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  DRM ideas (actually just copy-protection)  (Read 7090 times)
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Offline Cero
« Posted 2011-09-01 15:10:38 »

Way before necessary, I start thinking of ideas how to do it.
I read Cas' DRM.

I have ideas like: register this game copy to this pc. when shipped, all the contents are encrypted with a hash that is a combination of personal info and the pc's mac address.
Then if you do want to play it on another pc, you have to manually register it for another pc.
also save games are encrypted per user.
You would want to make it more complex then to just have some boolean in your game; especially with java, thats hacked very easily
and Cas' stuff you could hack as well
also in Cas' example, you could just scramble the data that is being displayed on the screen, and everybody would just see garbage for a short moment

now you might say, yea, "but how many people are actually going to do that, its not like you game is super popular or something"
still being idealistic, I would like a copyright protection that is just intuitive to the gamer, not obstructive and still works without server connection.

as Michael Steil said on Xbox and 360 hacking: Security through obscurity doesn't work, there is no such thing as "more secure" or "less secure", either security is effective or it isn't. Given enough time, all secrets of a system will be revealed, and a security system should still work, even when the attacker knows everything about it.

obviously for a whole different level of product, but I still like to think innovatively about ways to make this secure; distancing myself from todays tradtitional DRM -> a user who payed, should never even feel/see DRM, let alone have problems because of it.

Offline Riven
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« Reply #1 - Posted 2011-09-01 15:44:36 »

"pc's mac address."

there is no such thing... if you plugin a wifi-dongle, you'll have yet another mac address.

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Offline Cero
« Reply #2 - Posted 2011-09-01 15:54:30 »

"pc's mac address."

there is no such thing... if you plugin a wifi-dongle, you'll have yet another mac address.

yeah you may get multiple mac addresses. assuming every mainboard has a onboard network card, which has a mac address, you could always take that
in it sense, always take the first
  • network adapter

yeah but still, you would have to make sure...

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Offline Mike

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:00:05 »

Obfuscate (or AOT compile) the code and if you're really worried about piracy then add a super nice multiplayer mode. As long as you have done the server side correct for the multiplayer part, and they play through your server, you can limit the pirates to only play single player (missing the nicest part of the game).

There is no such thing as a non intrusive good DRM. Smiley

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
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Offline princec

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:04:18 »

I beg to differ Smiley Just go with my system, it solves all the problems that exist in DRM in a way that is pleasing to both customer and developer. Provided you as a developer are prepared to understand the reality of cracking.

I don't obfuscate my code, and indeed I even release it open source. In fact I even release games entirely DRM free (HumbleBundle.com). And I explain how it all works clearly and even how you can circumvent it without even hacking it. I'm still making a living.

Cas Smiley

Offline Mike

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:17:55 »

Just go with my system, it solves all the problems that exist in DRM in a way that is pleasing to both customer and developer.
[...]
And I explain how it all works clearly and even how you can circumvent it without even hacking it.

Then what's the point in having a DRM and spending the time on adding one? Wink

I'd still say that if your main reason for one is to not get your game on piratebay then don't bother, the time you'll spend on making one that is secure enough is probably going to be longer than for someone to hack it, and if it's that secure it'll probably have some part of it that's annoying for people.

Mike

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
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Offline cylab

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:18:52 »

I pay the games I want to as long as I can affort it. Most people I know only play cracked games they wouldn't buy or can't afford anyway.

And for the kids: they play the games they get as a present or the ones they downloaded "for free" - cracked or uncracked. Most of them simply don't buy games at all. I don't see how this could be changed by DRM - they simply would ignore that game, so how does this make any money...

Mathias - I Know What [you] Did Last Summer!
Offline Cero
« Reply #7 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:19:22 »

Obfuscate (or AOT compile) the code and if you're really worried about piracy then add a super nice multiplayer mode. As long as you have done the server side correct for the multiplayer part, and they play through your server, you can limit the pirates to only play single player (missing the nicest part of the game).

There is no such thing as a non intrusive good DRM. Smiley

That's like saying change BioShock so that multiplayer is the best part. Not going to happen, vast single-player story experience in my case.

