Protecting Game Data

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by GameStudioD, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. GameStudioD

    Original Member

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    I am saving level data, high scores and options to file. I chose XML as the file format because its so easy and familiar. I figure it doesnt really matter if a select few people go into the the files and change their score. I am doing error checking either way to make sure the read in values wont crash my program. My question is: Should I even bother encrypting my game data or make a custom file type?
     
  2. gmcbay

    Indie Author

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    IMO, no.

    Don't worry about it. If people want to mess around with that data, so be it.
     
  3. Hamumu

    Indie Author

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    I've had customers actively try modifying the game for themselves and tell me about it, and it's something they really enjoy. One guy hexedited the EXE to swap some of the monsters around. It was pretty impressive what he accomplished! I think it's great to leave it changeable, especially to the point where people can mod it. Then somebody comes up with a really great mod, and you host it on your site, and your game is that much more popular! I think it's better to have it possible to modify by someone with a modicum of knowledge than impossible, and if they break it, they know it's their fault!

    The only thing to watch out for is if you have online rankings or anything. Obviously, you want it to be very difficult to hack those! In Supreme With Cheese, I use checksums of the levels as a part of the score info that is sent, and it's compared serverside with what the proper checksum is (and the whole score info is encrypted, jumbled together, and further checksummed), and nobody's broken it. I did find one amazing thing though. Twice now, two levels (very different ones) have had the exact same checksum! That's with a 4 byte checksum! One in 4 billion odds? So that's something I've had to check for beforehand and move an item or whatever. Guess I should use bigger numbers.
     
  4. Mark Fassett

    Moderator Indie Author

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    I use XML extensively in Derelict. I did it with the express purpose of letting people mess with the game. I think allowing people to make mods and new levels and whatever else is a good way to keep people coming back to the game, and to generate a community around it. I read a blog last night (Eric Sink, I think) where he's discussing the book "22 immutable laws of marketing" and one of the laws said, essentially, that people go where people are - so if it looks like you have a happening community around your game, and alot of people are playing it, you'll get more people to play it, and buy it.
     
  5. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    I would also suggest leaving it unless you are doing some type of online high score system, then... wait... did we lost that thread at dexterity?
     

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