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Copy Protection

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Does anyone happen to know how to copy-protect a game when it's going to be put onto a CD? What i want to do is bundle all my necessary files into one big autorun install package on a CD, and I want to make sure that the user cannot access any of the original individual files, and has to have the CD in the CD drive to start the game, and make the CD uncopyable. Any ideas? Thanks in advance

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Here is a quick link I found that lists some compaines and software to do so. One thing to keep in mind is that it is not free, so you might have to pay a bit in order to do so. Here is a reference on a lot of the copy protection schemes. Also note that this si something that CD mastering corporations do - I have yet to here of 'do it yourself' techniques with physical cds. Hope this helps some.

- Drew

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Commercial copy protections usually work by storing some data, like an encryption key, on sectors of a CD that a CD burner cannot access. Therefore, such things are not an option if you're going to be burning your own CDs, you need to have them pressed.

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Star-Force (http://www.star-force.com/) seems to be one of the better copy protection schemes around, though it is rather controversial. It is a software solution rather than a hardware one that installs a driver onto the user's computer which has some way of preventing a copy.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
you could also consider to use a usb dongle protection with your software. there are some quite effective solutions out there with encrypting dongles. also for only a few copies of your cd this might be quite an interesting solutions. cd mastering by one of the cd content protection companies is not affordable.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
mastering by one of the cd content protection companies is not affordable.

and they always get cracked sooner or later anyway :(

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yup, yup... what they are selling essentially boils down to snake oil. And that driver installing starforce thingy boils down to snake oil that will piss off some of your customers.

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yeah starforce mucks a lot of cd drivers up by forcing them to non dma modes and such. I refuse to buy or play an starforce game, besides most cd emulation software can copy nearly any game to a perfect enough (ie it can run the game) cd image. There is no need to crack the game, and i can leave the original in the case :)

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Quote:
Original post by Crazy Jonny
Does anyone happen to know how to copy-protect a game when it's going to be put onto a CD? What i want to do is bundle all my necessary files into one big autorun install package on a CD, and I want to make sure that the user cannot access any of the original individual files, and has to have the CD in the CD drive to start the game, and make the CD uncopyable. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance


There is no such thing as an uncopyable CD, at least not one that can also be read. The links provided by previous poster are probably as good as you're going to do if you're burning your own CDs. If you have the money to goto a CD pressing company that can use one of the commerical solutions you can get a little more protection, but it's almost certain that if your game gets any kind of demand it will be cracked. If you get too rigid with copy protection and access control you may actually create more of a demand for the hacked copy.

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Well, it's not a particularly major game i'm making, it's just my first DirectX game actually, and I'm in a small school company selling it, in other words, it's not something that will reach more than a few hundred people. So I wouldn't really expect anyone to actually bother cracking it etc. I just want something that can keep it safe from 99% of people, just basic protection that can fool most people.

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Quote:
Original post by Crazy Jonny
Well, it's not a particularly major game i'm making, it's just my first DirectX game actually, and I'm in a small school company selling it, in other words, it's not something that will reach more than a few hundred people. So I wouldn't really expect anyone to actually bother cracking it etc. I just want something that can keep it safe from 99% of people, just basic protection that can fool most people.


In that case the free methods and tools linked to by Drew_Benton should be suffcient.

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