installed vs play online.

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muggy8
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installed vs play online.

#1 Post by muggy8 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:09 am

So I'm not sure how many of you thought of this before but I'm pretty sure that it has came across at least one person's mind before but lets think about this, how much of a turn off is having to download a game for you? Personally I dont really like having to download a game just to play it. I honestly find it much better if I can just play the darn game online. Honestly, maybe it's just me but I dont like downloading stuff for multiple reasons. for one, waiting takes forever and your less excited for the game once it's done and second, installation is annoying. Maybe not with Ren.Py but other times. trying to install can be sometimes quite difficult sometimes especially if your trying to apply a different language pack on a Japanese game.

Another reason that I have found a small dislike for downloaded games is the fact that you cant really take them with you. One of the best part of a VN is the fact that it's basically a book with alot of images and potentially pretty images to look at. provided that, being able to play the game on a mobile device when your on public transit is a huge advantage over traditional classic gaming that you find elsewhere. However a downloaded game cant do that. It's true that Ren.Py can export to Android but that would exclude all the Apple iOS users from playing the game on the go.

This leads me to the last problem: Save States. One thing that I have experienced in my limited experience of playing VNs is the fact that your save files are loco to the computer you're using. If you move or switch computers, your essentially losing all your save files. For me as someone who moves around a lot and uses multiple computers, ( I have 3 computers at my disposal at home) I have essentially locked myself from using only my main computer for playing the game and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced this. If you have a gaming desktop and a mobile laptop and you start the game on your desktop, your going to be playing that game on your gaming desktop and guess what? wanna game in bed? nope gotta go to the desktop for the game. this is why i've primarily stuck to handheld gaming for the majority of my life.

This is the biggest motivation my current project: a web browser online based VN that allows users to save their game server side so they can access the game and their game file anywhere any time and on any device. However, I'm just curious as to if it's actually worth doing at all. something I like personally might not be something that everyone else likes and seeing how everyone's using Ren.Py when there's a readily available WebStory VN Engine makes me kind of worried that my efforts are in vane.

So some public opinion: Downloaded or Online?

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Re: installed vs play online.

#2 Post by AxemRed » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:44 am

Game saves are already transferable between computers.

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Re: installed vs play online.

#3 Post by LVUER » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:07 am

Well, every method have their own pros and cons. By downloaded, do you mean "always connect" one? Remember what happened to the recent server incident of the latest SimCity? That's one risk of not having the games installed in your HDD. Besides, not everyone have the luxury of 24 hours-unlimited-internet connection. Even for the one who have, may be can't buy hardware to connect every device in his house to internet. And some people want to actually have the game, which is by having the physical disc and have the game actually installed on their HDD.
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Re: installed vs play online.

#4 Post by Desu_Cake » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:37 am

Physical Disk > Download >>>>>>>>> online

I loathe needing to be online to play a game. For many reasons. Off the top of my head:
1. I live in the countryside, so my internet connection is awful. I'd much rather wait an extra few minutes downloading, than have to deal with lag.
2. If I'm somewhere where I can't connect to the internet, (Read: Anywhere other than at home or college) I'd like to be able to actually do stuff.
3. Not having to login every time I want to play a game is nice.
4. If an online game doesn't require a login, my save states will be destroyed if I need to clear my internet cache.
5. It's not like I use 20 different computers for gaming.
6. Yes you can take them with you, unless they're over 16 GB. Shove it on a memory stick and carry it around.

The only real con is that they take up a bit of space in HDD, but VNs are small anyway, so it's not really a problem.
Unless it's incredibly short, I would never play a game online if I can download it instead.

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Re: installed vs play online.

#5 Post by nyaatrap » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:23 am

Isn't the main matter money and pirates? Online or download or real copy... high return and less pirates should be chosen.
Though I don't play online games because of just their low quality.
Speaking of which, in either online or downloadable, I hate every flash games. Their key binding is hell agonizing.

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Re: installed vs play online.

#6 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:41 am

I don't want to be sitting through download screens every time I play a game.
If you're worried about security, and have the ability, the method a lot of online games works relatively well: Install the game once, but the save data is online only.

