Copy-Protection (was: Downloadable Games are Important)

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jack_norton
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Copy-Protection (was: Downloadable Games are Important)

#1 Post by jack_norton » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:38 pm

Yeah well in my case (and many other indies) we have no DRM, just a simple fullversion download. So in our case there aren't all those annoyances you find in original software.
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#2 Post by Topagae » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:41 pm

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Re: Downloadable Games are Important

#3 Post by jack_norton » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:00 pm

Much easier to share keys, as you said is enough to copy-paste or do simple keygen (I know because I've been using armadillo before and was basically useless). I've taken down so many files that at least the pirates need to spend some time re-uploading.
Anyway, I've also another theory: anyone so dumb to install an .exe on his pc coming from a pirate site, surely doesn't have a CC or paypal account to buy online (so I wouldn't be able to sell to him anyway).
I suppose they know that antivirus program are useless against custom coded trojans... or maybe they'll find out when their paypal account has been emptied misteriously :D
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Re: Downloadable Games are Important

#4 Post by papillon » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:04 pm

Oh definitely, but considering I find just about every one of your and many other commercial Renpy games with the search terms " 'Game name" torrent ". Maybe you should consider some sort of security measures.
You yourself just noted that DRM screws things up for many players and makes it HARDER for them to go legal. Not to mention that I can find just about any DRMed game through pirate channels as well. Why should I intentionally shoot myself in the foot and annoy my paying customers just to MAYBE make things VERY SLIGHTLY more difficult for the pirates?

Our games end up on pirate sites because there's a guy from the netherlands who PAYS for the games and then uploads copies to pirate circles who add their own crap to them (virus ahoy!). :) Many DRMed titles don't even get paid for in order to be cracked.

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Re: Downloadable Games are Important

#5 Post by Glazed Donuts » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:13 pm

Yeah DRM has been a big issue for me. With my most recent game I released, I had to decide if using DRM would be good. I tried to ask around to get a general consensus on if they had a problem with DRM. The majority hated it and so I decided not to put it in my game. Not only that, the cost of the DRM software alone is ridiculously expensive, so I would just be wasting money paying for something that someone will most likely find a way around in a matter of minutes.

It's really a never-ending battle to try and counter pirates. Remember, some of these people do this for a living, so there's always someone that will find a way to break your system sooner or later.

Anyway, I think if the game is good enough, people will buy it no matter what. There are people who pirate/crack the game just to play it and see if they like it before the buy a legit copy and support the developer.

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#6 Post by Topagae » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:15 pm

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Re: Downloadable Games are Important

#7 Post by PyTom » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:34 pm

Topagae wrote: I believe I was talking about a 1 time use key. Those are in theory, unbreakable if you follow simple security precautions. Russians found that out the hard way.
You're confusing a key with a one-time-use pad. It's a totally different problem - OTP can ensure the confidentiality of messages exchanged between users that trust each other. DRM tries to limit the ability of one of the parties to access a message they can access in some scenarios.

DRM is, in theory, impossible.
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#8 Post by Topagae » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:56 pm

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Re: Downloadable Games are Important

#9 Post by jack_norton » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:59 pm

One key use require internet connection to validate and eliminate the possibility to get activated on another computer=>DRM=>people are pissed off=>worse than just using simple fullversion.
Even if there's a new method I'm not aware of to use 1 key without connecting to internet, it's still a joke for pirates to crack your game or make some keygen, as papillon said.

edit because saw your new post: doing what you say for a downloadables makes no sense, is insanely complex! How you embed a unique secret key in the executable when you get 10,000 downloads ? ok a custom php script on server, but that's definitely more work than just making the game online-only if you really want to have good piracy protection :)
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#10 Post by Topagae » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:10 pm

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Re:

#11 Post by Scout » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:59 pm

Topagae wrote:Of course there is the fatal flaw that then you know. You have a user with an unlocked version of the game. The traditional way to deter this is to paste the customers name everywhere in the product, and if it appears on pirate sites, you know who to go to. Not perfect, but better then nothing.
"Know who to go to?" And then what are you going to do? Write a sternly written email? Futilely threaten legal action against someone with a Russian mailing address? And that's all ignoring the fact that you don't need to give any real personal information whatsoever to buy something with a prepaid credit card, anyway.

Not only is that not better than nothing, but it's worse than nothing. At least with nothing you didn't waste valuable time with a pointless authentication system that doesn't deter piracy in any way!

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Downloadable Games are Important

#12 Post by Glazed Donuts » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:00 pm

I think it would only add fuel to the fire, in that case.

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Re: Downloadable Games are Important

#13 Post by papillon » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:01 pm

you know. People have to have internet to get your games. They can just validate it right after downloading.
Many people have separate computers for downloading and for playing (particularly if the game's for a kid). MANY customers nowadays have multiple computers and expect to be able to install on more than one. And people's hard drives fail / get virused and things need replacing.

'Damn near impossible' is... well, obviously impossible to anyone who's studied the field. :) Even the bizarre "Must be online at all times" scheme is crackable, it was just impressively difficult to do so. Install keys are a LOT easier to crack.

It's just bizarre to see you acknowledging that all this stuff is expensive, overcomplicated, provides a negative user experience, AND DOESN'T WORK - and still advocating it. Distributing full versions without DRM can ALSO take more than two weeks to be cracked, because most customers aren't willing to pay their own money for it and then give it away. It does happen eventually, but it can take a while... (Of course, with retail games, the problem is generally that they get leaked while going through the distribution process long before they reach a paying customer.)

As I implied earlier, I know exactly who's leaking my games, but there's a limit to what I can do with that information. :)

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#14 Post by Topagae » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:08 pm

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Re: DRM (was: Downloadable Games are Important)

#15 Post by PyTom » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:17 pm

Speaking as a forum admin:

I think the DRM discussion is a good one to have, but one that is a slightly different than the downloadables-as-preservation issue. So I went ahead and split the two threads into a new topic.
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