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[TRENCHES] Thursday, August 23, 2012 - Subtext

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    King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    Drascin wrote: »
    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.
    This kind of thing is more common now . Nintendo does it with Pokemon for example which makes for enjoyable browses through gamefaqs.

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
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    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Drascin wrote: »
    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.

    Indeed, designing these things to mimic terrible, systemic problems seems like a poor strategy to begin with. Simulating a clearly isolated, game-ending bug -that doesn't show up in any of the official reviews- is going to be a lot less likely to erode confidence in your title. Shitty, inconsistent performance due to hardware incompatibility, on the other hand, is something that happens often enough that a handful of reviews to the contrary aren't going to convince anyone that it won't happen to them.

    X2's developers also allowed you to register your game with your forum handle, so it was immediately obvious if the person experiencing the "bug" had actually purchased the software (I don't recall seeing an instance of this).

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
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