But that's overkill for a VN. For those, I'd rather just download the game once and play it. Make the game good and more people will pirate it, but a higher percentage of them will be more likely to pay for it, or pay for your next game(s).

Gotta keep in mind that the people who play pirated games are also more likely to spend money on games than people who don't pirate. Sounds strange, but that's how it is. A lot of people see it as a more thorough try before you buy.
Same with movies. They pirate the average movies, and go to the cinema for the good ones. And they go to the cinema a hell of a lot more than non-pirates.
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Re: installed vs play online.

#7 Post by nyaatrap » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:32 am

Actually, I never got reliable data on payment rate of pirates. They can be damage it, or just nothing... people saying they are what or what with some random data, but I couldn't trust them.
I'm personally thinking they're nothing side - ban them or not won't effect on sales much.
Though as a developer, I can't be in their side because of many of them are pissing off developers. If they love games even they're pirating, they must advertise how to buy instead of how to pirate. I don't know pirates in abroad much, but many pirates in Japan are saying "buying is fool" what what thing ┐(´д`)┌ヤレヤレ

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Re: installed vs play online.

#8 Post by LVUER » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:13 am

Hm? From what I read, it seems piracy is not the OP main concern. Installation, mobility, and save states are. But then again, all three can be solved easily even with physical copy... and strangely, less easily with downloads.

With physical copy, you just need to install the game in every device you will play. Some device may be harder to install (like tablet without ODD), but I don't want to play PC/PS3 game on a tablet (if it's possible in the first place anyway). Lighter game (like casual games) can easily fit a UFD. Same with save states.

With downloads, you need active internet connection to install the game, each time... for those with slow internet connection, this can kill you... mentally and possibly financially too. Not to mention some paid games/software only permits you to install in only so much device before you must pay more. When you need to re-install the game, you need to connect to the internet again. And don't forget internet (and the server) can have downtime. For the save states case, don't forget the recent SimCity. Every pros have their own cons.

Anyway, IMO, if you're not that lazy, having a physical discs (or at least having a full off-line RAW game, not the installed one) is the best.
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Re: installed vs play online.

#9 Post by Desu_Cake » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:08 pm

LVUER wrote:With downloads, you need active internet connection to install the game, each time... for those with slow internet connection, this can kill you... mentally and possibly financially too.
No you don't. That would be incredibly redundant. You download it once, then save it to a disk or memory stick, then you can carry it just as easily as a physical copy, if not easier since you don't necessarily need to re-install it each time.

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Re: installed vs play online.

#10 Post by PyTom » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:13 pm

I've never been a fan of always-online games, especially for a naturally offline genre like VNs. My concern is especially one of preservation - for an always-online VN, once the main server goes down the game vanishes. For the past week or so, we've seen the problems with the SimCity launch - imagine how big the problems will be when EA decides that SimCity isn't profitable, and shuts down the server support entirely.

Compare this to a downloadable, where you can just upload it to archive.org or some other server and be sure it still exists. Even for commercial games, I think it's a good property for a game to become abandonware at some point after it stops selling - that's better than the game ceasing to exist.

Physical EVNs seem to be a novelty - they sell at cons, and provide a nice way for creators to connect with their fans. But I'd think the size of the audience you can sell to, and the inconvenience of actually purchasing atoms will make them a secondary means at best. There's also the problem that a lot of computer are now missing optical drives - of the four computers I have in arm's reach, only one has an optical drive in it.
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Re: installed vs play online.

#11 Post by muggy8 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:28 pm

so from the looks of it sketchy internet connection and losing your game when the developers decides to shut down a games servers is the main reason against fully online games... which does bring up a good point. and no piracy is not of my main concern at the current moment though. Thanks for the thoughts guys.

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Re: installed vs play online.

#12 Post by arachni42 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:00 pm

Personally I'm strongly in preference of downloaded games. I used to like the physical disk, too, but in the past couple years the model of having an account (e.g. EA store, PSN) and buying + downloading non-physical versions has really grown on me. This is partly because of the ease of finding and loading up all my games if I switch computers or reinstall the OS, or with PSN not having to switch media around.

