Why you shouldn't use Steam

Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 15 Jan 2017, 19:05

I need to give out a great thanks to leilei for inspiring me to write this article.

Why you shouldn't use Steam
Last edited by Lyberta on 23 Jan 2017, 08:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Julius » 16 Jan 2017, 02:53

That post makes it sound like you are still using Windows, which would be somewhat ironic no?

Regarding Steam, yeah it has its bad sides, but it is still miles ahead in regards to user friendliness and even freedom compared to their major competitors. Of course it would be nice to have a more free system and by all means we should support such initiatives, but for now Steam (on Linux) is a compromise I personally can live with (as it is a non essential computing service).

One last note regarding regional pricing/locks: yes it sucks if you are living in one of the high price regions, but think of other people living in poorer countries... those are often priced out completely if you don't have regional pricing. And in fact Steam by default does not have region locks, only if publishers (or government regulators) insist they have them optional for a few games.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby eugeneloza » 16 Jan 2017, 09:40

Good article. Thanks.
Now I know why I have never used and will never use Steam for myself :)

On the other hand... How about publishing a free game on Steam? They want quiet a handsome price for, which (in case of free game) will never be returned even if greenlight succeeds. But they advertise the game to a large auditory and even the "poorest" game gets 5000 downloads (rather, reviews/votes) in a year. Compare to my Project Helena game downloads from Sourceforge: 1000 in three years :) and at least 30% to 50% of those come from bots.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 16 Jan 2017, 16:38

Julius {l Wrote}:That post makes it sound like you are still using Windows, which would be somewhat ironic no?


I was using Steam from 2005 to 2013. I realized I shouldn't use Steam in 2010. Back then I was on Windows and had 120+ Steam games on my account. It took me 3 years to gradually remove all my Steam games from my account and in 2013 I got rid of Steam completely. I installed Debian in 2013 and removed Windows in 2014. I've never used Steam on GNU/Linux.

Julius {l Wrote}:Regarding Steam, yeah it has its bad sides, but it is still miles ahead in regards to user friendliness and even freedom compared to their major competitors. Of course it would be nice to have a more free system and by all means we should support such initiatives, but for now Steam (on Linux) is a compromise I personally can live with (as it is a non essential computing service).


Other services are not so popular so their impact is smaller. And to me gaming is essential. No amount of antidepressants can treat the depression as good as having a good online match or making a map or mod. It usually takes me about 20 mins of being away from my PC for the suicide thoughts to return.

Julius {l Wrote}:One last note regarding regional pricing/locks: yes it sucks if you are living in one of the high price regions, but think of other people living in poorer countries... those are often priced out completely if you don't have regional pricing. And in fact Steam by default does not have region locks, only if publishers (or government regulators) insist they have them optional for a few games.


Yes, but that doesn't make Steam any better. They have willingly added them to the API.

eugeneloza {l Wrote}:On the other hand... How about publishing a free game on Steam? They want quiet a handsome price for, which (in case of free game) will never be returned even if greenlight succeeds. But they advertise the game to a large auditory and even the "poorest" game gets 5000 downloads (rather, reviews/votes) in a year. Compare to my Project Helena game downloads from Sourceforge: 1000 in three years :) and at least 30% to 50% of those come from bots.


Well, as long as you have the version which doesn't require Steam or any other proprietary software, I'm fine with having a Steam version or Windows version or other versions. The only important point is that all versions must be compatible and Steam version shouldn't have any additional features because that will promote it as superior.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Duion » 24 Jan 2017, 02:05

1. DRM is optional, it depends if the game uses it or not.
2. VAC is also optional or only runs with games that use the system.
3. Achievements are also game dependend.
4. Never saw that feature in action, does it still exist?
5. May be true, but it is not that bad also censorship in germany is not as bad anymore.
6. Steam Cloud also depends, if the game uses it or not.
7. Did not know about the translation server thing as well, may be true.
8. Probably true, with those badges etc.
9. The trading cards is true, but I do not consider it that bad, you get 4 cards per game, so it is pretty limited.
10. You missed the elephant in the room and made a bid drama out of little points, while ignoring the biggest problems, maybe you will find it out, keywords: skins, pay2win etc

Steam is a distribution platform, it simply distributes the game to the users, what is inside that package depends on the game developers. It also depends on the game developers, if and how they want to use the additional Steam features like items, achievements, trading cards, badges etc.
So if game developers do not use Steam they still can implement all kinds of achievements, pay2win features etc.

Steam may not be ideal, but it is still the most indie friendly platform with a significant amount of audience.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 25 Jan 2017, 06:51

Duion {l Wrote}:10. You missed the elephant in the room and made a bid drama out of little points, while ignoring the biggest problems, maybe you will find it out, keywords: skins, pay2win etc


You are welcome to elaborate on this since I've stopped using Steam in 2013 so I'm not aware of its new problems. I've only learned about trading cards a few months ago.

Duion {l Wrote}:Steam is a distribution platform, it simply distributes the game to the users, what is inside that package depends on the game developers. It also depends on the game developers, if and how they want to use the additional Steam features like items, achievements, trading cards, badges etc.


Had Valve been innocent, they would've never implemented malicious features, in fact, they would made Steam free software and wouldn't allow the distribution of proprietary games.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Akien » 25 Jan 2017, 07:50

FaTony {l Wrote}:Had Valve been innocent, they would've never implemented malicious features, in fact, they would made Steam free software and wouldn't allow the distribution of proprietary games.


