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Issue I'm a little worried about with licensing.

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:18 pm
by NiteSkie
On your license page it states that you can activate the product for one computer. If you ever want to put it on another computer, you have to buy the program again.

I upgrade my computer at least once every year, sometimes it's a complete overhaul.

This means, I'm going to have to REPURCHASE the program every time I do that. That is not acceptable to me, and I believe it is going to cause you a LOT of problems.

The computer I want to put the GM client on is connected with my TV. It is an older computer, and I plan on replacing it within the year. If i get BRPG, (which i really want, by the way) I will have to buy another GM license when i replace that computer.

The first suggestion I can offer would be to allow two transfers per year. That should be more than sufficient for most people.

You could also add the ability to register up to three different devices. Then I could have this on my laptop and personal computer (which is what i would prefer). You could allow these to be changed once a year.

Either of those solutions would solve your problem and also still lock down the product. I budget out my computer upgrades very closely. And having to re-purchase a program I have already paid for everytime I upgrade my computer will get very annoying.

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:35 pm
by heruca
Don't worry, you shouldn't need to repurchase the program.

Shortly after v1.0, I will allow the license/s to be transferred to another computer whenever a user upgrades their hardware (or in the case of Windows users, if their original hard disk dies). I plan to handle this on a case by case basis, but will generally allow one or two such transfers per year.

To prevent abuse, I disable future versions of the software from working on the replaced computer.

I like your idea about being able to register BRPG on a couple of different devices. I'll see what I can do to make that happen.

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:27 pm
by Tlichie
Yeah, I was also thinking I'd like to be able to use it on both my main computer *and* my laptop, (not necessarily at the same time), for those times when I'm away from home or my husband is hogging our main computer and I want to play or work on setting something up. Right now I've just put it on my laptop, but it is certainly one of the things that I would list as a "con" about the program as it stands right now. I *just* got my laptop a few weeks ago (and will be paying it off for some time to come!), and before I just had my main computer, but lots of folks I know have more than one, and would probably see it as a disadvantage. So glad to hear you're going to work on that!

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:02 am
by riddles
This is the reason why I've delayed getting my activation code. I'm in the process of rebuilding the laptop it'll be going on and don't want to keep bugging Heruca for a new code! :)

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:34 am
by Jixxala
Actually I am in the same boat, with a new unit on the way, but not here yet and have been delaying. Still, I think there must be some protection. The theft of programs is so rampant these days a couple weeks after final client release you can find anything on many different file shares, even VTs. I would hate to see most of the BPRPG programs come from such sources.

Since CDs are out (due to shipping) The only reasonable solution I know of is licencing to one HD. It is inconvienient for me too, I will only be using one computer, but have a couple to chose from. Still I understand why it must be done. If there are other options I would be interested in what they are. (Other than buying 3 copies of the program) :P

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:47 am
by riddles
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not complaining! I'm just not getting my code until it's worth it! :)


Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:51 pm
by NiteSkie
I do think the ability to register the program on two or three different devices would be the absolute best approach.

Allow someone to change each one once a year. This could really cut down on the work you have to do on your end Heruca.

I want to be able to use both my laptop and my PC to create and dm maps. This would fix that problem.

Look forward to what you come up with.


Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:10 am
by Kepli
Since Heruca has been more than eager to please all of us, I bet he will allow this too in some way (as he has indicated).
These are great suggestions BTW. I also do an overhaul or have to switch to another PC on occasion.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:11 pm
by tenkar
Well, if the code can only be logged in on one computer at a time, wouldn't that cut down on the piracy? I think that's how some other programs handle it.

I'd be looking to have this installed on both my main PC and my laptop (for those times i am away from home). To purchase the DM client and five floating licenses twice to cover both is a bit out of my price range.

Now when we say that currently it can only be installed on one device, is that done by computer ID or by HD? I have an external HD that could be a work around for me if that is the case... i install to the external HD and I'm portable when needed.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:19 pm
by heruca
Welcome, Tenkar.

