Licensing / Registration

Non-bug comments, suggestions, and feature requests for BRPG and/or BGE
Malovech
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Post by Malovech » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:29 pm

I think it would be helpful if you offered a license export/import function to switch from one network card to the next. I know a lot of people that have onboard LAN cards, you're probably looking at like 40% of PC users out there.

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:32 pm

Welcome, Malovech.

I agree, and I would like to, but how do you propose I do this while still preventing possible abuse? If the LAN card is onboard, I can't exactly ask people to mail it in.

I was originally going to tie the software to the hard drive, but hard drives die or get replaced far more often than computers or network cards. I'm open to ideas.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

smatt1001
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Post by smatt1001 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:36 pm

Heruca,

I know that you were talking about the ability to tranfer floating license to a client and making them client licenses. Would it possible to use the same mecanism to transfer any license to another computer?

Or is the floating to client transfer disappearing now?

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:01 pm

Floating-to-client license transfers will remain. The difference is that those transfers happen online during a hosted game. The encrypted license data is transferred from one machine to the other by the GM and that's that.

But I'm not sure if it would work for the original activation of a license. The way I was planning on doing it was that a purchaser would invoke a command in BRPG that would generate a code unique for that machine, and would then e-mail me that code. I would e-mail back an authorization code, which the user would type into BRPG to complete the authorization process. He/she now has a working client.

But he/she also has the authorization code that makes the software work with that original LAN card. Simply transferring the license to another computer doesn't prevent them from later re-entering the original authorization code on the original computer, and then they'd have two "valid" clients (which, by the way, would never be able to connect to each other, since they use the same number).

The only way I could do what you suggest is to make the original authorization process happen in-game only, just like a floating-to-client license transfer, except that they're connected to my Authorization Client. That way they never actually see the authorization number (which would be sent encrypted, just in case). Of course, with this method, I would personally have to "host a game" for each and every license activation, and that seems like a pain for everyone involved, especially given potential time-zone differences.

I hope this makes some kind of sense; it's a bit confusing to explain.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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heruca
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Congratulations!

Post by heruca » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:07 pm

Well, if BRPG someday becomes a household name (at least among gamer households), smatt1001 will be able to boast that he was the first person in the world to buy a license.

Thanks, smatt1001! :D
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Re: Now accepting pre-orders for BRPG!

Post by Dormouse » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:07 pm

heruca wrote:* Technically, the software is tied to your computer's network card during the authorization process. If you eventually upgrade your computer, you'll need to swap in your old network card or buy another license.
This would be so restrictive that I wouldn't consider buying any software that was limited like this. Also, I have two network cards on my computer - which one would it decide to use? - which card on I'm on the net with will depend on the situation at the time. Wireless network cards change quite often & there are usually good reasons to upgrade.

I appreciate the need to secure the prog from abuse, but don't believe that this is the way to do it.

What you might succeed with would be doing this & then having a re-authorisation process when someone changes computers or network cards. Not even totally convinced of that.

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:10 pm

Nothing's set in stone yet, just so you know. What I described is what I'm planning to do, but plans can change. I'm tempted to go with what I described two posts up, if the majority of people consider that less restrictive, since that method would allow for re-authorization whenever someone changes computers or network cards (or even platforms).
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Post by smatt1001 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:20 pm

Your welcome Heruca. :D
Since any two clients with the same key cannot connect to each other shouldn't moving it be as easy as sending you a second e-mail and getting a second unlock code for the same license or an I totallly confused?

Any idea on a release timeframe. I'm not going to hold you to it but are we looking at a couple of weeks or a month or more for a final version?

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Hesitant

Post by dittotb » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:35 pm

I have been following the development of your product with great anticipation. I would have pre-ordered but I do not like the idea that you have come up with on how to register. I agree that you need to protect your investment. I do not pirate software but I know that it is a common problem. My issue is the same as one other person here I have 2 NICS and I might use your program online and I might just use it at the gaming table. Which NIC would it associate with? {Most likely the online NIC} And what would happen if I wish to play it at the gaming table wireless?

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Post by heruca » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:40 pm

Welcome, dittotb.

It shouldn't matter which network card you're using at the time, as long as the network card that the software is tied to is physically present in the machine. Even a laptop using a wireless card still contains a network card.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Clarification

Post by dittotb » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:43 pm

Thanks for your speedy response. I like customer service like that. It gives me great confidence in your product.
So you are saying that as long as the NIC is in the machine, even if it is not in use, it will not void my registration.

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Post by heruca » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:46 pm

No, it won't void it.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Post by Dormouse » Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:21 pm

smatt1001 wrote:Since any two clients with the same key cannot connect to each other shouldn't moving it be as easy as sending you a second e-mail and getting a second unlock code for the same license or an I totallly confused?
I'd agree with this. The notorious Microsoft activation system is a combination of computer recognition (but much more flexible than your proposal) together with contacting them to get new codes if the computer seems to change. I assume it really reduces piracy since it costs them a fair bit of effort.

An extra disincentive to piracy would be that old activation codes would not be able to access bug fixes, upgrades etc.

I can't see why the original activation process could not be automatic. There would be a chance that some people would reload it on to the original machine, but the scope for doing this often would be limited by you having to approve each new activation/re-activation (up to your discretion, if you are careful with the license terms) & the fact that no single copy of the prog can play with a duplicat of itself.

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Post by heruca » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:16 pm

I'm trying to come up with a licensing scheme that is more flexible for the users. How does this sound?

You can reauthorize the program a certain number of times per year, should you happen to change computers or network cards. Let's say three times a year, for the sake of argument. No one goes through 3 computers or network cards in a year, right?

