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Old 05-24-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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STEAM "Family Accounts"

Hey, I love STEAM and I've been using it for years. I just have a suggestion that I think could greatly improve the system. Ever since a patch a little while back, it became impossible for multiple users to play online video games on STEAM at the same time. In fact, that specific account could only be running on one computer at a time. My family uses STEAM so all our kids can play the video games we buy them by simply adding the CD Key into STEAM, then going on each computer individually and downloading the game to that computer. This way we each play a different game, or the same game, on separate computers.
Now I understand you made it this new way to prevent hackers or people on others account that don't even know someone else is mooching off of them. The thing I would love to suggest is that you create a "family" network type of thing, I wouldn't mind paying for this at all, and I'm sure many others wouldn't at all. Basically it just simply lets you use STEAM on up to 3-4 different computers at once, and play online all at the same time. This way I don't have to go out and purchase 3 different copies of the same exact game to put on 3 different computers. I think it's kind of ridiculous to spend 3x the amount of money just so we can all play the same video game. I understand playing the same game at the same time may be complicated due to CDKey issues, but at least being allowed to play STEAM online on the same account (a family account) but different video games would be possible.
Simply adding a charge to this "family account" option would work out exceptionally well. This way the only way to play online at the same time would be to spend money, and no phisher would want to do that, because you might as well go out and get your own games/account then. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from, money is tight these days, and buying 3 different copies of the same games can really take up a lot of money.

Thanks in advance for reading this, and I hope you really take this into consideration.

Semper Fidelis
Brian A Schneider
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:22 PM   #2
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It seems fairly common for people to want multiple sessions to play different games but you're not legally allowed to share your account. Unless Steam changes it's EULA you can't have multiple logins simultaneously hence why you get the option to terminate existing sessions. I guess that's what you're asking for though (multiple concurrent sessions able to access non-similar games) and I'd like it too.

As a way around your problem might I suggest the offline mode? Only go online to update your various Steam caches.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:31 AM   #3
the unloved
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my friend at school prefers playstation because of the fact that he cant share his mums boyfriends games.

that and console propaganda.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:37 AM   #4
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Use the offline mode, it works great just log in with the account on the PC and then go offline. Though you can't play together, for that you need more games. And only one PC can be online.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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try cyber cafee
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
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I understand offline mode, but that's why I'm writing this suggestion, its OFFLINE mode. My kids and I play multiple online games, such as Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat, Defcon, Insurgency, and others. That's why I'm talking about a payment plan, or just an additional payment, to play an online game at the same time someone else, on the same account, is playing a different game
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:11 PM   #7
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your supposed to take advantage of valves kindness and ask for it to be free

i think you should be able to merge accounts so that they share games
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
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I think that you should be able to (for example) play DoD:Source and Far Cry 2 online at the same time on one account.
But allowing two users on one account to (for example) play Far Cry 2 online at the same time is not something I expect (but would be grateful for).

Offline mode is what mostly works for my family, as my wife rarely plays online games. So I only put her computer online to install new games.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:37 PM   #9
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Spawned accounts

I was actually thinking about something like this recently, ever since my girlfriend found out about L4D and plays it all the time. We wish to be able to play together without having to buy the game again, which leads us to console gaming.
Computers never really had simulataneous users. They were though to be only single-user. Just try it in Windows, plug in a second mouse and they share the same cursor, while in Linux, you can get multiple cursors, one for each mouse. I saw a few games implement this too, but anyway, this is getting off topic.

What I thought about is a bit like what Blizzard did with StarCraft a while ago. You could install StarCraft on your machine, and only one instance of your CD-key could get on Battle.net. However, you could also install a "spawn" client which could not play singleplayer, but was allowed to play multiplayer despite being restricted to only joining games and not hosting them. Steam could do something similar, yet different.

