ID:133185
 
Would it be possible to set the cache folder (and preferably everything in it) to be hidden? Possibly also giving it a random name per computer/player/install. This should help slow down the resource extracting nooblies, and since BYOND now has an option in the pager to clear the cache; it shouldn't cause too much trouble.

Since some moron is undoubtabley going to bring up the "ZOMG they'll just use screen shots!!!11231!43oneyone!1" argument; I'll go ahead and slap you down now. Lets go ahead and look at that process:
Required for Both:
1. Log in to a game.
2. Wait for resources to download.
Screen shot ripping:
3. Take a screen shot
4. Take another screen shot because that first one didn't have the desired frame in it
5. Paste said shot into MS paint or a like application.
6. Copy the area directly around the desired frame
7. Paste into a BYOND icon
8. Delete all background pixels surrounding the frame, being careful not to accidentally delete part of the desired frame
9. Repeat the above 11+ times
10. Copy, paste, and flip the east frames to the west
11. Realign all of the frames because your ripped character is bouncing all over the place
12. Setup the delays on each frame.
- After 10-60 minutes, you now have a single walking state, from a single icon, which in all likelihood isn't a perfect replica.
Resource Extractor:
3. Start Program
4. Select Cache Folder
5. Extract
- After 10-60 seconds, you now have every icon, perfectly preserved.

This would be like a bank saying: "Well, if they want the money bad enough; they'll just rob us. So why should we even bother setting up any type of security, trying to stop them in the process, or punishing them afterwards?"
You could do it, but it isn't really going to change much (other than changing the BYOND folder's structure), since hidden folders are easy to find and a garbled randomized name would stand out, and it'd also be possible to locate it by BYOND modifying it. I imagine it wouldn't take too long for potential rippers to find out how to show hidden folders and find the cache dir, since once a bunch found out the knowledge would circulate.
Copying icons from screenshots isn't even as tedious as you claim, since you can use programs to automatically take screenshots periodically/"per-frame", crop a large image into 32x32 chunks, and even remove stray edges from an image. But that really doesn't matter; the point is that if someone wants to get your resources, he will, whichever method he ends up using.
The bank analogy is a pretty weak one here BTW; the whole problem here is that what is prone to be stolen isn't really material, and is automatically given as a present to anyone who merely joins a game. If the bank gives free money to everyone who comes in, then yes, that's a more similar situation.
In response to Kaioken (#1)
Or, if you're like me, you have hidden folders set to visible, anyway, so it doesn't matter.
In response to Kaioken (#1)
Not to mention the value would need to be stored somewhere for BYOND to know where to save stuff. Wouldn't take someone long to find that.
In response to Kaioken (#1)
Kaioken wrote:
The bank analogy is a pretty weak one here BTW; the whole problem here is that what is prone to be stolen isn't really material, and is automatically given as a present to anyone who merely joins a game. If the bank gives free money to everyone who comes in, then yes, that's a more similar situation.

A bank does indeed distribute money, just as BYOND distributes resources. And just like BYOND, a Bank has limitations on what extent you can take resources/money from. However, the way BYOND approaches things would be as if a bank just left their safe sitting open, and whenever anyone walked in and took whatever they wanted; the bank just decided to ignore them. Since, of course, its not directly effecting the bank, they'd just take the money out of somebody's account and completely ignore the actual problem/person who it effected.

And as for the rest of you! You over estimate the people that make resource extractors, and even more so the noobs that use them.
Going under the assumption that people can and will do whatever they have to to get whatever they want from games, then everyone's entire sources are free to be extracted (its been done before) and you might as well take a step up from that and open the entire BYOND suite's source for rip discussion.

Any steps that can be taken to help prevent ripping here, should be. It seems from every attempt and suggestion I've made, that if anything, the BYOND staff actually want the rips to flourish here. I think they think it brings in more players if there's more games or something.
In response to Nadrew (#3)
Aye, though the way he proposed to choose the folder's name could actually circumvent that, so I didn't mention it.
Maybe it could be encrypted, with a private key known only to that particular installation of BYOND. (If the cache exists but uses a different key from a previous installation it would be overwritten of course)
In response to Immibis (#6)
If the developers do end up going the route of some sort of encryption, I'd really like the developer to be able to choose some sort of 'passkey' for it, if at all possible. I've used an rsc extractor several times to recover lost graphics, and I'd hate to lose that ability.
In response to Airjoe (#7)
Any passkey-based byte encryption would just result in what has happened with hub_password; the people who whine the most about their stolen Goku using their key or game name as the RSC encryption passkey, then claiming the only way they lost their game resources was the result of a slick hacker, since witchcraft would be the only other possibility in their mind.

