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Okay, to get one thing out of the way first, I get it; people aren't fond of DRM, and I'm not necessarily here to discuss DRM, at least in terms of file encryption and inconvenient always-online setups. I'm more so just looking for advice on how to go about the whole situation.
1. Does the itch.io staff take any sort of active measures in taking down illegal offsite downloads? I'm not asking for them to constantly scour the internet to make sure nobody's uploaded a copy of my game without permission, but if I find an upload somewhere that violates copyright laws, is there anyone on here I can contact for help getting them taken down? Or do I just have to rely on the provider of the service it's hosted on?
2. What makes people want to support a game versus taking the path of least resistance? Two kind of conflicting arguments I've heard are that a game people aren't willing to pay for isn't worth buying, and that every game in existence has been and will be pirated. Unless no game ever created has ever been or ever will be worth buying, it's pretty obvious that there's a right way and a wrong way to go about publishing a quality product.
3. If I did decide to publish on Steam instead for the sake of DRM, would its relatively lightweight Game Maker DRM even realistically make up for the $100 greenlight entry fee and the 30% commission on each sale? It'd make pirating my game a bit harder than just downloading it and reuploading to Dropbox, but theoretically, once that one illegal file is out there, whatever effect it'd have on my sales will be basically unavoidable, right?
4. What should I do if (probably more like when) it does happen? How much effort is it actually worth expending to squash every illegal upload, and how would I even go about doing it? Should I seek additional support if I think piracy is hurting me significantly, or is it a better idea to not call attention to the existence and accessibility of pirated copies in the first place? Is it a problem that gets better, or worse, the more you fight back?
I ran it through my own antivirus and it found no threats. Game Maker Studio executables are known to trigger false positives with some AVs due to the technique they use to decompile data. I don't visit obscure sites or download files all that often, and I run AdwCleaner fairly often, so it's probably nothing.
EDIT: Either way though, if you still aren't comfortable (or your PC plain old won't let you run the file,) I've also added an NSIS installer version. It's a slightly larger file, but they tend to be a bit less problematic.
I don't know whether you've already streamed the game or not, but fi you haven't, please wait. A friend of mine caught a few major bugs that I'd like to patch, and while I'm at it I've decided to make a few additional changes to add polish and better game balance. It shouldn't take much more than a couple of days at most for me to have a 0.1.5 update out.
I released a demo for my game a couple days ago, and I want some feedback, mostly in terms of two specific things:
Difficulty - I'm a bad judge of difficulty in my own projects. For reference, I'm aiming for a fairly middle-of-the-road difficulty level. Somewhere between Super Mario World and classic Mega Man.
Controls/Game feel - I want my game's controls and feel to be smoother than butter and tighter than those yoga pants that actually make you look fatter instead of skinnier. I'd like reviewers to tell me that my game has some of the best platforming controls they've ever experienced. I want them to cry when they realize they have to move using their own legs in real life, and beg me to somehow tweak their gravity and inertia to make it more like how it is in my game.
Here is game. https://almyriganhero.itch.io/the-great-frebbventure-public-demo
Here's a demo for an action-platformer game I'm working on. It's not super weird or crazy, but it's got quite a bit of visual and musical variety and focuses on tight, fast-placed gameplay that would hopefully be fun to watch. There're also cutscenes full of classic cartoon humor and a protagonist who's basically Squidward fused with Waluigi, so it has that going for it too.