On Windows, it goes by hard disk serial number, so using an external HD would be a very good way to keep your licenses portable.

On Mac OS X, it goes by the computer's serial number. That actually gives you a bit more flexibility for using it on multiple systems, because the Challenge Code field on the License panel is editable when running on Mac OS X. But you can still only use a given license on one networked machine at any one time.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:11 pm
by tenkar
Thanks for the quick answer :)

Time for me to play with the demo for a bit... screenshots look very good btw.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:15 pm
by heruca
tenkar wrote:screenshots look very good btw
Thanks, but they're actually horribly outdated. :oops:

I need to update them soon.

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:51 pm
by Farland
Yeah, I definitely need to register my copy on both my laptop and my desktop, so i would like to see this resolved quickly. (Love the latest version, BTW!)

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:49 pm
by Omnidon
tenkar wrote:Well, if the code can only be logged in on one computer at a time, wouldn't that cut down on the piracy? I think that's how some other programs handle it.
Well that would require the computer to be online, and many people want to use BRPG offline for face-to-face sessions.

As discussed elsewhere, there will eventually be an 'activation server' for BRPG that would allow you to activate/deactivate your license so you can move it whenever you need to. That's how most big software brands do it, but it will be a while before that sort of thing can be set up.

Take a look at the Licensing suggestion thread.

Key Style registration

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:25 am
by Rikhavok
When I logged on today, I was going write you an email, asking if you could take the locks off the max # of objects allowed in the demo if I was to prebuy the software today. Then I read your licencing rules and almost did a 180, then decided to seach on the web for "Virtual Tabletop Software" and found that there are about 1/2 a dozen other companies. Now, I'm going to have to go check them out too.

Now.. my complaints:

I'll happily pay for the program without the need for web style keys. RegCode, ok.. but with a Key, I'm afraid you will not get my money.

Here's the reasons. I have a total of 10 computers. Yes, it's a little excessive, I know. So, I would gladly pay up to $50 to have the GM Client version capable on EACH computer, but I'm afraid $300.00 is a tad unreasonable. If I buy the software, I must be able to install it where I choose.

Also, when it's time for a reinstall a computer, with 10 computers, that's 1-2 monthly, I will not be dealing with a Key where I will need to contact you every month to allow me to reuse the same progam which I have paid for. If I buy the sofware, I must be able to install it when I choose.

Sorry, bro. I won't be giving the software away. but, Face it bro. Piracy is a fact of life. There's going to be a few pirates out there that are going to find a way to hack your program anyways. Why curse the legitimate money carrying users who want to pay you for your hard work?

Sorry, bro. I really want this software and am quite content to throw money your way for your efforts, but I'm sorry, I cannot give you THAT much money for it and cause myself that much of a headache trying to register it.

An Idea for you - make it a base program with components that can be purchased separately that most won't need in the base game.

For example not everyone will need this, but I will - A deck of cards, shuffler, etc - allow the faces of the cards to be editable so that we can use it as a web board game tool. Also, in the instance of Spycraft, you would need this component.

It's your software - but it's my cash. You want it, I need 3 criterias met:

Fair pricing.
Where I choose.
When I choose.

so I leave it to you... You choose.

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:15 am
by Omnidon
As can be seen in my Suggestion Summary, this Licensing suggestion has been made before.

heruca definitely intends to change the licensing method to something more practical as soon as he can, as described in that thread.
Rikhavok wrote:Also, when it's time for a reinstall a computer, with 10 computers, that's 1-2 monthly, I will not be dealing with a Key where I will need to contact you every month to allow me to reuse the same progam which I have paid for. If I buy the sofware, I must be able to install it when I choose.
Note that you do not need to receive a new license when you reinstall your OS. The license is currently tied to the hard drive's serial number, so you can keep reusing the license as long as you have that hard drive in the computer. An external hard drive is one way to easily get BRPG to work on multiple computers with a single license.