As has been said before, if people are concerned about their icons, sound, or code being stolen, don't release the game. You cannot stop those looking to reverse engineer the file formats and steal everything you worked on. It's impossible.
In response to Mobius Evalon (#8)
Mobius Evalon wrote:
As has been said before, if people are concerned about their icons, sound, or code being stolen, don't release the game. You cannot stop those looking to reverse engineer the file formats and steal everything you worked on. It's impossible.

Thinking something is impossible makes you fail at life. Telling people not to release games is even more fail.
This is an entirely preventable situation. Hiding the cache, I thought, would be a very simple, mildly effective discouragement to the rippers. If BYOND put encryption on its rsc files; it would help immeasurably. They could use direct x features to prevent the map control from being screen-capped. And if all of the above fail, they could at least have some rules in place, that they actually enforced, to suppress the use of stolen materials.
In response to Falacy (#9)
Falacy wrote:
Thinking something is impossible makes you fail at life.

Uh, yes, surely it is very, very dumb and makes you fail at life to understand that some things are impossible, such as floating in the air unsupported, teleporting at will, or eating your cake and still having it. Actually, thinking itself is fail; let's not even do that!

Telling people not to release games is even more fail.

It's the only foolproof solution to not getting your resources used in other projects - don't distribute them to people in the first place.

This is an entirely preventable situation.

It is possible to sometimes make it a bit more of a hassle, but it's never preventable. Seriously, I don't think this is something profound. It has naturally been discussed many, many times. In order for a computer to use a resource, such as display an image or play a sound, it must actually have access to it; this is basic, simple stuff. Whenever a player is in your game and your game uses a resource, that resource is present on the player's computer, in various forms. Seeing as you could never really prevent someone from using a copy of something that you give him, I don't see why you can't at least recognize a view that says the aforementioned impossibility.

Hiding the cache, I thought, would be a very simple, mildly effective discouragement to the rippers.

Mildly? It would only stop the real computer-illiterate ones for a short while, after which rippers will learn of the new cache location, and the biggest idiot would still be able to follow e.g. a YouTube video showing how to turn on displaying of hidden files/folders. I agree this method could prove an effective discouragement, but only for a short while after which we'll remain with an obnoxious randomly-named, hidden cache folder. >_>

If BYOND put encryption on its rsc files; it would help immeasurably.

Or, it could potentially be a waste of their time. It wouldn't take too long to eventually figure out by the people that actually write RSC extractors in the first place. The files would also still be loaded into memory and displayed just as usual.
You should also note that no matter what tricks they implement into RSC files, Dream Maker and Seeker will always of course be made to open them, which helps rippers. Naturally, you can use Dream Maker itself to extract every RSC file, even if the format is updated.

They could use direct x features to prevent the map control from being screen-capped.

I don't really think something like that will hold, as there are many programs for taking screenshots, or whatever; BYOND also itself includes a convenient screenshot feature, which would be a shame to remove, only impairing the innocent. But if you're mentioning it, one could probably also use an alternative method of grabbing icons by hooking into DirectX himself.

And if all of the above fail, they could at least have some rules in place, that they actually enforced, to suppress the use of stolen materials.

It's not like they advocate it; it's also too much time-consuming and not-strictly-straightforward to enforce. They'd need a whole new staff just to do that.
In response to Kaioken (#10)
Kaioken wrote:
Uh, yes, surely it is very, very dumb and makes you fail at life to understand that some things are impossible, such as floating in the air unsupported, teleporting at will, or eating your cake and still having it.

How does a plane fly? How does a helicopter hover? There aren't strings holding them up. Teleporting may not be possible now, but just wait 1,000 years =P and the cake is a lie!
And! I'm mostly referring to things you can accomplish within the computer-world here. Of course you're not going to survive if somebody chops off your head. But as far as programming goes, if you can think it, you should be able to do it.

It's not like they advocate it; it's also too much time-consuming and not-strictly-straightforward to enforce. They'd need a whole new staff just to do that.

They might as well advocate it, I'd honestly be less surprised if BYOND started handing out official rsc/source extractors than if they actually did something about the problem.
And in this topic here:
http://www.byond.com/members/DreamMakers/forum?id=682752
I gave what could be a solid idea for them to implement; that would allow them to slowly destroy all the rips without needing a dedicated staff to devote large amounts of time to the process. Though it may not be able to get rid of 100% of stolen materials being used, it could at least get rid of the 5,000 games that are all built off of the same crappy source.
In response to Falacy (#11)
Falacy wrote:
How does a plane fly?

Oh, we could get into that in an appropriate topic, but I can tell you now that it most certainly does not float unsupported, which is impossible for anything to do at will at all, especially while near a force of gravity. :P

How does a helicopter float? There aren't strings holding them up.

It doesn't float in that sense, and isn't stationary. >_> It follows relatively simple physics, where energy is required for its rotor which creates enough force propelling it upwards to overcome the force of gravity pulling it downwards. And I don't know of any physics principle that allows eating a cake and still having it intact, or handing someone an apple and preventing his possession of it in the same time. >_>

Teleporting may not be possible now, but just wait 1,000 years =P and the cake is a lie!

