Updates, Balls, Absinthe, DRM, Aug. 24

  • wogball.jpgWe got real live balls. Pictured, at right. Leipzig was really fun, thanks to everyone who stopped by! Anyone else lose track of reality at that absinthe place with the skeletons? Were the skeletons really there?
  • Currently working on the box art for retail versions
  • We’re testing everything with humans, and robo-testing for crashes
  • The first round of beta has gone very well, all the reported bugs have been fixed. We’ll do another round, look out for an update from 2D Ron
  • All the movies are done, and music placed. I’m a really horrible animator, but I think it might add to their IDGAF style, so let’s just pretend it’s intentional :)
  • The leaderboards will be cleared out soon as we get the new score reporting api up and going. Screenshot while you can.
  • Mac/Linux versions are in progress. Linux peepz – how do you like your games distributed? Pre-built? Manually link the .o whatever things? What has worked well in the past?
  • We’re going to experiment with no DRM for copies purchased from this site. There are many reasons for this, but we like to think people will be good, and we want to give the best user experience possible.

52 Responses to “Updates, Balls, Absinthe, DRM, Aug. 24”

  1. conso Says:

    sounds wonderful. Can’t wait for the release.

    Pre-build binarys are very common for proprietary software running on linux. Just make sure the game runs well on 32bit as well as 64 bit. There are quite some good installers for linux around, but a simple .tar.gz would do well.
    Since DRM is a big problem for Linux-users, your decision is very much appreciated.
    Any chance for a future pandora-port? http://www.openpandora.org

  2. Alasdair/Tair Says:

    Yesss, more beta to pick to bits! And I think I speak for everyone when I say that the IDGAF style is one of the best bits of WoG.

    How would I go about getting my hands on one of those Delicious-Looking Real Goo Balls?

  3. pascal Says:

    I’d prefer a source .tar.gz, but I also see pink elephants on that flowery wall…
    It would be nice if you shipped the Linux version with the required libraries (OpenAL, SDL, whatever) and provide a script to run it with these, but also an option/another script to run it with the system libraries (in case yours get outdated). Oh and make sure the app won’t kill itself over no sound server connection (Defcon does this a lot) or some premission issues (accidentally run as root…) Maybe provide some quick-check that gives human-readable error messages, not everybody might know what “/dev[sound/]dsp busy or not available!” means…

  4. JGJones Says:

    The mere fact that you’re doing a version for linux have gotten you a buyer at least (and going no-DRM helps a lot too!)

    There are installers available for Linux…I honestly can’t say which is the best…one option might be to create distrubtion packages for the most popular platforms such as deb’s for Ubuntu, RPM for Fedora/SuSE etc.

    Alternatively you could using something like the Loki Installer – http://www.liflg.org/?catid=3

    Hope that’s of help.

  5. Dil999 Says:

    Ooh, retail versions? I may buy an extra copy if they come with goo balls (hint hint).

    I’ll try the best I can to keep the game off torrent sites- it hasn’t appeared on any that i know of yet and I’ll try to keep it that way.

  6. Nic Freed Says:

    can i have one of those mini balls????

  7. Mischief Maker Says:

    Yay no-DRM! I take it those of us that have pre-ordered will get the DRM-free version?

    This was the one thing I was dreading after I pre-ordered and had to enter the secret code. I wipe my HD once a semester and ended up losing my full version of Gish due to too many installs. Ever since then I swore off any shareware/indie game with internet activation.

  8. raindog469 Says:

    I’ll buy the Linux version here just to support Linux versions of indie games (not to mention indie games without DRM) even though I fully intend to also buy the WiiWare version.

    And I think the way to go for Linux is to do an Ubuntu .deb, a Fedora .rpm, and a statically linked .tar.gz file for everyone else. But if you can only handle doing one build, I think the statically linked .tar.gz file is the way to go.

  9. Brad Jensen Says:

    As far as DRM goes, the less you use, the more I love you. The only thing better than no DRM is selling it on steam AND here. I will give you my left leg if you get this on steam.

  10. David McGraw Says:

    Birthday is the 26th! Hook me up Goo-land!

    And thank Goo about the DRM decision.

  11. D. Moonfire Says:

    I did a few packages for Debian. One thing is really nice is having a .tar.gz file that pretty much has everything in it. If you do that, people will probably donate other packages for the obsessives who prefer everything packaged. That said, I’d love to have a proper Debian package (i386 and amd64) that puts everything in the right place. Mainly because I use Debian. :)

    A lot of it depends on your effort. When you start including dynamic linking, you start needing a version of each one (since everyone uses different libraries). Static is… okay, but not preferred for an individual platform but the one that works the best across the maximum areas.

