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CHG-Swampert

Game Storage and Company Symbols

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In most games, they have stored images and everything including the starting .avi that has the company name and sounds in it. Where exactly is all of this stuff stored? They do this so no one else can use the information but where is it all? If you want to keep all of this stuff from getting out to others, do they have like a secure SVN or some type of file system? I'm new to game design so i wanted to know. Thanks

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They sometimes have it all packed into large files, Im assuming to make install and leading a little simpler.

Its not so much a security thing, if the data is on someones computer, and they want to get at it, they will, and then generally provide the program they made to everyone on the net.

Its just alot easier to write and installer to copy one larger file or a few large files to a directory then to have it copy over a bajillion little images and sounds.

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Original post by CHG-Swampert
In most games, they have stored images and everything including the starting .avi that has the company name and sounds in it. Where exactly is all of this stuff stored? They do this so no one else can use the information but where is it all? If you want to keep all of this stuff from getting out to others, do they have like a secure SVN or some type of file system? I'm new to game design so i wanted to know. Thanks


It depends on the game...

Age of Conan had a bunch of 'custom format' files which stored the information.

Dwarf Fortress just has the stuff in its /data/ and /raw/ directories.

But honestly, anything which is displayed as a 2d image on the monitor or sound played through the speakers can be captured (and what can be captured can be saved, replayed, etc.) no matter what you do.

A 3d model would take a bit more effort to get to, but if your program can read it...someone can figure out how assuming they are willing to put in the effort.

My advice:
Don't bother beyond enough to keep the honest people honest. (e.g. Rename them. Maybe compress them.)

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A little confused what you are asking. Are you asking how it's kept secret during development or how it's kept secret after the game ships.

1) It's kept secret in development by using source control servers that are behind the company's firewall

2) It's not kept secret after the game ships.



Quote:
Original post by CHG-Swampert
If you want to keep all of this stuff from getting out to others


You can't. To draw it on a user's screen it has to be on their computer.

Typically they pack that info into some easily engine-readable binary format so it loads faster than a bunch of random separate files. But for any game anywhere all you need to get the data back is to figure out the file format. For most PC games that format is public or practically public information once the game has been out for a while (either because the company itself releases is or because people figure it out).

It's essentially impossible to keep that data private by any mechanism because the user's machine has to display it.

-me

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To me, keeping the company logo and splash screens in an encrypted or secure file seems kind of stupid. That's generally not the thing people go for when they want files out of a game.

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Original post by RyanG
To me, keeping the company logo and splash screens in an encrypted or secure file seems kind of stupid. That's generally not the thing people go for when they want files out of a game.

It's what I go for. Specifically, when I'm irritated the umpteenth time at some company's minute long unskippable intro sequence I have a tendency to hack the resource files and replace it with something a lot shorter [grin].

(In actuality, I think I've only done this a couple of times for a few particularly bad offenders. I can't remember which of the top of my head. I think they might have been console ports.)

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Some people seem to be in the mindset of "if it's possible to crack, it's pointless to protect". If you were to move somewhere where a few people (out of thousands) insist on ripping off your clothes, would you stop wearing clothes altogether, or fight harder to keep them on?

There are a couple good reasons to hide and protect your game files:

- You avoid exposing the mechanical workings of your game to your players. It's like seeing an arm in a puppet show. Everyone is curious to see the arm controlling the puppet, but no one really wants to see it, because it zaps some soul and immersion from the make-believe atmosphere. For example, seeing all of the possible dialog responses of an AI character will totally mechanize that character.

- You're sending a message to "typical" players that you don't want them to hack the game before/while playing it. This would be the opposite of, for instance, leaving an INI file on the desktop that allows setting your total health points to any value. Yes, players can still break into the data and change the value with a tool. But when they do, they can see very clearly that they're doing something outside of the boundaries of what was designed and intended for the game. For some people, that can make a big difference.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
If you were to move somewhere where a few people (out of thousands) insist on ripping off your clothes, would you stop wearing clothes altogether, or fight harder to keep them on?

It depends on exactly why these people want to tear off my clothes. [grin]

I agree with your reasons. Another reason, and why I now pack my game files into a big archive files is, is simply that it's neater. Instead of having dozens or hundreds of oddly named files scatteted around in directories, I've got one big archive file. This makes the game look more compact and to me, more professional.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
Some people seem to be in the mindset of "if it's possible to crack, it's pointless to protect". If you were to move somewhere where a few people (out of thousands) insist on ripping off your clothes, would you stop wearing clothes altogether, or fight harder to keep them on?


Your analogy is horribly flawed.

It is more along the lines of "Do you buy plate mail when a some people are willing to rip it off? Or do you just stick with clothes?"

Based on the fact that most men and women out there who aren't wearing heavy steel armor...I'd say my opinion is the correct one.

That is essential what happens when you don't run around encrypting your files but rename them and/or compress them. It is enough to keep the honest people honest. You can't expect more than that.

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Quote:
Original post by Kenneth Godwin
Quote:
Original post by Kest
Some people seem to be in the mindset of "if it's possible to crack, it's pointless to protect". If you were to move somewhere where a few people (out of thousands) insist on ripping off your clothes, would you stop wearing clothes altogether, or fight harder to keep them on?


Your analogy is horribly flawed.

What a mean thing to say :P

Quote:
It is more along the lines of "Do you buy plate mail when a some people are willing to rip it off? Or do you just stick with clothes?"

I don't get it. Plate mail is a hell of a lot tougher than clothes, and unlike clothing, it's designed to be difficult to rip off.

Quote:
Based on the fact that most men and women out there who aren't wearing heavy steel armor...I'd say my opinion is the correct one.

This is an interesting type of logic that I've never seen before.

Quote:
That is essential what happens when you don't run around encrypting your files but rename them and/or compress them.

The farther out of their way they need to go, the stronger the message is that you don't want them to do it. It's primarily just to protect them from their own curiosity. If they're willing to download third party tools to see what your game is made of, they probably won't suffer much by doing so.

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