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Messages - stylecrime [ switch to compact view ]

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Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Digital Game Stores
« on: August 22, 2009, 07:32 AM »
Thanks, wraith, a nice little article!

Just to give my own perspective:

I am a customer of three of these sites: Steam, GOG and Big Fish.
For me, Steam wins the day, for several reasons.

Firstly, it has the widest range of games.  GOG and BFG are somewhat limited in the games offered: GOG only has older games and BFG specialises in casual games, whereas Steam has both of these as well as the latest releases.

Second, Steam has good prices, particularly its weekly specials.  I generally do not buy full-price new releases.  I generally buy slightly older games that have come down in price (I only bought Valve's Orange Box a few months ago, for example), some indie games and some casual games.  The specials that Steam have on their games are usually good - sometimes 50%-75%, which allows me to get a decent game for a good price.  It also means that I can sometimes get a fairly recent game for less than the cost of an older game from GOG.  The specials at GOG tend not to be as generous - usually 10%-25%.

Third up is Steam's usage policy, which allows me to install any or all of my Steam games on as many of our computers as I want (we have four in the house).  I have no strong opinions either way on DRM or copy protection: as long as I'm not overly inconvenienced, I don't mind.  Steam is great in that I don't have to keep original discs handy, nor do I need to keep lists of CD keys - it all just installs and works without any hassle.

Fourth, my ISP has its own Steam content server, which means that as long as my Steam installation uses that server to get its content from, it doesn't count against my monthly download quota.  This is a big plus for me!  It means that I can install a 4GB game on two computers and not lose the 8GB of download.  So not only do I have the convenience of not having to buy/use physical media, I don't even have to pay for the downloads.  Sweet!

There are good things to say about the other sites as well.

Big Fish changed their policies a few months ago and now allow unlimited installations of all games purchased (you do need the BFG installation manager installed on each PC, but that's no real hassle).  They recently dropped their prices to a standard US$6.99 per game, which is a big improvement.  They are also currently running a series of specials whereby they sell a different game each day for US$2.99.  At these prices, I don't mind so much that their games are typically not as deeply involving as most.  BFG's casual games range is somewhat limited in breadth (seriously, how many different ways are there to do a hidden object game?) but there are some real gems.  These games a great for the kids, too - quite simple to learn and control.

GOG I have the least experience with.  I've only bought one game from them so far.  I'm often tempted, but I just feel that considering the age of the games, they should be a bit cheaper.  And I know that sounds dumb, considering they're only US$5-10 but, as I said, I can often get games from BFG or Steam for less than that.

One more thing I like about Steam is the achivements.  Not ever game has them (most don't) but they are fun to try and complete.  I'm down to my last half dozen in Defense Grid and, unfortunately, when it comes to a choice between trying to knock another one of those off, or tidying the house, the housework comes in a sad second place!


General Software Discussion / Re: ESET Smart Security
« on: November 27, 2007, 07:27 PM »
I'm a registered user of NOD32 v2.7 - upgrade to 3.0 is free.  They've also offered any registered user a free upgrade to the Suite for the remainder of any current registration - you have to pay the full Suite license fee when your license runs out, though, assuming that you want to stay with it.

I've no need for the full suite, and upgrading to 3.0 made my computer unstable, so I'm sitting on 2.7 for the moment.  Apart from that problem, NOD32's been great.  Very low impact on performance, unlike some other products.

I host my own domain + email server, so it may be easier for me to do this than for other people, but I create aliases for my actual email address based on the names of the web sites I need the address for.

To explain:

My real address is [email protected]  If I'm registering at, I create an alias, [email protected], and register with that address.  If, at any point in the future, I start getting spam addressed to [email protected], I not only know which site leaked my address, but I can just delete the alias and the spam stops!

Living Room / Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« on: August 28, 2007, 08:15 PM »
I'm opting for 3. Unfortunately it clashes with Microsoft's idea, as My Pictures and My Music is not sorted by project or theme.

Exactly my thinking, which is why I don't use the My Documents folder!  I (as do some others, based on the replies I'm seeing here) generally let software put whatever it wants to in there, and I've created a different "Documents" folder where I can safely organise my own hierarchy based on purpose/project without fear of installation routines and other automated stuff messing it up.  I've mapped that folder to a drive letter, so I don't have to dig through folders to find my docs.  I find the usage of all the "My ..." folders really annoying!

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