Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Democracy and steam

Sooo… After being annoyed about reading a message from someone along the lines of ‘I’ll only buy games on steam’ I tweeted angrily earlier and pointed out that steam was not the whole PC market, and got dozens of tweets from people extolling the virtues of steam. I know the virtues of steam, I’m a gamer too. I have an account on there, and buy some games there. My beef isn’t with steam (I love steam), but with the mindset that you turn over your freedom of purchase choice to a third party. I would go berzerk if I was told I can only buy food from Sainsburys, or could only watch the BBC, yet people seem happily to confine their game purchasing to the stock of a single store.


I made a game called Democracy 2. (I did the original too). It’s a politics sim, a sort of ‘Sim Country’ game, and it’s quite complex and technical. It has, however, sold extremely well over the years, and continues to sell now. I’ve sold seven copies so far today, and it’s only 2PM. Not bad at all. It’s also won various awards and praise in reviews yada yada. It is *not* as polished or good-looking a game as GSB. But it has depth and lots of originality.



You can’t buy Democracy 2 on steam. You can get it from impulse, direct2drive and gamersgate, but not Steam. Obviously you can buy it direct. I offerred it to valve ages ago, and they rejected it. I then offered it again, after GSB had sold ten zillion copies, but they still rejected it again, which is a pity. They said

"This is just not a good fit for distribution on Steam."

Now obviously, steam can do what they like. They are a private company. They might think the game is too amateurish. they might think it won’t sell. They might think that their time is better spent getting bigger budget, or newer games listed. Democracy 2 is a few years old now. This is all up to them. However, I can’t help but think it would sell really well. It’s a game that looks a bit sucky in screenshots, but people get into it really quickly. I think there is a market there, especially amongst the ‘I only buy games on steam’ crowd. It’s very moddable too.

Sooo, if you are someone who quite likes the look of D2, but would only buy it if it was on steam, please let them know. It only takes 2 minutes, just fire off an email to valve, hopefully linking to this post, and saying you would like to buy Democracy 2 if valve sold it. I’d appreciate it, and you never know, it might get listed. Stranger things have happened!

44 thoughts on Democracy and steam

  1. The convenience that Steam gives is unmatched IMO. I love the fact that there’s a place where I can gather all (or most) of my games, with auto-patching and all. Because of this, I usually choose to buy games on Steam when I have the option to do so.

    Even with my love for Steam, I bought lots of games (especially indie games) directly from developers over the years, especially when they weren’t avaiable there. I can’t really understand how someone can be interested in a game and still won’t buy it only because it isn’t available on a particular service, it’s like the service became more important than the game itself.

    Anyway, I’ll do as you asked and contact Steam asking them to make Democracy 2 available. I’m sure it would give you a huge boost of sales!

  2. I think the type of user who would only buy from steam is of a certain mindset. It simplifies the process of installing and running to that of a console and to someone who doesn’t really know too much about the hardware they are running it is a bit of a godsend (no wonder steam on mac is working so well)

    Just be glad that the users who don’t know where to find ‘program files’ are having steam install the game for you instead of bugging you for support.

    (I’m sure thats not worth 30% of your sale)

  3. It may be simpler than all of that. Said individual may be a minor. As an adult, it’s easy for me to justify having a PS3, a Wii, and a reasonable gaming PC. As a kid, when mommy and daddy were footing the bill, I could choose to have only one of those things. Its was the PS1 or the N64, PS2 or the gaming rig, etc. It does seem rather silly to be tied to only one distribution system, but maybe that one is all set up on mommy’s credit card and is easy to push stuff through with. It’s always easier to ask for forgiveness and all that.

    It’s not unlike the ipod. Once it becomes the common denominator, everything supports the common denominator and it continues to be the common denominator. I’m not saying it’s good but it’s often how certain markets function.

  4. Give it achievements, and maybe a TF2 hat. That’s as close to guaranteed sales as you can get.

    Don’t know how relevant this lass is, but I only buy on Steam if it’s significantly cheaper and/or offers more. Cloud saves, achievements, Steamplay… Such things.

  5. As a “Will Buy Games On Steam Before Any Other Route” member, the reason why I go so is its ease of use and ability to have all my games in a central location. It is, rationally, the best choice for buying games.

