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How to time bomb a beta?


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#21 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 03:51 PM

well, i ran caveman through the disassembler in PE-explorer. you can see every string of text, and every system call.   so now at least i now what i'm up against.   but its kind of cool, i can see what the cracker sees.    so i can write my code, disassemble it, and see what it would look like to a cracker.

 

the next thing to figure out is how to deal with them bypassing the system calls in the VM.  i plan to call the vm from time to time to do mundane stuff for the game (like increment action counters). that way if they bypass it entirely, the game won't work.  but if they isolate the VM routine, basically a switch(instruction_pointer) routine, then they could turn off or replace the cases for get date, get file date, and read sector. i was thinking maybe a checksum on the vm code in ram, but that might be complicated, what with page access and all, although i know it is done in some types of software.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


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#22 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 07:54 PM


 

I find it rather surprising that DRM is not a more popular topic here.   whats the deal?    do most folks here fall into one of two categories: 1. "i have yet to make a game worth cracking", or 2. "i work for a big game company and cracking is someone else's problem" ? 

 

I will speak strictly for myself. I don't do DRM if I can at all help it, which means I pretty much don't do DRM for games. I've skipped a lot of otherwise great titles I would've loved to play over the years. I also don't torrent those games, because I don't want any bean counter somewhere to count that as a distribution and indirectly support them that way. OTOH, I bought a retail copy of The Witcher 2 a good three months before I upgraded my computer graphics to the point where I could play it as soon as they dropped the DRM.

 

If I ever negotiate a way to get my game onto retail shelves (say, a simple jewel case) I swear I will put a Big Red Shiny Banner across the top front saying "THIS GAME IS DRM FREE!."  People will pay money for something if they believe the product is worth the price. Our entire national economy (at least here in the US) is based upon that premise. Yes, people would pirate my game - conservatively, at least half of them would never have bought it anyway. Torchlight's retail release was 100% DRM free from launch - from everything I've seen and read the game did pretty well - good enough for them to keep going and make a sequel.

 

Reality Check time: most users get confused trying to change the install directory for software. Maybe gamers are a little more PC literate than that, but pirating is still a PITA: you've got to find the torrent, download it, hope no one named it something like a movie or TV title so your ISP doesn't get automated calls to hit you with a 'strike', plus you have to worry about all the other nasty things that can come along for the ride.

 

Rather than worrying about 'Is my game worth cracking?", I prefer to worry about "Is my game worth somebody's hard earned dollars they could spend on something else?" I believe if the answer to that second question is yes, then enough people will buy the game to make it successful.

 

You're worrying about a version of a game that in your own words "is not complete". How many people do you think really want to go through the trouble of finding a free copy of an unfinished, buggy game?

 

Maybe I'm just cynical - but DRM didn't work on PC games in the 1980's any more than it does today. Hell, if after all the millions (billions?) of dollars the RIAA/MPAA have spent trying to "stamp out piracy" their stuff still gets "traded" like pokemon cards in a playground (I was going to say baseball cards, but I don't know how many people remember those), somehow I don't think that's a battle worth choosing. If you want that much control, build for consoles - and even that isn't airtight.


"The multitudes see death as tragic. If this were true, so then would be birth"

- Pisha, Vampire the Maquerade: Bloodlines


#23 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:00 AM


If I ever negotiate a way to get my game onto retail shelves (say, a simple jewel case) I swear I will put a Big Red Shiny Banner across the top front saying "THIS GAME IS DRM FREE!."

 

ok, so what will you do when they put it in a zip file and put it on the web for free?

 

why would i pay for something at gamestop that i can download for free?

 

but our situations are a little different.

 

for Caveman, sales will be direct to the end user, no distributor, no publisher, no retailer. Haven't even decided about Steam etc yet. There was a time when i'd get about 2 unsolicited calls a week from publishers. but they never guaranteed me more than i was already making selling direct. 

 

despite begin large in scope (think skyrim big - today i estimated the project at 7488 man-hours, done by one person over 2.25 years), the game is only about 250 meg uncompressed, due to procedurally generated content and reuse of assets. plenty small enough to pop in a zip file and post to mediafire, warez sites, etc.

 

the game is also a proven seller, and has been targeted by crackers in the past. so to put out a beta version that has everything except audio and optional quests with no restrictions might be unwise.

 

i don't want to be harsh, but some questions come to mind:

 

1. how many games have you released?

2. how big were they ?

3. how well did they do? 

4. have you ever been cracked?

 

apparently, to be cracked, you must 1: release, and 2: succeed. else there's no glory in the cracking.

 

also, i suspect there's a correlation between the size of the game and the glory of the cracking. IE cracking skyrim would be more impressive than cracking angry birds.

 

so you might add a 3rd requirement, that your game be of sufficient scope / size / depth / gravity to warrant the effort in the first place. 


Edited by Norman Barrows, 30 March 2014 - 01:07 AM.

Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#24 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:48 AM

ok, so what will you do when they put it in a zip file and put it on the web for free?

 

What did Runic Games do when it happened with Torchlight?  Or any other game that you can find on The Pirate Bay, which would be, let's see...  just about all of them?

Why do people still buy CD's when they could download the music for free?

 

Getting a game on a retail shelf allows for random, impulse purchases. Those people aren't likely to take the time to go hunt down and download a game from a warez site.

Likewise a lot (not all) of the people who download from the Pirate Bay would never have bought your game under any circumstances, so they really aren't lost sales.

 

I don't know if I could get my game on a shelf or not. That's what I would do if I did. I know I do pick up game boxes when I'm at Walmart, and if I see Origen or Steam I put it back. If it's not an impulse buy (even if it is, my wife can check on her smart phone) I find out what DRM if any it comes with - and yes, that is a big factor in whether or not I buy the game.

 

Steam makes things convenient for their customers, so if people choose that, I got not problem with it. I would try to get my game Greenlit. Big Fish Games was a potential portal, but I'm hearing they aren't even looking at RPG's any more. That leaves a couple other smaller portals I know of - where people actually do browse and buy games, and even better, the specific sub-genre of game I'm working on.. I'd also try to do the direct thing as well. The key is putting your game in front of enough of the right people - just like any other product.

 

iTunes proved that people will pay for music, even when they know they could find it free somewhere else. Good Old Games is proving the same thing with software.

 

People will pay for something they see value in.


"The multitudes see death as tragic. If this were true, so then would be birth"

- Pisha, Vampire the Maquerade: Bloodlines


#25 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 02:14 AM


Torchlight's retail release was 100% DRM free from launch - from everything I've seen and read the game did pretty well - good enough for them to keep going and make a sequel.

 

its a $15 dollar game. dev costs for game development vs dev costs for DRM  probably don't warrant DRM.  too small. no glory in cracking that. no DRM required!  : )

 

once you move past that, more towards a AAA type of game, still indie though, like minecraft in the early days, then you become an attractive target.

 

it would be nice if Caveman 3.0 stayed "under the radar" like that. but Caveman v1.3 didn't, so i'm preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

 

also note that it took two years and FOUR major releases for Caveman to pop up on the cracker's radar. torchlight may not be popular enough yet to warrant attention, even if it had DRM. If their popularity continues, they'll probably have to do something eventually.

 


Rather than worrying about 'Is my game worth cracking?", I prefer to worry about "Is my game worth somebody's hard earned dollars they could spend on something else?" I believe if the answer to that second question is yes, then enough people will buy the game to make it successful.

 

as do i.

 

its only once you've done a good job at the latter that you must worry about the former.  

 

i'm in the position of already having achieved the latter in the past, and therefore i must worry about the former now in the present and going forward.

 

as a side note, what we all really need to worry about is what we don't know how to do that will achieve somebody's hard earned dollars. that's the only thing you really need to worry about in game development, is what you don't know how to do.  and there's tons! code, graphic, audio, design, writing, marketing, business, etc.

 

for me most recently that was how to do a checksum of ram to make sure my DRM VM code was intact (Thanks Apoch!).

 

 


How many people do you think really want to go through the trouble of finding a free copy of an unfinished, buggy game?

 

a bug free skyrim with no audio and no addons, 10 minute free download. that's the kind of thing i'm talking about here.  a far cry from an unfinished buggy game.

 

set your warning to level to max, suppress inline warning,  and halt on all warnings or errors. modular design, unit testing. write one thing, do it very well, test it completely, then move on: "ok that works, that's done, whats next?" . develop in release mode only. and if you need it, stuff like LINT and BoundsChecker. bug free is NOT a dream. the only bugs in software are ones we put in by typing, or choosing to use a buggy library or tool. Caveman v1.0 had ONE bug in it. and it wasn't even a show stopper or anything like that. needless to say, v1.1 was 100% bug free. And that was in a game with about say 50,000 lines of source code. v3.0 currently tips the scales at about 90,000 lines of code.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#26 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:59 AM


as a side note, what we all really need to worry about is what we don't know how to do that will achieve somebody's hard earned dollars. that's the only thing you really need to worry about in game development, is what you don't know how to do. and there's tons! code, graphic, audio, design, writing, marketing, business, etc.

