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[TRENCHES] Thursday, August 23, 2012 - Subtext

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited August 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Subtext


Subtext
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/subtext

Worse than Hitler

Anonymous

I worked on a server based multiplayer shooter where you could fill your character with any shape or design you could set your mind to. Of course, this being the Internet, it took about half an hour after the game went into beta for someone to start making dicks and Nazi symbols on stuff.

The company was fine with just about everything that you could make in this. All manner of obscene images were created by our users and plastered over everything from their characters foreheads to their hooded sweatshirts. The thing is the German government isn’t too hot on showing Nazi symbols on ANYTHING, so as QA testers, we had to go into people’s accounts and remove any offending symbols as soon as they were reported.

After about two weeks of going through characters and deleting a huge number of really mindblowingly offensive images we started to get a little, uh, playful with our user-base. We went into the offending accounts, found the images in question and replaced them with pictures of rainbows and unicorns and snowflakes.

Things went on like this for a while until someone posted on the forums and said “OMG my account has been hacked! Someone! Help! All my symbols got changed to unicorns and rainbows!”

One of our team posted in the same thread saying “You know full well why your images have been changed. If you want we can tell everyone else what they used to be.”

Guy locked the thread pretty soon after.


Geth on
«1

Posts

  • Options
    PonyPony Registered User regular
    I love trickery like that from devs.

    The anti-piracy system on Arkham Asylum was brilliant for the forum posts it generated.

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    AntimatterAntimatter Devo Was Right Gates of SteelRegistered User regular
    i support this trenches

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    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    That story makes me smile.

  • Options
    Sgt.Big_BubbaloolaSgt.Big_Bubbaloola That's Mr to you! Everywhere man....Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    I love trickery like that from devs.

    The anti-piracy system on Arkham Asylum was brilliant for the forum posts it generated.

    What was AA's anti-piracy btw? I thought Bohemia had a good one with Arma where it would get increasingly difficult to play when pirated.

    Slightly off topic, did anyone see the comments by the douche of a Ubisoft CEO who stated that 95% of all PC games are pirated ........... *sigh* *pinches bridge of nose*



    Well gosh, I suppose I might as well settle in for a nice cuppa ...... this is gonna be good!
  • Options
    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    I love trickery like that from devs.

    The anti-piracy system on Arkham Asylum was brilliant for the forum posts it generated.

    What was AA's anti-piracy btw? I thought Bohemia had a good one with Arma where it would get increasingly difficult to play when pirated.

    After a couple of hours, if your game was pirated, the cape glide stopped working, rendering it impossible for you to advance in the game. Therefore if you went on their boards and complained about it, they'd know you were pirating.

  • Options
    senekuseneku Registered User regular
    Heh, story was from RTW after the launch of APB, some of the QA got drafted in to help out with the overloaded Customer Support and they got a little creative with some of the issues. To be fair the actual stuff they drew was usually well done!

    -=Seneku=-
  • Options
    ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    Man, if anyone tried answering interview questions like this, I'd decide they'd make a great...story for me to tell to other people about the dumbass who thought a massive ego would get them anything they wanted.

    Protip to anyone actually on the job hunt right now: this is not a good interview tactic

  • Options
    jackaljackal Fuck Yes. That is an orderly anal warehouse. Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Half an hour? The game must have taken 29 minutes to install then.

    jackal on
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    Sgt.Big_BubbaloolaSgt.Big_Bubbaloola That's Mr to you! Everywhere man....Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    I love trickery like that from devs.

    The anti-piracy system on Arkham Asylum was brilliant for the forum posts it generated.

    What was AA's anti-piracy btw? I thought Bohemia had a good one with Arma where it would get increasingly difficult to play when pirated.

    After a couple of hours, if your game was pirated, the cape glide stopped working, rendering it impossible for you to advance in the game. Therefore if you went on their boards and complained about it, they'd know you were pirating.

    HA! See Ubisoft, you can punish pirates without punishing legit consumers. But you just cannot bothered can you?



    Well gosh, I suppose I might as well settle in for a nice cuppa ...... this is gonna be good!
  • Options
    DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Scooter wrote: »
    Man, if anyone tried answering interview questions like this, I'd decide they'd make a great...story for me to tell to other people about the dumbass who thought a massive ego would get them anything they wanted.

