Coffeehouse Thread

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Simple family share policies [include gift capability].

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  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Features:

    1. Disc copy can be played offline forever.
    2. Disc copy cannot be played under disc-less mode using internet authentication.
    3. Disc copy cannot be downloaded.
    4. Disc copy cannot be shared online.
    5. XBL Store copy can be played everywhere using internet authentication.
    6. XBL Store copy can be played offline forever after enabling Offline Mode.
    7. XBL Store copy can be sent as gift to a friend as long as Offline Mode is disabled.
    8. XBL Store copy can be shared online as long as Offline Mode is disabled.

    Reason for not supporting disc-less feature on disc copy:

    I had to disable this feature because I realized it cannot be done. At least I cannot think of a good way to do this while keeping the important Disc Offline feature. If I can play disc copy using disc-less internet authentication, I stay online. And then, I lend disc to a friend who would stay offline. XBL would never know I lend it, thus, still allows me to play online while my friend plays completely offline.

    This is similar to single person sharing. The online sharing would be easier anyway. If this is not a big deal, MS should support disc-less feature using internet authentication.

    Disc-less key is given to the last person who played the disc while having internet connection. Disc-less key is invalidated when someone else play the disc while having internet connection.

    Rules:

    Since Disc cannot be converted to any online managed entity as explained. Disc will stay old school where you need the disc to play game and doesn't need any internet connection.

    XBL Store Game has two distinct modes and requires user manually converting it by choice.

    XBL Store Game in either Mode:

    XBL Store Game in either mode enables roaming play capability, same as Xbox 360.

    XBL Store Game in Cloud Mode (Xbox One inspired):

    1. Cloud Mode is the default mode when user purchased a game from XBL Store.
    2. Cloud Mode enables gift capability because the game resides in the cloud.
    3. Cloud Mode enables family sharing without constantly connected to the cloud because the game is already in the cloud.

    XBL Store Game in Offline Mode (Xbox 360 inspired):

    1. After game is downloaded, it can request an offline key (total of one) from the cloud to be stored in the console.
    2. XBL Store game cannot be sent as gift under offline mode because the console still holds the offline copy.
    3. The console that stores the offline key is the only console that can release it.
    4. User can request offline key to be released on the cloud. The cloud will tell the console to release it the moment internet connection is established.
    5. If console is broken or never online, the offline key will never be released.
    6. Family sharing is going to be complicated when offline key is involved. Recommend to disable family sharing. Family sharing is possible by requiring the console that holds offline key to be online for sharing. This defeats the purpose of offline mode, thus, is not recommended.

    Details on Family Sharing:

    1. Family management has been skipped by this topic. It is quite complex.
    2. One game can only be played by single family member at same time. Obviously and trivial. You can't wear the same cloth at same time when you share it, unless you are those people who share body.
    3. The person who owns the game can force terminate the shared game to gain the right to play the game. But, please call him/she before you press the red button.
    4. Browsing the shared game list can see a list of game with indicator who owns it and who is playing it.

    History:

    1. Add Resell feature.
    2. Change Resell to Gift to prevent money laundry.
    3. Add Disc Copy information.
    4. Disc Copy disc-less feature is added and removed.
    5. Revamp rules in attempt to simplify complexity.
    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    RLO

    Magical, I think you have accomplished putting together a system and description that was sorely needed during the X1 drm blowback.

    It's  a simple If/ then statement block, but if we had things presented in this way, I think there would not have been quite the same blowback that we saw.

    Simple precise lines in the sand could have cooled down a lot of people, and maybe this will be the path that the future takes.

    For me, my main concern was legacy.  I am a gamer first, a Microsoft admirer second.  It was the first Xbox that got me interested in the company.

    I hate rehashing over dead arguments, but I have been on the wrong side of MS DRM before. 

     

    Stuck in the middle of a road trip when my Zune decided it was time to "phone home" and be left with 25% of my music collection. (The part that wasn't DRM'd.)  I have had albums and tracks become unavailable because the licensing agreement changed.  Honestly, I am ok with that because I haven't purchased but "rented' under the subscription model.  Still things I had access to have vanished because of licensing.

    I remember purchasing tracks  from MSN music to have the store go belly up and not being able to play tracks unless I burnt a cd and re-ripped before the servers went dark. I remember the hype of sharing music with Zune before that was clipped a few years later and removed. 