I tend to stay away from web-based games. I worry about hiccups with Internet connection, a lot of sites with "web games" have ads everywhere. Plus I like to have my "own" copy (even if it's not a physical one) on my machine. However, this may be a bias; I originally disliked the download games model (vs. buying a physical copy) because it felt unreliable, and if I couldn't easily re-download something, I burned myself a backup. But now it feels reliable enough. The same kind of thing could change my view about the web. In fact, I had no complaint with, say, Gemcraft, a game I spent hours and hours on.... although, it didn't have the convenience of saves across different computers.

I think the server-side save (or, at least, the option of it) is a very appealing thing. That feature would definitely catch my interest. Only thing is that the need to have an account or something for the server-side would be a little bit of a hurdle where I would think, "eh, is it worth it to play this game?" But if I knew it was a really easy process (just a username and password and no other required information), and also optional (in case I didn't care about that feature) I'd be more motivated to try.

Anyway, I'm glad to see you're doing a little informal "market research." It sounds like an idea that would really appeal to some people.
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Re: installed vs play online.

#13 Post by Misfile » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:52 pm

I feel that there are a number of points that need to be addressed one by one, or clarified.
muggy8 wrote:Personally I dont really like having to download a game just to play it.
This is a really bad terminology problem that we have, when dealing with the internet everything is downloaded (or uploaded) full stop.
muggy8 wrote:installation is annoying.
Then what about fixing it with a plug and play paradigm?
muggy8 wrote: trying to install can be sometimes quite difficult sometimes especially if your trying to apply a different language pack on a Japanese game.
Now you have simply lost me, if I was playing, lets say an English VN that you had made, but wanted it to be in German with your online setup I have no way of installing such a patch, or am I missing something?
muggy8 wrote:Another reason that I have found a small dislike for downloaded games is the fact that you cant really take them with you.
I see two other possible answers to this: first is that you go to the previously mentioned plug and play idea and keep it on a key, or you can expand on that idea and investigate options like Linux on a stick
muggy8 wrote:It's true that Ren.Py can export to Android but that would exclude all the Apple iOS users from playing the game on the go.
This is a point where I'd normally make some snide North Korea type comment, but if you are interested in it, I would suggest looking into developing for iOS
muggy8 wrote:One thing that I have experienced in my limited experience of playing VNs is the fact that your save files are local to the computer you're using. If you move or switch computers, your essentially losing all your save files.
How would you fix this? A log in system that presents you a library of the games that you have? I feel like if you're not careful that users or games can get data from other users that they shouldn't be getting. Or maybe a password system like the NES age of RPG and similar games.

At the end of the day though the real question is "Is there fuctionality that you want and feel that isn't being provided fully"?


PS- Or I suppose you could always learn how to ssh/ssl from your laptop to your desktop. But that seems a bit much for a VN.

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Re: installed vs play online.

#14 Post by PyTom » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:02 pm

I'll note that save files are just files - albeit files in a somewhat strange place. You should be able to move save files between Windows, Mac, and Linux computers without problems.
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Re: installed vs play online.

#15 Post by azureXtwilight » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:10 am

Desu_Cake wrote:Physical Disk > Download >>>>>>>>> online

I loathe needing to be online to play a game. For many reasons. Off the top of my head:
1. I live in the countryside, so my internet connection is awful. I'd much rather wait an extra few minutes downloading, than have to deal with lag.
2. If I'm somewhere where I can't connect to the internet, (Read: Anywhere other than at home or college) I'd like to be able to actually do stuff.
3. Not having to login every time I want to play a game is nice.
4. If an online game doesn't require a login, my save states will be destroyed if I need to clear my internet cache.
5. It's not like I use 20 different computers for gaming.
6. Yes you can take them with you, unless they're over 16 GB. Shove it on a memory stick and carry it around.

The only real con is that they take up a bit of space in HDD, but VNs are small anyway, so it's not really a problem.
Unless it's incredibly short, I would never play a game online if I can download it instead.
Exactly my point. I can download while I'm sleeping anyway, and I am able to play anytime I want. I prefer downloaded stuff over online game anytime. It's frustrating that I have to wait for the game to load when I wanna play.
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