    To be blunt, I think you don’t really have a beef with Steam (capital S, for the record) or even people choosing it for their purchases. No, your beef is that the lesser services you’ve managed to get your game on are just that: lesser.

  6. I love, love, love Steam. I’m one of those guys that most probably won’t buy a game unless it’s on Steam… I’ll say to myself: well, I’ll wait, SpaceChem / Atom Zombie Smasher / Whatever is bound to appear on Steam one day, I’ll just wait. Heck, I can even claim it’s your fault, Cliff, hehe. I bought GSB the moment it came out (well, actually I preordered it, so it was before)… then some time after it came, it suddenly showed up on Steam and I kicked myself over having bought the thing direct from you. I repurchased it on Steam later, during a sale. Only then did I bother to shop (on Steam, obviously) for the GSB expansions, which had been out for ages already.

    Anyway, that’s another story. The truth is I’m lazy (aren’t we all?) and I just don’t want to deal with the hassle of keeping track of backups, login accounts, (re)download links, serial numbers, etc. I have over 400 games/expansions/DLCs on Steam alone, so imagine the nightmare of keeping track of hundreds of game purchases from almost as many different game publishers, all with their own DRM and login accounts and different ways (if at all!) to get a new download of your purchase years later, after you’ve switched computers or simply decide you want to install that fun game on your laptop/netbook/whatever. It has nothing to do with consoles or knowing your hardware or whatever, “Cap’n Lee”. Time is money, and money is better spent on purchasing games than keeping and storing and filing backups of those games and maintaining a log of all those hundreds of different serial numbers.

    And having said that, you’re right, Cliff. Steam sucks with their arcane publishing decisions. People complained a lot about the Apple Store, at least those guys have published guidelines that developers can follow and be reasonably sure to get published. Steam sucks major ass in that regard. I’ll add Democrazy 2 to the big list of games I really wish were on Steam but aren’t simply because Steam decided to deny for not being a “good fit”, whatever the frak that even means. They’re a store, not a game publisher; they’re supposed to sell us whatever we want to buy, not decide for us what we can buy or not. It’s not like it costs them money to “stock” more videogames! Come on dudes, get a clue! You’re on your way to become a monolithic, clueless company hardset in its ways and as hated by some of us as Microsoft, and Apple and etc.

  7. I appreciate Steam for what it is, a portal to buy:
    1.Games from Valve
    2.Really really cheap games. Often games I already have in the shelf, but you can`t say no to games like Max Payne 1+2 for $5 in those ridiculous huge and cheap sales they have now and then.

    I have bought several of your games Cliff, and for me nothing can beat buying direct from the makers of the game.

    To make the point clear I bought Democracy2 5min ago from this site.

  8. @Ricardo:

    I dislike Steam for the very reason you like it. I don’t want all my games on an account that’s under the control of a big scary company. That and the fact that Steam sells you a ‘life time subscription to a service’ instead of a licence. Because it’s a subscription, they have no obligation to support it indefinitely. I don’t hate it, but I’m wary of it and don’t want it to become my only choice (Civ V, Fallout: NV, etc).

    It’s also important to note that a lot of people (not you though) use the arguments that Steam is good because of the community features, the achievements and so on. People seem to have trouble separating all of the other features of the client (good) from the DRM (bad) as if they couldn’t exist without the DRM.

  9. I personally find crazy the people who said will buy a game only if is on Steam, especially indie games. They’re not multi-million companies but most of them are starving and having lot of difficulties getting to the end of the month (I know something about that!). I think people should always buy indie games directly from the developer.

  10. @SirPrimalform

    I know, it’s scary. You don’t own the games you buy on Steam, you’re just getting a subscription to them… a subscription that Steam can cancel at anytime, for whatever reason. That shocked when I first realized it.

    However, the same thing can be said for most non-indie games these days. Frigging game publishers with all their EULAs and license deals and whatnot. Like, Blizzard can terminate your account if they wish, for whatever reason, and puff, no more playing Starcraft II for you. Same thing for lots of games with limited activations, online DRM, etc.

    But yeah, at least you’re not putting all your eggs in the same basket.

