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Running Games and Apps.

Does Amiga OS / Vampire Need DRM/copy Protection ?

Markus Horbach

Posts 29
29 Oct 2017 10:45


Back in the 80ies, all software for Amiga was delivered by 3,5" floppies. Convenient to use, just insert a floppy and switch on the Amiga, the software starts automatically. It also had some kind of copy protection by using non standart file systems on the floppy to avoid easy copies of the floppy. Hackers and crackers saw this as a challenge and spread game disks with intros and of course, a removed copy protection. From todays view a lucky step forward to use emulators and WHDLoad, because floppies do not last for ever, also the floppy drives will wear out.
But the developers of hardware and software for the amiga are very different. A amiga accelerator no matter based on which kind of hardware is protected against piracy, because joe average Amiga user can not create a quick copy of any kind of hardware. Some professionals will be able to copy the hardware, but a small market and a low profit on every hardware device are protection enough to avoid copied hardware. The result is a vivid offer of new amiga hardware.
On the other side, new software is rare to find. Do amigans use only vintage software or dont they buy the new software because you can get it "somewhere" for free ? How is the ratio between expenses for hardware and software in the last years ? After buying a vampire card, did this lead to the invest in new software ? And why ? I am curious about your answers.


Steve Ferrell

Posts 149
29 Oct 2017 15:00


Markus Horbach wrote:

Do amigans use only vintage software or dont they buy the new software because you can get it "somewhere" for free ? How is the ratio between expenses for hardware and software in the last years ? After buying a vampire card, did this lead to the invest in new software ? And why ? I am curious about your answers.

I think you answered your own question where you state that new software is hard to find.

There hasn't been any "new" software development of any consequence for 68K Amigas in years.  And I'm not including the one or two amateur side scrollers or platform games that get released every 3-4 years.  So talk of DRM and copy protection is pointless until a developer decides there's a market for his software that he wants to protect.  It's doubtful that there will ever be another viable market for 68K Amiga software.....remember, this is a hobby.


Mr Niding

Posts 194
29 Oct 2017 15:52


I might be too optimistic regarding human nature;

I think that many of us are now in a position where we can purchase software instead of resorting to piracy.

Secondly, when I were a kid, I had to travel 2 hours in a car to get to the closest computerstore. Now its just a click away thru a download link. The convinience of a legit download AND relativly cheap prices will hopefully keep most of us from pirating any new software.
I could pirate music and movies for example, but I cant be bothered.
Streaming/download services are too easily accessable at this point.


M Rickan

Posts 133
29 Oct 2017 17:47


Steve Ferrell wrote:

...remember, this is a hobby.

And that sentiment it is a huge part of the problem with the Amiga "market."

If you're investing inordinate amounts of time and money in product development, it's time for the hobby to become a business. This resurgence in the platform is only going to be remain viable if it starts becoming profit-driven.

We keep hearing the "learn assembler and contribute" refrain.

How about allowing the vast majority of us who don't have the time/aptitude to contribute by buying products and using that revenue to subsidize further development?

And on point, there are lots of protection/registration schemes that would bring in accountability without introducing any overhead.


Steve Ferrell

Posts 149
29 Oct 2017 19:33


m rickan wrote:

   
Steve Ferrell wrote:

      ...remember, this is a hobby.
     

     
      And that sentiment it is a huge part of the problem with the Amiga "market."
     
      If you're investing inordinate amounts of time and money in product development, it's time for the hobby to become a business. This resurgence in the platform is only going to be remain viable if it starts becoming profit-driven.
     
      We keep hearing the "learn assembler and contribute" refrain.
     
      How about allowing the vast majority of us who don't have the time/aptitude to contribute by buying products and using that revenue to subsidize further development?
     
      And on point, there are lots of protection/registration schemes that would bring in accountability without introducing any overhead.
   

