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Old 22 February 2005, 20:58   #21
Codetapper
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But surely a "real" hardcore gamer would have bought the game to begin with? Why do you assume that somebody that is playing a cracked game will suddenly rush out and buy it just to finish a small part near the end? If that was the case, every single game on the market at the moment would have word from the manual protection that only pops up near the end. And PC games just don't have it!

Anyway I still think that by the time someone has found protection late in the game, the crackers would have re-released a fix for it...
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Old 23 February 2005, 08:05   #22
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Because he invested a lot of time to reach the end.
Also Flashback was only available in France for many months, you couldn't buy it even if you wanted to.
Also the hardcore gamer does not buy all his games, if he can get along without a legal copy, he'll do especially if young.
But if he can't finish the game and he really wants to finish it, he'll get a legal copy somehow.
It is probably very rare that crackers fix old warez, simply because there is zero benefit in doing so, unless it is a $100k application. Even in that case it will probably be removed from circulation and don't earn even some ranking not to mention money for them.
Anyway ask our local expert on this, Galahad
As for pc games: the pc games market is as good as dead and protection is always an afterthought, normally not part of the game, apart from Fade. That's why they use crap like SecuRom, which is today's Copylock...
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Old 23 February 2005, 12:11   #23
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I considered my self a gamer, and I never bought a single amiga title original.

and I reached to the end of as many games as every other gamer..
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Old 23 February 2005, 12:27   #24
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Gamer in that definition: someone swapping/downloading a game giving it a try then tossing the game away forever, never to see it again. Most likely "playing" the game using life, level and other cheats as well using hex editors to change his character in rpgs.

Gamer in another definition: someone who tries to complete a game without cheating, tries to get hold on the game if/when he possibly can.

Notice, that the first type is don't care for publishers or developers, they are just warez kiddies, who wouldn't buy the game anyway.
For the second type - making their life a bit hard if they decide to use a pirated copy for the time being - a "reminder" protection is excellent encouragement to make them buy the product.

Last edited by IFW; 23 February 2005 at 12:35.
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Old 23 February 2005, 12:37   #25
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Lands of Lore, for PC, has the copy protection at 90% of the game, near the end... a lame word check....
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Old 02 March 2005, 23:05   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IFW
Because he invested a lot of time to reach the end.
Well, there you have it. He's allready reached the end. So now he'll be annoyed that he can't officially finish it, but he'll allready have experienced pretty much everything the game has to offer.

Sure, there are some gamers who won't be satisfied with this, but most will just accept it and move on to the next game. Normal gamers account for most sales, not the hardcore "elite".

I also think your two definitions are a bit too simple. I think most gamers are a combination of the two, and anyway, the way they approach their games doesn't have anything to do with whether they're pirates or not. People play the way the enjoy to play, and if that includes using walkthroughs or cheats on games they've bought, then that's fair enough. I've certainly done so on many occations.
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Old 03 March 2005, 12:42   #27
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@IFW:

Here is another definition, the definition of a bastard-bussinesman:

He spend lot of money in make adverts in magazines or buy a license of a coin-op or a movie. Then he pay less money to the game designers and creators, also he gives less time to finish the game. The testing is crap and hurry. And only force to graphists to make good mock-up screens for magazines.

what do you think about that definition??
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Old 03 March 2005, 13:46   #28
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That EA sucks, buy the products of EU developers instead.
Besides a very poor excuse for piracy. Piracy of recent goods, that should make profit in order for the developers to stay in business.

There are many honest hard working developers out there and businesses are to make profit, not for anyone to pirate their work.
You wouldn't work for free, and would be most upset if you wouldn't get your wage, because your employer "thinks" you worked for free.

As long as people work on something they should be paid; creating software is just as a hard work as is say being a lawyer, a doctor or a teacher.
As soon as anyone who would do whatever dayjob he does for free - and he is not rich, has no huge family income, inheritance whatever - tells me that he will do his work for free, I'll change my mind.
Also when you can go to a supermarket and buy goods in exchange for your work, not money.
Things like food and other oddities.