    Protip to anyone actually on the job hunt right now: this is not a good interview tactic

    Yeah, "I don't want this job, I want the job thats over your head, I thought I would just step on some plebs on my way through" is dumb. I think once shes working we will get to see her broken down and crying from the job. Someone that self motivated probably would of worked out to make their own indie game in this day and age, unless she things development is "tightening up the graphics on level 3".

    steam_sig.png
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    cravipatcravipat CFKPW? Registered User regular
    Why did Gwen's shirt change from purple to black?

    nw1m8qQ.pngwNA4DEe.png6W3X2nk.png
    Super Mario Maker ID: DBB-1RH-JJG
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    Urban AchieverUrban Achiever Registered User regular
    Scooter wrote: »
    Man, if anyone tried answering interview questions like this, I'd decide they'd make a great...story for me to tell to other people about the dumbass who thought a massive ego would get them anything they wanted.

    Protip to anyone actually on the job hunt right now: this is not a good interview tactic
    She's got the right idea, but the egotistical execution is horrible! You always want to hire somebody who has ambition and wants the knowledge and experience of how an industry works from the ground up to go along with that ambition - but not someone who is a dick about it.

  • Options
    KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    cravipat wrote: »
    Why did Gwen's shirt change from purple to black?

    whoa
    in both pages

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    CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    Scooter wrote: »
    Man, if anyone tried answering interview questions like this, I'd decide they'd make a great...story for me to tell to other people about the dumbass who thought a massive ego would get them anything they wanted.

    Protip to anyone actually on the job hunt right now: this is not a good interview tactic

    Considering that she's interviewing for a position testing games, the worst punishment for her arrogance may actually be to give her the job.

  • Options
    YtinasniYtinasni Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Scooter wrote: »
    Man, if anyone tried answering interview questions like this, I'd decide they'd make a great...story for me to tell to other people about the dumbass who thought a massive ego would get them anything they wanted.

    Protip to anyone actually on the job hunt right now: this is not a good interview tactic


    I'd be hesitant to hire anyone who got their interview advice from a webcomic.

    edit: unless that particular webcomic was authored for the specific purpose of giving good advice to potential interviewees.

    Ytinasni on
  • Options
    PreciousBodilyFluidsPreciousBodilyFluids Registered User regular
    Scooter wrote: »
    Man, if anyone tried answering interview questions like this, I'd decide they'd make a great...story for me to tell to other people about the dumbass who thought a massive ego would get them anything they wanted.

    Protip to anyone actually on the job hunt right now: this is not a good interview tactic

    Yeah, this cartoon character sure isn't behaving professionally right now

  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    In a comic filled with characters people complain are unlikeable, Gwen somehow still manages to stand out.

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    NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    Look, they're not unlikeable. It's the system that's the villain here, the characters are just doing their best to survive in a crazy industry.

    The noses however are unlikeable.

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    ChaendarChaendar Registered User new member
    Well, never thought I'd see Gwen Dawson again!

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    -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    Kochikens wrote: »
    cravipat wrote: »
    Why did Gwen's shirt change from purple to black?

    whoa
    in both pages

    oh man I thought my brain was playing tricks on me

    Geth still has the original up

    PNk1Ml4.png
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    Andy JoeAndy Joe We claim the land for the highlord! The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    Is...is Gwen coming on to Cora?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ALsvU50wQ

    XBL: Stealth Crane PSN: ajpet12 3DS: 1160-9999-5810 NNID: StealthCrane Pokemon Scarlet Name: Carmen
  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Chaendar wrote: »
    Well, never thought I'd see Gwen Dawson again!

    Feel like filling in the background for people who don't read PvP?

  • Options
    SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    I love trickery like that from devs.

    The anti-piracy system on Arkham Asylum was brilliant for the forum posts it generated.

    What was AA's anti-piracy btw? I thought Bohemia had a good one with Arma where it would get increasingly difficult to play when pirated.

    After a couple of hours, if your game was pirated, the cape glide stopped working, rendering it impossible for you to advance in the game. Therefore if you went on their boards and complained about it, they'd know you were pirating.

    How does the game know it is pirated?

    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    I love trickery like that from devs.

    The anti-piracy system on Arkham Asylum was brilliant for the forum posts it generated.

    What was AA's anti-piracy btw? I thought Bohemia had a good one with Arma where it would get increasingly difficult to play when pirated.

    After a couple of hours, if your game was pirated, the cape glide stopped working, rendering it impossible for you to advance in the game. Therefore if you went on their boards and complained about it, they'd know you were pirating.

