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./play.it, an easy way to install commercial games on GNU/Linux
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Cyril 27 Apr
WTF... It can't be a human who responded this, is it? *facepalm*
Courage vv221 !
vv221 28 Apr
Fresh news: Hannah Gamiel, Development Director at Cyan, sent us an e-mail clearing up the misunderstanding and promising us that they will ensure the DMCA claim is going to be reversed as soon as possible. This is the first e-mail that read like a real human is talking to us since the start of this mad week, and a big relief for us.

I will post a detailed post-mortem of this full issue soon, but here are a couple highlights already:
- Thanks to all involved in helping our issues reaching Cyan, be it through Twitter or any other mean
- Thanks to Hannah Gamiel for actually taking us seriously and being the first one not treating us as "guilty until proven innocent"
- Of course, since we’ve gotten apologies that sound sincere the ban on Cyan games is lifted from ./play.it, and I will restore support for Myst: Masterpiece Edition and RealMyst: Masterpiece Edition soon
- If you are a DMCA corporate drone and actually reading this, remember that you are threatening real humans with your claims, not faceless entities
crt0mega 28 Apr
Another good example for how f*cked up the whole DMCA hemisphere is -.-
Love your work! Helped me get my kids up and running with their Windows titles many times.
vv221 21 May
./play.it new 2.13 version got released on the 7th of May 2021, a bit less than one year after the previous 2.12 we already announced on this blog: ./play.it 2.12: API, GUI and video games

New features of this release are detailed below, then we will talk about decisions we took concerning ./play.it Web presence, and celebrate our first serious accusation of copyright violation!

Changelog

Despite our early expectations 2.13 release brings an even bigger volume of changes than 2.12 did, even if it took less time to prepare. Said changes have been developed between January 2019 and May 2021, the details follow:

  • New features:
    • New option --version (or -v), displaying the library version
    • Debug notices, disabled by default, enabled with --debug
    • Archives: Add support for InstallShield installers
    • Engines: Add ability to use system-provided Ren'Py
    • Packages: Add support for extra compression methods: lz4, lzip, lzop and zstd
    • Packages: Add an alternative output format targeting Gentoo
  • The installation process GNU Make has been improved to allow targeted actions: install-library, install-games, install-wrapper and install-manpage
  • Archive-related fixes and improvements:
    • Use a new archives naming convention, more robust, see our documentation for details: Archive-related variables — Base archives
    • Rewrite functions related to archives initialization
    • .deb archives: Extract data without relying on dpkg-deb only
    • Fix the error shown when an archive type is not set and could not be guessed
    • Fix the error shown when an unknown archive type is used
  • WINE-specific improvements:
    • Do not override WINEDEBUG if it is already set by the user
    • Provide a standard method to divert arbitrary files from the WINE prefix to persistent user-writable paths
  • Packages-related changes:
    • Provide wrapper functions to get package-related informations, including packages metadata
    • New generic dependency keywords
    • Improve handling of supported compression methods based on the target package format
    • Debian: Update dependency on libgdk_pixbuf-2.0.so.0
    • Gentoo: Change default installation prefix to /usr from /usr/local
  • Environment checks:
    • Run early filesystem checks, allowing to detect failure that would happen only at the packages building step
    • New function version_is_at_least comparing two version strings using the "x.y.z" format
  • Deprecation notices:
    • icons_linking_postinst is now a compatibility wrapper around standard icons extraction functions


2.13.1 bugfix release

We released a bugfix release tagged 2.13.1 on 20th May 2021, fixing some issues that got past our pre-release tests:

  • Fix data migration from volatile prefix to persistent paths
  • Fix filenames case conversion failure on non-ascii characters
  • Fix play.it wrapper installation path
  • Gentoo: Ensure sdl2-image is built with png and jpeg support


Changes to our Web presence

Keeping an active Web presence requires a lot of energy, especially when it includes multiple activities like for ./play.it:

  • Providing and maintaining a website with a dedicated page for each supported game, in French and in English;
  • Providing and maintaining an API giving access to several informations related to the supported games, the archives used to install them, and the scripts used to handle these archives;
  • Developing a new website, relying on this API, that should have taken the place of the previous website while being much easier to keep up-to-date;
  • Sharing regular announcements with a half-dozen Web communities, in French and in English;
  • Sharing announcement on our blog, in French and in English.


