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Old 02-25-2016, 02:13 AM
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medierra medierra is offline
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Default Backer Rewards and DRM-Free Copy

With Grim Dawn release coming tomorrow, naturally there are questions about backer rewards and DRM-free copies. It occurred to me that I posted about this on KS but there are also website backers who will want this information. So, sorry for the delay, here's what to expect:

As soon as in-game rewards and the DRM-Free build become available, backers will receive an update via Kickstarter and we will post an update on the forum.

Virtual Rewards - The items themselves are actually finished but we need to set up a way to distribute them both on and off Steam. We know how it's going to work on Steam and just need to configure it. How we will get the actual codes to people is a little more complicated. That will have to happen through Humble Store. They actually have a nice system to set up distribution for backer rewards... except we were one of their original customers and first Kickstarters, so our stuff was not originally set up using that system. It's set up in a more convoluted manner and we're just going to have to work with them to make sure everything goes out to the right backer tiers. It's not a real issue, it's just something that I don't have time to set up yet. I'll be handling all this logistical stuff after release. I'm thinking we'll be able to get this set up within two weeks though, maybe less depending on how things go.

DRM-Free copy
- Part of this is setting up distribution, which requires a little work but should be much less complicated than the virtual goods since we're just sending out one thing to all backers. We do however want to make sure we wrap up any significant hotfixes so we don't package up a DRM-free build that immediate needs to be updated... which would be a problem since there is no service, like Steam, that you can just connect to for automatic updates. In the future we'll probably just have to distribute updates as full builds or set up some sort of patcher.

On a related note, we are also planning a GoG release. We should have a version of GD out on the GoG store sometime in March.

Physical Goods - I have not sent out surveys yet for backer addresses. I will wait to do this until we are ready to ship the goods to make sure we have the most up to date information. So, don't worry about address until you receive the survey.

Sandcaster got samples from the print shop this week for the map and poster. He says the map looks awesome but wants to up-res the poster, so it's a little higher quality. When that's done, it will be set to print and then we'll package them up to ship.

The boxed version is something we still need to figure out. We haven't decided yet who we will use to print the boxes and discs. It's probably good to have some lag after release anyway so the build can become more finalized before we master it to disc. I'll post another update when we get closer to shipping those and, of course, will survey addresses again when they're ready to mail.

That's all for now!

3/7/2016 status update - we posted a build to GoG over the weekend. Thir initial attempt to test it today found some minor errors. We're putting up a new build now for them to try testing again.

DLC is configured on Steam, we've worked out how to distribute it with Humble and just have to get them data on backers in each group so they can finish the setup and we've provided info on how to structure DLC to GoG, so we just need them to set that up. Then we have to get keys for each tier on GoG and Steam and get those in place on Humble.

EDIT: adding quotes here to medierra's subsequent posts in this thread (thanks ibugsy for the idea)

Originally Posted by medierra View Post
I'm sorry the DRM-free version isn't concurrent with release. It isn't an after-though and, indeed quite a bit of time has been spent already talking about how to distribute it and working toward various options.

I've actually been in discussion with and going back and forth over the distribution contract with GoG for, no exaggeration, a year. I think it's gone back and forth 7-8 times to iron out all the details. I thought it would be signed in Nov, then Dec, but, as it turns out, it's still not signed. Most recently it's been issues like, in Jan they wanted us to launch on their early access program and at points to commit to include features for GoG Galaxy but each time I got the updated contract, I felt that the delivery dates written into it were so close I was not sure we could meet them, so I had to decline. I had expected a simultaneous launch on GoG and they were pushing for that but we kept getting hung up on deliverable timing issues and it was drawn out due to slow turn-around on my part because I've been so overwhelmed with development work.

The latest though is that they've agreed to scrap all the deadlines and extraneous commitments so we can just forge ahead and get this done. Completing that is one of my top priorities now with release out of the way.

If things had gone more according to plan, we would have been ready to release Grim Dawn in late January or the beginning of February. Then would have spent a couple weeks prior to actually releasing it getting the virtual goods and DRM-free distribution set up, among other things.

As things went though, it took longer than expected, partially because of our last minute effort to improve the Burrwitch Ourtskirts and Arkovian Ruins environments, which require a bunch of my time for level work. There were lot of other things that came up to absorb my time, just in preparing for release.

In the end, I wasn't sure we were going to make February. I had previously wanted to have all the reward distribution set up or release and, had we been able to offer the Patron / Legendary packages available on the website to people on Steam, that could have been extra revenue for us... but that just didn't happen in time. After agonizing over it for a few days, I decided it was important to make our February release date and that the game shouldn't be delayed. So, I realize this is not ideal for everyone and I apologize that we didn't do better but I wouldn't say it was from lack of caring.
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
To be honest, I don't really understand what most anti-DRM people actually want but I'm trying to listen. When I launched the KS, I just offered a DRM-Free version because Double Fine and inExile were and it seemed the thing to do. I initially didn't even realize people thought Steam itself was DRM or just the devil, even if a game didn't utilize the extra security features. So, I get that, we said we'd deliver a DRM-Free version not on Steam. Now I'm hearing that people don't want to get a stand-alone build they can download off humble and install, they want it on GoG and to use that update service? That seems contradictory since, if you install GoG Galaxy, how is that really much different than Steam? I legitimately don't know.

Whatever the case, we are going to distribute on GoG, so I may be able to just get keys for GoG and distribute the keys through Humble if that's what people want.
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
Well, I'm not sure if I could sell GoG keys but I think GoG would give me keys to distribute to existing customers as like a one-time thing. I'm not 100% sure without asking them but I'll find out.
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
As of tonight, I've reached agreement with GoG and signed the distribution contract. The game should go into testing with them shortly and I'll give you further news, as to when it will become available there, when I know more.