    How does the game know it is pirated?
    I don't know the specifics of the process, but, in the abstract, when you make a crack for a game, you have to side-step or spoof its attempts to validate itself. Generally these validation attempts are handled up front, and then they let you go. However, developers can embed additional attempts to validate that don't occur until you reach a certain condition (play time, level, etc). If the cracker removes the initial check, but doesn't play through the whole game, they may not realize that there are additional checks and call it a day.

    The result is that those using the pirated game will hit these creative (and frustrating) little "demo-timeouts" and make fools of themselves when they metaphorically march back into the shop demanding support for a broken product from the very people they stole it from. It is at this point that the shop-keeper merely raises one eye-brow and says "Oh really..." while the other customers chastise the pirate and chase them out of the shop with a chorus of "BOOs" and thrown produce.

    It's a good time for everyone.

    X2 (a [edit: fantastic] sort of single player EVE) had the whole galaxy declare war on you after several hours, I think. Whatever it was, it effectively made the game unplayable and looked like a bug. As an anti-piracy tactic, it seemed pretty brilliant since they waited until people were good and hooked before they cut them off. I'm willing to bet it resulted in a lot more sales than simply trying to make the game "uncrackable" would have.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • Options
    YtinasniYtinasni Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    How does the game know it is pirated?

    Probably the same way most DRM works, there's some form of validation to a server hardcoded into the game.

    Or there's a "crack" detection in there that activates when it discovers that the game-key has been bypassed via a crack.

    Thats my guess anyhow.


    edit: so f*king ninjad

    Ytinasni on
  • Options
    VoranthVoranth MI NOMBRE, POR CIERTO ES DONTÉ!Registered User regular
    In the old Escape Velocity shareware games, there was a character called Captain Hector who would politely remind you every so often that you should register your game.

    Now, I may be recalling this incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure if you waited too long or they detected you had a pirated copy, Captain Hector would mercilessly hunt your ship down and murder you in the dark cold of space. Now that's anti-piracy! (Literally, if you were doing the space pirate storyline)

    The Tales from the Trenches are always a good read. Looking forward to the next one!

    camo_sig2.png
    PS4: Voranth
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    marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Voranth wrote: »
    In the old Escape Velocity shareware games, there was a character called Captain Hector who would politely remind you every so often that you should register your game.

    Now, I may be recalling this incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure if you waited too long or they detected you had a pirated copy, Captain Hector would mercilessly hunt your ship down and murder you in the dark cold of space. Now that's anti-piracy! (Literally, if you were doing the space pirate storyline)
    It may depend on which game in the Escape Velocity series you played.

    These articles from Ambrosia Software describe their creation as a "nuisance" that would "harass" the player if left unregistered too long:
    http://www.radiationroom.com/ambrosia/
    http://www.ambrosiasw.com/support/faqs/products/escape-velocity/Does-Captain-Hector-serve-any-real-purpose

    This article seems to suggest that Captain Hector wasn't violent in the first two games:
    http://hardcoregaming101.net/escapevelocity/escapevelocity.htm
    The game also featured a unique way to get people to pay for the game. In the original [Escape Velocity], if you did not register the game, a guy named Captain Hector would fly onto your screen and remind you to register. In [Escape Velocity: Override], he not only reminds you to pay up, but if you don't cough up the cash, Captain Hector will steal about half of your ingame fortune from you at random points in the game.

    This user comment also suggests Hector originally only stole money:
    http://as.reddit.com/r/truegaming/comments/ydgpa/who_is_the_most_annoying_npc_you_have_ever/c5ume1v


    However, it looks like the developers upped in the ante in the third game, Escape Velocity: Nova

    Here's some user comments complaining about Hector constantly destroying their ships in Escape Velocity: Nova
    http://megagames.com/comment/146045#comment-146045
    http://megagames.com/comment/146092#comment-146092

    This review of Escape Velocity: Nova states that Captain Hector's shareware reminders "start getting violent."
    http://macreviewzone.com/html/reviews/house/software/02/escape_v.html



    The EV series used to be Mac exclusive, but EV: Nova has been ported to Windows, and has downloadable plugins for playing the first two EV games in it:
    http://www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn


    Some more mentions of Hector's violent reaction to not registering EV: Nova:
    http://www.spaceritual.com/1545/1599.html
    http://www.macgamefiles.com/item/17107/Escape-Velocity-Nova/?show=reviews
    http://www.gamespot.com/escape-velocity-nova/forum/did-i-stumble-upon-a-glitch-44333820/

  • Options
    marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Voranth wrote: »
    In the old Escape Velocity shareware games, there was a character called Captain Hector who would politely remind you every so often that you should register your game.