    What lets me sleep easy at night is the simple fact that Steam is too big to fail; they’ll be around for many, many years, long after many indie game publishers (and probably other digital distribution stores) have disappeared taking your redownload links with them. Also, if they ever go out, you can still play your games in offline mode, and it should be trivial to make backups of them that you can re-install on other computers, not to mention that in no time at all some hacker somewhere will release some Steam authentication faking utility to let you keep enjoying your purchases forever.

    There’s still that “minor” fact that they can cancel my account at anytime if they want, but hell, if that happened with any kind of frequency we’d be hearing all about it all over the web, with people complaining and whatnot, and their business would take a plunge. Plus, they wouldn’t want to lose a steady source of income as me, haha, at least I hope not! Lastly, digital goods/services are not part of the Old Wild West anymore, there’s laws and regulations to follow in the US and the EU, they can’t slap whatever they want in a EULA and simply get away with it in an actual court of law; we could probably sue their ass for taking our money and not returning it. So… I try not to worry too much. I’m probably most likely to die in some car accident than having Steam randomly deciding to cancel my service and take away my games. Yay for that… err… I think, haha.

    Take care!

  11. Ricardo, the thing that keeps Steam from doing that- is largely Steam’s competition. It pales in market share, but it does just enough to keep Steam honest.

    What irks me about Steam is the mandatory Steamworks games are using as DRM, which I feel is a form of price-dumping (of the DRM service), and the fact that publishers feel the need for DRM which allows Steam to do this in the first place.

    It’s the DRM-free guys (like cliffski) who appear all over the place and support competition. I’ll say this- being on multiple platforms does make a difference of whether I’ll buy your product. I’ll use Steam for some games, but generally (unless it’s a MP game), being a Steam-exclusive means I’ll not buy your game on principle.

    Also add in the fact (as posted by cliffski on Twitter) that Steam fanboys can be as vicious as SNES/Genesis fanboys from back in the day doesn’t help matters.

  12. For what it’s worth, this post made me buy the game just to try it out.

    I don’t particularly care whether it’s on Steam, Impulse, GOG or Gamersgate, as long as i don’t need to mess around with backups and updates myself i’ll be happy to give it a fair shot. :)

    PS: For your older games you might even want to try talking to GOG, just to expand your possible audience a bit.

  13. For what it’s worth, I completely agree with you here. I am not set against Steam, and Valve are a terrific and remarkable company. But people who refuse to get a game unless it’s on steam strike me as ridiculous. By all means, have a preference – that’s perfectly understandable – but limiting yourself, and therefore attempting in the long run to limit all games devs to work exclusively through steam is insane.

    It’s asking for a monopolisation of a market that is at its best when variety, independence, and the occasional absolute lunatic are encouraged. Yes, Valve are probably the least evil major company in the games industry, but a monopoly is a Bad Thing for everyone in the long run, and even a great company trying to do the right thing can make mistakes.

    Your supermarket analogy is a great one. Steam is just a shop. However good or bad a shop it may be, and however many of your friends may shop there, it’s just that. People need to stop treating ‘loyalty’ to a shop as a good thing. It’s a means to an end, not a cause to be espoused and defended against any conceivable criticism.

  14. If I have a choice between Steam and not-Steam, I almost always go Steam (unless I’m desperate and there is a sale on somewhere else, e.g. my purchase of Mass Effect 2, from Gamersgate).

    I find it very convenient. All my games are kept patched, in some cases my saved games are shuffled around automagically, I can see what games my friends buy and like and this makes it easier to organise a night of things. If games use Steamworks, then that’s actually an incentive for me to buy: integration is great!

    As I said before, I’m not entirely unwilling to buy things on other websites – I got Mass Effect 2 on Gamersgate, and the first time I bought GSB was on this site (although as soon as Steam had a mega-sale I bought it there for convenience), all the GSB DLC I got from here as well.

    I am not worried by Steam closing, because I’m sure some smart hacker will immediately release a fake auth patch, that or I’ll hit the torrent sites guiltlessly for everything that I already paid money for.

    My only irk with Steam is that it kills the re-sale market – but with download only games that’s not an issue. Nowadays I earn enough that I don’t feel the need to trade-in, in order to be able to buy all the games I want. Instead, I like the ‘completionist’ feeling I get from having them all in a nice list – that’s well worth a lost potential 20% rebate.