Some have wondered why with all the time we had during development, we didn't come up with a plan for the DRM-Free release by launch time. We did have a plan though, it just didn't come together in time. Originally we thought we'd use Humble to distribute a packaged up build. Once I started talking to GoG, it seemed like that would be the better option, since it would allow people to easily get updates and also use other features, like their multiplayer match-making. As release neared and we kept going back and forth with the contract, realizing we wouldn't be able to meet deadlines for crertain GoG Galaxy feature requirements and such, it became clear we couldn't conclude the deal and get the game tested in time for release. I then started thinking about putting out a build through Humble again, as a last-minute desperate option to make something available as soon as possible. However, since I've read many comments from people suggesting that they'd rather have a GoG key, it seems like it might make sense to just stick with that plan.

I've also heard people expressing the feeling that DRM-Free was an afterthought or secondary. It certainly isn't the case that we didn't care about it or weren't thinking about it. Release was actually delayed over it briefly until I made the decision that we needed to go ahead and couldn't afford to delay over it. We needed to either release when we did or wait until the end of March. This is why an official release date was not given out to the press until 3 days before launch (notice there still aren't any reviews up for GD). It was a last minute call.

I was concerned that if we delayed longer, our release would overlap with Path of Exile's expansion. While I don't think we're in dire competition with PoE for sales, especially since their game is f2p and I think many people will eventually play both, I do feel it would have negatively impacted our press coverage. I mean, let's face it, PoE is the bigger show, they have more players right now and the press is going to give them more attention. More so, PoE is a competitive online game with races, league ladders and such that make jumping in on day-1 of the expansion release more urgent than than playing the GD release on day-1, even if you love both games. So I think that would have significantly affected our release coverage by popular streamers, probably for weeks after the fact.

Then there was also the fact that we'd been saying for a while that GD would release in February. People had been expecting it for months and it was the only date the press had prior to the week of release. There likely would have been angry people and confusion about why it wasn't releasing in February. Sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

Considering all this and realizing I wasn't going to be able to get the DRM-Free copy out for a week or more, I decided I needed to pull the trigger on the GD full release and not delay it. I also didn't figure it was going to upset people so much because, well, GD has basically been fully available on Steam for over a month. It was content complete in December, we released B31 days earlier and moving it to full release was basically a formality that was important for marketing reasons but didn't have much effect on what was available.

Going back to the question though of whether the DRM-Free release is secondary and given lesser treatment... Well, the answer is yes and no. On one hand, Steam is the biggest distribution platform by a very large amount - we're talking 10-to-1. That is our primary platform. The DRM-Free release is something additional we're doing for the smaller audience that prefers that. So I mean, another way of looking at it is that we've invested extra time and effort to provide a DRM-Free option.

I'm not saying all that as an excuse and I'm sure some people don't care why it isn't out, just that it isn't but I thought I'd at least provide an explanation for those who might want it.

Sorry again for the delay, hopefully it will be over soon.

And from related threads:
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
I'm not sure it will be before the end of the week but, as of tonight, I've finally reached an agreement with GoG, returned the signed contract to them and they should be putting GD into testing very shortly.

Sorry again for the delay.

Last edited by jiaco; 03-03-2016 at 07:24 AM.
Old 02-25-2016, 03:05 AM
Myrrdinn Myrrdinn is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 166

Thank you for the post Med very helpful im perfectly fine waiting for a non DRM version just as long as its coming Thanks for all the hard work put into the game and best of luck with it on release tommorow.
Old 02-25-2016, 07:37 AM
medea fleecestealer's Avatar
medea fleecestealer medea fleecestealer is online now
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And here you thought posting updates was finished with the release of the game.

Thanks medierra.
Old 02-25-2016, 07:44 AM
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Chameleon Chameleon is offline
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Posts: 890

If there's any leftover boxed copys let me know.
"When you play GD it will feel like being punched in the face by a drunk grizzly bear. Thats how awesome it is.

... wait is that awesome? ok, how about - its like you're drunk and a grizzly bear is punching you but... no wait... its like you're drunk, you punch a grizzly bear in the face but the bear is also drunk, so it just explodes into gibs."
Old 02-25-2016, 08:35 AM
Lurtz Lurtz is offline
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Posts: 49

Will definitely get a second copy on GOG, to support DRM-free gaming and you guys.
Old 02-25-2016, 09:29 AM
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MatMB MatMB is offline
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Posts: 1,398

Thanks for the info !
Old 02-25-2016, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,002

thanxs for the info! I can't wait!
Old 02-25-2016, 09:42 AM
Brazilski Brazilski is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 215


As a KS backer, I was wondering whether if I redeemed my key on STEAM, I can still switch to the DRM-free and/or GOG copy later with the same key. In other words, does using your key on one distribution platform void it on the others?
Old 02-25-2016, 09:50 AM
t0nedude t0nedude is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 41

Thanks for this, very pleased to hear this will be coming to GOG as well, I will be buying a copy on there too to show extra support!


Old 02-25-2016, 10:48 AM
Vifarc Vifarc is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 181

Originally Posted by medierra View Post
We do however want to make sure we wrap up any significant hotfixes so we don't package up a DRM-free build that immediate needs to be updated... which would be a problem since there is no service, like Steam, that you can just connect to for automatic updates.
What is the problem of manual fixes??? Just put the news and links on your site (and maybe in the game).
You can too make like ArcenGames: auto patches by the game itself. No need Steam or other drm.
However there is Galaxy which has automatic updates too, at GOG'.

Last edited by Vifarc; 02-25-2016 at 02:39 PM.
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