   
It isn't a sentiment.  It's a fact.  Amigas stopped being an alternative to business owners and software developers 25+ years ago and not even the simultaneous bankruptcy of Intel, Apple and Microsoft would open up any markets for the Amiga.
   
Again, the need for DRM or copy protection will be determined by the developers.  If they happen to find a market for 68K Amiga wares that they want to protect, then they will certainly move to protect their investment.
   
This isn't the "Field of Dreams" where if you build a business around 68K Amiga software that people will just magically show up and everyone lives happily ever after.  Until there are 68K apps and hardware that can compete with what's already on the market, then all this talk about how the Amiga is going to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix is simply delusional.  This is a hobby and no amount of hope or dreaming is going to change that.  That's like believing that if someone started manufacturing the Model T Ford again with some minor upgrades that people are going to suddenly start buying them again......sorry, it isn't gonna happen.  Time and technology marches on.....and the markets along with them.
   


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 648
29 Oct 2017 21:06


Steve Ferrell wrote:

   
  This isn't the "Field of Dreams" where if you build a business around 68K Amiga software that people will just magically show up and everyone lives happily ever after.  Until there are 68K apps and hardware that can compete with what's already on the market, then all this talk about how the Amiga is going to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix is simply delusional.  This is a hobby and no amount of hope or dreaming is going to change that.  That's like believing that if someone started manufacturing the Model T Ford again with some minor upgrades that people are going to suddenly start buying them again......sorry, it isn't gonna happen.  Time and technology marches on.....and the markets along with them.
   

Surely, there will be no mainstream market domination again.

But limited development might happen with sustainable market.
Having Vampire on the table is good beginning.

P.S.
Probably would buy Ford Model T 2018


Steve Ferrell

Posts 149
29 Oct 2017 23:29


Vojin Vidanovic wrote:

 
Steve Ferrell wrote:

     
    This isn't the "Field of Dreams" where if you build a business around 68K Amiga software that people will just magically show up and everyone lives happily ever after.  Until there are 68K apps and hardware that can compete with what's already on the market, then all this talk about how the Amiga is going to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix is simply delusional.  This is a hobby and no amount of hope or dreaming is going to change that.  That's like believing that if someone started manufacturing the Model T Ford again with some minor upgrades that people are going to suddenly start buying them again......sorry, it isn't gonna happen.  Time and technology marches on.....and the markets along with them.
     

 
  Surely, there will be no mainstream market domination again.
 
  But limited development might happen with sustainable market.
  Having Vampire on the table is good beginning.
 
  P.S.
  Probably would buy Ford Model T 2018
 

 
  Limited-to-no development is all we have now and can hope to expect in the future.  There's simply no return on investment to be had in developing 68K software.  Even if one were to develop a new, "popular" Amiga game, it would have to sell copies in the 5 figure range for the developer to break even after factoring in the developer(s) time, production costs, and the developer(s) investment in hardware, software tools and testing. No software developer sets out to just break even and I didn't even mention the business overhead costs. 
 
The area where we will see the most development is in the back-porting of existing software by retro programmer-hobbyists....and evidence of that are the recent ports of old ID Software games and old web-kit based browsers and other apps that have been open sourced and/or GPL'd (zero monetary investment required).  I'm actually willing to pay for the development of some of these and new apps but none of them will ever reach the point again where the return on investment will be enough to pay the bills or keep the lights on for a developer, let alone make a profit.
 
 
If you're holding your breath for new productivity apps or games that can compete with current, commercially viable offerings, my best advice to you is to have some oxygen canisters nearby.  It's gonna be a long, long, wait.  The Amiga is a retro-geek hobby.....and I don't mean that in a derogatory way.  It is what it is.

As for buying a 2018 Model-T Ford, it wouldn't even be considered a Model-T anymore once it goes through all the modifications and upgrades to make it street-legal and roadworthy for 2018.  It would be an entirely new and different vehicle, so what's the point?
 