    Now, I may be recalling this incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure if you waited too long or they detected you had a pirated copy, Captain Hector would mercilessly hunt your ship down and murder you in the dark cold of space. Now that's anti-piracy! (Literally, if you were doing the space pirate storyline)
    It may depend on which game in the Escape Velocity series you played.

    These articles from Ambrosia Software describe their creation as a "nuisance" that would "harass" the player if left unregistered too long:
    http://www.radiationroom.com/ambrosia/
    http://www.ambrosiasw.com/support/faqs/products/escape-velocity/Does-Captain-Hector-serve-any-real-purpose

    This article seems to suggest that Captain Hector wasn't violent in the first two games:
    http://hardcoregaming101.net/escapevelocity/escapevelocity.htm
    The game also featured a unique way to get people to pay for the game. In the original [Escape Velocity], if you did not register the game, a guy named Captain Hector would fly onto your screen and remind you to register. In [Escape Velocity: Override], he not only reminds you to pay up, but if you don't cough up the cash, Captain Hector will steal about half of your ingame fortune from you at random points in the game.

    This user comment also suggests Hector originally only stole money:
    http://as.reddit.com/r/truegaming/comments/ydgpa/who_is_the_most_annoying_npc_you_have_ever/c5ume1v


    However, it looks like the developers upped in the ante in the third game, Escape Velocity: Nova

    Here's some user comments complaining about Hector constantly destroying their ships in Escape Velocity: Nova
    http://megagames.com/comment/146045#comment-146045
    http://megagames.com/comment/146092#comment-146092

    This review of Escape Velocity: Nova states that Captain Hector's shareware reminders "start getting violent."
    http://macreviewzone.com/html/reviews/house/software/02/escape_v.html



    The EV series used to be Mac exclusive, but EV: Nova has been ported to Windows, and has downloadable plugins for playing the first two EV games in it:
    http://www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn


    Some more mentions of Hector's violent reaction to not registering EV: Nova:
    http://www.spaceritual.com/1545/1599.html
    http://www.macgamefiles.com/item/17107/Escape-Velocity-Nova/?show=reviews
    http://www.gamespot.com/escape-velocity-nova/forum/did-i-stumble-upon-a-glitch-44333820/

  • Options
    SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    there was a game on steam a while back where the developer coded in an error message to pop up at a certain point if you pirated a game, with an error code attached

    only the error code was actually your steam ID number

    so a truckload of pirates reported their issue to the steam forums and unknowingly revealed their steam IDs and were subsequently banned

  • Options
    Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    Voranth wrote: »
    In the old Escape Velocity shareware games, there was a character called Captain Hector who would politely remind you every so often that you should register your game.

    Now, I may be recalling this incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure if you waited too long or they detected you had a pirated copy, Captain Hector would mercilessly hunt your ship down and murder you in the dark cold of space. Now that's anti-piracy! (Literally, if you were doing the space pirate storyline)

    The Tales from the Trenches are always a good read. Looking forward to the next one!
    Your memory serves you well. Captain Hector really wanted you to buy EV.

    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • Options
    azmod2000azmod2000 Registered User regular
    I believe the original SimCity game had a copy protection scheme where if you had a pirated version, your city would be subject to an ever increasing number of disasters until your entire city was wrecked.

  • Options
    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    Serious Sam 3 or whatever the latest one is had a crazy almost unkillable monster that started following you around if you pirated it. I don't like the Serious Sam series but I remember thinking that that was interesting enough that I wanted to download it and see it in action. Then I watched a YouTube video which sated my curiosity completely. The video title alone is hilarious:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e91q5BtlxK0

  • Options
    JucJuc EdmontonRegistered User regular
    There's a big problem with hidden checks and drm trickery, in that they will usually hit a small percentage of legitimate customers.
    I'm hesitant to try to publicly humiliate people who report a "bug" from those checks due to that.

