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 Protecting the work

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neckro
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PostSubject: Protecting the work   Wed 30 Nov - 5:52

Hi, is any way at the moment to encode the client so that own game assets cannot be used on another games ?
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Delurin
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Wed 30 Nov - 8:50

Currently there is not...that will probably not come for a while.
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Patrik
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Fri 20 Jan - 18:24

About protecting and cheating. I would say that the future for mmorpgs will be cloud gaming, alá gaikai and others anyway. Where the client is residing safly on a machine at the developer and the customer plays via video stream. This way no cheating till be possible no problems with stolen art etc. I suggest that multiverse considers this cloud gaming solution as the main target, at least to begin with, and therefor dont allocate so many resources to protecting, cryptography, cheat resistant client and what have you. This would be a huge reduction in the work needed to be done.
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Delurin
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Sat 21 Jan - 1:20

Cloud streaming would only partly protect the art assets there are always ways to dump the data from the video card memory buffer. As for cheating all of the game logic should be handled on the server anyways so that shouldn't be a problem or at the very least checked by the server. The number one rule in mmos is not to trust the client. Someone will always find away to exploit it. The main problem currently is that a lot of the customization for the games is written in python and xml and anyone can look at the source code and reuse it.
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Patrik
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Sat 21 Jan - 1:55

There is cheats in almost all games I know about. And that is even though everybody knows logic should be handled by the server only. There is for instance hitZone cheats that help you aim, toon areas to aim at with a particulary equipped weapon is colored. There are map cheats, since you client know the enemy is behind you cheats can alarm you even though you failed to look yourself. Objects hidden in foilage that your supposed to search for manually hacks. And numerous other ones as well.

I firmly believe streamed gaming is the future for mmog´s. It would also be beneficial for shortening the time to develop multiverse into something very useful if one could completly leave these issues for later. And I would assume that the netcode and latency code, prediction code would be less work also given that client machines stood in the same server hall as the game server.

You will likely reach a wider audience anyway with streamed gaming as well. Now that there is smart-TVs and such. But you could still box if you did prefer. Just box a thin client made to receive the stream. I am looking forward to a new bright future for gaming now with cloud gaming thats free from cheats and hacks.
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Delurin
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Sat 21 Jan - 2:15

If you really wanted to prevent most of those cheats you could have the cursor events handled on the server so that the client sends the cursor position to the server and the server returns what the cursor is mousing over. I am not sure that switching to cloud based streaming would automatically solve those problems. Not to mention the much higher server requirements to run a 3d mmo where the server is rendering all of the content. Particularly since right now one of the biggest advantages of the multiverse code is the low server requirements it is unlikely that a cloud based client will be a top priority. Maybe in the future we will have that option but I wouldn't hold out for it.
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CobaltBlues
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Sat 21 Jan - 2:24

If this is a concern of yours then the best option for streamed gaming is to get your game available in the OnLine services. They have an excellent game streaming technology. As far as Multiverse goes we would really need to spend a lot of time and brain power creating a streaming game engine. It is not easy, that is why there is very very few companies providing such services in a reliable way that performs well. OnLive is really the only one I know of, unless you count the web based engines like Unity.

Streaming the software is a good idea, however it would require a complete rewrite of the system since it is entirely built around its current architecture (client/server). Unless a team wants to take that on, I just can't imagine it happening for a long time.

Tristan,
Perhaps it might be worth an email to Onlive to understand how you can get your games available on their system. At least we should understand what it consists of. Of course Onlive will take a cut of your revenue.

Thanks,
Shane C Fischer
Director of Foundation Development
Multiverse Software Foundation
shane@multiversemmo.com
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CobaltBlues
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Sat 21 Jan - 2:26

Another point. Cloud based gaming does not equal a streaming game engine. It just means the servers are spread throughout the world and you don't need to worry about specific data centers, etc.
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Tristan
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Sat 21 Jan - 2:34

I will look into it.

And yes, OnLive do take a cut from your revenue, though I don't know how much. I'll contact one of their sales reps and see what we can do.
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Patrik
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Sun 22 Jan - 2:27

I do not suggest that work is spent on it. My suggestion was quite the opposite. Its not hard to stream multiverse client today if you contact a company that provides those services. And a free or open source stream solution may be around the corner. Wich is why I suggest that no effort and time is spent on trying to make the multiverse client safe right now. I suggest that all work to protect the client, like encryption of assets and client-server communication is left to be done when all the other work is done. I suggest this as I think that a streamed solution is the primary anyway. At least its going to be very soon in the mmog business. Thus prioritizing like that would be more efficent.

