/play it the first time around, I rarely replay them. If I do, it is usually after 10 years, so that's why I see your point. "but ooh what if i install it on a new pc?". then you ask telltale for a new reg-code. "but shucks, what if they're out of business?". then someone, if not them, will post cracks. "but boohoo, i dont wanna depend on pirates". your loss, if you dont want to play the game, but make up silly excuse to why you won't, be my guest.

    the cd-point is just not an issue for me. I can understand that people would get defense about this like 10 years ago, when all the games had great covers and neat stuff packaged with them, but what you're missing out on now is a dvd-case, and a cd. Which you can easily make yourself, if you really feel like you need it. Ok, so I'm a collector aswell, but I don't collect to show off everyone how big a collection I have, I rather collect because I like to have everything in a collection and it gives me a nice fuzzy feeling. I have both Telltale Games, I can't say it pisses me off that I can't have them on display (which i could, if i really wanted to).

    Either way, you most likely WILL be able to play this game in 10 years, plus you CAN burn it out on a cd. But then again, if you don't WANT to play it, noone is making you.

    (I won't even touch the pricepoints, here in Norway a beer costs $10, so I believe I'm disqualified)
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    edited September 2005
    My point seems to have been lost somewhere amongst the extremes, so I'd just like to make it again. My problem with this hardware-based protection is simply that I can see it becoming very annoying for me. Say over a year I upgrade 4 or 5 components in my PC. That's 4 or 5 times I'm gonna have to email the customer support people to revalidate a game I supposedly own. I'd also quite like to loan the game out to my brother, so he can try it for himself. The odds are that if he tried it, and liked it, he'd buy a copy (this has already happened with several games I own). He'd probably buy the future episodes too. But I can't loan it to him without getting it re-registered to his PC and then re-registered back to mine. Two more emails to support.

    I guess what I'm saying is that it annoys me that copy-protection like this treats everyone as a potential criminal. It doesn't just stop the criminals enjoying the game for free, it also inhibits the legitimate users from enjoying it to the extent that they ought to be able to. And even when the criminals have broken the copy protection and stolen their free game, all the legitimate users are still left to suffer the annoyances that were put there to stop them.

    But, it isn't going to stop me buying the game. In fact, I paid for my copy this morning. I just hope that enough reasoned dissent will encourage Telltale to reconsider the way they protect their games.
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    edited September 2005
    We really do appreciate each and everyone's perspective as we've mentioned in other threads on this forum and in Graham's recent blog. We're even more appreciative of the "reasoned dissent", as even_steven so eloquently put it. ;)

    First, let me start off by saying that Telltale will never deny activation of our games by a legitimate owner as long as it is in our power to do so. We've said as much in previous posts and I say it again here so there will never be any doubt. You'll always have access to the Telltale game you own as long as there's a service to decrypt your protected game. That service is currently Digital River.

    Assuming you agree with our need to protect our games (and if you don't then we'll have to agree to disagree), the only issue left to deal with on this persistent thread is the "what happens when you're gone" issue. To this we can only respond that we will:

    a) be working very hard to make sure that we'll be around for a very long time and
    b) do all we can to ensure that you, your kids, and your grand kids will be able to play our games as long as the hardware is there to run it. After all, we are making these games to be played!

    To further ourselves towards this goal we have partnered with a very large and successful e-commerce provider, Digital River, adding to the "existence insurance".

    We will continually evaluate and adapt to the best balance of protection and user flexibility that the latest technology allows. In order to distribute digitally, and maintain an appropriate level of protection, that currently means associating it with your hardware. There are many very real business realities to this decision that anyone will face when distributing their own games in hopes of continuing on to the next, and the next, and so on...

    Clearly, this approach is not appealing to everyone; however, it does have many good points which have been eagerly identified by people throughout these forums. For those of you not comfortable with the approach we are currenly taking, we hope that if and when we choose other distribution channels and methods, we'll touch on one that is comfortable to each of you.
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    edited September 2005
    [=D>] Good speech, Troy!
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    edited November 2005
    First, let me start off by saying that Telltale will never deny activation of our games by a legitimate owner as long as it is in our power to do so. We've said as much in previous posts and I say it again here so there will never be any doubt. You'll always have access to the Telltale game you own as long as there's a service to decrypt your protected game. That service is currently Digital River.
    Good job at nailing the very reason why many people hate this kind of nasty copy protection. So I have your word that you will "do your best" to let us play this game as long as we want? Gee, that makes me feel a lot better.
This discussion has been closed.