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  The "Invincible Mutant Scorpion" solution to pirating  (Read 1980 times)
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Offline philfrei
« Posted 2011-12-08 21:02:57 »

http://www.develop-online.net/news/39309/Invincible-mutant-scorpion-plagues-pirated-game

I'm curious how such a thing might be programmed. How can a game tell if it is pirated or not?

Amusing solution, though!

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Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2011-12-08 21:12:37 »

If you're interested in this sort of thing then Spyro on PS1 is still (as far as I know) the most complex implementation: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3030/keeping_the_pirates_at_bay.php

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #2 - Posted 2011-12-08 21:14:04 »

I'm curious how such a thing might be programmed. How can a game tell if it is pirated or not?

"One pirated version of the new PC shooter, which appears to have been deliberately leaked to various torrent sites, features a mutant scorpion that have proven to be invincible."

Easy enough Smiley

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Offline sproingie

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2011-12-08 21:27:18 »

How can a game tell if it is pirated or not?

If it runs.  Seriously I think that's what the Anno 1404 people were thinking.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #4 - Posted 2011-12-08 21:33:54 »

Quote
deliberately leaked

Ah!!

Well that should definitely be a controversial approach. I suppose it could be considered a sort of "try-and-buy" for the pirate market. But I don't know that this would encourage people who pirate to buy rather than just try to pirate again. Or that it would discourage those that release the genuine, working pirated editions from doing so.

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Offline theagentd
« Reply #5 - Posted 2011-12-08 21:50:13 »

The only way to get your game completely safe is to move as much things as possible to the server. This is easy enough for MMO games, as most things are already on the server, but people get angry when you need an internet connection just to play a game. The only pirate-proof way of distributing game is On-live.

Myomyomyo.
Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2011-12-08 22:09:21 »

There's ways of doing it without deliberately leaking a broken version yourself though. Usually that means adding some kind of checksum test on top of your copy protection, so hopefully when they subvert your copy protection it makes the checksum test fail.

Of course, then the hackers will go and disable *that* checksum test, so maybe you put in a third test...

The Spyro article goes into loads of details of extra checking and ways to make it harder. One of the best ones they added IMHO was having it appear to play normally, but only 2+ hours into the game it would fail to give you a quest-critical item if you were using a hacked version. Hackers usually don't actually play the games that much, so forcing them to play for a good period of time, and then making it look like they just missed something in a level is a good way of drawing the whole process out.

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Offline Cero
« Reply #7 - Posted 2011-12-08 22:41:43 »

The Spyro article goes into loads of details of extra checking and ways to make it harder. One of the best ones they added IMHO was having it appear to play normally, but only 2+ hours into the game it would fail to give you a quest-critical item if you were using a hacked version. Hackers usually don't actually play the games that much, so forcing them to play for a good period of time, and then making it look like they just missed something in a level is a good way of drawing the whole process out.

yeah that really a great way to do it - check for it, at a certain point
it's just like demo then

at that point I just show a video, in the game, of game developers being pushed, hungry and weak =D

Offline ruben01
« Reply #8 - Posted 2011-12-08 22:57:57 »

I would really love to see if instead of doing what they did
they would add to each loading screen, a message telling the user that they are glad they liked the game, and if he would consider paying for it, with a button directing the user to an easy way to buy the game (Steam, paypal, etc)

I am willing to bet that they would get some valuable conversion from that, gain lots of goodwill in reviews, and the community, and overall get a better result.


Offline Nyhm

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2011-12-08 23:40:46 »

I'd say (similar to ruben01's comment) that the economic model needs to change. That is, find a way for players to pay without relying on fundamentally flawed anti-piracy techniques.

I recall an article from over a decade ago explaining anti-piracy techniques built into CD-ROM published games only needed to be good enough to foil crackers for about 2 months, which was how long it took to get most of your (off-the-shelf) sales profit. That old mentality doesn't really work these days. That said, Invincible Mutant Scorpion is wicked cool.

Remember when games stopped you now and then to ask, "What is the third word in the second paragraph on page 4 of the manual?" Luckily, I still have my Ultima VI handbook.

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Offline ReBirth
« Reply #10 - Posted 2011-12-09 02:01:47 »

Scorpio: "stop there you pirate!"
You: "Dang, what is it? can't be found on walkthrough! whatever!" *shoot* "holy crap! who sent you?"
Scorpio: "my boss"

and we're not talking about pirate combined with region lock yet.

Offline Cero
« Reply #11 - Posted 2011-12-09 03:09:40 »

http://www.nerd-age.com/drm-the-right-way/

Nerd Age praised the serious sam example but criticized puppy games' approach.

Online princec

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2011-12-09 09:29:49 »

Lame.
<edit> Also, pretty angry about their insinuation about spyware.

Cas Smiley

Offline sproingie

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2011-12-09 18:02:13 »

What insinuation?  You don't install it, and they say so.  As nitpicks go, I'd take the publicity and forget about an article that reads like it was pooped out five minutes before deadline.
Online princec

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2011-12-09 19:30:45 »

I really must not get worked up over crap that kids pretending to be journalists spout anonymously on two-bit websites. Back to coding!

Cas Smiley

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