Battlegrounds Gaming Engine has a simple licensing scheme. The software comes in one version: a Gamer Client, and a free Demo.
The Gamer Client allows hosting of games, and the use of every feature in the program. You need this if you intend to host game sessions. If you have the Gamer Client, you can also use it to join a game session as a player.
While connected to another host, the Gamer Client will be limited to a subset of the Gamer Client's offline or hosting features. It will not be able to change the current game board, deploy minis or game components, send visual aids or audio clips, or access the Unit Manager. What it can do is enable a player to participate in online or LAN-based games, and to select, move and rotate minis or game components that the game host has assigned to him or her. The Gamer Client can also Chat and roll dice, of course, as well as consult reference materials and use the Notepad feature.
The free Demo is actually the full-featured Gamer Client, with the following limitations:
The Demo will timeout after 45 minutes of use, unless connected to a Gamer Client host that has a free Player Slot available (see below).
Saving and loading of Game Files is limited to no more than 12 units on the game table.
Loading of Deployment files is disabled.
Exporting of Game Media bundles is disabled.
If you have the Gamer Client, it will also come with a certain number of free Player Slots with it. These are useful for hosts who have a high player turnover rate, or who want their players to try the software for free before purchasing it, or who simply want to foot the bill on behalf of their players. Here's how it works: Each free Player Slot allows one player to join the game using just the free Demo. A player who logs in with the Gamer Client does not use up a free Player Slot. What's more, a Gamer Client who joins a host will lend the host however many free Player Slots it has installed (up to a maximum of 15 free Player Slots), for as long as the Gamer Client remains connected to the host. For example, if a Gamer Client with 1 free Player Slot is hosting a game session, and a Gamer Client with 3 free Player Slots joins the session, the host will have a total of 4 free Player Slots, allowing for up to a 6-player game session (since the licensed Gamer Client does not use up one of those free Player Slots).
If you plan on using BGE for face-to-face gaming (e.g., with a projector or HDTV), you will need both a Gamer Client and the free Demo.
Once you purchase a Gamer Client license and submit your computer's Challenge Code (see pg. 136 of the BGE User Manual), you will be provided with an unlock code via e-mail. Entering your unlock code in BGE's License window will convert the free Demo into a Gamer Client with the appropriate number of free Player Slots, depending on which type of license you purchased.
The Gamer Client license allows you register the program on any of the supported platforms/operating systems, but the software will thereafter only run on the specific computer it is authorized on. After authorization, if you want to switch computers or platforms, you can. You simply need to request a new license activation code (your old activation code will be disabled). The new activation code is free. You do not need to buy a license again.
Licenses are priced as follows:
Demo (free, for evaluation purposes, or for playing games while connected to a Gamer Client with one or more free Player Slots available)
Gamer Client with 1 free Player Slot: $15.00
Gamer Client with 3 free Player Slots: $20.00
Gamer Client with 7 free Player Slots: $30.00
Gamer Client with 15 free Player Slots: $40.00
Upgrade the number of free Player Slots on a Gamer Client: Price TBD
Any updates or patches to the program will be free. An update is anything that doesn't increase the version number of the application (e.g., BGE v1.1). Updates may include bug fixes, and/or they may have some new features added. Version 1 will get periodic updates up until Version 2 is released, at which point the only updates released for v1.x will be bug fixes.
Any upgrades of the program to a newer version (e.g., BGE v2.0) will have to be purchased, but users who have licensed a prior version will always receive substantial discounts for upgrading.
Note that it is not possible to upgrade a BGE Gamer Client license to a BRPG license.