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Anti-copy authentication


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#1 sadzey   Members   -  Reputation: 121

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:06 AM

Hello,

I'm doing my new cross-plateform game, and i want to securate it from copying and hacking, 

So, I would have to know what are the technics that developers use to do that.

 

Thanks in advance.


Edited by sadzey, 10 February 2014 - 05:14 AM.


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#2 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6323

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:35 AM

Hello,

I'm doing my new cross-plateform game, and i want to securate it from copying and hacking, 

So, I would have to now what are the technics that developers use to do that.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

You can't prevent copying (it is impossible).

You can't prevent hacking unless the game runs on hardware that you control.

 

For a offline singleplayer game you can't really protect it in any meaningful way. a simple serial key check to keep honest people honest is good enough. It will get cracked fairly quickly no matter how complex your system is so it is pointless to spend a lot of resources on it unless the title is so highly anticipated that the pirates will give up and buy it if they can't get a pirate copy during the first few days after release.

For AAA games it might be worthwhile to lock the pirates out for a few days or even a week or two but for a unknown indie developer its not, the pirates would just ignore your game instead (and that is far worse for you.)

 

For online games its easier, use the serial key on account creation, don't allow a key to be used for more than one account and keep your server software to yourself. pirates will then be forced to replicate your server software which takes considerable effort on their part. This is why many of todays AAA games require an internet connection even for singleplayer.

 

For a small indie game it is a really bad idea though, Blizzard, EA and Ubisoft have all failed miserably at keeping their servers running despite their insanely expensive server infrastructure. They got enough of a marketing budget to push through but as an indie even a handful of upset paying players early on can cause irreperable damage to your reputation and without a marketing budget you'll need players to speak positively about you and your game.

 

I'd recommend simply ignoring the pirates, most of them won't pay anyway, just lock them out of any online services tied to your game (including the support forums, automatic updates, etc) to keep them from actually costing you money and focus your resources on giving your paying customers the best experience you can offer them.

 

To prevent cheating the only real option is to run all important game logic serverside and never transmit information that the client shouldn't have access to, if this is too expensive your only option is to try to detect cheaters based on how they play and/or based on the processes they are running on their machine. (For singleplayer games this is a non issue though and you're probably better off making it easy for players to modify your game as much as they like)


Edited by SimonForsman, 10 February 2014 - 04:08 AM.

I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#3 sadzey   Members   -  Reputation: 121

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:59 AM

Thank you very much for your answer!

 

Isn't it useful to make mail or sms verification? (or voice recongnition ph34r.png dry.png )



#4 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2955

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:23 AM


I'd recommend simply ignoring the pirates, most of them won't pay anyway, just lock them out of any online services tied to your game (including the support forums, automatic updates, etc) to keep them from actually costing you money and focus your resources on giving your paying customers the best experience you can offer them.

 

This.

 

Any anti-pirating measure will mostly just aggravate actual paying customers, that has to jump through hoops to play something they payed for.

Each step you add before letting people into your game will mean a loss of people bothering to go through the steps.



#5 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6323

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:41 AM

Thank you very much for your answer!

 

Isn't it useful to make mail or sms verification? (or voice recongnition ph34r.png dry.png )

 

For a singleplayer game ? No, the normal pirate procedure is to simply bypass the verification code so it doesn't matter what you do, keep it simple to reduce the hassle for paying customers, if you want to add complexity to slow the pirates down that complexity should be behind the scenes(paying customers shouldn't have to know its there). (obfuscated code, redundant checks, encrypted files and other measures to make bypassing the verification more timeconsuming) but it takes significant effort on your part and probably won't buy you more than a few days or even just a few hours,

 

If you absolutely want a decent DRM scheme for a offline singleplayer game you should just license something like Tages instead. It is pretty obnoxious to crack(and has to be cracked individually for each protected game) which is good but its driver has also caused a few really serious issues such as bluescreens on system boot for example, requiring a re-install of the OS or a manual uninstallation of the driver from safe-mode which is pretty darn bad. (especially since only paying customers have to suffer from those side effects) so its a trade-off. (AFAIK the latest version of Tages is stable and their major problems are mostly in the past but DRM kernel drivers are always a big risk)


I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#6 sadzey   Members   -  Reputation: 121

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:34 AM

Thank you SimonForsman!

 

I'm really convainced by your arguments, But are them also valid for mobile games (Android, windows phone, iOS)?



#7 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6323

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:12 AM

Thank you SimonForsman!

 

I'm really convainced by your arguments, But are them also valid for mobile games (Android, windows phone, iOS)?

 

iOS requires the user to jailbreak their phone in order to pirate games, most users don't so i wouldn't bother on iOS

 

on Android piracy is a bit easier as it allows users to install from sources other than google play but in general people who have the ability to pay (i.e, they have a creditcard tied to their account) won't have any problem paying a few dollars for a game, most pirates on mobiles are kids who wouldn't buy your game anyway, a F2P model can be far more profitable on smartphones in general (as it allows wealthy people with poor spending habits to throw hundreds of dollars your way while the kids and cheapskates still provide some ad revenue and help your store rankings)


Edited by SimonForsman, 10 February 2014 - 07:13 AM.

I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!




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