Monday Dec 15th was release day. Many people have downloaded the digital version of Approaching Infinity, and the boxed version is traveling all over the world right now…including a few copies to me. I can’t wait to hold that in my hand! I keep saying I’m gonna wear it around my neck…we’ll see what I do.
I suppose if I had thought about it, I would have realized just how much work release day would be. Due to constraints by my publisher, Shrapnel Games, I wasn’t able to release the game to my kickstarter backers and itch.io early access folks until 6am Monday. So I didn’t *DO* anything about it until Monday morning. Big mistake. I could have been a lot better prepared. As it is, I am about 20% done with sending almost 500 emails with download links and serial numbers. Sorry everyone. When I’m done writing this, I’ll get right back to it.
Or “Digital Rights Management”, refers to steps taken with digital media to deter illegal re-distribution. DRM has been used for decades, and is a major component of Steam, the biggest on-line game thing ever. It is not unique to AI. I did not even consider DRM for Approaching Infinity until about two months before release, and that was at the publisher’s request. But why?
Approaching Infinity represents over a year of my blood, sweat, and tears (figuratively, of course, I’m a man, dammit!). It also represents my aching back and my failing eyes, as well as my personal triumphs in procedural generation and making something fun and engaging! Further, a publisher who has been in the business for 15 years, and released one of my favorite games, saw enough promise in MY GAME to commit a sizable financial investment into getting this game out there. Neither I nor Shrapnel Games sees one dime, except through sales. My dimes are significantly pie-charted until we cover costs. Finally, regardless of how awesome it is, Approaching Infinity is a niche game; there is a limited market.
All of these factors led to the institution of a DRM system. It consists of a unique serial number and a one-time on-line connection. Once you register the game on your computer, you never have to do anything about it again. And you get multiple unique installs. But it’s not unlimited.
A free demo of AI is available. This is quite enough to decide whether the game is for you. If you like the demo, you’re going to love the full game. The demo exposes about 2% of the available content. Imagine that. There is about 50 times as much STUFF out there, that you haven’t seen yet. And that content is only going to grow, as the game will be updated multiple times in the future. And when the modding community gets going, we’re going to see stuff that even I never imagined!
I am going to leave you with something that I was only just made aware of: The art (by Aaron Wu) for the soundtrack to Approaching Infinity: