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GameMaker DRM goes berserk, defaces dev work
GameMaker DRM goes berserk, defaces dev work
November 29, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 29, 2012 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    53 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Programming, Design



A number of developers using the GameMaker tools from YoYo Games found parts of their work covered in skull and crossbones symbols over the weekend, as the DRM built into the tools went haywire.

As the symbol began to appear permanently across sprites, GameMaker users took to the YoYo Games forums to complain. The company's head of development Mike Dailly soon showed up to explain that DRM checks appeared to be failing, labelling legitimate copies of the software as pirated.

"I totally understand that those who have paid for GameMaker and are getting this are feeling very upset by the whole matter, and I can only apologise for the problems," he noted.

But he argued that these sorts of measures were necessary if the company was to continue developing the tools.

"GameMaker has traditionally been one of the most pirated programs around, and it's simply not right that some pay good money for it, while others simply pirate it," he noted. "We try hard to make it as smooth an experience as possible for paying users, but are constantly fighting pirates understanding of the protection systems."

He continued, "We'd love to be able to remove the protection completely, but we know that vast numbers would simply copy it if it was that easy. There are many levels to the current protection system, and while many are visible like this, there are also many hidden so that we can always tell when a final game was created with a crack."

Dailly did admit that this sort of protection may have gone a step too far, and an update was released on November 27 to remove the destructive skull and crossbones protection from the software.

Instead, the company plans to focus on passive methods of DRM in the future, "to help protect innocent users who through no fault of their own, somehow trigger it."


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Comments


Todd Boyd
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Yet another case of excessive DRM crapping all over legitimate users, while the corporate response is, "Sorry, but, you know... pirates! *shrug*"

Maria Jayne
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Is there any other industry in the world were pissing off thieves/pirates whatever label you want, turns them into customers? Because I'm certain there is no industry where pissing off customers retains them.

I'm trying to figure out who started this logic.

Russ Menapace
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The intent isn't to piss anybody off. This was a technical problem, obviously, and pissed them off like any other technical problem.

I find the guy that checks receipts at Best Buy annoying, too... but he's keeping them from being robbed blind.

If you want to be angry at somebody, be angry at the people that make this necessary... the thieves.

E Zachary Knight
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Russ,

If a person walks out of Best Buy without looking like they are carrying anything out, will that person be checked for a receipt? For example, if I walk in nab a DVD and stick it in my pants and walk out, will I be stopped by the receipt checker to have my receipt checked?

Much like any DRM, it will not stop all thieves. For example, much of the theft that happens in retail is done by people that work there after hours. How is checking customer receipts going to stop employee theft?

Another example is early movie leaks. These are leaked by people in the production process. Putting DRM on the DVD or Bluray will not stop people in the production chain from releasing a film early.

With video games, putting mandatory server checks or whatever DRM you want on a game will not prevent pirates from bypassing it and getting the game for free. So why are you doing it if it isn't stopping anyone?

So no. Blaming the pirates for crappy DRM is not going to dismiss the massive headaches and pains that paying customers must go through.

Morgan Ramsay
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FYI: You're not under any obligation to submit to a receipt check at Best Buy, Fry's, etc. You can just walk by. A marked receipt might facilitate returns though. On the other hand, at Costco, the membership agreement may require you to present a receipt before you leave the store.

Bart Stewart
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Zachary, the point is not to prevent "all" piracy -- just enough that the people who spend their money to create new things can make that money back plus a profit (which enables and encourages the creation of more new things). DRM is not required to be (impossibly) percent; it only has to be good enough to deter most theft without unduly burdening innocent consumers.

There are forms of DRM that prevent me from buying things: an always-on connectivity requirement for single-player games, for example. That method punishes innocent consumers because it's obviously tacked-on without adding real and desired value.

But that's not an argument against the principle of property ownership, on which pretty much all modern technological advancement -- including commercial game development -- is founded. I'm still waiting for anyone to lay out a serious argument defending the belief that just because some piece of property is made out of ones and zeroes, the ethical proscription against taking someone else's stuff no longer applies.

"Because it's easy" has never been a valid justification.

Kyle Redd
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@Bart

It seems like you're implying that DRM-free games and software are having difficulty making a profit. I hope you don't really believe that?

E Zachary Knight
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Bart,

As I said below in response to Russ, once a DRM crack is released to the wild, there is nothing stopping anyone from pirating. All DRM does is buy you time. There is no information that would support the idea that having to wait a few days to weeks would result in sales from those who would rather not pay.

