Its a mismatch, that leads to massive flaws in the usability and expectations, followed by major problems getting to grips with the engine, and attracting new players.
This has always been disputed by forum posters, but as demonstrated by a string of threads involving users baffled by this problem, and one thread in which a user directly asks, "is this a game or some kind of platform", I think we can without a shadow of a doubt say that it is a very real problem that is trivial to fix.
My proposal is that from now on, we stop offering a 'spring' download, and instead simply rename it to the 'spring engine SDK'.
Thus, the whole affair becomes a lot more logical. e.g:
Install the spring SDK and grab BA vs Install and play Spring
The latter of which is actually impossible. How do you download and install spring then play it? You cant! You have to add all these extra steps like downloading a game like BA or Evo, but this isn't mentioned anywhere in the documentation, or even on the download page!
To implement this, there would need to be only minor changes. The download page and the installer filename would need to be changed. Also, some documentation, mainly concerning how to start playing, would be changed. The simple addition of the word SDK after the word engine would be all that is needed in 99% of cases, and it would make a massive improvement for helping new users.
- Add the word SDK to the end of the phrase 'spring engine' on the download page
- Rename the spring engine installer to the spring engine SDK installer
- Update the new user instructions to use the new terminology (aka insert the word SDK here and there)
- Change the wording of the installer accordingly
- Observe the massive improvement in usability and straight forwardness that results