Thread: Crippleware
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rob
Senior Member
Lone Wolf Staff
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8,232

Old April 2nd, 2009, 03:46 PM
Before it's licensed, AB behaves as a demo. This means that you only get a taste of the product to see what it can do. You don't get the fully operational product. If we did that, we'd call it shareware instead of demo mode.

Let's look at the auto industry for a moment, since we modeled our approach to be similar. When you go to buy a car, do they give you the keys and tell you to drive it as much as you want and then bring it back when you feel like it? No, they don't. They let you drive the car a few miles to get a feel for what it can do, and that's it. They point out all the cool features so you can imagine what the car can do, but you don't get to actually experience it until you buy the car. Our model works much the same way.

The demo mode is not intended for creating a complete army list. You can readily see how AB handles all different kinds of units. If you hit the unit limit, you can delete units to experiment with other units.

You can preview what printouts will look like all you want to assess the usefulness of the printouts. The only reason someone would actually *need* to physically print the output is to use AB at the game table. At that point, it's no longer a demo, is it?

The automatic updates works 10 times before it cuts out. Since AB is behaving as a demo, that's perfectly reasonable. For the typical person, experimenting with the product 10 times is generally going to give them more than sufficient information to decide whether the product is worth purchasing. For the rare exception, they can continue experimenting with the data files they've already downloaded or retrieve new updates with a few extra mouse clicks. So it's anything but crippling. Besides, if someone needs to use AB on a protracted basis, then they probably aren't assessing it's usefulness anymore and are actually try to fully *use* it - which goes beyond what the demo is intended for.

It sounds like you fall into this camp. Different people have different expectations for what they *should* be able to do in a "demo". Some people are also a lot less scrupulous than others. Sadly, we need to decide on a single set of limitations for "demo" mode that works for everyone, and those limitations must be skewed to protect against the less scrupulous folks out there. We learned this lesson with V1.x and V2.x of AB. If you get frustrated about this, please direct it towards the many people out there whose actions have spoiled it for others like yourself.
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