Oh, that's good, very good. I guess you should get hired by Valve as business developer.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 25 Jan 2017, 11:26

I'm not interested in working with Valve. But I'm interested in making Valve and other companies producing proprietary products going bankrupt.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Duion » 25 Jan 2017, 23:46

How about creating something instead of constantly trying to destroy things others have made?
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 26 Jan 2017, 09:24

Duion {l Wrote}:How about creating something instead of constantly trying to destroy things others have made?


Exactly, I'm creating LGI so it can destroy Steam.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby charlie » 26 Jan 2017, 12:03

FaTony {l Wrote}:Exactly, I'm creating LGI so it can destroy Steam.

What a bizarre motivation.

I encourage creating a Free Software alternative to Steam. However 1) you'll never destroy Steam and 2) people have to earn money to live, so I'm not sure why you are so motivated to stop that.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Duion » 26 Jan 2017, 14:04

It is [not the best idea] to attack Steam, since it is the most indie friendly platform of the big players, if you destroy Steam you have almost nothing left to publish your game on.

Edit: Small improvement of text done by moderator :p
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby onpon4 » 26 Jan 2017, 14:41

Steam has never worked for me as a developer. I've tried to get ReTux and Pacewar onto Steam Greenlight for months now, but I can't make either of them eligible for voting because screenshots are required and the screenshot uploader is broken. I've tried everything, even turning off uBlock. At this point, I've given up on it.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Duion » 26 Jan 2017, 18:15

It cannot be that hard to make the screenshot uploader work, try a different browser, different machine whatever, I mean it works for 99.9% of people.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby onpon4 » 26 Jan 2017, 20:17

I'm using Firefox, and the first browser I was using was Iceweasel, IIRC. There is no reason for their (unnecessary) JavaScript to not work in Firefox, and it's Valve's problem to fix, not mine. I'm not going to invest my time into working with someone else's broken JavaScript code to possibly (if the game actually were to get greenlit) get a chance to make what would likely add up to no more than an extra few dollars in the end.

EDIT: Let me clarify something: being in a list that a lot of people see doesn't help me any when that list includes millions of games that are above mine. The only benefit I would get from publishing on Steam is appeasing people who would never bother downloading a game from anywhere else. That's not entirely worthless, but not worth as much as you seem to think it is.

This is my point: Steam is not an "indie friendly platform" if the very mechanism by which indie games are accepted is broken, regardless of how big its userbase is. itch.io and GameJolt are both worlds better, and Desura was worlds better, too.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Duion » 27 Jan 2017, 00:55

Getting greenlit is much easier than in the past.
And Steam gives me far more visibility and players than all other sources combined, yes the conversion rate is not that good, since the audience is a bit different, but it is still far bigger than anything else.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 27 Jan 2017, 13:03

charlie {l Wrote}:
FaTony {l Wrote}:Exactly, I'm creating LGI so it can destroy Steam.

What a bizarre motivation.

I encourage creating a Free Software alternative to Steam. However 1) you'll never destroy Steam and 2) people have to earn money to live, so I'm not sure why you are so motivated to stop that.


1) Lessening its popularity would already be a good achievement.
2) Developing proprietary software is unethical, making money by licensing proprietary software is more so. I've been a user of proprietary video games in the past and I know how horrible is not to have rights to do anything. I want people to understand that and want them to reject proprietary software, reject Steam and migrate to free software. There are ethical ways of making money with free software - crowdfunding. Software is easy to copy but hard to write so the development must be funded, not distribution.

Duion {l Wrote}:It is [not the best idea] to attack Steam, since it is the most indie friendly platform of the big players, if you destroy Steam you have almost nothing left to publish your game on.


Not yet. But maybe in the future. I don't want to promise anything because I have frequent burnouts and can't work reliably for the long amount of time.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Duion » 29 Jan 2017, 00:47

You first need a popular product otherwise a platform does not make any sense. Since open source games hardly get any popularity there is nothing to do regarding developing a platform to distribute them and those few people that use them are usually intelligent enough to not rely on a distribution platform.
Steam is not only very Indie friendly, it is also Linux friendly, so I would not attack Steam even, if it has bad sides.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 29 Jan 2017, 08:26

Duion {l Wrote}:so I would not attack Steam even, if it has bad sides.


Your choice.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby DGMurdockIII » 02 Feb 2017, 19:46

if we should not use steam them give us alternative that we can use
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby charlie » 03 Feb 2017, 01:10

I wonder what OPs thoughts are on GOG Galaxy.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 03 Feb 2017, 09:07

DGMurdockIII {l Wrote}:if we should not use steam them give us alternative that we can use


Exactly. That's why I'm coding my own.

charlie {l Wrote}:I wonder what OPs thoughts are on GOG Galaxy.


Looks much better than Steam. However, it seems it is proprietary and designed to work with centralized server of GOG.com.

I've used GOG for a couple of months when transitioning from Steam but it still hosts mostly proprietary games so it was of very little use for me.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Duion » 03 Feb 2017, 13:19

For Linux Steam is not that necessary, if you don't want to distribute proprietary games with it anyway. Distribution platforms are primary for marketing reasons, for free projects you simply could add it to the package manager of the Linux distribution, or even distribute your game by default with the distribution or as optional package.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Andrettin » 20 Feb 2017, 11:42

"You can't run a Steam enabled game without running Steam."

This is not correct. It is up to the game's developer to enable that or not. For example, Wyrmsun can be run without Steam being active.
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Re: Why you shouldn't use Steam

Postby Lyberta » 22 Feb 2017, 11:15

Andrettin {l Wrote}:"You can't run a Steam enabled game without running Steam."

This is not correct. It is up to the game's developer to enable that or not. For example, Wyrmsun can be run without Steam being active.


Hmm, I see that there's a paid DLC, can it be run without Steam but with paid DPC? I also hope that DLC content is FOSS.
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