• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Ludus

Easter Eggs

16 posts in this topic

Imagine that you're hiding an Easter egg in your game. Perhaps it's some text or an image that pops up after doing some obscure set of tasks. Whatever the case, you want this Easter egg to remain hidden for a long time. Now, you're worried that someone will discover it by going through the game's resources or even by using tools to search through and modify the game's values in the memory (or by going through the compiled program file). What kind of countermeasures would you employ in your code to ensure (as much as possible) your Easter egg would not be found by illegitimate means?

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perform some sort of super simple encryption on just that asset (if it's done on all assets, the file crackers will quickly realize), like XORing all it's bytes with some magic number.

Store it in a non-obvious location, like within a string table instead of a file archive.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

None. Easter eggs just aren't important enough in the development process for me to spend extra time and effort trying to hide them.

 

Well, this is only a semi-serious question meant to be purely theoretical without taking practicalities into account. I'm just interested in hearing what schemes people can think up to hide an Easter Egg in the code. happy.png

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, it takes time to analyze resources unless you stored them in plain readable formats (i.e. mesh formas that there are already known viewers, png files, you get the idea).

So if someone finds your easter egg through hacking, it would've took him some time by then. If he's the first one, everyone's going to be "holy cow, I did not notice it!?!?" reinstall the game, and go see to confirm it. The easter egg still did it's job.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One easter egg can be hidden and non_crackable until somone finds it as long as you don't use ovbious things like calling the function by name and calling it "onfindeasteregg" or something else ovbious. It is insanely hard to find something if you don't know where to look for it. They could find them all though if they knew where one easter egg was and you implimented all your easter eggs in the same way. The only way I can see them being uncrackable is if your used a one way encryption on the data. Such as if you had to be at a certain XYZ for an egg to active, you could md5 the xyz and then check to see if they are at the right spot every move. But that also produces a lot of worthless overhead.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Implement them on the server side

 

or

 

2. Add them in an update, and expect people to find it before anyone has time to crack it (or before anyone even realizes that there even exists something crackable in the update)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hide it through obscurity.  First off, people won't even know to be looking fro an Easter egg unless you tell them.  And second, there is typically over a gig of data in a large game so your Easter egg takes up only a small portion of that.  Just leave as few clues as possible that there is an Easter egg in there.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You do realize a lot of easter eggs are known and well tested by the companies that own the game/program? You think google doesn't know if you ask its maps how to get to mordor, it will warn you that one doesn't simply walk into mordor. I do agree if your the programmer trying to hide something in it - but if as a whole your group wants undocumented features then there isn't too much to worry about with weird bugs. Hot coffee was just stupid, they went to release it - someone said that's too inappopriate - remove it. And someone decided it would be a lot easier to disable it then to remove it entirely.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most companies have written policies about those Easter Eggs. At most major companies adding unapproved features is grounds for termination.

 

Don't be such a party pooper tongue.png

Who says Easter Eggs are sneaked in by lone programmers/artists? Many developers (or at least the ones who actually have fun making games) love to hide things in their games for the player to find. Rareware is perhaps one of greatest examples of this. Their games (especially the ones for the N64) were full of oddities that could only be found by going off the beaten path and doing some amount exploration and experimentation. These oddities range from cryptic messages in the text and on textures, to locations and objects that are out of reach, to bits and pieces of the game that were left over from the beta development period. These kinds of oddities and Easter eggs don't serve some ephemeral purpose - they make the determined player want to search every inch of your game and to do a lot of investigative research into the making of your game. As an example of this, the classic game "GoldenEye 007" is still being searched for hidden content to this very day. Just recently (some fifteen years after the game's release) it was discovered that within the game's code there exists a (nearly) fully functional ZX Spectrum 48x emulator, with ten games included.

This kind of hidden content is something I love seeing in video games happy.png

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Speaking of the above goldeneye case -- it's famous multiplayer mode was never meant to exist. Management refused to allocate dev time for a MP mode, so two rogue programmers secretly worked on it for a month of their time in-between other tasks. Without their risk-taking and insubordination, it wouldn't be appearing on 'best games of all time' lists anywhere near as often ;)
That said, it depends on your organization. There's a lot of companies that would've fires these guys and not shipped the MP mode...
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is all good that they put those things in GoldenEye 007, .... but it did manage to ship two years after the movie it was supposed to be concurrent with.

 

So yeah, if bonus features and easter eggs are more important than shipping dates, I suppose you can add bonus features 'til your heart is content.  Just like DNF.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is all good that they put those things in GoldenEye 007, .... but it did manage to ship two years after the movie it was supposed to be concurrent with.

 

A lot of the development time was spent going through design concepts and creating the game engine from the ground up. Not to mention the planning for the game began the same year as the movie was released. Today, most games based on film franchises are in development well before the film's release, and development time is saved by using some existing game engines and by using formulaic game design. In any case, if it takes an extra year or two to create one of the greatest (and best selling) games of all time, then so be it. Of course, with the strict guidelines most game publishers enforce today, this is an unlikely scenario.

 

One of the reasons why I enjoy seeing Easter eggs and hidden content in video games is because it shows that the developers had fun working on the game and that they wanted to include things the players would be talking about for years to come. When you still have a large community of gamers playing, discussing, and finding new details about your game after fifteen years, that's when you know you've made a great game.

Edited by Ludus
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Write it into your code using obscure variable names. Don't put it into a resource file and the majority of people won't be able to change it or even find it until your program lets them. No safe is actually safe-- which kinda makes the word "safe" an oxymoron. Don't worry about the few people out there that will hack/exploit your game. The people that want to have a rich and full gaming experience won't look too hard behind the curtain anyway.

 

So, to sum up, JTippetts is correct. Don't worry about it-- you'll just waste valuable development time.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0