    Oh, and yah for no DRM. :)

  12. wesley Says:

    No buy for me, since you intend to fuck over Europeans.

  13. Huxi Says:

    Thanks for no DRM!

    DRM does only hurt the paying customer since all the others have a cracked copy anyway.

    And yes, I’d also like to have one of those goo balls… any chance to get some?

    Hope you get rich and famous ;)

  14. Alasdair/Tair Says:

    [cough cough] I think a round of Real Goo Balls for the [cough] hard-working beta testers would be fantastic [cough]…

  15. Marius Says:

    [cough cough] Hmm, Tair, I think your ideas caught me too. [cough] Now I can only agree [cough]…

  16. Julius Says:

    [quote]As far as DRM goes, the less you use, the more I love you. The only thing better than no DRM is selling it on steam AND here. I will give you my left leg if you get this on steam.[/quote]

    You do realize that Steam basicly is a form of DRM, right?

    About the Linux port, well binaries with an installer that lets you chose a directory in your home dir sounds fine.

    P.S.: I second the idea of a Pandora port (which runs Linux and has OpenGL ES 2.0 support)

  17. Nicky Says:

    I must say, I am really looking forward to the release of World Of Goo!!

    I am delighted to her that you have opted for DRM free, at least from the copies bought through the 2D Boy site. DRM free games are definitely the way forward. I personally feel that by using DRM in games just penalises honest users, and not the people it was initially aimed at.

    I like how you say: “…but we like to think people will be good, and we want to give the best user experience possible.”

    I feel that it is only right to give people the benefit of the doubt, as it always seems to be the case that the minority spoil it for the majority. Hence DRM has made its way into our lives.

    Thanks once again for creating a really special game that everyone can get into and really enjoy for a long time to come!

  18. ceeKay Says:

    Glad to hear you guys asking around rather than just assuming linux == redhat and putting out .rpm’s! :)

    I second the suggestions of an .rpm, a .deb, and a .tar.gz. For an example “in the wild”, Nomachine uses these same three distribution formats (you can see which distros each one covers) http://www.nomachine.com/select-package.php?os=linux&id=1

  19. fraserofthenight Says:

    You may want to rethink the no-DRM. Sure, everyone who pays will love you, but according to this article [1] 92% of a certain casual game had pirated copies. Needing an activation key never hurt anyone, and it makes it just that much less convenient for people who want to steal it (yes, there will be a crack, but those take a little knowledge/effort to use/get, so it may be enough of a deterrent to piracy).

    (Yeah, I know some random comment on a blog won’t have much of an effect, but whatever…)

    [1] http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350

  20. Michael Says:

    A Linux version and no pesky DRM? This is great, I’ll definitely be purchasing a copy when it comes out, or perhaps even pre-order later tonight when I have some free time.

    For Linux packaging I’d go with a .tar.gz that has everything in it. That’s probably the easiest and everyone in the Linux world would be able to use it without a problem. Platform specific packages like RPM can be annoying if your distro doesn’t use it as a package manager.

    Quick question: will the download be specifically for Linux, Mac, or Windows, or will we have all three clients with one purchase? My primary computer is Linux, however I also have a laptop I travel with that is only running Windows for work stuff. It would be great to be able to play it on that too while I’m away from my home Linux box. Either way it’s not a big deal, just wondering.

    I think you guys are going to do great with this title, it looks amazing. Thanks!

  21. lumpi Says:

    It doesn’t come at a surprise, but it’s still good to see you’re going no-DRM for World of Goo. I can’t tell you how pissed I am at SecuROM in today’s blockbuster titles.

  22. dave Says:

    What I really like for Linux is something that works with my package manager, but that may be asking for a lot (there’s a lot of package mangers out there!)

    As a second option, I’m generally quite happy with a pre-built self-contained bundle – something I can drop into a folder on my home directory and run. Just make sure it runs on 64bit.

    I preordered this game largely because of the Linux release (thought mostly because it looks like a greate game :D) I just want to say thank you again for commiting to a Linux port! Great work!

  23. Justin Says:

    I run Ubuntu, so a package that works the the Ubuntu pkg manager would be awesome. But a .tar.gz would be fine as well. :) The less I have to go hunting additional packages, the better.

  24. Jonathan Says:

    I’ve already preordered but I’m glad to see the no DRM stance. I personally did not purchase mass effect for PC for the sole reason that it had that manipulative DRM in it. I hope this works for you as it has for companies like Stardock. BTW, I love the demo and can’t wait for more.