  15. @Will: If it makes you feel any better, Cliffski probably got bigger proportion of the money you paid here than if you had bought it on Steam.

  16. Steam is in many ways like Apple’s app store They are only picking what they like to see/sell, not asking what some people would prefer to buy. I’d rather buy Democracy 2 on Steam then, let’s say … Dragon Age II (if DA2 sucks as much as it’s predecessor!)

  17. I am also consistently baffled by the idea of only shopping on one store. I see comments about Steam to that effect often and when I try and point out that it’s kind of silly I am usually given the whole “OMG Steam is so convenient” rebuttal. Valve were real geniuses when they decided to emulate console convenience on the PC, it lets them get away with a LOT.

    I guess you can’t blame people for wanting things to be as easy as possible even if they miss out on some things… that’s kind of the entire idea behind consoles after all. At the end of the day though I am pretty much counting on indie games for my future in videogaming given how mainstream games are going, and if they can only sell decent units with Valve’s say so, well… that would suck.

  18. I use Steam as a handy place to pick up cheap games – mostly in their sales or if I see it there first. Otherwise I’ll just buy a game if I like it – wherever I see it first usually. I’ve got GSB and all the expansions, Kudos 1 and 2 and Rock Legend direct from Cliff mainly because I follow his blog and heard about them there first.

    Don’t give a monkey about waiting for them to come on Steam before I buy them. That’s just a convenience thing but also I’ve had to email for new download link before and got an almost immediate responce direct from Cliff when I did. Don’t get that kind of rapid service from Steam, I suspect.

    I’ve got nothing against Steam – I use it a fair bit and spent an absolute fortune there. I just don’t find myself tied to buying exclusively from there and never will.

  19. I think the key point about steam is that it’s not just a supermarket, it’s a cupboard.

    While it might be crazy to require people to all shop at sainsbury’s, it would also be crazy to ask everyone to store their ood from different shops in different cupboards/fridges.

    When we buy food we immediately bring it home and store it in one system. When we buy online games we often leave them on the service until we need them.

    this was clearly illustrated when GOG pulled their shut-down stunt. this was a website that was based on the idea of DRM free downloadable copies – but most of the users hadn’t downloaded their copies. They left them stored there.

    I agree with you that Steam controlling everything is bad, but I also understand why people want everything in one cupboard. I have games on a number of services and i often forget that i own them – i’ve come close to buying them again in sales because i forgot i’d already bought them on a sale on an obscure site.

  20. “After being annoyed about reading a message from someone along the lines of ‘I’ll only buy games on steam’ I tweeted angrily earlier and pointed out that steam was not the whole PC market.”

    I haven’t turned over my freedom to purchase where I please, and I doubt he has either, and the flaw in your Sainsbury’s analogy is the reason why.

    You presume that buying goods from a supermarket is equivalent to buying games from digital-download etailers, it isn’t what I purchase from steam is already a highly restrictive service.

    The problem I have is that having signed on to one restrictive service I have no wish to build a dependency on yet more, so having bought into Steam I am reluctant to buy into any further (perfectly worthy) digital-download etailers.

    When a disk version is available without any internet dependency I always buy that, examples of which would include Dragon Age or Armed Assault 2, and the reason why I do this is because I want to buy a product, a lovingly crafted game, and not rent a service from some fly-by-night publisher.

    When a none internet-dependent disk version is not available the least worst alternative (for me) is a steamworks game where authentication is all handled by a reliable authentication system that i am already dependent on (could equally be impulse for you).

    After that comes disk versions which require a one-time authentication on install.

    The worst option that is acceptable is those stupid publishers who insist on providing their own authenticated user account within a wider digital-download ecosystem, why is this additional complexity necessary? Classic example is GTA4.

    Then of course you have Ubisoft’s always-on travesty for which I will never buy a dependent game as a matter of principle. Even thought the always-on requirement has been dropped I still will not buy Assassins Creed 2, because I won’t encourage a publisher to think I am willing to be its bitch.

    So yes, for me, if there is a digital version the only one i’ll buy will be a steam version.

    Unless the publisher is sensible and releases the title without DRM and without an internet dependency; I am not a crack addict in real life or my virtual one!

