DRM

We need to add some annoying registration thing or some 4000 letter-number combination to ensure you have actually bought it (= sent me your unicorn drawing). We have to be really careful here, DRM is frowned upon by lots of people and sometimes it caused an enormous drop in popularity of the game in question. But I really want to have lots of drawings, not just 100, or maybe 200. I want more, lots more, but it would be sad to see people abandon my game just because they lost their drawing when they re-installed their operating system.

Nagware

I am well aware that people, often named John, are able to circumvent any protection I come up with. By choosing the approach of nagware people will be discouraged to download a crack from websites of questionable reputation. Nagware allows the user to continue using the game, but reminds you that buying it will result in a higher quality of life. The risk of getting a virus just to get rid of some popup hopefully makes sure I get all the drawings I could wish for. Some forms of nagware are even able to make money if we do not buy their product! These products nag you with advertisements (such as angry birds), but this is only possible if you are interested in something as fictional as dollars.

Social Control

Even though I'd love to look at unicorn drawings (or photos!) it might be a lot of work to delete all fake drawings. I'm afraid it will give me bipolar disorder to scan through all submitted drawings (unicorn=happy, random lines=sad, unicorn=happy, cock'n'balls=mixed feelings, horse with wings=sad, and so on). I'd rather just be happy so I need some form of automation. Oooh, I just got a great idea! What instead of just nagging with a popup to submit a drawing, I'll show you two random drawings from other people and make you pick the one that looks the most awesome? This way I could build a rating system and remove pictures from people who think its a waste of time to draw an actual unicorn. The only way to get rid of this forced decision is to submit a drawing of your own! There is no way this idea can go wrong! Why didn't other people think of this?!? It shouldn't break offline game-play, but I'm sure we can find some acceptable solution for that.

Trial Period

People get frustrated by annoying popups or weird questions and I don't want to scare away people who just want to see if my game is any good. I should probably start nagging after a couple of days. The tactic of "the first one is free" for addictive substances seems to work quiet well, so why not learn from that? It is okay if you don't want to pay when the trial period expires, I'll just request that you do a 'small job' for me so you can get another hit of the good stuff. The 'small job' in this case will be rating unicorn-drawings so we probably won't get in any trouble with law-enforcement. It will be up to me to make something so addictive that not even your mother could go without it. It's just a matter of time. Mwuahahahaha.

Submitting a drawing

Although its acronym is Sad, this will make me very Happy. I don't know what Happy stands for, but I do know that there should be some standardization for drawings. Not because we want to impose any restrictions, but it is simply not possible to store any resolution picture on my low budget webserver. Lets just start with a 800x600 resolution and see if my server is able to keep up. We should at least support an option to upload an image from hard disk. Making my own simple paint-like interface is not much work, but I feel that it will distract too much from the work that I'm supposed to do. We need to remember that you submitted  a drawing so we need to pick between offline and online registration. Doing online registration is the safest way, but I really hate that kinda stuff. It is not that it is difficult to build, it just annoys the heck out of me. Diablo 3 even has online servers that are required for single player games! Wow! The argument that "it is possible to sell ingame items, so we should make single player go online to counter hacks" is a blatant lie. Sure there is some truth in that, but from a designers perspective it would have made much more sense to keep single player items separate from those found in online games. It is a good way to counter piracy, I grant them that. It is way harder to figure out the communication protocol and emulate a server than it is to find and remove a certain subroutine using your favorite disassembler. By the time the Johns are able to emulate your server, you are probably already marketing the release of Diablo 4. This trend is probably going to continue, because tripple-A companies are spending more and more money on making games and its too much of a risk to use some third party library for DRM-stuff. I'm not one of those free-radicals who think that all countermeasures towards piracy should be stopped, I'm just a guy that doesn't want to get frustrated by an annoying DRM while playing my games.

To get back on-topic. Offline registration of payments is the way to go. I do need an internet connection for the nag-screen, but is suppose I can change the nag screen to something else when no internet connection is available. If sometime in the future I'm going to support multiplayer-fun with a centralized lobby system, I'll just link local accounts to online accounts, no biggie.

Implementation

Warning, Reader Discretion is Advised, this may get a bit technical.

I should implement this as soon as I can, but I didn't put it in my short-term plan for the current iteration (see previous post). Lets see, I would need a php-page that can receive images, store it and save a record in a picture-table for administrative purposes. The image should be linked to the local account but I do have to know which local account (so I can revoke images that are not of unicorns and request a new one). I do not want to track personal data, so I'll just create a (salted) hash of a unique identifier supplied by the operating system concatenated with the account name and sent that together with the image. This way when the same hash is sent to check if this user indeed has payed I'll know what image I should look at. If my database gets hacked there is no way of telling who created what image not even from what IP they were sent (I care for stuff like that). The downside is that I need to request a new image if the operating system is re-installed, but hopefully you guys can live with that. Next up is the ranking system, not sure how to handle that, there are different ways at approaching this. A working version of this should be doable withing a week. It won't be perfect but we can always improve it in later versions.

So should we, or should we not implement this for the next iteration? Most of it is monkey code so it's something I won't really enjoy making. This will delay my first alpha-release, but this will force me into thinking how my binary releases should be structured (e.g. making sure you don't have to sent a new picture each time a new version comes out). The sooner I implement this system the more unicorn pictures I will get, but asking for payment in such a early stage of development is risky too. I think it's a coin-flip, so let me find a coin...

Tails!

Ugh how stupid. This happened to me once before :(. It must be because I'm getting sleepy. Okay tails stands for making this DRM system in the first alpha release, heads for making it in some later alpha release.

Tails again (honestly, I'm using a normal coin)

So we should make this DRM system for the next alpha release. Yay, this first thing I'm about to program is something as boring as an image-upload program. Please wait while we upload your unicorn and check it for authenticity 

The First AlphaLet The Programming Begin

  1. olha eu aqui de novo 😀 axo que vou usar vestido ,tenho as pernas finas . mas quando começar a malhar , vou fazer um look com short curto.. bjs linda []Camila Coelho Respondeu:June 9th, 2011 em 11:25 am, haha Adoroooo shortinho flor! BJinhos amore []

  2. http://www./ says:

    Thanks for contributing. It's helped me understand the issues.

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