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Affordable Copy Protection

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Not sure if software protection and licensing software is only used with internet but could someone suggest an affordable recommended package?  Is there a package that allows a trial for an hour/hours or minutes?

 

Thank you,

 

JoshuaE

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If I had to choose a system it would probably be FADE which was used in ArmA 2. It works by using fake 'scratches' on the ISO image (disc image) which most mounting tools fix automatically which then triggers the FADE system as the scratches are no longer there. From there the game slowly becomes harder to play as weapon accuracy decreases over time. Eventually the game will introduce bugs into the game that make using vehicles and such completely unplayable. So as time progresses it becomes are horrible buggy mess that displays adverts to buy the game across the screen. 

 

Possibly the best part of the FADE system is the fact that paying users are completely unaffected/unaware of such a system.

 

@frob mentioned a good one. 

 

I personally wouldn't go any further than steam it self if affordable is what your after. 

Edited by tragic

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So as time progresses it becomes are horrible buggy mess that displays adverts to buy the game across the screen.
 

 

Ads could be fine, but DO NOT MAKE IT BUGGY! I can't find a reference right now, but I know of at least one example where the devs thought it was a good idea to introduce bugs in the pirated version. This resulted in horrible reviews and complaints on their forums.

 

If you decide to go with bugs, make sure to make them fun like the Game Dev Story example mentioned above.

 

Regardless of what level of protection you want, it will be cracked if it's affordable. Denuvo is one of the longest lasting copy protections I have heard of, but even that is not secure. Further more it is not cheap, and requires the user to be online to activate.

 

You could roll your own fairly simple, for a time limited trial. While you can not make it super secure (unless you keep great parts of the game online (as also mentioned)) you can easily prevent most people from bypassing it by themselves. An example (requires online access to activate) would be to create a file with their Steam ID and start time, sign it online, and only allow the game to start if the file exists on their computer.

 

Although I would recommend you to just create a content limited demo, as this will allow you to stop the game at a cliffhanger, rather than at whatever point they reached before timeout. This can be done either by having two separate games, or having parts of the game encrypted, and only provide the key, once the full game has been purchased.

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So as time progresses it becomes are horrible buggy mess that displays adverts to buy the game across the screen.

Ads could be fine, but DO NOT MAKE IT BUGGY! I can't find a reference right now, but I know of at least one example where the devs thought it was a good idea to introduce bugs in the pirated version. This resulted in horrible reviews and complaints on their forums.

That might have been Batman Arkham Asylum -- IIRC, at least one reviewer wrote their review using a pirate copy of the game, which contained deliberate bugs.

The FADE system mentioned by tragic was not subtle though. It used to print the text "Original copies do not FADE" into the chat area right before it triggered any bugs -- letting you know the game was misbehaving because they'd flagged you as a pirate.

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