Offline Cero
« Reply #8 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:21:17 »

I pay the games I want to as long as I can affort it. Most people I know only play cracked games they wouldn't buy or can't afford anyway.

And for the kids: they play the games they get as a present or the ones they downloaded "for free" - cracked or uncracked. Most of them simply don't buy games at all. I don't see how this could be changed by DRM - they simply would ignore that game, so how does this make any money...

Yeah for the sake of reaching more people, I do want to release it for free.
But in case I do want to sell... something.

Offline Mike

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:24:06 »

That's like saying change BioShock so that multiplayer is the best part. Not going to happen, vast single-player story experience in my case.

Good 'nuff, but other than that there is no great DRM system that is non-intrusive and stops hackers from putting your game on torrent sites. The best thing you can do then is what Cas does, make a great game and hope people respect you enough to pay some money for it Smiley

That or come up with the DRM system that big game studios can't and sell it to them and become a millionaire Wink

Mike

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
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Offline Cero
« Reply #10 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:44:15 »

That or come up with the DRM system that big game studios can't and sell it to them and become a millionaire Wink

Let's do that.

Offline cylab

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2011-09-01 16:47:19 »

Quote from: Cero
But in case I do want to sell... something.
I simply don't see how DRM or copy protection would help you with that...

Mathias - I Know What [you] Did Last Summer!
Offline princec

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2011-09-01 19:43:34 »

Just go with my system, it solves all the problems that exist in DRM in a way that is pleasing to both customer and developer.
[...]
And I explain how it all works clearly and even how you can circumvent it without even hacking it.

Then what's the point in having a DRM and spending the time on adding one? Wink

I'd still say that if your main reason for one is to not get your game on piratebay then don't bother, the time you'll spend on making one that is secure enough is probably going to be longer than for someone to hack it, and if it's that secure it'll probably have some part of it that's annoying for people.
The main reason we use it is because we like the idea of having a single download to manage rather than maintaining two separate builds (which I tried in the past, and it was somewhat irritating). It's also very convenient for customers. So it does have a purpose: it is the absolute minimum required to make sure that a customer gets what they've paid for, and it gives us a low support burden. I dunno, your mileage may vary, but why not think in terms of if you were buying it, what would you like it to do?

Cas Smiley

Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2011-09-01 20:06:40 »

How to make a game:

Step 1 - Make the game
Step 2 - Make it fun
Step 3 - Tweak the difficulty
Step 4 - Make it more fun
Step 5 - Fix bugs
Step 6 - ...
Step 999,999,999 - Worry about pirates

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Offline Cero
« Reply #14 - Posted 2011-09-01 21:12:23 »

How to make a game:
Step 999,999,999 - Worry about pirates

like I said, it's more like technical curiosity/interest and not really applicable right now.

Offline namrog84

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« Reply #15 - Posted 2011-09-01 21:20:21 »

You can even find all the source code and image/sound files for Minecraft.  Yet although there are attempts at clones, most of them fail to take off the ground.

Even if you stop a few pirates, or a few people get your code.  Most of the time its not that big of a problem. Sometimes pirating even helps your game

"Experience is what you get when you did not get what you wanted"
Offline princec

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2011-09-01 22:20:28 »

But it should be stressed that rarely does pirating help your game, unless it is specifically designed to make use of piracy as a vector.

Cas Smiley

Offline ruben01

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2011-09-01 23:30:39 »

piracy is always a vector for getting your game known, more than that, unless you made the one only unbeatable and surely annoying DRM if your game is not pirated it is only because your game really really sucks, so much that no one would play it even for free.

