Green Man Gaming changes the game with Qt

gmg_logo_trans_bg1Digital game retailer Green Man Gaming is on the verge of launching a first-of-its-kind trade-in service for video games, and they used Qt to deliver it.

In 2010, large sections of most markets are very comfortable obtaining their purchased content via download rather than buying it on a physical medium like a DVD. But in the gaming industry, this contradicts one of the fundamental parts of the purchasing cycle – trade-ins.

For many gamers, new purchases are funded or offset by taking a few unwanted and unplayed discs into the store and upgrading them into something new. So while downloading games is convenient, you’ve never been able to use downloaded games to fund new purchases.

Until now, that is.

At the end of quarter one 2010, London-based Green Man Gaming will launch a revolutionary service that gives gamers credit for removing (and thus ‘trading’) downloaded games from their system – credit that can be used to purchase new games.

Green Man Gaming’s service will provide around 400 downloadable AND trade-in-able PC titles at launch, with that number to swell to 20,000 by year end.

We spoke with Green Man Gaming and found out some interesting things about what they’re about to launch.

The service will consist of three parts
1. Website
2. Desktop client application
3. Server for client/copyright protection system.

The company has used Qt to build all elements of the desktop client and for a significant amount of the copyright solution.

There were several advantages to using Qt according to Green Man Gaming CTO Lee Packham.

“Our main platform is PC. We picked Qt for a few reasons - speed of development, localization support, QScript, portability and the ease of finding developers,” said Mr Packham.

The company used more than just QtCore and QtGUI. QtWebkit with JsonQt were used for data processing, and they also used QApplication to wrap up their copyright protection solution.

“Our copyright protection is wrapped up in a protected/signed DLL - this was quite challenging as we've had to use QApplication in a non-standard way to ensure we can use Qt this way.” said Lee Packham.

It’s an undeniably exciting idea, and we, along with the gaming world, are waiting controller-in-hand to see this first-of-its-kind service go live.

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