Tom Baird
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@Bart
"I'm still waiting for anyone to lay out a serious argument defending the belief that just because some piece of property is made out of ones and zeroes, the ethical proscription against taking someone else's stuff no longer applies."

I don't think anyone is arguing for that in here. There are 0 pro-pirate arguements in this thread, but a lot of anti-DRM comments.

DRM doesn't increase revenue, but rather punishes free-loaders. If you are A) spending a lot of time and resources going after free-loaders rather than looking toimprove the experience for customers or B)Punishing customers with the freeloaders, then maybe you have lost sight of your original objective: increasing revenue.

Forget about those who choose not to pay, they are not important, they've already told you they don't want to pay. Focus on all the people still buying things. There is no lack of paying customers for games and software. It's difficult to simply ignore thieves, but at this point in time we don't have effective preventative tools that do not inhibit paying users. You can call this a glitch or technical problem, but it still just jammed up a lot of paying users. Breaking someone's work in a game development application with a big 'We think you stole this' message is not a good way to retain customers.

As mentioned already, it's not like DRM-free applications aren't selling, or studios are closing due to too much piracy, but rather not enough customers.

Tom Baird
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Added:
People who pirate can fall into 2 groups:
A) Those who will not buy your app ever
B) Those who would buy your app given other circumstances

People in A don't matter. Any time spent thinking about them is time wasted. You can scare them away, you can make them mad, but they will never, ever work with you, or help you, or care about you. Ignore them.

People in B can be split up again into:
1) People who are lazy, and pirate cause it's cheap and easy
2) People who can't afford what you sell

DRM can't do anything for #2. You can scare them away, but that provides 0 benefit to you. Instead, you could think about alternative pricing. F2P is a reaction to this one in part, as well as Pay-What-You-Want. There are lots of non-invasive ways to attempt to cater to people in #2, that can actually gain you users, but DRM is not one of them. In fact, DRM can remove them from the pool of 'future users', since they cannot become attached to your product.

Now #1 is what DRM targets. The idea being make it harder to pirate, so buying the real deal becomes the easier solution. This runs into problems due to what Mr. Knight stated, in that most DRM can be hacked by 1 person, and then that hack can be shared. You've made it harder for 1 person(or a few people), but nobody else is affected. It's hard to make a single file with a half dozen simple instructions on Pirate Bay difficult. Instead of jamming in DRM, maybe you could be better off with an easier 'buy' button.

Look at the successful markets right now, iTunes purchases take seconds, and are available on any iTunes device, Steam does the same. Humble Bundles take about 1 minute to purchase at most, and are incredibly easy. Many games are going the buy free and upgrade route, so you can simply click the in-game buy button. Netflix has a very short, fast signup, and seems to default to auto-renew.

Instead of worrying about freeloaders, the very successful digital marketplaces are making it easier and easier to buy. Make hunting for torrents the more difficult task and you'll get your conversions far better than attacking those same people. You'll still have pirates, but again, they don't matter, what matters is the number of customers. The moment you forget that, and start going after free loaders 'because they didn't pay', you've started your own little crusade whose victory provides 0 benefit to you.

I've never seen an article talking about a product that implemented DRM and then reported measurably higher sales. They always focus on simply having less pirates. Talk about missing the forest for the trees...

Chris OKeefe
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I've said it many times before, but the best way to deal with piracy is to encourage sales by providing services and content to people who you can verify have paid. You can't stop pirates from changing your code to bypass DRM, but you can prevent them from accessing your server (for the most part) to access content and services.

What developers need to do is stop nickel and diming their paying customers for DLC and start using their time to provide content and services to paying customers that either can't or can't easily be accessed by pirates.

Although it's a bitter pill to swallow, developers need to start thinking about pirates as people who have gotten their hands on a demo. These are people who are playing your game. If you have faith in your game then you should approach them as potential customers; they have a personal investment in your game, you have their attention. If you start thinking of them as the enemy now then you'll never get a dime from them. Instead, think about how can you get them to buy in and pay the cost?

Some developers have done a good job with this through services and good will. I think it's worth considering as a viable alternative to DRM.

Jed Hubic
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How many industries contain a large segment that simply take what they want for free?

I'm sure 99% of the cars you see driven aren't stolen, and I'm sure most people's groceries aren't stolen either.

...but whatever, I won't be sticking around to respond to the generic reply about why it's ok to pirate something or how someone was basically "forced" to pirate something. Blah blah blah, gimme gimme gimme.

E Zachary Knight
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Jed,

"How many industries contain a large segment that simply take what they want for free?

I'm sure 99% of the cars you see driven aren't stolen, and I'm sure most people's groceries aren't stolen either.

...but whatever, I won't be sticking around to respond to the generic reply about why it's ok to pirate something or how someone was basically "forced" to pirate something. Blah blah blah, gimme gimme gimme."

I am not going to respond to that last point, because it is not relavent. However to your first two points.

Every entertainment industry is "struggling" with the problem of piracy. Movies, music, books, television, games. However, none of them are actually failing. They are all growing in output and revenue. This is precisely due to what makes piracy so easy, digital content.

Now, when it comes to piracy compared to theft, such as of a car, you see some really different states of minds between the people performing them. The reason you see fewer thefts happening compared to say file sharing, is because theft has a direct and noticeable harm. You see immediately that someone is harmed by the loss of real and tangible property. However, with piracy, that harm is theoretical as only potential revenue has been lost.

Another major difference is in the scope of punishment for the individual crimes. If I walk into Walmart and steal 5 CDs and get caught, I face a few hundred dollars in fines and maybe a year in prison. However, if I download 5 CDs worth of music and get caught, I face $15 million in fines. There is a clear and obvious disconnect in the minds of the perpetrators that leads them to not take copyright infringement seriously.

I hope that helps you understand why theft is relatively rare compared to piracy.

Lorenzo Gatti
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What's the EULA of Game Maker like? Does YoYo Games risk civil or penal prosecution?

Kieren Bloomfield
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Totally blown out of proportion. This is a bug, it is being fixed, nothing to see here.

Of course the aim of a good DRM system is to be unobtrusive to the paying customer but sometimes things go wrong. This isn't the same as poorly conceived systems that install rootkits or require an online presence for an offline game.

As for the need of DRM I'm sad to say that I believe that no matter how futile, you have to at least try. Sending your work out unprotected is an open invitation for people to take it for free, and they will.

I don't think anyone likes being stolen from, software is no different.

Anyone who says we shouldn't have DRM at all is living in a la-la land where everyone is honest and we all leave our houses and cars unlocked...

Justin Sawchuk
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It depends where you live if your neighbours are all rich then no need but if you are in the shitty part of town you better lock them.

Ron Dippold
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'Totally blown out of proportion. This is a bug, it is being fixed, nothing to see here.'

It destroyed people's assets. Your lovingly, painstakingly drawn sprites now have a big skull and crossbones baked into them.

This isn't about DRM period, this is about aggressively stupid DRM that sends messages to twitter that you are pirating software, formats your drive, or destroys your work when it inevitably messes up and gets a false positive. There's plenty to see here.

Doug Poston
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I agree with Ron.
If this DRM just uninstalled the application, no problem. But it is purposely damaging user's personal files.

IMHO, this isn't DRM it's Malware.

Russ Menapace
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@Zachary

Receipt checking/DRM won't stop all the thieves, but it will stop some. You lock your car, despite it still being vulnerable to keying or a number of other indignities.

It's important to remember that the people that make DRM don't intentionally design it to punish their customers. They don't want to make DRM at all, and would rather be putting that effort into gameplay, which might have something to do with the frequency with which DRM goes haywire and abuses customers.

If you don't screw up your DRM, you won't inconvenience your customers. The problem with GameMaker isn't the DRM, it's that something broke. They could just as easily have broken something in the engine, to the dismay of all.

However, if DRM didn't exist, it wouldn't be in GameMaker, it wouldn't have gotten screwed up, and everybody would be happy in GameMaker land. So DRM sucks, and there shouldn't be any.

DRM exists solely to protect IP from piracy. If there were no pirates, DRM would not exist.

Therefore, if it weren't for pirates, GameMaker would not be broken.

Therefore, fuck pirates.

@Morgan

I did not know it was optional to show your receipt. I think the embarrassment I'd get from having to be rude to the guy would outweigh the annoyance of being lightly TSAed. The whole conundrum does make me not want to go to Best Buy, though. Another instance of broken DRM chasing off customers.

E Zachary Knight
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"Receipt checking/DRM won't stop all the thieves, but it will stop some."

Until the DRM gets cracked and released. Then there is nothing stopping anyone from pirating. So all DRM is doing is buying you some time. Maybe hours. Maybe days. If you are lucky years. But eventually it gets cracked, then it is open season. If a person is not willing to buy, they are willing to wait, even years, to get the cracked copy.

