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UnderSun

How to limit levels?

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Dear GameDev community, I am creating a game that will have trial limitations (limited levels). It is written in actionscript/flash (SWF). I am using SWF Maestro EXE PRO to convert it into protected EXE with trial limitations. Please tell how can I limit levels, so that unregistered users could access only a few levels? Thanks! Dave.

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There are various ways. The simplest way is to store a "registered" boolean somewhere in your executable, and check if it is true before loading levels beyond level three, or whatever. Of course, an enterprising hacker might be able to easily work around this limitation.

Another option, if your game is appropriately data-driven, would be to have a separate build process for your "demo" build that simply excludes the non-demo levels from the build and thus, the .exe, so they're just not there. This is a little more involved, and I don't know quite enough about build processes in Flash to say exactly how involved. But it's worth looking into.

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The easiest and safest would be by not including them at all, if that's an option for you (in the sense that the game cannot be cracked since the levels are simply not there to begin with). Instead of an activation code, registered users could download the full version. They might then pass it around, but that's essentially the same as simply pirating the code.

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Thanks for your answers!

Currently I have a simillar idea. I thought of dividing the game into two SWFs: the first is for all users, the second is for registered users. When all the levels in the first SWF are finished, it automatically opens the second SWF. Then in the EXE compiler I set the protection of the second SWF, so that unregistered users could not access it and should enter a registration key. Are there any cons of this method?

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Quote:
Original post by UnderSun
Are there any cons of this method?


The only major con is that it tells all the unregistered users where the registered levels can be found. If you wanted to make it as hard as possible for unregistered users to play the registered levels, then you don't even want to give them that information.

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