Hey, wait a minute...! We can already do that, but instead of exchanging our workforce we get some notes on paper or card for our own work and use the payment to exchange it for goods, made by people who also get their paper or card notes.
Sounds like an interesting system. I bet ancient people were very proud when they found out that they shouldn't bring their goods to change just paper representing and proof of their wealth, saving them a lot of hassle on expenses and transport

Of course we can go back to exchange goods the old fashioned way, I have no problem with that as soon as it will be the accepted common way of getting others' services and goods. Until then chances are you won't have access to anything that is not measured the same way as you do.

Think about it.

Thank you.
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Old 03 March 2005, 14:31   #29
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about that, there is a mathematic teoreme on the time spent on reachin a goal that is in a variable and not known distance, like waiting on a cue at the post office.
the more time you spend on it the less economic become your goal, but you feel more pressure on reaching it because the time you have already spent, and compelled in two different directions.
there will be eventually a point in wich one reason is so much stronger than the other that will force you to give up the cue.
this apply also in the case of the gamer A that just start and try the game and then pass to some other else: in fact, when it is felt apparent that the "cue" is too long from the start it is a best point to leave it. a reason of frustration is when it is not apparent at all, as in real life tasks.
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Old 09 March 2005, 00:48   #30
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So from what this programmer says the PCE version of parasol stars is probably a better play than the amiga version, since it has 16 colour palette per sprite?

I'll have to check it out... I always thought PCE was inferior to amiga
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Old 09 March 2005, 03:17   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IFW
That EA sucks, buy the products of EU developers instead.
Besides a very poor excuse for piracy. Piracy of recent goods, that should make profit in order for the developers to stay in business.

There are many honest hard working developers out there and businesses are to make profit, not for anyone to pirate their work.
You wouldn't work for free, and would be most upset if you wouldn't get your wage, because your employer "thinks" you worked for free.

As long as people work on something they should be paid; creating software is just as a hard work as is say being a lawyer, a doctor or a teacher.
As soon as anyone who would do whatever dayjob he does for free - and he is not rich, has no huge family income, inheritance whatever - tells me that he will do his work for free, I'll change my mind.
Also when you can go to a supermarket and buy goods in exchange for your work, not money.
Things like food and other oddities.

Hey, wait a minute...! We can already do that, but instead of exchanging our workforce we get some notes on paper or card for our own work and use the payment to exchange it for goods, made by people who also get their paper or card notes.
Sounds like an interesting system. I bet ancient people were very proud when they found out that they shouldn't bring their goods to change just paper representing and proof of their wealth, saving them a lot of hassle on expenses and transport

Of course we can go back to exchange goods the old fashioned way, I have no problem with that as soon as it will be the accepted common way of getting others' services and goods. Until then chances are you won't have access to anything that is not measured the same way as you do.

Think about it.

Thank you.
I will try to not go into politics isses for obvious reasons, but..

Mate, that's a little too naive. Please visit some 3rd world countries (Like in South America or Africa maybe), and then ask some people if they are all that happy with what those ancients had discovered.......


Oh, and btw, the PCE version of Parasol Stars looks a little better than the Amiga one, but not all that much. Both games play identical though, AFAIK.
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Old 09 March 2005, 10:51   #32
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Selling software in 3rd world countries is not an issue, you know that very well.

Actually in a certain extent I'd even vote for forgetting about money and let everyone have whatever he wants as long as it can be seen that he actually produced something in return.
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Old 09 March 2005, 13:00   #33
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Yep shatterhand, the PCE has an extended color palette, more than the amiga.
But the game is in any way as hard as amiga version does ^^
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Old 09 March 2005, 13:02   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IFW
If you want to see protection that is sort of good, see Unreal, Dragon's Lair, Shinobi, Double Dragon, Arkanoid, Zoom etc.

Alternatively ask around the guys here which one they think to be a bitch to crack.

A lone developer's opinion who never cracked a game just protected it means he has not encountered other's protections in his life, hence he can only just guess that it should be good - that's why many of them fails to do it right no matter how hard they try since they do not know how their protection measures are countered by the crackers.

A protection method that always works 100%: put a decoy in the game, let the cracker be happy.
Put another one somehwere in the middle/end of the game and make sure it is not related to the original decoy protection in any way.
Also make aware the user that it is a protection, not a defect in the game code.
Many people will be pissed off to see the crack does not work and will get the original to get past through the protection.
The crackers won't be bothered to crack it properly since by the time users find out about this, it will be considered old warez and won't earn any respect to re-crack or fix it.