"It's important to remember that the people that make DRM don't intentionally design it to punish their customers."

Yet, there hasn't been a DRM system that has not been a pain for the consumer in some way.

"They don't want to make DRM at all, and would rather be putting that effort into gameplay, which might have something to do with the frequency with which DRM goes haywire and abuses customers."

If they don't want to do it and they know that it has a probability to hurt paying customers, then why do it? It makes no sense. If the cost and risk are both high, then scrap it.

"If you don't screw up your DRM, you won't inconvenience your customers."

I have yet to see that happen. It has never been done, ever.

"The problem with GameMaker isn't the DRM, it's that something broke."

The second part of that statement invalidates the first. Something did break. That something was the DRM. The DRM broke and destroyed people's game projects. That is pretty bad.

"So DRM sucks, and there shouldn't be any."

We finally agree on something.

"DRM exists solely to protect IP from piracy."

Except it doesn't actually do that. So why does DRM exist? I would suspect that DRM exists for its own sake. It is security theater on the same level as the TSA.

"Therefore, if it weren't for pirates, GameMaker would not be broken."

If it weren't for DRM, Game Maker would not be broken. Sorry. That is how it is. Many many companies get by just fine without DRM. Game Maker could just as well. DRM is a poor attempt at pretending you are doing something to stop pirates.

"Therefore, fuck pirates."

I agree to a certain extent. Those who pirate for piracy's sake or who could buy but refuse to do so, are not nice people. However, since they are not your customers and never will be, it is best to ignore them and focus on making the best product for those who do buy or are willing to buy if conditions are right.

It is far more important to focus on ways to make money rather focus on stopping pirates. By focusing on pirates, you hurt paying customers and reduce the amount of money you could be making.

Ron Dippold
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'Therefore, fuck pirates.'

Pirates are not to blame for YoYo Games's decision to destroy their users' game assets.

' The problem with GameMaker isn't the DRM, it's that something broke.'

The problem with GameMaker is the DRM when that DRM involves destroying things on a test that is guaranteed to false positive at some point. The problem is not that something broke, because it always, inevitably breaks, and anyone who writes software knows that. The problem is the DRM's choice of what to do with the information from the unreliable check . Usually it's not a big deal and you get a mysterious little message box.

Just to be clear, I am not blanket anti-DRM. I'm perfectly okay with Steam, for instance, and I have various utils that needed to be activated once. Fine.

Adam Bishop
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"DRM exists solely to protect IP from piracy. If there were no pirates, DRM would not exist."

If there were no criminals we wouldn't need police, but that doesn't make it OK for police to arrest people arbitrarily.

E Zachary Knight
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Adam,

"If there were no criminals we wouldn't need police, but that doesn't make it OK for police to arrest people arbitrarily."

Or to beat people into comas or to death.

Russ Menapace
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"Or to beat people into comas or to death."

We're talking about a software glitch in an entertainment product. Lets not be hysterical.

E Zachary Knight
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Russ,

I would consider the intentional vandalizing of my game project similar in scope to that of a police beating.

Russ Menapace
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Into coma and/or death?

E Zachary Knight
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Russ,

Depending on the total damage to the game project and how much time it will take to repair, yes.

Russ Menapace
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You must be a fiend about redundant backups... it's literally a life or death issue for you.

Yama Habib
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I've heard reports that pirated copies of Game Maker were actually unaffected by this. Can anyone confirm or deny?

Maurício Gomes
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I don't know about this version, since the last DRM fuckup made me stop using Game Maker, but from what I know in the history of Game Maker DRM fuckups usually pirated versions have the DRM removed completely (and usually in the same week a new version is released too), and thus they usually work better than the paid version.

I used to know a guy that actually paid his Game Maker but only used cracked versions, because there was a DRM conflict (Game Maker 7 DRM seemly conflicted with a DRM of the same company being used in some anti-virus software)

Kelly Kleider
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I used to pay for Game Maker...and liked prototyping things in it, but the DRM issues drove me away years ago.

Adam Bishop
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As I said on E Zachary Knight's blog post, I would have to think what they did was illegal. The files on your computer, like the image files you use in your game, are your property. Yoyo Games has no right to modify them in any way without your permission. And that's true *even if you have a pirated copy of their software*, let alone if you have a legitimate, paid-for version.

I'm not necessarily opposed to companies trying to prevent piracy. Steam is a form of DRM and I'm perfectly happy to use it. But when your DRM goes beyond making the program inactive and actually destroys someone else's property, that's vastly disproportionate and really pretty appalling.

Ujn Hunter
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Yep... I'd totally be taking them to court.

David Montgomery-Blake
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The bug uncovered the willing and calculated destruction of projects. That is my core problem with everything here. The developers of GameMaker decided that they wanted to corrupt assets and projects. They effectively want to destroy people's work. And the bug in the DRM brought this intention to light. It wasn't an asset corruption bug like I've seen in Photoshop or Word, where the document or image falls prey to something that corrupts it. It was a bug that accidentally triggered an intentional feature that was there by design, and that feature exists solely to destroy content.

I've pointed new users to GameMaker a number of times over the years despite them being a competitor in the engine space, but this makes it difficult to trust them again. I hope that YoYo Games learns from this misstep and removed the destructive intent from their software. I have little problem with DRM and work with developers everyday who want to know how to protect their games. But I have a problem with intention destruction of another's work.

Russ Menapace
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So if I understand correctly, they destroyed their user's assets while leaving the pirate community unscathed. The absolutely worst way for a DRM system to fail. Ouch.

They might as well zap everybody else too now. At least they'll get the pirates.

Ron Dippold
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The conversation is entirely dominated by DRM talk, but the most interesting thing for me here is how this got into a release at all.

I'm guessing they did not purposely decide it would be okay to destroy the data of legitimate users. This requires, then, that your check is 100% free of false positives.

What programmer or software engineer would actually think they could write code that would properly handle all cases once it escapes your sheltered sandbox? Then how did this get past the rest of the team (or is it just one guy)?

Or is it just that people who only work on games or utilities just don't have the mindset for this? I occasionally work on projects that could kill someone if you're not careful. But with games these days you can always patch it later, and heck, it's just a game, so that breeds insufficient paranoia? That's a serious question, not rhetorical.

Leonardo Ferreira
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Some thoughts:

-maybe piracy of GM wouldn't be so rampant if the free version wasn't completely useless, especially compared with what it was in the past

-of my experience, Yoyogames has been a complete disappointment in handling in terms of updates, despite GM being constantly online now; since the substitution of 8.1 for Studio, (and by the way, no upgrading alternative is offered for people that paid $40 in the 8.1 version, like me, at least none that i was aware of), very little substantial upgrades were made, and the changes mostly focused on the meta stuff in multiplatform functionality and IAP, which are good, but uncharacterizes what GM has always been used for; the program still have longstanding flaws in interface and data handling, and also hiding a lot of processes from users.

-I fiddled with a pirated version before buying the license for 8.1, in order to test some minutia; I remembered that it crashed almost every time the program ran, but the true reason why I could not stand is that , in the top bar, instead of Game Maker, it was clearly written GayMaker. Initially I though it was a dumb joke of some bored cracker, but this makes me doubt it. I'm usually inclined for "creative" DRM, but, if it really came from the company, it seemed a little too far.

Mark Venturelli
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I'm sorry if I sound too harsh right now, but this just pisses me off.

Frankly, what the hell is wrong with the GM crew?

I have been an enthusiast of the tool for prototyping. I endorse it for fellow designers, and I think it is a great tool for learning, or for doing lo-fi games (two of my favorite games of all time, Spelunky and Super Crate Box, were developed in GM).

And this is from MY experience: the stupid DRM is SO ANNOYING that I have literally pirated GM8 and I use that instead of my original paid-for version.

Do you know why?

Not because it is easy to pirate, it's because the pirate version offers a BETTER SERVICE. I don't need to authenticate online. I don't need to ask for a new access after I leave the software without use for months. I don't need to send an email when I want to install it on my new laptop.

I can just pick up an executable file, install it and I am ready to go.

Think about this and STOP THIS MADNESS already. Jesus!

People who will pirate a game development tool and never pay for it would not pay either way. Anyone who is serious about using it (like I am) will pay - even though they may stick with the pirate version because you are completely insane.

Mark Venturelli
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Oh, and one more thing? If you do DRM that makes a pirate version of your software crash or behave badly you will actually create a bad image for your product.

After your recent release of GMStudio, I was skeptical because of my previous experience with GM8 and decided to try a pirate version first. It was so bugged and terrible that I kept working with GM8.

Only recently have I updated to GMStudio after your 75% discount 2 weeks ago.

The lesson here is your DRM practices have cost you good money at launch from a 3+ years supporter.