there are people who don't want to pay for your game -> don't worry, unless your game sucks and they give bad reviews, they will only get more people to know your game
there are people who are honest and wont pirate a game -> they rock, enjoy them
there are people who pirate your game, love it become fans, and buy it or the following ones -> they really rock, and more likely will talk a lot about your game, and get their friends to buy it, etc
there are people who can't play your game -> no credit card, no money, etc, it makes no harm if they play your game and the moment they can pay for your games you will have someone who already likes your stuff, and not someone who doesn't know it
there are people who would pay for your game, but they pirated it -> this are the people you want to transform from pirates to customers

why would people who are willing to pay, pirate instead
  too expensive
  annoying drm
  wanted to try it, but they completed it in one go with the pirated version (demo? make it longer? add replayability?)
  didn't have/trust your payment handler -> get it on steam if you can, or use a known method, paypal, etc

the more likely reason why your game will fail (assuming that you finish it) is being left unknown, no one plays your game, no one buys your game, in this situation having your game pirated only means more people get to see your game, more people talk about your game, could be seen by someone that can provide a nice review, etc

if your game is good, and you price it appropriately don't worry about piracy, and specially don't treat the pirates better than your fans (don't make it so that the pirated version is better than the original full of drm one)

END OF LINE

Offline delt0r

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Computers can do that?


« Reply #18 - Posted 2011-09-02 09:27:47 »

Games that are pirated are already well known or popular. People don't bother for "unknown" games. I know a lot of "free loaders" (free downloaders) want to believe that piracy helps the developer. It does not, any more than working all day for free will make you a living. There are even cases where the cracked versions have brought the servers to there knees with ratios of 10:1 pirated:legal versions of a game.

Tell me how having a huge number of people that didn't pay a cent and then forcing you to have 10x the server capacity is "helping you sell the game".

People will pirate, bits can be copied, code can be [de]compiled and cracked. But call a spade a spade.  It benefits the pirate not the developer.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.--Albert Einstein
Offline princec

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« Reply #19 - Posted 2011-09-02 11:08:37 »

Indeed, you are basically deluded if you think the exposure gained from 1 pirate will lead to enough leads to make even a single sale. It doesn't work that way. Exposure through piracy is just dust compared to the sale you could have made.

We've got one more single player game in us, I think, before we go online-only, which solves the issue completely. One of my friends is making $1m/year doing this, on his own. And the bastard's only 24.

Cas Smiley

Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2011-09-02 17:40:39 »

My games from hereon-out will be freemium or heavily DLC-supported. Smiley

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Cero
« Reply #21 - Posted 2011-09-02 18:19:09 »

or heavily DLC-supported

Have been thinking about this more often now.
To just release the game part for part, chapter for chapter, something like that.
reminds me of Siren Blood Curse, which I bought the whole game as BD, cause the chapters where extremely overpriced; or even Starcraft 2 which doesnt ship the whole story with the first game.

Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #22 - Posted 2011-09-02 18:52:04 »

or heavily DLC-supported

Have been thinking about this more often now.
To just release the game part for part, chapter for chapter, something like that.
reminds me of Siren Blood Curse, which I bought the whole game as BD, cause the chapters where extremely overpriced; or even Starcraft 2 which doesnt ship the whole story with the first game.
Yeah just a buck or two per addition. Even $5 is usually too high, in my opinion.

See my work:
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Offline drakesword

Junior Member


Medals: 1



« Reply #23 - Posted 2011-10-04 12:05:42 »

I hear you can hire an armada if you have a pirate problem ...


Any who an offline game will have problems (Hell look at steam games ... you can get them for free if you look hard enough)

But if you require a user account ... that has paid access then your talking more DRM.

Its easy to throw in some encryption and tweek it so its difficult to break. The time spent on reverse engineering a mutating key encryption will be enough to keep most away. Then they would have to reverse engineer communications. That's made difficult my nonsensical communications. (For example instead of saying Move player X to (X,Y) say YG8sug7, G(&IHHh, or ^&ygf ... yes you can make the same data appear different! at different times) Hell throw in some false data to throw them off too!

Eventually it will be broken someone will make a server and people will be playing for free, the only counteraction to this would be having:
A) popularity in the MMO way (people would rather play with each other then by themselves if the games is designed such)
B) Have the main content of the game stored and executed on the server (Eg a quest the story etc)
C) Making enough money to not worry about it

Regardless of what you do, as others have stated ... you have 99 problems and a DRM aint one.

(Ha on that last one ... I need sleep)
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