 

As I am learning smile.png

 

Sorry if I sounded snarky - I reread my posts and I could've worded them a lot better.

 

My strength is coding (math major - set theory / abstract side). Naturally when I went looking for a game engine I swore I'd only look at ones where I had source code access. Then I saw finished games being sold with more than a few good reviews in a genre of game I enjoy... So now I get to script in Ruby. But I think long-term it's probably the best choice I could have made because it's forcing me to spend my time on all the 'other stuff' that goes into a game.

 

I'm sure I'll see a thing or three differently once I'm on the other side of a successful release.

I do hope DRM isn't one of them though.

 

As an aside, somewhat ironically it's the 'bug-free' thing that is closing one of those portals: Big Fish tests the hell out of the games they sell, and RPG's just take too long comparatively for them to go through. Thankfully, Steam has opened up quite a bit since I started (that was before Greenlight). And if all game companies made their DRM as unobtrusive and easy to deal with as Big Fish I might think differently about it as well - crippleware and the assumption that I'm a criminal along with some not so nice side effects on my PC have really soured me to it, though.

 

Edit: As for game popularity - Torchlight sold over a million copies within four months of release. I would think that would make a large enough title to be 'on the radar'.


Edited by Mouser9169, 30 March 2014 - 11:34 AM.

"The multitudes see death as tragic. If this were true, so then would be birth"

- Pisha, Vampire the Maquerade: Bloodlines


#27 wintertime   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2793

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 02:29 PM

Did you consider asking a lawyer to write a NDA, snail mail 2 copies to each beta tester to verify where they are, wait until they mail one signed copy back, then mail them the CD including different hidden embedded unique id numbers? I would think people would be deterred from cracking it if they know they are known. Finding and removing the ids would probably need at least two people to collaborate then.

That could be combined with online password checking on update/game start and if you find it on a cracker site you can check the id, block the person and make them fear of being sued.

When the beta ends you can just take down the authentication server and it stops working (until its cracked).

 

That may be less work than coding the ultimate DRM yourself and you would never be safe from pirating anyways.



#28 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 10814

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:23 PM

I can certainly get where you're coming from Norman, I'm sure its quite the gut-shot to put so much time and effort into something only to have it essentially stolen and passed off freely. Even more if that act cost you what it has, or you rely on that income.

 

My own personal take is that the reality of that situation being what it is, you simply have to accept it to be in the business of making certain kinds of games today -- Essentially any one-time-purchase-game without an online component is highly susceptible to being cracked and becoming someone's warez; reason being that after the initial crack there's no community to interact with and no check-in points at which to catch them and deny them further play. I'm not saying to not make those kinds of games, but I am saying that you have to be aware of the fact that it really limits your options to "strongly encourage" your own remuneration.

 

To a certain extent, this actually affects the way I think about game design -- in as much as I don't particularly plan to make any games in which I can't have some kind of on-going engagement with my players, or any game in which the 'box price' is my only revenue; the catch, really, is to provide on-going, reciprocal value between yourself and players. There's a number of options here -- you can have some kind of in-game economy between yourself and players, or between players, and which might not have anything at all to do with them spending real money. Social-media integration, or player profiles/stats like Battlefield or Halo, leaderboards, friends, services around your game. Get them to engage you in an ongoing, connected basis opens up a lot more possibilities.

 

Indulging in an analogy, my approach to the problem is more like Aikido than say, Tae Kwon Do -- Instead of trying to defeat the attackers with direct counter-attacks, think about redirecting their natural energies and tendencies in a way that produces a victorious outcome for yourself. Sure, maybe it doesn't feel as good as simply dominating your opponent with your own might, but if a more-subtle approach produces effectively the same result, then its all the better in business.


throw table_exception("(ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻");


#29 Matias Goldberg   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4970

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:08 AM

any protection will ultimately depend on 3 system calls: get system time, get file time, and read sector. if those calls can found relatively easily, then its the code that uses them that must be obfusticated.

Self modifying code can indeed obfuscate those calls.