I was thinking about having a "spawn" account (which could be just a checkbox when logging in) allowing you to connect on your account on multiple computers. The difference would be that for a spawn account to be allowed to connect, the master account must be online and approve it. Since sharing username and password is not always a good idea, spawn accounts could have special credentials, working a bit like a guest pass. They could use the same username as the master account, but use a different password defined by the account holder.

When it comes to playing games online, games using Steamworks could either chose to block spawned accounts, or to restrict them. As for other games with a CD-key, I believe the master account should be asked permission to launch such a game, therefore eliminating the risk of being locked out of a game because your CD-key is in use.

Pushing it a little further, the master account could manage which games the spawned accounts have access to, which ones require permission, and which ones are forbidden.

Tell me what you guys think. If we can come up with a well-formed idea that is described in details, maybe it will be heard.

-- Wolf --
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:45 PM   #10
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All great ideas, but the only thing I'm really asking for simply the ability to have steam in ONLINE mode one 2 computers at once. I understand that the same game cannot be played online on 2 different computers at the same time due to things like serials and CDKeys (basically the same thing I think). I'd just like it if my family could play lets say, Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike Source online simultaneously.

It would be amazing if they could make this ability free, but then it would make pirating and phishing way too easy, as all you'd have to do is get someone elses password and have free games. That's why I'm saying it should be a paid option, so this way it's not so simple to hack/steal/phish an account.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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The point is, they don't want a clan using 1 account, then all of them able to play the same game or other games off 1 account.

1. It causes problems
2. It's money loss for Valve and the developers.

It won't happen.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:43 PM   #12
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Devin is right, Valve doesn't want you sharing your account and your games with other people, even if they are in the same household. To do what you want to do, each of your family members would have to have their own steam account and own a separate copy of each of the games they want to play.

I like the idea of a household account where you could register more than one user in the household. But I imagine that if you had 4 registered users attached to your account, Valve would simply charge you for 4 copies of anything that you purchased, even if some users in the household didn't play certain games. So unless you got some kind of bulk/household discount and all of the registered users played all of the games that were purchased on the account, you'd actually be overpaying in most instances.

Someone mentioned merging accounts, so that you could share games. If you "merged" the accounts, the two accounts would become one and only one of you could play at a time.

You can already share games by sharing your account info with someone else. Of course you can't be logged into your account while they try out your games or play the same game at the same time. And worse, you risk getting banned and losing your account.
I feel obligated to state (so that valve doesn't think that I endorse this) that sharing your account info is a violation of steam policy and it can get your account canceled. (something you probably already know)

We'd all like to share our games with our friends and family.
But as noted in the beginning, that openly cuts into profits so it's not going to happen unless you break down and buy copies for those you want to share/play with.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:11 AM   #13
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Just to throw it out there, there's nothing stopping you from getting a new steam account for each game you buy. You can then log in to each account on the same machine, download each game and keep a spreadsheet of the usernames and passwords for each games for your kids to check. To deal with the issue of needing a different email address for each game: buy an email host that allows you to do catch all email forwarding (so that a wrong email address gets forwarded to 1 inbox) then you don't need to worry about what email address you use as long as you put your correct domain name in, potentially infinite accounts.

This would mean that you could play 2 different games online at the same time while only paying for it once and any one child could play any game.

Yes, I'm aware account sharing is against the EULA but steam also sells games for minors so they must expect an adult to be able to share their account with their children.

Oh and for the record: I don't do this, I have 120 games on one steam account... I kind of wish I did now thinking about it... LOL

Last edited by Borginator: 05-28-2010 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:57 AM   #14
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buy cyber cafee licence
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:36 PM   #15
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I think what might work is doing what Blizzard did with battle.net and wow accounts. For world of warcraft you have your individual game accounts and they are linked to a battle.net account, 1 username 1 password and you can manage all your accounts. Why not create an option like that for steam. A master account which you can link several other steam accounts to.


@Borg I hear you I got like 207 over here, Man if I lost this account I'd be flinging crap like a primordial ape.
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