  25. TheBlackCat Says:

    For Linux I would say a .tar.gz is essential, but pre-built packages, like rpm or deb, for various popular distributions would also be a nice addition. If you go with the .tar.gz, make sure you include a list of dependencies. RPM and DEB files include dependencies in them so you wouldn’t need a dependency list there. And 32-bit and 64-bit versions are essential.

  26. Kyle Gabler Says:

    Thanks for the tips guys, it sounds like this .tar.gz thing is the way to go, and proprietary packages for bonus points.

    Regarding DRM, I’m happy to be trying this no-DRM experiment, and we’re aware sales may suffer as a result, but we’re willing to take that risk out of principal.

  27. conso Says:

    Hi Kyle.

    Just to make sure: You didn’t just say the .tar.gz-packages will contain the source-code, did you? It’s just because you pointed out a difference to proprietary packages.
    Well, this would be even more awesome then the noDRM-decision you made. Nobody wants to force you to open the code, but since (a little) hope came up now (probably because of a misunderstanding), I would like to point out, that it is always possible to earn money with open-source Software, esp, if the data (grafics, level-design, gameplay-logics etc.) stays proprietary. Opening the source would also not minder the sales, as you already decided to not have drm – nobody could use the code to get around drm, but you would get a lot of extra-attention for free.
    Again, I don’t say you must open source it, but it would be so freaking killer awesome, I just couldn’t believe it till I would see it :)

  28. Marius Says:

    I think he meant the .rpm and .deb files with the proprietary packages…

    If you open source it, it’s very hard to have a public leaderboard. And as much as I value open-source-ness, I value the leaderboard as well :D
    (But that may be just me :P)

  29. Kyle Gabler Says:

    Yeah, .rpm, etc. Not open source :)

  30. conso Says:

    true, I didn’t think of the leaderboard.
    Just had some hope we could port world of goo to the linux-handheld pandora, n810 and other OSs like solaris and bsd ourselves ^^

    Still can’t wait for the game. Linux-compatibility and no-drm is awesome, a pandora-port would be amazing, source-code (without leaderboard-connectivity) would be killer :D

  31. Dot Says:

    Are you making any attempt at putting the game onto services like Steam?
    I have it on preorder from here already, but as it goes, it’d interest a lot more people than it has now if it was on the more popular digital distribution sites.

  32. Nick Says:

    yay no DRM!

  33. Marius Says:

    I still don’t understand why people are so bent on getting it on steam… what’s the added value, exactly?

  34. Cap'n Lee Says:

    I’d assume it’s because it has a large audience and because smaller independent games sell quite well on there.

  35. Nick Says:

    It’s also because steam is a huge convenience when it comes to redownloading a game, installing it, and not having to worry about finding the cd key on the back of that jewel case or in that email hidden somewhere in my email bag.

  36. Marius Says:

    Cap’n Lee’s: your argument would only apply to developers wanting it, not the users.
    Nick: I guess that sort of works… but it’s a lot less strong argument now that there’s no DRM

  37. Cap'n Lee Says:

    to make it clear, I would like to see this game go up on Steam and since I’ve already paid for my game direct, I would see no personal benefit from this happening.

  38. ninjarat Says:

    Hi, I’ve been following development since you showed up at IGF. But I have to intervene with the Linux stuff. I must beg that you give people a choice of packages. Many people will want a compressed tarball, and others will want managable binary packages. Please make the following in other words: ‘.tar.gz’ and managed packages such as ‘.deb’. I’ll be using synaptic package manager to grab it so please consider debian packages especially.

  39. Justin Says:

    Another thing that seems like it would be a good idea would be installing the game on a totally fresh linux install and write the instructions from there. What I mean is that a lot of programs seem to assume you have package x installed already but if you don’t have it installed then you are kind of screwed especially if there are not instructions on how to install it.

    So having pretty much everything you need in a package, or at least detailed information on how to get it all would be a super big help for the linux newbies among us.

  40. David McBride Says:

    Regarding Linux distribution:

    – I’d have a look to see how ID Software handled the Linux builds of their Quake games, which have been arguably been the most successful Linux-distributed games to date. Similarly, it’s also worth looking at how Introversion’s handled provision of Linux binaries for their games.
    – In particular, I wouldn’t worry about packaging the binaries up into .rpm or .deb files — there’ll be plenty of distributors who will be happy to do this work for you, provided that any license agreements attached to the front of the binaries you ship grant them sufficient permission to do so.

    Regarding no-DRM:

    – Woohoo!

  41. TheBlackCat Says:

    No matter how much I might like rpm and deb files, the problem is the shear number of mutually-incompatible distributions and versions. If you went that route you would probably need Opensuse, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Mandriva, Gentoo, Red Hat, and probably more. Plus you would need different versions for different releases of each distribution, and to continue to release new versions for future releases (which are every 5 months or so for many distros). So I think it would be great, but it may also be a lot of work.