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:36 pm
by heruca
Welcome, Rikhavok.

I'm not clear why you would need that many copies of the program simultaneously installed on so many computers. Is it because you want to play on a LAN? Or do you just want the convenience of being able to use a single GM Client on any of your ten computers?

I suspect it's the latter, and if so, a portable hard drive is probably the way to go (as Omnidon suggested), at least until I'm able to implement a more flexible licensing method, which might be in a month or two.

Licensing issues aside, another thing to consider is that you will likely be gathering a great number of maps, unit graphics, sound effects, and other files over time. You would have to struggle to keep all 10 computers/installations similarly stocked and configured. Can't you just pick one fast computer for using BRPG, and stick with that computer until it needs to be upgraded?

I've considered your idea of a pay-per-feature approach, but it quickly becomes a headache when you realize that all connected clients would need to have the same features activated in order to be able to play in your games. I may still go this route with some major features, such as interactive shareable character sheets (which may come in the form of a plug-in).

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:23 pm
by Dormouse
I like to install progs I've bought where and when I want myself.

But, it seems to me that if the prog can be installed on 10 computers at once then the number of buyers will end up being much smaller than the number of sharers.

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:05 pm
by Rikhavok
I save all my data on a network mirror-raid harddrive which is connected directly to my router, so the problem of where the data is located doesn't matter. Never need to back up data, because it saves to two different drives simultaneously from all computers in the house. And, running Static IP, so my Laptop saves and pulls data from the exact same place no matter where I am.

I have all my computers set up the same way, so I can go into any room, log in and basically have the same computer. But, you can't really save your working files to a network drive if the program doesn't let you pick where the files are to save and you can't run a program from the network drive, it'd lag something terrible.

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:18 pm
by Farland
Well I imagine most people won't have this set-up, and it might be a bit unreasonable to expect heruca to allow ten transfers per purchase. The guy has to make some money from this in exchange for his development time. I think one or two transfers per purchaser is reasonable, though. I for one have a laptop and a desktop, and I would really like to be able to buy the program once and install it on both computers.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:43 pm
by cliff
I'm in the same group as a few others that have posted here, I have a desktop and a laptop and I'm not interested in having to purchase one license for each machine.

I believe the best solution to this would be to check for license keys on the GM client when players connect, and not allowing multiple copies of the same license key in the same game. This would stop almost all casual piracy because almost all folks that are going to be tempted to pirate it would do so because they want to play it with their friends.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:52 pm
by heruca
Welcome, Cliff.

Your concern is a valid one.

Suppose that I gave a second license key to anyone that requests it and has already purchased a GM Client. That would give users the flexibility to install BRPG on both their laptop and their desktop PC, which I imagine is the main reason people have a gripe with the current licensing scheme.

This opens up the field for potential abuse, but it could be mitigated.

For example:
Joe's Desktop PC has a serial number of 111111.
Joe's Laptop has a serial number of 222222.
Joe could theoretically use his laptop to connect to his desktop PC's host, since there is nothing in either license key to indicate that they belong to the same person.
However, subsequent releases or patches of BRPG would match up serial number 111111 with 222222 and forbid a connection between those two systems (because the program now knows that both serial numbers belong to the same person). Joe is still free, however, to host games for other people using either computer.

What do you all think?

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:38 pm
by Omnidon
Yeah sounds good to me.

At some point, people will be willing to forgo updates in order to give away multiple copies, but by then there will likely be a server-based licensing scheme.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:04 pm
by cliff
It sounds like a reasonable solution. A bit of a kludge, but it at least addresses the issue at hand.

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:20 pm
by Dormouse
In some ways the potential for abuse isue is similar to having to reinstall it if a computer crashes. You can try a solution and see whether you are getting a surprising number of requests. If so, then you can rethink or become stricter.

It's a tricky balance between attracting new customers by appearing flexible and losing revenue through abuse.

And it is a balance that affects all customers because we are dependent on the program being financially successful for you for future developments.