Jump to content
  • Advertisement
ritzmax72

how to protect my game from piracy

Recommended Posts

I am going to put game in one my website which has some visitors. The game will be delivered by MS installer after user pay the amount a link to download will be available. 

 

I want to know how can I protect my game from being pirated from here? User 1 can give downloaded installer to User2 thus avoiding payment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

There is no best answer, nor a universal answer.

There are usually ways you can protect against a specific attack, but you cannot protect against them all.

Said differently, putting up one board does not build a fence.  You can add more and more boards to the fence until it guards the thing, only to have someone dig under the fence. After hardening the ground you can find someone jumping over the fence. Install a roof and people can burn holes in the fence, or otherwise find ways through the defenses.  Fighting on the defensive side of security is about mitigating damage, because attackers will nearly always find another attack vector.

Adding defenses adds costs and burdens. All those defenses cost money to create and use. For software, the more protections you add the more burdensome it becomes to paying customers. 

 

That said, if you are paying online and if your validation service is available 24/7, you can validate through an online service that the user has paid.  A minimal system can verify it during install or on first use, assuming your payment server is running. More advanced systems will validate every few times the user runs the software, but even that can be spoofed by an attacker, and paying customers will need access even if they cannot reach the server for some reason.

Finding a good approach to security is an ever-changing balancing act, with constantly-changing business directions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no 100% anti-piracy measure. Some stores, such as GOG and Humble, don't even bother with DRM (for the most part) since it's fairly easily bypassed and mainly inconveniences legitimate paying customers. Perhaps the best protection is to build a community that wants to support your game by paying for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Tony Li said:

Some stores, such as GOG and Humble, don't even bother with DRM

It's worth noting that these stores are mostly for secondary sales at discount prices to players who weren't interested enough to pay full price near the time of release. For primary sales early in a game's lifespan, protection against piracy has a strong positive effect on the amount of revenue you're likely to see.

It is precisely the presence of strong copyright protection mechanisms  that means that the game industry is relatively thriving whereas the music industry has suffered massively in the last 15 years. The idea that this can be compensated for merely by 'building the right community' is wishful thinking at best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You do bring up good points. However, other factors contribute to the relative resiliency of the game industry against piracy, such as online requirements (which is, granted, a form of piracy prevention) and account-based in-app purchases. Given that this is almost certainly the OP's first release, and an indie game, and the OP plans to sell through their own website, I'd still recommend focusing on building a good game and good community over spending excessive time on any anti-piracy tactics beyond beyond initial payment validation to download the installer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have software I sell online in a similar method (my own web site with a download button)
 
I make the software downloadable and installable for free to anyone, but to use it full a licence key ( unique 32 character number) has to be purchased and entered into the software, otherwise it runs as a demo.
 
The software checks the key and also as a final check downloads (in the background) a small key compromise file from my website.  The software then calls a cgi script from my website when registering is complete.
 
Basically I know when someone has registered the software and I have the ability to turn off a licence key at any time, in case someone is passing their licence key around.
 
I’m no web guru but I managed to make this work with just a few simple web cgi scripts.
 
I’ve been selling like this for 11 years and I’ve only needed to turn off a key once.  Most people are trustworthy.  No one has hacked this system yet, although I’m sure if my software was ‘popular enough’ someone would.
 
But has worked well for me, with thousands of sales.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey desiado, thanks for the reply. I am thinking about the same. What I feel like if you have couple of hundreds customer then it is ok to assume your software will not get hacked but as soon as it becomes popular hackers would most probably find ways to make it free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi ritzmax72, I’ve got around 10 thousand ‘brought copies’, but much more people probably tried the software out (Btw it’s not a game and I don’t want to self promote here on non-related software on this forum).  I suspect it would have to be a lot more than this before someone can be bothered to hack it.  Depends on the price of course as well.  It’s in c# and has signed assemblies so not that easy to hack.
Over the years just getting promotion and sales is the REAL challenge.  I would not be bothered about serious protection at this stage if I was you, and not until your selling 100 thousand copies etc.  Just getting a game out there with lots of people playing it is a good start.
Btw I write games as well, recently on Android, but they’re totally free (no ads) just for fun.
Hope this of help and hope your game works out.

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

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!