Jane Castle
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Piracy....... The dead horse that is ALWAYS up for another beating!

Robert Fearon
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Whilst I *obviously* don't agree with the inclusion of anything that defaces user data in any way shape or form, this happened to me in the early hours of the morning and honestly, it really wasn't that big a problem.

Again, with the caveat that it clearly shouldn't have been there in the first place BUT

I loaded up something I was working on. Initial run and there's no change. Tweak a bit of code, rerun the game and et voila, pirate skulls over my sprites. So I closed it down, made a tweet along the lines of "oh, pirate skulls, thanks for that", closed it down and went off to do something else for a while. Woke up the next day to an apology and the code in question removed.

Loaded my project back up and no skulls. No damage done. Nothing. Had I saved it prior, yes there would have been damage done but also, not only do I keep back ups, Studio has a backup procedure in place also so any changes would have been retrievable regardless.

No great drama and I've done massively worse to my own projects over time, really.

With the pirate skulls code removed and an apology offered all within 24 hours, I can live with that and no damage done, nothing that couldn't be recovered in 30 seconds anyway so yeah. Not the worst thing ever. Not great but oh well. It seems lessons have been learned.

Ujn Hunter
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Hey, everyone, I survived my gunshot wound! No big deal! Pay no attention to the dead bodies around me, *I* am okay, and that's all that matters!

Robert Fearon
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Yes, obviously. That's what I meant to say. Thank you for summarising it.

Nooh Ha
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You have to remember that GM is made by a tiny UK-based indie company, YoYo Games, not some huge faceless corporation. They will doubtless fix the bug and help those affected by their mistake to restore the defaced assets and maybe even offer free copies of the GM software. Can/should they do more? Why is the first reaction of so many people to suggest legal action? I would hazard a guess that even modest litigation against them would probably force the company to close.

Ujn Hunter
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Whoops! I blew up the wrong guys house! You shouldn't bring me to court though... because I'll probably go to jail!

Maybe they should be forced to close. They should have never intentionally ruined anyone's property... even if it was on accident.

Ron Dippold
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I don't want to see YoYo Games close down or GameMaker go away, but I suspect the reaction is so strong because this was such a nasty, destructive, imbecilic idea and we've all seen the horror of our hard work being accidentally lost at some point, so it's a visceral reaction.

What they should can and should do is promise to never do something this stupid again, and maybe even to make the legit versions as functional as the pirated versions.

Amanda Fitch
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Has DRM ever stopped piracy? Maybe for 24 hours, maybe for 48 hours. DRM is a useful tool for helping people purchase a product, but anyone who is using it to combat hackers/pirates is in denial.

Nooh Ha
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Has it ever stopped piracy? No, all DRM is circumvented at some point.

The more relevant question is, does the 24 hour- 2 week period of grace it affords developers have a positive impact on sales? For a great answer to this you should read what Miles @ Sports Interactive has to say on the subject (hint, it does):
http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/sports-interactive-preventing-pira
cy-helped-us-hire-17-new-developers/0106111

E Zachary Knight
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Nooh,

For something like this that has a long shelf life, 24 hours or 2 weeks has no bearing whatsoever. Once it is pirated it is pirated for life. For something like a game that has a short shelf life, such short periods could have a theoretical positive impact on sales.

The Le
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DRM is not made to stop piracy, it's really designed to limit piracy. So while it won't stop hardcore pirates, it would certainly stop casual ones (or your average teen who simply doesn't want to pay for it).

E Zachary Knight
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The Le,

How does it stop casual pirates? If a crack for the DRM is out in the wild, the casual pirate will find it with one Google search and be on his way. Sure the casual pirate will not go out of his/her way to crack the DRM themselves, but they are more than willing to wait for someone else to do it for them. If they are not willing to pay for it, they will just not get it until they can get it for free.

Nooh Ha
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@EZK your supposition flies in the face of what Sports Interactive have found in practice with their perennially popular and perenially pirated FM franchise. FM is released annually but sells incredibly consistently so I would certainly not put it in the category of a short sales life game.

Kevin Fishburne
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You can't regulate people's diaphragm contractions per second, so don't try to. Instead control the general oxygen level. Create games which succeed faster when distributed by any and all means. Graphically (and aurally) robust thin clients which update the server for each gamepad state change and in turn are updated by the server with each environmental state change could only be duplicated through client and server emulation.

You can make games, become a police officer, or try to make money by splitting the difference and hoping for the best. Or argue about it while the corporations laugh and laugh.


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