With the notable exception of the new website development, all of the required work was done by a single person, who happens to be the one handling the general project maintenance, reviewing the contributions, welcoming and helping new contributors, doing bug reports triage… No wonder this could not keep going like this forever.

So we decided to end most of our Web presence, a decision that is presented with a bit more details on our blog: End of website maintenance

To make it short, from these activities we are only going to keep the blog and sharing articles from the blog with a couple Web communities. The website will be kept online but no longer updated with the exception of a couple pages, either because a maintainer wants to keep these up-to-date (like the pages for games discussed on French RPG community La Couronne de Cuivre), or because some ./play.it users will have asked for such updates.

Copyright issues with Cyan World Inc.

We received on the 20th April 2021 a very unexpected e-mail, with the hosting provider we rent one of ./play.it main servers from receiving a copy:

Copyright Infringement Notification

Contact Information
Copyright Owner Name: Cyan Worlds, Inc.

DMCA Agent:
Mark B.
XXX X St
San Diego, CA XXXXX
Telephone: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Email: notice AT dmcaforce.com


The following works are the copyrighted property of Cyan Worlds, Inc.:

https://www.dotslashplay.it/fr/games/realmyst-masterpiece-edition
https://www.dotslashplay.it/fr/games/realmyst-masterpiece-edition?s[]=myst
https://www.dotslashplay.it/en/games/realmyst-masterpiece-edition
https://scripts.dotslashplay.it/play.it-2/games/play-realmyst-masterpiece-edition.sh


A representative list of these works is available at
http://cyan.com

I state UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that:

1.  Cyan Worlds, Inc. is the owner of the works described above, and I am its
    agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is
    allegedly infringed;

2.  I have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner
    complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the
    law; and

3.  This notification is accurate.


Nothing in this notification shall serve as a waiver of any rights or remedies
of Cyan Worlds, Inc. with respect to the alleged infringement, all of which are
expressly reserved.

/s/    Mark B., Authorized DMCA Agent

Dated this 20th day of April, 2021.


We are preparing a more detailed blog article about this whole copyright issue that spanned over a whole week, and did bring a lot of stress over us. While we’re waiting for this dedicated article, here is a quick rundown:

  • DMCA Force is an enterprise that is probably composed of robots, with no care about the human beings that are on the other end of their threats;
  • Hetzner see their customers as guilty until proven innocent, with not verification of the claims. And even if you prove your innocence, do not expect as much as an informal apology from them;
  • Cyan World Inc., in contrast with the two previous enterprises, host at least a couple real human beings able to admit they were wrong and promise they will try to avoid such issues in the future.


In the end, after a brief time removed from our list of supported games, Cyan games are once again welcomed into ./play.it scope. And that’s a nice thought, because it includes the very good Myst saga!

