I respectfully disagree with this statement, one of your questions was answered directly, however it seems it was not one of the important questions you have. Therefore i will try and answer each and every question you have asked to the best of my ability.
Please note the following is based on my experiance running GSB on ancient (8yo) PC with windows XP.
I have not had any problems with the Game or the Campaign. I have heard that there has been a few problems for users on the steam forum which Cliffski is currently trying to address. Quickly reviewing the support forums here, it seems there no current problems from people that have bought the game direct and running on PC.
The campaign is very replayable since it comes with 4 maps to start with and you can futher increase the replayability of GSB if you use a player developed Random Campaign Map Generator. (its a seperate program that creates new maps for you to import into the game). You also have access to the new races / weapons and ships developed by the modding community to increase the replayability once again.
I think i understand what your asking, but since i have never bought a game on steam i hope you forgive me should i fail to answer the question your trying to ask.
You do not need people to know that you are playing GSB since it is not like an online co-op or PvP game like Team Fortress 2, but more like playing chess via email. For example Archduke Astro sent me an online challange though GSB. After several failed attempts i destroyed his uber fleet challange and posted a retaliation fleet of my own. In GSB it does not matter WHERE you bought the game from, once you have your code you become part of the GSB community challange group.
I have not had any problems with the game - as i mentioned earlier, I am running GSB on a windows XP platform with a ancient (8yo) PC. I bought the game DIRECT from Positech (as you highlighted earlier) so i do not need steam to run the game. By buying direct from Positech i have the latest patches the moment they are deployed by Cliffski (the game auto updates). However with steam i have heard that they are a few version behind for one reason or another.
As suggested above, i would STRONGLY advise that you buy the game direct from Positech (again from that URL you identified).
When you buy the game you will be asked a few questions, name, method of payment and email.
Once the purchase is complete BMT Micro will send an email to you containing:
- A link to download your purchases
- A online registration code
From there its a simple case of downloading the game, enter the code and rule supreme over your galaxy of choice. Please note that if at any point you need to redownload the game, BMT Micro or Cliff will resend you the link should you loose the email. In my oppinion the support provided by Cliffski and BMT Micro are the best i have seen in a long time [size=40](Unlike otheres that Take-2-long)[/size]
You are correct, only the races you have purchased will appear in the online campaign.
I hope that fully answers all you current questions in relationship to buying the game. I have included a few questions that you have not asked but i have answered in case you think about them later.
- How easy is the game to modify.
The game is extreamly easy to modify, all you need is:
Image modifying software like Adobe Photoshop or the free ones like Gimp or Paint.net.
Text editing software
Time and an idea of what you would like
Once you have these tools, you can make new races, ships, scenario, missions, weapons, modules and campaign maps.
- Why is it cheaper on Steam than direct from the Programmer.
Based on the limited information i have gained from reading these forums, the reason why its cheaper is because steam send a very small portion of the games profit back to the Programmer, hence they can reduce the price and undercut the main site.
The only advantages you get from purchasing direct are:
You get quick and direct support from the Programmer
You get the latest version and any bugfixes the moment they are released
you get a warm fuzzy feeling supporting an indie developer