Dev Rant

Hello all,

I need to vent. It may or may not fall under the correct forum but I don’t really care right now because I’m so ^$&#@!$ frustrated. I’m a game dev, this is the section of qt3 that I live in and my rant is sort of related to games or experiences I’m sure some of you have had with games - good enough for me.

So I typically stay out of all the DRM discussions here because I’ve said my piece, they don’t need any extra fuel to stay hot and most everyone already knows or can probably guess my stance on DRM.

So here is why I’m climbing the walls. I’ll be honest and say I sometimes forget the emotional factor involved in my DRM opinions. Through a combination of luck and ignoring select titles its been a long long time since I felt the DRM induced searing heat and constriction in the back of my neck that makes me want to hurl my entire home computer system out the window and beat the $^&@# out of it with a composite hockey stick. I’m Canadian so there are plenty more in the basement if the neighbors want to join in.

My job is a bit insane so what I like to do when I get home is work on music - its relaxing and fun and all sorts of other good stuff for someone like me. Recently I decided to upgrade my home DAW (digital audio workstation) with the latest software. Today, the particular item I’ve been most excited about finally arrived. Here is what I just went through with the simple goal of hearing a nice piano sound or two:

I spent about 2 hrs installing it (40gigs), I installed my custom ordered uber-dongle (ilok), setup my ilok account, setup my authorization account, updated the authorization software and then entered the authorization key and waited for it to contact the license manager to download the ilok key which I would then have to use the ilok software to transfer to my ilok uber-dongle. Naturally, it couldn’t contact the license manager so I spent the next 2 hours trying to figure out what could be blocking the authorization software (firewall et al) and searching god knows how many forums for solutions. Somewhere in there I also filled out a page long ticket request full of requisite fields that are completely irrelevant and sent it to a tech support service that isn’t open until 9am tomorrow and wrote a nasty email to someone at the company who will no doubt reflexively buck me due to the tone of my email which will cause at least a bonus 2 day delay in solving my problem. I finally, briefly considered hunting around for a warez crack just so I could go to sleep knowing I had accomplished SOMETHING relaxing. But I resisted and decided to bitch here instead.

Anyways, that’s it. Time to go sacrifice a small helpless animal to the authorization gods :(

And yet by downloading a warez version you would probably be using your software as we speak.

Welcome to the DRM.

Sort of like the Japanese novel, “Welcome to the NHK”, but instead of blaming the NHK for all the world’s problems, my personal shortcomings, disappointments and life et al, I’ll blame it on DRM!

Because it’s a personal shortcoming that causes the licence manager to be a dick.

If we can’t blame the personal shortcomings then what are to realistically blame?

I think you should return the software. It obviously does not work. If the software was not absolutely clear about exactly what is necessary for the internet connection, on the outside of the box where you could read it before you bought it, then you should also bill them for the time you spent trying to get it to work.

Why not just download the crack?

That’s exactly what I would have done. I do it for every single game and application I purchase to remove the DRM.

What software is this you’re using? I’m an electronic music enthusiast myself… and I want to stay far, far away from whatever it is that prompted this rant. :D

Unless you’re talking about ProTools most industry specific dongle-ified applications are cracked and run faster without all the authentication processes fucking up constantly.

If not Protools, my guess is Auto-Tune, or something from Waves.

Whatever it is, it has a huge sound library.

Sounds like some VTS stuff? Gigastudio or Halion? Meh, I don’t tolerate dongledom on recording software because it pretty much means they have the ability to lock me out of my projects. I’m not willing to tie hours upon hours of work to an easy-to-lose USB stick. Luckily, ahem, certain nefarious groups make emulators… Nuendo switched to dongles a while back and that really pissed me off.

There’s two things in this world I can’t stand: people who are intolerant of other peoples’ cultures, and the Dutch.

Assuming we’re talking about a big sample library here, lots of the high end stuff with dongle-based DRM generally doesn’t get cracked. The music software pirates tend to go more for the low hanging fruit.

It sucks for legitimate customers because more and more of the good developers are gravitating to dongles as the only really viable means of DRM, and people who actually pay for the stuff are often punished in the way Blair has experienced.

Incidentally, what software was it, Blair? I want to steer clear if possible.

The Dutch are mean!

Just the mention of the ilok makes me think that it IS a ProTools plugin. Anyways, I’m curious too so I can aviod the offending software if possible.

Its the new EastWest Goliath package. They got me up and running earlier today and the sound quality is awesome but arghh…

You try wearing wooden shoes, and you’ll see where we’re coming from.

Just so there’s no bad blood, it was an obscure quote from Mystery Science Theater 3000. And I love those Stroopwafels!

Stroopwafels are awesome – they sell 'em at the grocery store here.