Preorders and expiring S3 links

Pay what you want to pre-order NEW ORBIT Episode 1 for PC/Mac – coming very soon out now! (Yes there’s tiers and bonuses!) Also: The game will be DRM-free!

So… DRM-free and no included unlocking of a trial means I can’t just hand out the download link.

What to do?

Since I’m hosting all the downloads on Amazon S3 anyway, I took on the major task of finding a way googling for a way to create expiring links to files on S3. And I did find it here! So the link I’m sending to the user contains his user-id and I can verify that he has indeed bought the game before I forward him to a link that expires after 30 seconds. If someone shares the second link he better be quick. If someone shares the first link (the one with the user-id in it) and it’s generating a suspicously large amount of downloads, I’ll know and revoke downloading rights for that user. I also added a security hash so you can’t just use someone else’s id if you know he bought the game…

There’s no in-game-DRM because it’s a hassle for the user and it’s a pain for me to implement and the game is going to get pirated either way, but this way I can at least make sure that I’m not paying the bandwidth for the illegal downloads… And there’s even a bright side for the user too: File downloads from fastspring would expire after a week or so, with my new solution you’ll be able to re-download all your games at any time by logging into!

With this in place I hope I’ll have everything ready to go live soon and the final release date will be a little while after that!

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    Mirko on April 16, 2012 at 06:03 | Permalink

    I hope you continue your mission, because it sounds like you have a lot of determination and insight, but you also happen to be able to do something so many have failed at; space exploration games like starflight and elite. New Orbit is so innovative, and has breathed life into a genre that is so difficult to get right. Well done. Please continue, ears have pricked up and are waiting for more.

    Matt Curtis on April 18, 2012 at 01:21 | Permalink

    I agree 100% with Mirko! I love the idea of a PC/Mac option, but personally, I’m a gaming-on-the-go kind of guy, so I usually stick to mobile devices for gaming (which is why I love the iPhone version!)

    Raphael Dias on April 22, 2012 at 03:26 | Permalink

    Are there any new features on the Mac/PC version? or “only” better images and audio quality?
    I would buy the version with +3 missions and dev comments but $20 is just too much =/

    col000r on June 26, 2012 at 10:55 | Permalink

    At the moment the Mac/PC version is pretty much the same as the iOS version (except for higher res, better audio and lots of changes under the hood, of course). In general I think I have to make sure to reward those people who buy the game directly from my site (either through a lower price or some bonus features) as that’s the channel where I get the biggest part of the money…

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