    I don’t think the Linux installation instructions have to be that detailed. As long as you include a list of the software and libraries that need to be installed, as well as a simple bash script or makefile for installing it, I think that will be sufficient.

    I do think it is important to allow the package to be installed without requiring root privileges (usually installed in a directory in the user’s home folder). Also make sure you allow people to install it into a custom directory. A GUI installer, or at least an interactive text-mode one, would be nice in addition to the required command-line installer. Having the package include both 32 and 64-bit versions and have the installer automatically detect the system architecture would also help make things easier for people.

    There is also no way it is going to be included in distributions. The whole point, as I understand it, is for people to pay for the game. Distributions will only include it in their repositories if they can give it to anyone for free. No distribution is going to include a commercial game in their repositories, or do I think 2D boy would want the game included in a repository..

  42. TheBlackCat Says:

    That should have been “every 6 months or so”

  43. Ralf N. Says:

    You are making it too hard for me to choose!

    – Should I get the Linux version or the Wii version? Are the completely equal?
    – Is there a difference in content between the European (let’s make them pay more money..) and the American WiiWare version? As if the exchange rates don’t make the price we pay on WiiWare unfair in the first place.
    – How long will the linux version be supported? They are not installing the same libc or sdl in Ubuntu 10.4 sort a speak. This might make it much more problematic. If needed, we would like active patch support. We also understand you can’t do it forever .. perhaps: say 3 years and then opensource the game-code (not the content!) ..

    I’m a windows-free-gamer, but I havent’ bought any linux games because well, there is no steam-like-support for games. This is already the reason a lot of people don’t touch windows games either (since that too is a moving target and after they got our money most of these companies just stop caring immediately). Look at how many games were never made compatible with Vista. Imagine being the sucker that bought that ..

    Well, for Linux wether it works or not on distrobution X is going to be mystery.. wether it will work with the next dozen versions as well.

    How will you deal with updates? Will you setup repositories for the most popular distrobutions?

    I do look forward to playing your game. As it currently stands, it will most likely be a Wii purchase..but ehm .. i REALLY want to support linux games. The question is: do you REALLY want to support linux users?

  44. Vadim P. Says:

    Linux version: in a ubuntu .deb

    (getdeb.net can make them for you)

  45. Karan Says:

    No DRM?
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I just bowed out of buying Spore for now because of EA’s DRM policies, and getting this piece of news today for another game on my list is simply wonderful.

    Again, thank you, 2D Boy!

  46. JP Says:

    You rule. Preorder confirmed.

  47. driadan Says:

    Just preordered this morning, but I really hope you get the linux version soon since that’s my main platform and I’ll love to see the game running on it :)

    Btw: linux + no-DRM + right price were the reasons to preorder :)

  48. Goo_of_Purest_Evil Says:

    Awesome!

    +1 yay for DRM free
    +1 tar.gz minimum, but .deb and .rpm would be sweet, sweet, sweet!

    We love you, 2dboy!

  49. Goo_of_Purest_Evil Says:

    Awesome!

    +1 yay for DRM free
    +1 tar.gz minimum, but .deb and .rpm would be sweet, sweet, sweet!

    We love you, 2dboy! :D

  50. Yfrwlf Says:

    About the Linux version, please supply binaries for users who don’t want to compile, and since there’s no ideal Linux packaging solution yet right now, making a Zero Install package would be better as ZI allows easily updating to newer versions as well as puts menu items in there for you, so it’s just a bit better than a straight up binary. It’s cross-distro and can’t conflict with any existing dependencies, though I don’t think the latter is as much of an issue.

  51. numasan Says:

    Thank you for doing a Linux port! As soon as it’s done, I’ll buy it for sure (love the style!)

    Regarding the package method, a self contained .tgz would be the simplest to do and work with every distribution (the Penny Arcade game does this). Another thing to consider is to use MojoSetup by Icculus, the guy responsible for porting the Unreal series and other commercial titles to Linux/OSX. It is supposed to be the “new Loki installer”, which worked really fine and easy, but is outdated.

    http://icculus.org/mojosetup/

  52. Albob Says:

    Thank you so much for the Linux port. I’m really looking forward to it even though I already have the Windows version. I hope you’ll create a breach here, since there aren’t many commercial (ie ‘good’) games on Linux. As a game programmer to be and a Linux lover, I think your work is to be seen as an example.

    Plus, you’re so right not to put any DRM. They only get in the way of the buyers and the game would have been cracked anyway.

    Long Live 2D Boy and World Of Goo!