Its not in any way as complicated to make a multiplayer game thats supposed to run on a local area network as an mmo. Its way much harder to make a good client when its supposed to run across the Internet. You´ll need prediction code, latency control and handling, you got protection of assets with encryption and you have cheats of various kinds. But all this work goes away if the game is streamed and the client resides on a computer that is controlled by the producer of the game. And its really a massive bunch of work that just fades away. And the road to a fully good and working client that could function for a commercial game is thus way closer if you go with something like onlive.

And also, you control the hardware, so the user experience should not be lacking due to faulty drivers, old machines or what have you. And in a commercial sense you suddenly got more potential customers, since the game can now be played on almost anything including even the smart televisions. Its the rational choice for mmos in the future and even more so for Multiverse seeking to reach a commercially viable client as fast as possible.
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zoot686
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Wed 22 Feb - 15:56

Couldn't one compress and password protect the assets, and then send the password string as a part of the update?
Decompressing would increase the load time, but it would probably also decrease the update time.

As far as that goes assets could also be sent as a single file, with an included "fat" that could define where one asset ends and another begins within that single file, Kinda' like an SQL database file...........just binary goo unless one has the table information to create structure within the goo and cut it up into meaningful and useful lumps.
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Tristan
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Wed 22 Feb - 16:02

zoot686 wrote:
Couldn't one compress and password protect the assets, and then send the password string as a part of the update?
Decompressing would increase the load time, but it would probably also decrease the update time.

As far as that goes assets could also be sent as a single file, with an included "fat" that could define where one asset ends and another begins within that single file, Kinda' like an SQL database file...........just binary goo unless one has the table information to create structure within the goo and cut it up into meaningful and useful lumps.

I don't see why that isn't do-able - we'll certainly look into that.
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zoot686
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Wed 22 Feb - 16:04

Well it's an alternative to relying on some outside "cloud" or streaming service.............and paying for it*L*
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CobaltBlues
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Fri 24 Feb - 5:20

one approach to this would be to have each developer have a private encryption key. that key would be used to encrypt that developers assets. this would ensure that only the apps distributed by that developer can unencrypt his assets. any one else would be unable to access the data outside of that developers executable

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zoot686
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Fri 24 Feb - 12:15

Sounds like a valid schema to me.
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zoot686
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Tue 10 Apr - 14:15

well having been at this for a few months now...............it would seem that this is only a theoretic concern...............considering the extremely high cost of entry into this marketplace
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AWM Mars
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Tue 10 Apr - 19:44

I have mentioned a couple of times about a 'solution' called Metaforik database referencing for scenes. The rendering element of the client is a plug-in to any web browser. The scene managers scene description is simply asset referencing via the Metaforik asset database, that retrieves assets from cloud hosting.

The clever part is, every asset has it own set of flags that relate to copyright, not just from broad copyright issues, but it can be as specific as only allowing certain uses between named dates, countries, times, even net addresses. If a 'client' requests an asset in a scene, that is outside of its designation flag settings, it will simply not be delivered.

Another advantage, the multi use of assets from a centralised location, so the author can update that will be applied dynamically. Say you had a barrel, that the author had included an animation, physics mesh, shader and textures. The scene manager could set certain asset flags, to allow the animation and physics, but exclude the shader, in one scene, but allow a different combination in another.

Cloud computing is the future, it is what MS wanted years ago, to protect its own assets, utilising streaming parts of programmes on a need basis. What stopped them basically is, the PC manufacturers who make their living from creating stand alone computing systems. With cloud streaming programmes based upon micro payment per use, the masses would be reduced to basic work stations. Google also tried this tact recently, with the proposed launch of its streaming OS, relying heavily on Chrome to act as a 'scene manager' for programmes and games etc. As graphics cards become more powerful, they will take over more of the processing currently done by CPU's, as most content will be streamed for rendering.

What is on the horizon that will support much of these technologies is the MPEG formats for 2 way data streaming, both for collaboration via network layers and subsequent security protocols, and through what MPEG does best, compression of data and rendering. MPEG formats are native to virtually every technology with a screen so mass adoption will be painless. For the developer, much of the support mechanics will be already provided for, including rendering, delivery mechanisims, security, networking and hosting protocols being provided via the format, leaving the creativity to explore greater potential. Until now, MPEG has been a one way data compression/rendering format, but that will all change.
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AthlonJedi
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PostSubject: Re: Protecting the work   Fri 27 Jul - 6:37

Cloud computing is NOT practical for any large scale mmo, think about it, all a cloud is basicly amounts to a cluster that instead of all the nodes under one roof ( traditional data center ) they are spread out in any number of locations and countries, Just the aspect of the physical maintnence of such a system would be a nightmare. Not to mention what happens if 4-5 critical nodes ( say, world server, login manager, or database backend ) go down and they are somewhere in say china and you are in chicago - what then?

yea you would have redundant systems but they also would be god knows where , just seems like a huge costly headache to me
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