Each reauthorization request would essentially go through me, and would have to include the user's name and perhaps their PayPal Transaction ID, so I would know if any particular individual was requesting an inordinate number of reauthorizations.

Each activation code that is deauthorized goes into a "deactivated activation code" database. Red flags will go up if that number later appears in an upgrade request or something.

Thoughts?
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Post by Halebop » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:41 pm

I think something like that is a pragmatic middle ground between protecting your Intellectual Property and allowing user to upgrade their network card. I hope you can eventually automate the authorization process! Sounds like it could turn into a lot of work.
Last edited by Halebop on Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by smatt1001 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:18 pm

That sounds good Heruca.

If possible maybe you could create another ID number that way people only need to keep one e-mail instead of 2-3. If it's not possible no big deal but I thought I'd post it for the sake of argument

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Post by Omnidon » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:15 pm

Sounds ok for now... I definitely think it would be a good idea to automate the process in the future though.

Once you start getting income from BRPG, you could always buy a cheap server to run a permanent registration host for people to connect to.

Another, more complicated alternative is to have the registration be approved through an online database.

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Post by Dormouse » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:36 am

heruca wrote:No one goes through 3 computers or network cards in a year, right?

Each reauthorization request would essentially go through me, and would have to include the user's name and perhaps their PayPal Transaction ID, so I would know if any particular individual was requesting an inordinate number of reauthorizations.

Each activation code that is deauthorized goes into a "deactivated activation code" database. Red flags will go up if that number later appears in an upgrade request or something.

Thoughts?
I have been through more than 3 before, but agree that would not be common. I wouldn't actually say that it can be re-activated three times a year - just that any re-activation because of computer changes etc is up to your discretion (or whatever wording you think the market will bear). You can privately work to 3 as being a reasonable number, but you don't give anyone the idea that they can give the prog away a couple of times & you retain control (so you can make it less or more than 3 if circumstances dictate - one 'red flag' & you might chose not to allow any more changes).

I think you do need to keep a database of Users, UserIDs, Licenses they own & the associated activation & authorisation codes (& the dates of any changes).

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Post by riddles » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:31 am

Just had another thought (doesn't happen very often!).

How about a "de-authorisation" key, to turn a player or gm BRPG back to a demo one (a little bit like de-authorising your machine in iTunes)? That way people can move their licence around as much as they want/need?

Only downside is you probably need to be able to allow at least 1 "other" reset of the licence a year, in case of computers being stolen etc.

Hmm, not sure it offers much more than the 3 times a year, but maybe another way anyway...

Tigerfire
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CD Licenses

Post by Tigerfire » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:20 pm

Okay now there has been talk of protecting the software diferent ways. What about lining it to a CD. Then just make it so you have to have the CD in the computer. I am not sure how practical this is, but I would like it because I am going to be trying different setups (if I do buy the software) with computers. I curently have 3 computers all running diferent OS's and am not sure how it will run the best for me. There is also the thing that I may even slap together more PC's to get this up and running for my "Gaming Table v3.0"

Just my cent and a half.

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:37 pm

Welcome, Tigerfire.

The trouble with CDs is not only that it takes time and money to produce them, but given that I live in South America, the shipping costs would be horrendous, especially for rush deliveries.

I would like to make a CD option available at some point, particularly if I ever start attending gaming conventions to demo BRPG. However, CD copy-protection isn't something I intend to get into. Besides, CD's often get scratched and need replacing.

I'm willing to make allowances (within reason) for people that wish to switch to another computer. Essentially, their old activation codes will get placed on a "blacklist" (nullifying them from working again), and new codes are issued for the new computer.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Omnidon
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Post by Omnidon » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:39 pm

CD protection is expensive and unreliable. I can dupe almost any CD I have (though I only do it for backups).

It is nice to have a physical copy, but there are many applications that are download-only and still quite popular.

The only practical way of streamlining registration I can see is some sort of server / online database like riddles and I mentioned before. That would allow for automatic activation and deactivation, but it's a fairly big undertaking.

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Post by Richard Weimer » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:24 pm

heruca wrote:I'm trying to come up with a licensing scheme that is more flexible for the users. How does this sound?

You can reauthorize the program a certain number of times per year, should you happen to change computers or network cards. Let's say three times a year, for the sake of argument. No one goes through 3 computers or network cards in a year, right?

Each reauthorization request would essentially go through me, and would have to include the user's name and perhaps their PayPal Transaction ID, so I would know if any particular individual was requesting an inordinate number of reauthorizations.

Each activation code that is deauthorized goes into a "deactivated activation code" database. Red flags will go up if that number later appears in an upgrade request or something.

Thoughts?
Heruca, any update on this kind of registration change being implemented? I am waiting for some kind of relaxation in the licensing scheme before buying a copy. Hard-coding a registration to a specific PC does not work for me. As an example, my laptop just died 2 months ago and I got a replacement. At that point, I would not have been able to use your product anymore. Allowing me to transfer to another system would have been much nicer.

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:50 pm

It's practically implemented now.

Once v1.1 comes out, if your computer or hard disk dies, or you upgrade it to a new one, you can just request a new license key. The old key gets permanently deactivated in all future versions of the software.

The reason v1.1 is required is that I've yet to add in the code to check for deactivated licenses.

So unless you're planning on switching computers again in the next two months or so, there's no reason not to order a license now.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Post by Richard Weimer » Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:48 pm

Cool...order will be placed tonight when I get home.

A question..once I get a license key, will I be getting access to the new RC1/RC2 build releases?

Thanks!

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