But most DRM approaches focuses on looking if the exe binary has been tampered. Multiple checksums at random events to verify that the exe is still intact to the one you sent (and these are much harder to spot because reading a file is alsoto read game data).
If the checksum fails, the exe has been tampered, possibly to circumvent the timebomb. Just, don't pop up a message saying "THIEF!". The checksum could also fail because the legit user has a virus that infected your binary.
Just stop the gameplay and display a courtesy pop up that this copy is from a beta and that he is playing past the expiration date, and may contain bugs, etc; with a link to buy the final version.

An innocent user may unknowingly get a circumvented version of your game, and a system like this can help you convert him into a paying customer.
A guilty user will just look for a more recent crack fixed (where all your DRM schemes have already been broken).

#30 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:38 PM

Local DRM will do nothing to protect your code from committed hackers. Local DRM will serve only to frustrate your legit users. :\ Dem's the breaks.

 

The only way to implement DRM these days is with "ET Phone Home" and even that isn't full-proof. Consider how many illicit World of Warcraft servers are running out there and what Blizzard's budget it for that stuff is. <3

 

Here's a list of DRM-free games. Take a gander through there and consider how many of them you recognize, how many of them have been profitable.


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#31 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:14 PM


Why do people still buy CD's when they could download the music for free?
 

 

because by and large you can't DL cd quality audio, just tinny lossy mp3's. if you want the real McCoy, you gotta ante up the bucks.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#32 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:28 PM


and if I see Origen or Steam I put it back.

 

I heard that!

 

i used to have a very poor internet connection. the steam client update was an 87 meg un-resumable DL that timed out after about 15 seconds. i had to change ISPs before i could DL skyrim or simcity4. and the SIMs is 1.5 MONTHS of bandwidth! ive done about 1 gig so far.

 

i also hate the way steam goes into an update DL  when i try to launch skyrim sometimes if i'm connected. "i dont want to update steam! i want to play skyrim godammit!". just makes me want to shoot the monitor! <g>.

 

experiences like these are what have soured me on the whole e-delivery promise, and "ET phone home" DRM.

 

and what really sucks is that the internet is still too fricking slow to run a real god damned simulation. so server side solutions are out if you want to play something more than a mere game.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#33 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:42 PM


I'm sure I'll see a thing or three differently once I'm on the other side of a successful release.
I do hope DRM isn't one of them though.

 

don't count on it!   its more difficult for games to provide continuous significant content and gameplay improvements, than it is for apps to provide significant new features to prompt users to buy the new version once the old one is cracked/hacked. and with game development success will come copy protection issues if the game size / game price / and or glory of cracking the game warrants cracker attention. IE the more expensive, bigger, and popular the game, the more likely it is to be a target.

 

probably the only way to make money in games without worrying about drm is to sell really cheap games in really mass volumes. or games for markets where piracy is harder due to the market's limited size.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#34 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:59 PM


Edit: As for game popularity - Torchlight sold over a million copies within four months of release. I would think that would make a large enough title to be 'on the radar'.

 

there are two formulas at work:

 

1. the cracker's formula:

"how much glory is there? they only charge $15, can't be much of  a game. and they don't even bother with drm. probably so shitty there'd be no glory even if it had drm at twice the popularity and price point. zero points for cracking uncool games. lots of points for cracking cool games that everyone wants that aren't cracked. (think nba2K or tiger woods cool and popular)."

 

2. the end user's formula:

"how much more do i get, and for how many dollars, than i already have now with this cool file i just downloaded for FREE!"

 

as i said before, small cheap games are a dime a dozen these days. you have to try to build something big like skyrim before you stand out from the crowd.

 

i've personally never heard of torchlight, although i have heard of games like skyrim, call of duty (what is it  version 27 now?), black ops, etc. THATS where the glory is for crackers, with big games like that, not one of the 10,000+ sub $20 games you find on steam. and yes, Caveman will definitely cost more than $20. price will most likely start at $30.  The previous versions 1.0 thru 1.3, released between 2000 and 2003 were priced between $30 and $35 for a single user license.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#35 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 25145

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:12 PM

 

Why do people still buy CD's when they could download the music for free?
 

because by and large you can't DL cd quality audio, just tinny lossy mp3's. if you want the real McCoy, you gotta ante up the bucks.

 

Also: some people have huge CD libraries, and sometimes like to grow them physically - just like some gamers like physical copies of their games.

