Distribution on Steam

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Distribution on Steam

Postby ashchap » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:17 am

This has been mentioned in a different thread but it got burried and I thought it deserves it's own thread as I personally think it could be a massive source of new donors with nice meaty GPUs.

Helrich wrote:
With that said, we're now thinking about next steps to make FAH more fun and appealing to experts, such as computer enthusiasts and gamers.


[...]

Have you considered contacting Steam (store[dot]steampowered[dot]com[slash]about)? That's the mecca for PC gamers today. You would get a lot more traffic if you got them to publicize F@H. Not too long ago, when they released their Linux client, they had an offer where if you installed Steam on Linux and played one of their games, they'd give you a Tux penguin hat to wear in it. I'm not sure what the numbers are at now, but shortly after the Linux client released, Linux users made up just over 2% of the total user-base (which when you consider that there's over 3 million players in-game on Steam at a single time, is no small number!).


Distributing the client on steam would not only entice people who have never heard of it before but also reassure people that it is easy to set up and run.
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby NookieBandit » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:55 pm

Excellent idea. Steam has a generally young audience and would get them engaged in FAH early, perhaps encouraging a few to choose computational biology careers. My daughters have Steam accounts and I'm surprised at how often they'll choose physics/modeling games that they'd never find without a Steam account.
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby bruce » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:16 am

It's my understanding that Steam appeals mostly to gamers. I'd think we would have to make some changes to FAH to make it more appealing to gamers. Wouldn't they just loose interest rather quickly? The FAH viewer and FAHControl front-end are not really written to appeal to them or to keep their interest.

I'm open to suggestions if anybody has any, but FAH isn't really a game and solid scientific results are rather slow-moving compared to a lot of the games I've seen.
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby P5-133XL » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:38 am

http://steamcommunity.com/greenlight/faq/

While they do not say how much it costs you can bet that Steam distribution would cost money i.e. each Steam download of folding could no longer be free or if it was PG would have to pay. They do not exist to give away their services.

P.S. The $100 fee for Greenlight is just an application fee. The actual cost structure is not given till after the product has been accepted.
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby Napoleon » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:31 pm

I think there'd have to be a close co-operation between Steam (Valve) and PG to make it happen. Steam isn't a charity, so there'd have to be some intrinsic value in distributing the folding client for them - bragging rights, if nothing else. On the other hand, there's the (now defunct) Sony/PS3 precedent, for one. Google Compute (also defunct) is another.

The FAH EULA is also a problem. One might have Steam installed so that family and friends can install and play games every now and then, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the one who's paying the bills would automatically approve of installing a "resource hog" which runs the computer at full blast all the time it is on.
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby 7im » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:31 pm

Make a fah steam client that only runs while idle so it doesn't interfere with other steam downloads.
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Put F@H on Steam Store?

Postby 3D_Now!! » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:03 pm

Hi All,

Just an idea. Has anyone ever thought of integrating fah into Steam, and somehow making it a bit like a game and people can get awards and collect stickers etc like in games.

That way, surely it would be possible to tap into the enormous GPU resource within that community, while also leveraging a different form or reward system (while also keeping PPD etc).

Just occurred to me while driving to work for some reason. I remember a while ago Vijay Pande pointing out that if even a small % of the worlds GPU's got into it, fah could be exascale in a jiffy.

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Re: Put F@H on Steam Store?

Postby foldy » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:12 pm

I like the idea but it would need a sponsor to implement that on steam.
The idea of awards and collect stickers could make some users keep folding and they can trade them on steam for some cents.
Maybe even the current FoldingCoin and CureCoin reward could be replaced by sort of stickers with some value.
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Re: Put F@H on Steam Store?

Postby JimboPalmer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:09 pm

I suspect you will have Non Disclosure Agreement issues.

Pande Group wants (needs) to keep the code secret so assholes do not cheat on Points.

Valve wants (needs) to know exactly what each program does, as it will be liable if it serves up viruses and other malware.

I do not think either group can agree that the other group's wants is more important than their own.
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Re: Put F@H on Steam Store?

Postby foldy » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:08 am

On Steam they only provide the binaries and not the source so no NDA issue.
Standford can garantee to Valve that FAH is not malware.
Awards and stickers need to be implemented by the sponsored developers, which only need to get access to users statistics like PPD, projects worked on ...
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Re: Put F@H on Steam Store?

Postby bruce » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:56 pm

So you're saying that access to the FAH stats flat-files is all that's required, plus a certification that the binaries are clean? Isn't that pretty much what CureCoin does? What about revisions to FAHCores and to GPUs.txt when they occur (which FAHClient will always get from the Stanford servers?
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby foldy » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:07 am

FahCores, GPU.txt and so on FahClient would still updates itself from Stanford servers. But if a new FahClient gets released then it would be updated through Steam. That means Stanford uploads a new FahClient version to Steam and all Steam FAH users get the update automatically.

CureCoin or FoldingCoin are too complicated for average users but Steam stickers and selling them for some cents is easy.
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby 3D_Now!! » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:54 pm

Thanks all for throwing some considerations into the ring I hadn't been aware existed.

It seems like most of the initial concerns over the challenges around control over the client and fahcores etc have been countered with some interesting potential solutions.

My main idea (turns out someone also had this idea a few years ago too!) however didn't concern the technicalities, but rather the concept itself, which is to use an existing platform where a large base of computing resource exists, to promote and push the distributed computing field forward. Let me be clear; I do not propose that we push for fah to be integrated into the steam client and secretly run in the background just because that machine has x resources. But rather that it be offered as a download along with all the other games etc on Steam, and all of the usual consent and care is taken to ensure that people are fully aware of what they are installing and running, and properly re-assured of the safety of the program and so on.

Although Valve is a business, and Steam is it's main product. It is a fact that every company is made up of people and i think most are open to the idea of using their place within society to accelerate the interests of humanity. It is both a rewarding experience on a personal level but also often leads to positive PR. At the very least it will be a small effort on Valve's part to host the folding software and offer some small level of promotion for it. I also think that although everyone on Steam is a "gamer", it is also true that they also represent a huge variety of other interests, and I'm positive that a lot of those will align with the people from this community.

I believe it is heavily in Stanford's interests to do something like this, and I'm sure it has been thought of before, so it would be interesting to hear from anyone on the inside as to why it is not currently in place :)
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby foldy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:07 pm

Just because FAH would be available through Steam that does not mean anybody installs it. There are thousands of games on Steam so maybe nobody even spots FAH. If somebody is interested in FAH then he can also search it through Google. But the chances that some Steam users install FAH are higher when available through Steam.
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Re: Distribution on Steam

Postby hahnchen » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:22 am

I think Steam distribution would be a great idea. I've been both Folding and on Steam for over 10 years.

Steam's userbase has a higher percentage of performance-machines than the average. Their user statistics are at http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/ and http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/videocard/

Steam supports non-game software and software which is free (not just free to play). Every steam user has a Steam profile, where they can showcase their achievements - it may be possible to showcase how many units/points they have completed. When folding, their Steam status will indicate they are folding and could encourage others' curiosity.

I think Steam distribution would increase F@H's total compute power by a not insignificant margin, and something worth exploring. I'm also open to volunteering my time on a project like this.
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