Linux Gaming News

Project Ascension launcher arises out of Paid Mod controversy on Steam


A few gaming fans have taken to Reddit, both developers and PC gamers launched Project Ascension, a new #opensource #gaming #client. The concept behind the launcher is for games bought and downloaded anywhere, Steam, Origin, even games downloaded direct from indie developer websites or DVD’s.

We all know Steam is a popular online gaming platform enabling its users to install and update their games across multiple computers. Not to mention a friends list, social networking, in-game chat/voice, the ability to modify items or features in a game (known as “mods”) and share them. And Steam has 125 million active users and over 4,500 games available for purchase, with over 1000 of those games for Linux. A service that completely altered the state of PC gaming, using your account to register retail or digital purchases, allowing users to download and re-download those paid purchases as they choose. Holds a staggering 75% of all the games being bought and downloaded online. That’s huge.

On the downside, Steam has digital rights management (DRM), where the software is set to protect against game piracy by allowing users to only install games through the client. Handy for AAA and indie developers to sell their works through Steam or even it’s rival Origin, keeping content protected.

Now the decisicion to create an open source game launcher rose out of the recent controversy of Steam’s paid mod initiative. Where Valve announced it would allow paid mods priced by their creators, so users could download a specific items or features for a game by having to pay roughly $0.30 to $7 (and upwards for others).
Meaning those users who downloaded mods could end up paying out quite a lot of money. So the community took to complaining on Reddit, with some concerns about mod integrity and being subject to licenseing and/or DRM restrictions. Then Valve removed the paid mod market on April 27.

Reddit user ComradePutinCCCP1917 decided to do something about it, announcing his open source game launcher that works on every PC operating system, “As a C++ / C# developer, an idea came to my mind: What if we create our own platform?”

This new plan allows users to buy games from their online stores, activate the games, then use the Project Ascension game launcher to play them. This would allow mod makers to develop content for any game and use a client that’s free to download launch their favourite titles.

ComradePutinCCCP1917 posted: “I know there are a lot of other platforms, launchers, and widgets to “sort out” our games in libraries, but Steam was the s**t.

Within the last 48 hours alone, Project Ascension sub-Reddit was created, developers are discussing code, and graphic designers are working on user interface designs.  The sub-Reddit is certainly getting attention, but gamers are used to buying games through Steam or Origin. Having a comprehensive backup system for all platforms would be a solid asset.

So there are many sides to the various aspects of using an open source client. However as Linux gamers, we are used to the many facets of open source and the code being under scrutiny. Protecting against root kits and other malicious content getting into the code base. Now with Project Ascension coming into view, thoughts are varied. Seeing a whole new perspective for singleplayer games with mods, but deterring gaming for multiplayer games which can prove destructive.

What are your thoughts about Project Ascension? Do you feel this will be an asset or the demise for gaming, and why?


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