Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 10th Feb 2017 22:15 UTC
Games

When we consider any new features or changes for Steam, our primary goal is to make customers happy. We measure that happiness by how well we are able to connect customers with great content. We've come to realize that in order to serve this goal we needed to move away from a small group of people here at Valve trying to predict which games would appeal to vastly different groups of customers.

Thus, over Steam's 13-year history, we have gradually moved from a tightly curated store to a more direct distribution model. In the coming months, we are planning to take the next step in this process by removing the largest remaining obstacle to having a direct path, Greenlight. Our goal is to provide developers and publishers with a more direct publishing path and ultimately connect gamers with even more great content.

This is a big step for Steam, and will make it incredibly trivial for developers and publishers alike to publish games on Steam.

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RE[2]: Great
by ahferroin7 on Mon 13th Feb 2017 12:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Great"
ahferroin7
Member since:
2015-10-30

The problem is that there are plenty of big (albeit not necessarily mainstream) games, especially MMO's, that are already installing rootkits or needing to run as administrator so their anti-cheating components work (or in some cases because they were designed by idiots and do stupid stuff like copying their program directory to the top of the C drive prior to launch and running from there). The only way to sandbox those is a complete virtual machine, which is impractical for multiple reasons, especially for those wimps who are incapable of playing games except on the highest possible graphics settings with maximal frame rates.

On the Linux side you could at least use stuff like firejail (with the right settings, you can get Steam running fully namespaced with system call filtering under firejail, and about 80-90% of the games available on Linux work pretty much flawlessly when launched from it), but you can't really do much of anything on Windows as an end user, and proper sandboxing is a serious PITA on OS X.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Great
by ssokolow on Mon 13th Feb 2017 21:26 in reply to "RE[2]: Great"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

The problem is that there are plenty of big (albeit not necessarily mainstream) games, especially MMO's, that are already installing rootkits or needing to run as administrator so their anti-cheating components work (or in some cases because they were designed by idiots and do stupid stuff like copying their program directory to the top of the C drive prior to launch and running from there). The only way to sandbox those is a complete virtual machine, which is impractical for multiple reasons, especially for those wimps who are incapable of playing games except on the highest possible graphics settings with maximal frame rates.


Point.

I'm so used to buying and running only DRM-free as a matter of principle that I forgot about that being one of the reasons I started.

On the Linux side you could at least use stuff like firejail


Firejail and Bubblewrap are actually two different frontends to the same underlying mechanisms.

As I understand it, the reason they both exist is that Firejail was developed before they split Bubblewrap out of Flatpak (then known as xdg-app) to be usable independently and Firejail development spends more effort trying to find ways to make unmodified applications amenable to sandboxing.

Edited 2017-02-13 21:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Great
by ahferroin7 on Tue 14th Feb 2017 12:34 in reply to "RE[3]: Great"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

I'm so used to buying and running only DRM-free as a matter of principle that I forgot about that being one of the reasons I started.

I'm not talking DRM encumbered stuff, I'm talking stuff that takes fascist approaches to preventing cheating that don't care about the security of the player's systems. Thankfully use of rootkits to stop cheating has largely subsided, but it's still out there.

As far as the stuff that requires running as an administrator, most of that in my experience is just poor design choices, not DRM.

Firejail and Bubblewrap are actually two different frontends to the same underlying mechanisms.

As is (almost) every sandboxing tool on Linux. I just mentioned firejail specifically since it's one of the easiest for normal users to set up since it doesn't require modifying the application at all and still provides full audio and 3D acceleration support.

As I understand it, the reason they both exist is that Firejail was developed before they split Bubblewrap out of Flatpak (then known as xdg-app) to be usable independently and Firejail development spends more effort trying to find ways to make unmodified applications amenable to sandboxing.

In general, yes, although from my limited knowledge of both, firejail is a bit easier to use if you're not a programmer. I'd argue though that sandboxing is significantly less useful to an end user if it requires the application to opt-in, which is a large part of why firejail still exists.

Reply Parent Score: 2