New games

  • 1365
  • A Betwitching Revolution
  • A Mortician’s Tale
  • A Short Hike
  • A Vampyre Story
  • Age of Wonders (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Apocalipsis
  • Art of Fighting 2 (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Astrologaster
  • Bad Dream: Coma
  • Baseball Stars 2 (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • BFF or Die
  • Bit Trip Runner 3
  • Breach & Clear
  • Broken Minds
  • Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon
  • Butcher
  • Call of Cthulhu: Prisoner of Ice
  • Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet
  • Card City Nights
  • Cats are Liquid - A Light in the Shadows
  • Cats are Liquid - A Better Place
  • Celeste
  • Coffee Talk (full game and demo)
  • Contract Demon
  • Cosmic Express
  • Creepy Tale
  • CrossCode (demo)
  • Dead Cells base game and expansions:
    • Rise of the Giant
    • The Bad Seed
  • Death’s Life
  • Democratic Socialism Simulator
  • Detective Gallo
  • Devil Daggers
  • Dicey Dungeons
  • Doodle God
  • Dracula: The Resurrection
  • Dungeons 2 - A Song of Sand and Fire
  • Dungeons & Lesbians
  • Earthlock
  • The Indifferent Wonder of an Edible Place
  • Equaboreal 12.21
  • Everything is Garbage
  • Evoland
  • Factorio
  • Fallout Tactics (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Far From Noise
  • Fatal Fury Special (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Flux Caves
  • Fragments of Euclid
  • GemCraft - Frostborn Wrath
  • Glittermitten Grove
  • Godhood
  • Guide of the Butterfly
  • Gun-Toting Cats
  • Harry Potter and the Mysterious Thief Part 1
  • Harry Potter and the Transformency Spell
  • Hellblade: Senuaʼs Sacrifice
  • Higurashi no naku koro ni Hou - Chapter 1 Onikakushi
  • Hive Time
  • Hot Pot Panic
  • Inner
  • Invisible Inc. expansion:
    • Contigency Plan
  • Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love
  • Just One Must Choose
  • King of the Monsters (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Lake Ridden
  • Lenna’s Inception
  • Liar Liar
  • Lo-Fi Room
  • Long Live the Queen
  • Luna
  • Man Oʼ War: Corsair - Warhammer Naval Battles
  • Metal Slug 2 (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Mimo
  • Mon-cuties for All
  • Monad
  • Monkey Island 1 Special Edition: The Secret of Monkey Island
  • Monster Sanctuary
  • Monstrata Fracture
  • Museum of Mechanics: Lockpicking
  • Neon Code
  • Night in the Woods
  • Nonsense at Nightfall
  • One Eyed Lee: Prologue
  • One Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party
  • Pandemonium!
  • Panmorphia
  • Paramedium: A Noise in the Attic
  • Pavilion
  • Peck N Run
  • Pier Solar and the Great Architects (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Pilgrims
  • Plant Daddy
  • Privateer
  • Quiet as a Stone
  • Reassembly
  • Retrace
  • Rimworld
  • Samurai Shodown Ⅱ (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Seasons After Fall
  • Sengoku 3 (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Shenzhen I/O
  • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper
  • Six Cats Under
  • Spiritfarer
  • Spring Falls
  • Talk to Me
  • Terra Nil
  • The 7th Guest
  • The Difference between Us
  • The Dream Machine
  • The King of Fighters 2000 (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • The Lion’s Song
  • The Pedestrian
  • The Stillness of the Wind
  • The Subject
  • The Suicide of Rachel Foster
  • The Tail Makes the Fox
  • The Talos Principle
  • Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers
  • Tiny Hunter
  • Tormentum: Dark Sorrow
  • Touhou 16.5: Hifuu Nightmare Diary ~ Violet Detector
  • TrackMania Nations Forever
  • Tsioque
  • Unsung Warriors Prologue
  • Untitled Cat Unboxing
  • Vampire: the Masquerade - Coteries of New York
  • Vampire the Masquerade - Shadows of New York
  • Volgarr the Viking (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Gladius expansions:
    • Reinforcement Pack
    • Tyranids
  • Warm
  • Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
  • Whispers of a Machine
  • Windosill
  • Wing Commander Ⅲ (previously supported by ./play.it 1.x)
  • Yoku’s Island Express


As usual feel free to request new games additions through the dedicated issues tracker on our forge. All video games available without any kind of DRM are qualiified for ./play.it support. With the notable exception of games developed by Nekomatata Games, because the people behind this studio display hostile behaviour towards developers of open source software.

What’s next?

Despite the time spent on preparing ./play.it 2.13 release, and even after its first corrective update 2.13.1, there are still of course issues to fix. So we are already working on a new corrective update 2.13.2.

At the same time, we are working on the next feature release 2.14. It’s still too soon to know for sure what will be included in it, but you can expect seeing mentions of Flatpak, Unity3D, and of course the ever incoming CD-ROM support.

The interruption of our Web-related activities should be, hopefully, only temporary. We already started working on a new database generation tool with the purpose of generating a whole database with no human intervention, from a collection of ./play.it script. This database will then be used, amongst other things, as a foundation to build a new website upon with most of its contents dynamically generated from said database. To any developer willing to help on this front, the database generator is written in Python, and the future website will probably be written in PHP.

---

This announcement is based on the release post we shared on our blog: ./play.it 2.13: Website, copyright and video games
Its source is available, under CC-By license, on our forge.
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