Sebastian Blanco

Posts 71
30 Oct 2017 00:27


Markus Horbach wrote:

Back in the 80ies, all software for Amiga was delivered by 3,5" floppies. Convenient to use, just insert a floppy and switch on the Amiga, the software starts automatically. It also had some kind of copy protection by using non standart file systems on the floppy to avoid easy copies of the floppy. Hackers and crackers saw this as a challenge and spread game disks with intros and of course, a removed copy protection. From todays view a lucky step forward to use emulators and WHDLoad, because floppies do not last for ever, also the floppy drives will wear out.
  But the developers of hardware and software for the amiga are very different. A amiga accelerator no matter based on which kind of hardware is protected against piracy, because joe average Amiga user can not create a quick copy of any kind of hardware. Some professionals will be able to copy the hardware, but a small market and a low profit on every hardware device are protection enough to avoid copied hardware. The result is a vivid offer of new amiga hardware.
  On the other side, new software is rare to find. Do amigans use only vintage software or dont they buy the new software because you can get it "somewhere" for free ? How is the ratio between expenses for hardware and software in the last years ? After buying a vampire card, did this lead to the invest in new software ? And why ? I am curious about your answers.

2
Who cares ?


Markus Horbach

Posts 29
01 Nov 2017 08:09


So the resume of this thread at the moment is
  - An amiga is a retro hobby
  - the amigans use it to revive memories of the past
  - main interest is using vintage games like native amiga games
  - second interest is some vintage games ported to amiga like Doom, Quake, Duke3D which were absent back in the good ol days
  - keep the hardware alive for the next years to keep the memories alive
  - get some hardware upgrades + software patches to make e.g. quake playable
  - new games have no nostalgic value so buying them is not in the main focus
  - most amigans are users, they do not use the amiga as retro dev tool, but for nostalgic entertainment
 
  The budget user uses WinUAE (the lamer, like me)
  The retro user has vintage hardware with accelerators (the performer )
  the posh user has a pile of different vintage machines with expensive expansions ( the collector )
  the tech user has a Vampire accelerator to shake off the limitations of the past (the leet)
 
  But they all share the lack of interest to new software.
  This answers my question, DRM is useless because new software will not be bought or copied because of the lack of retro feeling.


ExiE CZEX

Posts 11
01 Nov 2017 09:28


Markus Horbach wrote:

    So the resume of this thread at the moment is
      - new games have no nostalgic value so buying them is not in the main
      the tech user has a Vampire accelerator to shake off the limitations of the past (the leet)
     
      But they all share the lack of interest to new software.
      This answers my question, DRM is useless because new software will not be bought or copied because of the lack of retro feeling.
   

   
    I believe that some of your conclusions are (very) wrong.
    The problem of new software is not nostalgic value but quality. There is simply no new software worth buying for 68k.
   
    For example commercial games of 2016 Reshoot, Tanks Furry, Tales of Gorluth II, Catacomb 3D.
   
    And I don't even think that only tech users buy Vampires. Everyone who would like to accelerate his Amiga or connect it to modern TV via HDMI would consider Vampire as fastest and in many cases cheapest solution.
    Non tech users just might keep waiting till the compatibility gets better...
 
  and yes DRM is useless but due other reasons (quality sells better these days)


Thierry Atheist

Posts 572
01 Nov 2017 15:02


Lack of users is the REAL problem.

What threshold is necessary to get new high calibre software?

Until there is a standalone available, nothing will happen. A cheap standalone would shatter the barrier between viable market and there not being one. What's "cheap"? A system, including motherboard, case, keyboard and mouse for US$300-$400 including taxes and delivery, I think would do it.

A user base of 20,000 to 30,000 would be possible at that price.

If they used the Vampire for 2 to 3 hours a day, that would make a viable market, I am guessing. Then you'd get good quality new computer programs being made!

I am certain that this is possible and believe it will happen by 2020.

posts 11