  • Options
    StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2012
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Chaendar wrote: »
    Well, never thought I'd see Gwen Dawson again!
    Feel like filling in the background for people who don't read PvP?
    She was character in PvP that was noteworthy for both being the object of a crush (Brent) and having a crush on one of the main cast (Jade) and then kinda disappeared not too long after that. She was a ancillary character at best, and I don't think we even got an idea of what her job was. Since it's not terribly likely she'll show up in PvP again, it's not a bad idea to reuse her in Trenches.

    She was always kind of snarky, but I don't recall her being this much of a smartass.

    Sterica on
    YL9WnCY.png
  • Options
    RehabRehab Registered User regular
    -Tal wrote: »
    Kochikens wrote: »
    cravipat wrote: »
    Why did Gwen's shirt change from purple to black?

    whoa
    in both pages

    oh man I thought my brain was playing tricks on me

    Geth still has the original up

    Yay, I'm not crazy!

    I left the Tuesday's comic up, refreshed it today before clicking over to today's comic, and I thought I felt my mind winking out.

    NNID: Rehab0
  • Options
    TaramoorTaramoor Storyteller Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Squall wrote: »
    there was a game on steam a while back where the developer coded in an error message to pop up at a certain point if you pirated a game, with an error code attached

    only the error code was actually your steam ID number

    so a truckload of pirates reported their issue to the steam forums and unknowingly revealed their steam IDs and were subsequently banned

    This schadenfreude right here, is the best schadenfreude ever.

    Taramoor on
  • Options
    Sgt.Big_BubbaloolaSgt.Big_Bubbaloola That's Mr to you! Everywhere man....Registered User regular
    Squall wrote: »
    there was a game on steam a while back where the developer coded in an error message to pop up at a certain point if you pirated a game, with an error code attached

    only the error code was actually your steam ID number

    so a truckload of pirates reported their issue to the steam forums and unknowingly revealed their steam IDs and were subsequently banned

    They REALLY need to do that more often.



    Well gosh, I suppose I might as well settle in for a nice cuppa ...... this is gonna be good!
  • Options
    DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    In assassins creed, about 1% of pc owners got hit with their legitimate copies, because vista could trigger it. You would never be able to load that game into the second city (1/3rd of the way through) ever. You had to restart the entire game to see if it would trigger again after 1/3rd of the game. I was one of those legit customers it triggered on. Ubisofts response was "we made it for xp, and do not plan on fixing the game, vista isn't unsupported". I will never buy an ubisoft game ever again. I do have some in my steam account... I think those were gifts...

    Titans quest had this bite them in the ass. The pirated copy let you play the game fine, but it made the game run like shit. It nearly ruined them because everyone who pirated the game ran to forums to bitch about how terrible the game was and how it barely ran. It didn't help that legitimate customers who bought the game after pirating still suffered the effects.

    steam_sig.png
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    Pirated copies of Earthbound made the game extra hard by doubling the enemies.

    Then, if you managed to get to the last boss, the game would freeze and then delete all your saves.

    9u72nmv0y64e.jpg
  • Options
    DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    I love trickery like that from devs.

    The anti-piracy system on Arkham Asylum was brilliant for the forum posts it generated.

    What was AA's anti-piracy btw? I thought Bohemia had a good one with Arma where it would get increasingly difficult to play when pirated.

    After a couple of hours, if your game was pirated, the cape glide stopped working, rendering it impossible for you to advance in the game. Therefore if you went on their boards and complained about it, they'd know you were pirating.

    How does the game know it is pirated?
    I don't know the specifics of the process, but, in the abstract, when you make a crack for a game, you have to side-step or spoof its attempts to validate itself. Generally these validation attempts are handled up front, and then they let you go. However, developers can embed additional attempts to validate that don't occur until you reach a certain condition (play time, level, etc). If the cracker removes the initial check, but doesn't play through the whole game, they may not realize that there are additional checks and call it a day.

    The result is that those using the pirated game will hit these creative (and frustrating) little "demo-timeouts" and make fools of themselves when they metaphorically march back into the shop demanding support for a broken product from the very people they stole it from. It is at this point that the shop-keeper merely raises one eye-brow and says "Oh really..." while the other customers chastise the pirate and chase them out of the shop with a chorus of "BOOs" and thrown produce.

    It's a good time for everyone.

    Note this can backfire REALLY hard. Titan Quest had something like that - but since it was pirated before release, for a while all people had were accounts of how "horribly buggy" the game was, which meant nobody actually bought it when it came out later.

    Steam ID: Right here.
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