Further, not everyone pirates. And even some pirates choose to financially support their favorite games/bands/authors.


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 01 April 2014 - 10:12 PM.

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
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#36 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:14 PM


I would think people would be deterred from cracking it if they know they are known.

 

haven't you ever burned a copy of a registered program for  friend or relative that had your registration info in it?

 

i don't think any testers will try to crack the beta expiration date.  but its possible that the beta might get out on the web. 

 


That could be combined with online password checking on update/game start

 

no "ET phone home " solutions allowed. too intrusive. too exclusionary. not everyone had unlimited broadband.  "no internet connection required" is a design constraint of the software's specification.

 

definitely doesn't make my job any easier!


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#37 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:22 PM


My own personal take is that the reality of that situation being what it is, you simply have to accept it to be in the business of making certain kinds of games today -- Essentially any one-time-purchase-game without an online component is highly susceptible to being cracked and becoming someone's warez

 

i have a saying:

 

"I'm not in the business of selling games, I'm in the business of selling keydiscs!"


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#38 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:36 PM


display a courtesy pop up that this copy is from a beta and that he is playing past the expiration date, and may contain bugs, etc; with a link to buy the final version.

 

yes, something like that is the plan.  the program will need to be clearly marked as beta with info on how to get the full game.

 

as for the DRM methods, its occured to me that i may not want to go into too many details. if i were a cracker, say a year from now, thinking about taking a stab at this new game Caveman, the first thing i'd do would be a google search to find out what i could about it.  and low and behold! what do i find? all these posts on gamedev about building the game! including threads related to DRM!

 

otoh, i would very much like to discuss the design with known members (such as yourself) in a more private and secure forum. 

 

i HAVE figured out that its the exe, moreso than the memory image, whose integrity i need to worry about. if the exe is ok, the memory should be too - barring realtime tampering. but its mods to the exe that circumvent the beta expiration that i'm concerend with now. later i'll be concerned with mods that circumvent the keycd check.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#39 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2933

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:14 PM


Here's a list of DRM-free games. Take a gander through there and consider how many of them you recognize, how many of them have been profitable.

 

and consider how many aren't big or aren't new, or don't have that large a market.

 

there's not a single current AAA pc title there. assasin's creed 1 was about it. if they can get a few bucks for the old version on a "marginal goods" sale, great. its called milking the release for all its worth. no drm makes e-delievry easier. probably had to strip it out for e-delivery, and the game wasn't worth an alternative solution. its so old its no competition to the current version, and works as a "free demo" instead if redistributed.

 

in the wikipedia article on DRM, they point out that big pc games released in 2008 with good drm were conspicuously absent from torrent freak's list of top 10  most popular cracked games for 2008.  their point was that drm doesn't therefore seem to encourage cracking.  well of course not silly! you think the cracker  does it so all those legit users dont have to put a cd in their drive to play? you think they're some kind of gaming good Samaritan? Nonsense! They want bragging rights within their community - plain and simple, its all about prestige amongst one's fellow crackers. unfortunately (for gamedevs) the only way to gain such notoriety is by releasing cracks. 

 

most of the examples of games held up as "drm free and it works" simply wouldn't be worth cracking even if they had the easiest to break drm ever. they're just not cool enough, big  enough, expensive enough, popular enough, etc.

 

.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#40 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:29 PM

AAA programs (not just games) are funded by massive investor-supported companies; those on the board of directors tend not to be developers, not even *users* of the software they peddle. Their only interest is profit and maximizing the bottom line, so they're not above pouring tens of thousands of dollars into their DRM schemes. (Sometimes a LOT more.) Frankly, they would still be profitable without DRM...but, it's not just about "being profitable." It's about showing investors that your value is constantly increasing, thus you need to tighten every single nut and bolt you can. It's not just about profit: it's about absolute maximization of profit, to the dollar. Most of those games on that list I linked were profitable; games need not be AAA to be profitable.

If you really feel very strongly that you need DRM for your game to be profitable, you want to outsource for it OR sell to a AAA firm and have them do it for you.

 

ADDENDUM: It goes without saying, of course, that people will still pirate your game.

 

Also, are we still talking about "timebombing a beta"? If you're so worried about it, don't ship it; bring people on site to test your game and don't let them plug in any flash drives. Who's going to pirate a beta?


Edited by thade, 02 April 2014 - 04:31 PM.

I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/





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