Host a server via Steam?

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Stuntstream
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Host a server via Steam?

Post by Stuntstream »

Since the steam version released on 1st of April I wanted to know, if it ever will or can be possible to host a server via steam and to be able to invite friends via steam later? I suggest it because it would be very useful for me and my friends but I don't know how difficult it is to do so for the developers. :)
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by Eddi »

the question isn't really how hard it would be to do. also, leaving aside the fact that someone would need to step up and decide to implement it.

the main problem here is that for any integration with steam (friends, achievements, workshop, whatever), the game would have to use the "steamworks sdk", which is a closed source library, and the game itself is covered by the GPL, which demands that all "linked"[1] libraries have to be either open source, or "an integral part of the operating system"[2]

it is a very open question whether interfacing with the steamworks sdk is a violation of the GPL, which depends on how loosely you define [1], or whether steam counts as "the os" wrt [2]. and this question isn't going to be answered soon, or, ever. only a court can settle that question, and who would push it this far? still, this boils down to the question: do we really want to run this risk?
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kamnet
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by kamnet »

Eddi wrote: 22 Apr 2021 21:31 and this question isn't going to be answered soon, or, ever. only a court can settle that question, and who would push it this far? still, this boils down to the question: do we really want to run this risk?
That is assuming a court has any interest in taking that question up, and that there is somebody willing to fund the court to question it. That's probably going to be very low on the totem pole for an overtaxed court system over a game that doesn't cost any money against an organization that doesn't have any money.
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by Stuntstream »

Okay I see the point. Still thanks for your answers! :)
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Taschi
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by Taschi »

Eddi wrote: 22 Apr 2021 21:31 the main problem here is that for any integration with steam (friends, achievements, workshop, whatever), the game would have to use the "steamworks sdk", which is a closed source library, and the game itself is covered by the GPL, which demands that all "linked"[1] libraries have to be either open source, or "an integral part of the operating system"[2]
The game is released under the GPL, but it would be possible to release a version on Steam that is not licensed under the GPL (i. e. under an amended version of the GPL with an exception specifically for the SteamWorks SDK), so long as a) everybody who has contributed code agrees to that change in license, and b) OpenTTD doesn't fall under "copyleft" clauses of its third-party dependencies.

It's largely impractical to change licenses for a project with a significant number of contributors but it is possible.

FWIW, small open-source projects (e. g. JMRI) have been involved in lengthy legal battles so just ignoring the GPL is not a very good idea.
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by Eddi »

Taschi wrote: 26 Apr 2021 17:17but it would be possible to release a version on Steam that is not licensed under the GPL
no, that is not possible, because it would need asking everyone who ever contributed code in the last 15 years for permission.
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by Taschi »

Eddi wrote: 26 Apr 2021 19:41 no, that is not possible, because it would need asking everyone who ever contributed code in the last 15 years for permission.
Did you read my entire post? Because I did explicitly state that it would require the permission of every code contributor. And no, that is not "impossible". There are projects that have done it. A huge amount of Wikipedia content has been re-licensed a couple of years ago.
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kamnet
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by kamnet »

Taschi wrote: 27 Apr 2021 16:17 And no, that is not "impossible". There are projects that have done it.
Some of those contributors are no longer alive to give their consent.
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by pelya »

Steamworks SDK seems to be incompatible with GPL.
https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/sdk/ ... opensource

Valve however provides open-source implementation for some of their libraries, such as networking with NAT traversal.
https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/feat ... networking
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Re: Host a server via Steam?

Post by jfs »

pelya wrote: 27 Apr 2021 21:21 Valve however provides open-source implementation for some of their libraries, such as networking with NAT traversal.
https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/feat ... networking
Yes, unfortunately the part that we need, reporting rich presence status, is not contained in those libraries.
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