    One of my favorite Xbox 360 games, Lips, had downloadable content.  I have spend about $700 dollars over the past 6 years in add-ons.  I have had to change consoles a few times, which when I went to re-download tracks had some of them suddenly vanish from the marketplace due to licensing. Not only that, whenever I play lips, it goes and contact servers for DRM checks on add-ons.  If it fails, I can only play what's on the disc.  I have had to wait at least 5 minutes after loading for the DRM checks to pass, and only then  I could start playing. If they failed, I was stuck on disc.

    So, when I heard about the 24 hour check ins and Family Sharing, I saw echoes of my past dealings with MS DRM.  Adding on to that was my experience with Hurricane Ivan in 2005, in which I was in the midst of playing FFXI ( an mmorpg on PS2)  when it was suddenly cut off from me for two weeks despite power..  Luckily I had xbox games I could play in the meantime, that didn't require the internet.

    So, having an offer of an Xbox with 24 hr. check in DRM (less time than the Zune Phone Home)with all digital titles that were done from licensing that may or may not expire depending on the whim of the publisher, with a sharing feature that may or may not be revoked in the future.......

    Do you see the pattern?

    Gaming to me is a serious hobby, I may not buy first day on all titles, but I will pick up a game down the road when I get a chance.  I prefer to buy new, and I prefer to keep and not resell.  I have also been known to pick up an Atari 2600 cartridge as well when the opportunity arises.

     

    The argument about the developers is still a distraction. It really doesn't take into the account all of the issues.

    If used games stores can make a profit reselling 60 dollar games at 5 to 10 off the price of new, what does that really say?

    If publishers want to compete, then compete.  60 a game only to reduce to 30 three to four months later is ridiculous.

    Introduce AAA titles at around 40, and see what happens to the profit margins.  I would expect a tremendous amount of sales.  By the time you do 60 then 30, you would have been better off starting and sticking with 40.

    Lastly, the video game crash of 1984 has a lot of lessons to teach.  When all of us learn them, maybe we can stop the great publisher manufactured video game apocalypse that is being pushed on us, today..

     

     

    TLDR1: MS has to earn trust for a DRM scheme to succeed, and they have to be specific and honest. Straight up rule sheets is the way to go, but must also provide remedies should the provider fail to keep the contract/bargain.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , magicalclick wrote

    • Rule4, one game can only be played by single family member at same time. Obviously and trivial. You can't wear the same cloth at same time when you share it, unless you are those people who share body.

    Do these girls get a special exception to the rules, then? Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    Personally, I prefer Rule 30.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    This is too complicated.  Make it simple and make it work like the 360, but give players the extra freedom to play without disc so long as they check in online periodically.

    If you sell/lend a game, your without-disc rights are disabled as soon as the other person puts it in their console.

    Anyone who plays on your console gets to play the game, just like the 360.  And I don't see the need for all this family share crap that is more expensive overall than the 360's now-defunct family plan.  The only improvement I would ask is to make it, say, $60/year for an account with a single XBox Live Gold membership, and $10/year for each account added to that plan, up to 10.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @bondsbw:

    This policy is build upon the current X360 DRM policy. When you buy a DRM game under the Offline Friendly license, it is exactly the same as current X360 policy. Any random account can play the game on the primary console as stated in Rule5. Once this Offline Friendly DRM is purchased, we have to assume the console is offline forever until it is online and converted to Resell Friendly license. I did not list the pricing for family plan because there isn't. Linking multiple silver accounts and share games does not require gold membership.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    But why this whole manual license management and conversion process?

    Under my suggestion, the only thing that matters is where the disc is... just like the current Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4 models.  But Microsoft would be offering something better, being able to choose between the disc requirement or the online requirement.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @bondsbw:

    Disc has nothing to do with DRM because it is a physical copy. To clear your concern, physical disc plays just like Xbox First, Xbox 360, DreamCast, GameCube, Playstation 1 to 4. Online requirement is limited to Gift friendly DRM and P2P like DRM sharing.

    Why manually converting it? Because there is no way to automatically convert it. Once a Offline DRM is installed on a primary console, the console can play it forever offline. You cannot gift it under the knowledge that there exists one offline copy somewhere in the world. You wish to invalidate the copy from the primary console the moment it goes online, but, since it is offline forever, you can't.

    What MS previously did before E3, is to drop the Xbox 360 DRM Offline mode completely. A major step back from the existing policy.