  21. So if a game comes out that is online only, and valve reject it, you can never, ever, ever play that game?
    Basically a single company get to vet your games.

  22. Main problem with D2 is that it lacks polish. Actually, it lacks polish in absolutely essential places.

    E. g.:

    1) There is no numerical value for the competency levels of ministers. You have to count all the “competency” points (coloured bricks) manually. Why?..

    2) Influence point system is totally broken. Any change costs the same no matter if you want to adjust policy just a slightly or cut spending in half. Not only it makes no sense, but it’s a horrible, horrible game mechanics as well. You can’t evaluate and adapt, you have to be clairvoyant and make surgically precise spending adjustment every time.

    3) It’s a pain searching for an exact policy until you’ve memorized all the icons by heart. Toggle button “Show names for all icons” would make wonders.

    There’s a good game underneath all the wrong design (especially interface) choices, but I totally understand why Steam guys are so repulsed by the current implementation. They like things that click.

  23. @cliffski
    I think what Jedibeeftrix is saying is that given all of the other internet requiring options from such luminaries as Ubisoft etc he’d rather go with Steam because it’s the _least_ evil etailer currently available and it’s one that currently has the largest aggregated choice of AAA titles.

    Once you’ve signed up for the largest internet purveyor of AAA titles why would you want to sign up for anyone else? It helps that Valves particular kool aid is also delicious (the games are usually good) plus it’s available in firehose format (the sales are bargains!).

    My personal take is that I buy from Steam when I can, because I like using the service, I like the auto-updating etc. There are times I don’t because a game isn’t on there, or perhaps the author gets more money directly (like you). So I think not buying a game directly is daft.

  24. @cliffski

    I understand your argument but you are biased.
    Clearly the goal of a ‘walled garden’ app store is to get quality content for you money.
    I happen to be one of Steam customers that happens to prefer that you indie game is not on Steam. I am also biased and I would rather it didn’t spoil my search results, also everytime there is a sale or a contest, I’d rather it was a game I am actually interested in.
    A lot about steam is like others mentioned convenience features like SteamCloud savegames, auto updates etc.

    I recently moved my steam+games installation from C: to D: I simply closed it down and relaunched. All my games still work, would yours?

    Finally if you really want to get on Steam, get more commercial, hire some people, take a loss for while, after all Steam will give you the exposure and make a better game!!!

  25. “So if a game comes out that is online only, and valve reject it, you can never, ever, ever play that game? Basically a single company get to vet your games.”

    You are giving Steam too much credit, and yourself too little: what did YOU do to ensure your game was widely available online?

    Did you retail it yourself DRM free as has been done with Machinarium or World of Goo, or perhaps you talked to GoG about releasing your title under their label?

    Andy above ‘gets’ it; walled gardens that turn my beloved games from a cherished product into a resented service are unappealing in the first instance, but just because I have tolerated one as a necessary evil does mean I should be willing to join them all.

  26. Yes you can move my games from one drive to another and they will work flawlessly. This isn’t some magic sauce that only steam does.
    You can re-download and reinstall my games, even ten years later. I’ve been selling online since before steam even existed.

  27. In that case you probably fall under the last line of my original post:

    “Unless the publisher is sensible and releases the title without DRM and without an internet dependency; I am not a crack addict in real life or my virtual one!”

    I’m not totally inflexible. :)

    But just so we’re clear, i’m really not interested in accumulating yet more user accounts to which i have to preserve usernames, email addresses, and passwords.


    As an aside, I bought R.U.S.E precisely because I wished to support their experiment with DRM/authentication systems other than their ridiculous in-house system, and thus the experiment using Steam as it did was deeply fortunate for me.

    Can you understand my disappointment when i discover that not only does the “Steam only” game require a Ubi account, but to this date I have never yet managed to register a Ubi account because the server can never make a connection!

    Why was this necessary?
    1. it was unpleasant in and of itself as a wholly unnecessary complexity
    2. it didn’t even work!

    I will make an effort to transfer my Steam account as I move email addresses, but will I EVER make any effort to remember my ubi account, or my EA account, or my etc account……………?


    I am lazy, I want it DRM free digital, authentication free disk, or my chosen digital-download etailer, anything else is wasting a portion of my life that i like to remember is a free/fun time.