It worked great for Flashback or in fact our games.
I am working on Parasol stars update to support Denis's version of the game

It's seems this version use similar protection that previous supported version (4 RNC and several memory checksums)

The main different is new version use better RNC protection using little decription routine (like Adams Family) if you dont see it, game seems run fine but some features must be missings

It's not really difficult to patch but is very longer because you must test very often game and if you have badly cracked game you will see consequences only if you play longtimes at the game....
---

for information Zoom and Dragon s' lair are better protection in my opinion

For Dragon's lair's protecton is more original, indeed there are classical long data tracks and memory checksum controls but for decrypt main program, coders has used a copperlist

=>decryption by multi-blitter access in the copperlist (length of copperlist about 45ko)

during decryption cpu was stopped by instruction STOP....

regards

Last edited by CFOU!; 12 March 2005 at 10:13.
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Old 09 March 2005, 14:20   #35
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Thanks CFOU ! ^^
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Old 28 March 2005, 17:02   #36
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The best copy protection is one that breeds such mistrust in a crack, that the user goes out and buys the game instead.

Having a protection check right at the end of the game is useless, quite a lot of people would be happy that they got that far (assuming they ever did) and the interest in the game would be lost. They are not going to go buy the game just for one level and probably an ill thought out and unrewarding end game sequence.

Exile NEARLY got it right.
Hook got it wrong.
Robocop 2 got it right.

There were two seperate fixes for Robocop 2, for some people that would have been too much. Though the game was correctly cracked in the end, there would still have been enough distrust in some people thinking that they didn't want to play the game and keep getting stuck because of a cracking error.

Robocop 3 got it right.

By preaching the myth that the game was virtually uncrackable, plenty of lamers actually believed it was true, so they all went out and bought the game. It didn't matter that it was in fact 100% cracked first time, the myth of the protection was better than the protection itself.

A games protection needs to kick in not so early that a cracker can spot it but early enough into the game that the user still has a keen interest in it. A cracker will not spend a week playtesting a game to ensure its cracked properly, but a user will still be interested in a game a week later, so any copy protection scheme should activate after an approximate weeks worth of playing.

This is what I did for Premier Manager 3 Deluxe for Gremlin Interactive. I know for a FACT its never been 100% cracked in its life, with the advent of MMU's everywhere, its probable that it would be cracked a lot quicker, and the way it was designed was purely for those people that knew the game inside and out that would know that there was something wrong, and would therefore be more likely to go and buy it.

As for crackers not showing an interest in keeping on doing 100% versions, its true. In the days of Skid Row and Fairlight, there could be anything up to 5-6 games a DAY to crack. You dont have time to keep revisiting old cracks, because when the information gets back to you that XXX game isn't cracked properly, it could well be a week later that you hear about it, and the chances are, you reasonably suspect someone else has spotted it and recracked it anyway. In the case of Robocop 2, Marc spotted the mistakes over two days and rectified them, but the damage is already done. No sooner have you sent a version to your mail traders that supposedly works, you then tell them TWICE more that you have versions that REALLY DO work now!

In the case of Robocop 2, as a protection it was hopeless, but its implementation was what saw it succeed. Sometimes the easier protections are a little more tricky than people anticipate.
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Old 28 March 2005, 22:24   #37
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so what about the installers promised doh !!!
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Old 30 March 2005, 11:55   #38
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The work we do for WHDLoad is for free, don't forget that! DOH!
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Old 18 April 2005, 14:32   #39
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Big grin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT
The work we do for WHDLoad is for free, don't forget that! DOH!
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Old 19 April 2005, 08:28   #40
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Quote:
Galahad wrote :
A games protection needs to kick in not so early that a cracker can spot it but early enough into the game that the user still has a keen interest in it. A cracker will not spend a week playtesting a game to ensure its cracked properly, but a user will still be interested in a game a week later, so any copy protection scheme should activate after an approximate weeks worth of playing.
That wouldn't be any good on today's games though. Most games are finished within the 20th hour. I know a couple of gamers who can easilly go through one of these games in 2-3 days.

But you're quite right that the best way to successfully copy protect a game is to make it so the cracker doesn't find it all, and thus the end users of the crack get tired of all the trouble with not quite cracked versions.
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