# should i care if people change my game's maps?

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i'm storing all of my game's maps in text format. so because i think these won't be very hard for someone to edit, should i really care if they do edit them? this is a map file:
map.bmp
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3 1 200 250 0 4
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1 300 250 0 6

up.test right.test down.test left.test


should i really worry about anyone trying to create their own maps with this format? i mean, even doom 3 and those level games have people who know how to create maps for them. thanks

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Completely depends. If you leave it like this, and it is as easy to edit as you say it is, you are essentially giving them the choice to change the game from the way you made it and allowing them to do what they wish. If you want to restrict them to playing the game your way, find some simple method for obfuscating it. Most people won't go through the effort to decode rot13, but if someone wants to crack your maps they will.

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Anyone dedicated enough to create new maps should be considred some sort of a fan, Im all for easily modded games.

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I wouldn't really bother. If someone wants to modify my game and play it I would be more than happy. If they plan on distributing the maps I would want to be informed though.

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Exactly. If someone were to put in the time and effort to make their own map(s) for my game, I'd be pretty pleased! (Assuming it was not for malicious use, such as editing the maps of online games)

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Quote:
 Original post by HopeDaggerExactly. If someone were to put in the time and effort to make their own map(s) for my game, I'd be pretty pleased! (Assuming it was not for malicious use, such as editing the maps of online games)

Well online games should always be sanity checked on the server anyhow so the only harm localy modified maps should be able to achive is the user getting utterly frustrated.

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well, this is sort of a zelda clone, but set in the old west.

this map only contains the bitmap file containing the tile images, the map data, the ai data and the maps around it (this last isn't actually done yet) i still have to have the map file stores a few things, i just haven't actually writen the code for them yet lol.

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Quote:
Original post by DigitalDelusion
Quote:
 Original post by HopeDaggerExactly. If someone were to put in the time and effort to make their own map(s) for my game, I'd be pretty pleased! (Assuming it was not for malicious use, such as editing the maps of online games)

Well online games should always be sanity checked on the server anyhow so the only harm localy modified maps should be able to achive is the user getting utterly frustrated.

which is utterly funny :)

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I wouldn't be happy if somebody was selling maps he made for my game to finance his illegal traffics with the ultimate goal of world domination/and/or/destruction

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Quote:
 Original post by The NajdorfI wouldn't be happy if somebody was selling maps he made for my game to finance his illegal traffics with the ultimate goal of world domination/and/or/destruction

i would, if anyone actually would want to buy anyone elses maps for my game, that must mean that a whole lot of people brought it :)

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Quote:
 Original post by The NajdorfI wouldn't be happy if somebody was selling maps he made for my game to finance his illegal traffics with the ultimate goal of world domination/and/or/destruction

if the market for maps for my game was so big that anyone could plot world domination by selling expansionpacks I would instead of whining about it just add some extra features to the engine start a competing buisness ;)

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Quote:
 Original post by The NajdorfI wouldn't be happy if somebody was selling maps he made for my game to finance his illegal traffics with the ultimate goal of world domination/and/or/destruction

That would make me downright unhappy.

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That's really up to you. Alot of people have already stated that its a good/awesome feeling to have when you know people are moding and playing around with your maps or game files (but not for money, just for personal interest or they are a fan of your game). If you don't want them to mess around with the actual map files then put the map files in some coded language that only your game will understand. Or you could add security to you map files. On the other hand you could add a level editor for your game so that the players can freely create level instead of messing with the game levels (that's what I'm currently working on).

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just put a simple encryption on the file.

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I don't think that you should worry too much about it. If someone puts the time and energy into learning the inner secrets of your game/engine you should hire that person to do levels on your next game. No need for a fancy ingame level editor with such a person on you team :P

This all takes me back to my early Amiga years when me and my friends used to change the string constants using a hex editor in games. "Trow in" became "Throw up" in my version of "Kick off". Hilarious (well... I was not that old back then :)

Regards,
hObbE

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Quote:
 Original post by CJWRi'm storing all of my game's maps in text format. so because i think these won't be very hard for someone to edit, should i really care if they do edit them? this is a map file:*** Source Snippet Removed ***should i really worry about anyone trying to create their own maps with this format? i mean, even doom 3 and those level games have people who know how to create maps for them. thanks

I wouldn't worry. I would even go so far as to argue that modability could make your game even more attractive. If you do have concerns make clear the conditions under which your willing to allow user maps (eg. no selling user created maps).

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You could just read your text map file into a little tool and spit it out as a binary file and than write a map reader for that. Would probably take 15 minutes to code and although it doesn't prevent map editing it isn't just sitting there in plain text.

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It's entirely up to you and what you want. I generally don't care at all what the user ends up doing with my game as long as it doesn't affect anyone else playing (inflating scores for an online leaderboard, multiplayer cheats, etc). I would probably make it a little more difficult to hack rather than an ascii text file. Change the extension and read and write in binary and maybe even some cheesey encryption. That should keep the casual hackers like me from doing anything but anyone who knows anything will still be able mess with it. IMO, that's acceptable (as long as the condition I stated above is met).

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Or just have them sign a licence before they download/install the game. Although i agree with everyone else, I think having someone actually modding your maps would be a good thing. Maybe you should even make a downloads section for user made maps.

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What you should do is write a map editor, and then have the editor unable to edit the maps that come with it. Like, the main game world would be unedititable, but the user could make their own maps and distribute them for multiplayer purposes. The way I'm doing it is I'm using Paint to make my maps (the tile data is encoded in the colour components), so anyone dedicated enough to figure out how the maps are made is a fan by my definition, so that's a good thing.