    I realise i rabbit on about Steam a lot, but i am really not biased i just happened to get there first, Impulse is a fine system that i very much like and i’m sure there are other too, but i simply can’t be bothered to have more than one.

    This should in no way be considered an attack, I like you (from what i know), i respect your ‘product’, and I genuinely love the debate around gaming that you create around this blog.

    I’m just taking part in that debate, and giving you my perspective.

  28. We have tried to get our game on Steam multiple times, at various price points, through various people, and they give us the same line about it “not being a fit”. When there are far worse games of the same type selling for more! I love Steam as a gamer, but hate that they don’t give the time of day to a game for seemingly random reasons.

    Even with several positive reviews and many fans mailing them… no amount of “ammo” has changed their minds over the past year or so of trying.

  29. “I would go berzerk if I was told I can only buy food from Sainsburys”

    Wrong analogy. It’s not about being *told* to do something, it’s about laziness and convenience. If something isn’t available in the supermarket across the street, I’m less likely to buy it. If it’s only available somewhere halfway across the city, I’m *much* less likely to buy it.

    I like Steam for the same reason I like OpenID. I’m lazy. I don’t want to register a brand new account on your website and click an email activation link. I don’t want to enter my credit card details on your site. I don’t want to download and apply updates myself. I’d rather wait for a Steam sale and buy it there. I don’t like Impulse because I don’t like the owners, otherwise I’d say nice things about them too.

    There are absolutely problems with Steam and Valve, and ideally I’d love a more open platform like the iOS App Store or the Android Market, even (or especially) if only indie developers participate. I’m a Linux geek who’s been spoiled by package managers for many years now. I’m sick of manually downloading and installing piles software. Such platforms are essential parts of the future of home computing.

  30. I understand what you mean Cliff. To be perfectly honest the main reason I have a steam account is because of all of the damn good deals they have on games. I have no qualms about buying a game directly from an indie developer though. In fact, to me it is even less hassle to do so. I don’t quite understand what the difficulty is between buying from one place or another, unless of course those people are only buying games on Steam for basically the same reason I do and that is because of all of the sales they have, which doesn’t exactly ensure that a particular game will go on sale any time soon, but totally see the incentive to buy through the Steam service in those regards.

    I don’t quite get the difficulty in buying straight from the developer though… especially since the advent of payment methods such as PayPal. I believe we all have our reasons for buying where we buy from, but having difficulty in buying an item straight from the developing source doesn’t really make much sense to me.

    I’ve been relatively happy with the service I’ve received from indie game developers and the folks at Steam so I don’t really have a problem with either. I agree with your argument though, to limit oneself that prevents me from trying or buying things that I want seems somewhat trivial.

    If steam won’t carry a game and I want it, then I’ll certainly get it elsewhere. It’s quite simple really.

    There really is only one deterring factor that comes to mind when NOT purchasing games through Steam and that is the fact that some indie developers will not or do not support the game a few years after it has been released. There are plenty of indies such as yourself that have constantly provided support for all of their games. The problem is if I was to buy a game off from “Joe Shmoe” and in 2 years he has moved on and the original software registration service no longer provides support access to his game then I’m shit out of luck. I’ve actually had this happen to me and in those cases it’s kind of a crap shoot. It’s not that I expect the developer to be available for my beck and call 24/7, but the fact is my PC went defunct and I thought I had backed up the game but cannot find the media that I stored the backups on… so in this case I’m basically screwed. Whereas if I buy from a place like Steam I feel confident that they’ll still be around in two years from now and even if I get a new computer I can re-install all my purchased games with no hassle.

    This is a legitimate reason to want to buy games through Steam, but I still will not allow it to limit me from buying other games that I want which are not available on through their service. I just learn from my mistakes and remind myself to make backups whenever possible and store them in safe and obvious places. ;-)

  31. “I have no qualms about buying a game directly from an indie developer though. In fact, to me it is even less hassle to do so. I don’t quite understand what the difficulty is between buying from one place or another”

    I would MUCH rather buy directly from the developer, because it is the developer that creates that value so it is him i would rather reward. In the case of WoG and Machinarium I did exactly this because they gave me a DRM free .exe.