    But, honestly, might as well just drop the gift capability entirely. If an user wants to gift his game, he should buy a disc instead. This would make things less confusing. But, obviously the user gives up his ability to gift his XBLA games that normally don't have disc copy. My proposal would enable user to gift his XBLA games at inconvenience of choosing and converting between Offline Friendly or Gift Friendly policy.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , magicalclick wrote

    My proposal would enable user to gift his XBLA games at inconvenience of choosing and converting between Offline Friendly or Gift Friendly policy.

    Why? Direct-download systems such as Steam have no such capability to run the games offline or to resell the games afterwards, and they seem to be doing pretty well.

    The people with legitimate concerns about the reselling market are mainly people who are buying physical media at the moment anyway. Friends borrowing discs (and hence only one friend at a time), and the buying and reselling of preowned physical media were the two sectors that were most vocal about the xbone's restrictive policies.

    If I were Microsoft, I'd say keep the restrictions for downloaded games. There's no need (or particular demand) to allow borrowing or reselling of those games. But keep the disc market the same as it is now. In other words, keep the status quo for both.

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @magicalclick:  My policy is not based on your policy, so your assumptions aren't valid in my system.  I'm starting where we are now with the 360 (and the new XB1 policies), a completely disc-based offline DRM system (ignoring downloaded games for now).

    Then I'm augmenting a system where the user can go online and the game will be authorized for online/disc-free play on the console.  This means that the console must be online (or check-in regularly) to play without disc.

    If the disc is inserted in another console, when it goes online, the original console is deauthorized for online/disc-free play and the new console is authorized.

    No license management or manual conversion process or anything like that.  Completely automated, "just works".

     

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @bondsbw: How do you uniquely identify discs?

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @kettch:  Serial number?  (Random and long enough to thwart brute force attempts.)

    Of course, it's 2013... I would have expected, by now, that Microsoft could add a technology that would enable some sort of rolling key in the disc.  But frankly, that's for their DRM monsters to figure out... my perspective is one where legitimate owners don't feel screwed over by needing to go through hoops just to play their legally-purchased content.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @bondsbw: I thought about that before. But I left PRM out of the equation for now. Enable disc-less PRM copy will follow what you described. But, I am trying to focus on copies that have no physical disc right now. The PRM convention to DRM adds another layer to complexity. Because it still has physical properties, it is not a complete conversion to digital copy. The user mistakenly treat it as digital copy and trying to gift the digital duplicate, which would fail and cause confusions. Anyway, your idea works, just that it is outside the scope of my thread. My thread only focus on DRM, meaning, no topic on physical disc. People who dislike disc swapping should go with digital copy for now. Your idea would be a nice addition as well, but, that's entirely another topic by itself.

    The original post has been updated to mention how the disc primary key and roaming key works.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @evildictaitor: ask Offline DRM feature to X360 XBL team. Ask gift DRM feature to pre-E3 Xbox One team. All I know is, I loved the offline capability I have used for years. I don't know why MS wants gift feature, but, they did, and I know how to implement it innovatively and creatively without giving up my already loved offline XBLA capability. And honestly, to help the whiner who complaints about losing sharing and gift features. As much as I want them to #dealwithit, I still want a system smart enough to keep them happy.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @magicalclick:  Ok, thanks for the clarification.  Just to note, the term DRM does normally apply to all concepts of digital data including physical copies (DVD movies, for instance).

    But pretend again I didn't read all those rules.  (Not hard, because I didn't read them all... TL;DR for people who don't care all that much about implementation details.)  Tell me the jist of your scheme in as few words as possible.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @bondsbw:

    thanks for the feedback, I have revamped my original post to reflect your posts. Unfortunately I realized disc-less feature cannot be done when disc can be played offline forever. I have explained it in my latest update.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @magicalclick: Much better, easier to read.

    Back to "Reason for not supporting disc-less feature on disc copy"... I think if I were Microsoft, I would ignore that issue.

    As soon as your friend's Xbox gets online, it disables your disc-less copy.  You are relying on your friend to not get online at all until you get the disc back.  I wouldn't take that risk with my game.  And Microsoft is still guaranteed that only one copy is using the cloud features at a time.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @bondsbw:

    Yeah, I am just too picky about exact loophole. If MS doesn't care about people doing such loophole, which is marginal, disc-less feature should be supported. Besides, with sharing, I think that's where most people would rather do.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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