    I bought GSB from Steam because of a Sale, but if a direct download would have involved creating accounts and doing authentications then I would have gone with Steam anyway, less hassle that way.

  32. Well about polished games on Steam … it isn’t always the case! Some days ago I bought the Jedi Knight Compilation on Steam. I thought it must be a smooth experience to just play these game again if they are on Steam. How wrong I was! The folks at Steam did barely anything to make these games run correctly on modern platforms (i.e. Win7)! Dark Forces didn’t even start, it seems they just slammed DOSBox on top of it without any finetuning. Jedi Knight 2 ran first in a window then later switched to fullscreen, while trying to set a good fullscreen resolution it completely frooze up both mouse and keyboard input. Could only reboot after that! My excitement about playing these games again is gone by now!

    While these games are oldies they are no less on Steam where one would expect quality and polish. But it’s clearly not always the case.

  33. Well, most ppl use steam for the convenience of keeping track of their games in a single acount; In that sense I have my own form of account where I keep track of every game, I have bought, its my mail. :)

    I have track of every game, site, and place where I can redownload all my stuff, easy to use and archive. I usually prefer to buy directly from devs (Steam is limited in some aspects in my opinion, “special patches for the platform”, can mean no compatibility if I buy from another site/dev; I require internet connection to play HL2 when I have no connection, just to name a few ).

    I don’t dislike Steam, it can enhance games that only sell on that platform (since there’s really no other option aviable), but it can also slow down games not designed to work with the platform (since there can be other options aviable).

  34. Good thing Steam isn’t selling every game, or there would be no reason to buy elsewhere. :)

    The other sites are pretty good at selling indie games. The reason Steam wins many customers is that it has a lot of sales on AAA titles, while the others mainly discount indies. But that does mean that if you want the indies then Steam may not be the best place to buy them.

  35. Another reason I’ve encountered – when Steam auto-updates forever or just plain won’t run (due to dodgy net connection, can’t even go offline mode!). Those times made me wish I had some non-Steam games I could play instead of wasting my valuable, limited time.

  36. Democracy 2 is a very good game! It does not have great graphics, but it has a great, complex gameplay! I learnt more from this game than my economics teacher! And I did not get any money for this shameless advertising, which is bad! ;-)

  37. Ok, for the record, I strongly disagree that those who prefer to buy their games on Steam are more “casual” or less “hardcore”/”proficient” gamers. I work in IT and have a large group of friends that are gamers. All of them are professional system administrators, DBAs, programmers etc. Almost all of them prefer to have their games on Steam. There’s a number of reasons why…

    Next time you go to reload your computer or upgrade, and all you have to do is copy a single (very large) folder from one drive to another to bring dozens/hundreds of games over to a new platform, you’ll appreciate Steam. It’s also used heavily buy those on my group of friends to stay in contact – like it or loath it, we all use Steam as our primary IM for communication these days – not Live, ICQ, Facebook or whatever. To the point where we’ll add “Non-Steam” games to Steam so that we can get access to in-game chat etc.

    So let that just give some of you a glimpse into the fact that not everyone thinks like you do, and not all Steam-demanding gamers are n00bs, kids or idiots. :)

    For the record, I have a nice collection of what I refer to as “Casual” games on my Steam game list – I don’t play any of them particularly often but it’s great because if I feel like killing a few minutes on a lazy afternoon, I can log on to any computer I happen to be on, install the Steam client, have a look through my “Casual” games list to decide what I feel like playing, click “Install” on the game I feel like playing and have it up and running minutes later. You can’t beat that for convenience. Sure, I could play GSB or D2 by logging on to another portal and downloading it from there, but that misses the point – my collection is on Steam, Steam is where I go to decide what to play. If it’s not on Steam – as sad as it sounds – I’m less likely to play it. And therefore, less likely to buy it.

    I for one would probably buy D2 if it was on Steam. I’d certainly be more likely to consider it.

  38. Steam have some good points,and more bad points.
    I don’t believe Steam because of it’s only subscription.
    You don’t have any game within Steam.You bought only subscription.
    Someday Steam user will realize it with beginning of charge to continue subscription.

    Democracy is not only game but also landmark invention in human history that promote understanding of state they’re living.
    I hope Cliff come back to this political simulator from space battle.World is changing rapidly.

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