Still not 'unsupported at will', unless we humans undergo some unexpected, crazy special plasmid-based evolution! That'd be pretty cool.

They might as well advocate it, I'd honestly be less surprised if BYOND started handing out official rsc/source extractors than if they actually did something about the problem.

Dunno how you can think that, considering the BYOND Staff forbids providing or linking to RSC extractors on the site.
Oh, also, I'd mention sources can't be really extracted, and decompiling them is much harder and rarer than extracting from a RSC archive.

And in this topic here:
http://www.byond.com/members/DreamMakers/forum?id=682752
I gave what could be a solid idea for them to implement;

I frankly don't know what is feasible for this and what wouldn't be (when there is enough dedicated staff, anyway), but I don't see how needing to approve of every single hub entry is any easier than deleting any single hub entry that is proved a rip. Which you'd more often than not need to join the game to do, etc, and maybe go into detective investigation to see which person truly drew the icon X first, etc.
In response to Kaioken (#12)
Kaioken wrote:
Oh, we could get into that in an appropriate topic, but I can tell you now that it most certainly does not float unsupported, which is impossible for anything to do at will at all, especially while near a force of gravity. :P

Planes fly by splitting air unevenly around their wings (simply put). To fight gravity, and to be able to ignore it; are two completely different matters. no_clip=1

It doesn't float in that sense, and isn't stationary. >_> It follows relatively simple physics, where energy is required for its rotor which creates enough force propelling it upwards to overcome the force of gravity pulling it downwards.

What exactly is your description of floating? How about when 2 magnets of opposite polarities repel each other with one floating above the other? I can float in water =P

...I don't see how needing to approve of every single hub entry is any easier than deleting any single hub entry that is proved a rip.

That's the whole point of that system. Hub entries wouldn't need to be approved. They would work exactly like they do now. The approval/authentication system would mostly be from the staff's standpoint; So that multiple staff members can work together, whenever they have time, and slowly check though all hubs. Once 1 staff member approves a hub, all it does is prevent other staff members from wasting time reviewing that same entry. And if deemed a rip, said staff member can delete/suppress that hub instead of approving it, and send a message to the owner letting them know why.

EDITS:
Still not 'unsupported at will', unless we humans undergo some unexpected, crazy special plasmid-based evolution! That'd be pretty cool.

According to scientists; humans only use 10% of their mental capabilities! The 11th % is clearly for teleporting =P

And I don't know of any physics principle that allows eating a cake and still having it intact, or handing someone an apple and preventing his possession of it in the same time. >_>

As for handing off apples relating to this: The goal isn't to stop them from having the resources, they need them to play your games. The goal is to stop them from misusing/stealing the resources. If you want somebody to have your apple, but not eat it, just poison the thing first =P They can still hold it and look at its shiny redness, but they probably won't eat it (especially if they know its poisoned), and if they do; they die, so you win either way =P
In response to Falacy (#13)
Falacy wrote:
What exactly is your description of floating? How about when 2 magnets of opposite polarities repel each other with one floating above the other? I can float in water =P

Well, this is fairly off-topic, but by floating in the air at will while unsupported, I referred to a human levitating his body around without external force (if you will, "at will" [pun intended], "by 'internal' force", or just "supernaturally"). :P Yes, maybe you should just switch that for passing straight through a solid wall. Incidentally IIRC, some physics say that is actually possible to do at least partly, just that you have (why of course) a 0.00000000000000001% chance of doing it each time you try, though it's been a while since I've learned that.

That's the whole point of that system. Hub entries wouldn't need to be approved. [...]

I see, but they'd still need to go through every current and future hub entries, so that's somewhat broken all the same. I can't really manage not to see it as a waste of the Staff's time. Maybe if they got together a large "approval staff" that would be able to do it on a long-time basis with a convenient pace and splitting of work.
EDIT: Also, guess it should at least be noted written that policing and controlling hub entries still doesn't prevent resources being 'stolen', or players playing on such games, so it's additionally not a necessarily satisfying solution.
In response to Kaioken (#14)
Kaioken wrote:
... :P Yes, maybe you should just switch that for passing straight through a solid wall.

If that was referring to my no_clip comment, not only does no_clip allow you to pass through solid surfaces, but it allows you to walk on air! ie: floating =P

I see, but they'd still need to go through every current and future hub entries, so that's somewhat broken all the same.

True, but even if they only go through 20 or so a day, they could have it cleared up in a year. Not to mention some hubs could obviously be avoided, like Seika and other well known non-rips; pretty much all non-anime games =P
Plus, hopefully, the staff taking action to stop rips; would cause people to stop creating the rips to begin with. Knowing your hub entry will be deleted might be enough to keep the people with brains from creating them in the first place. Though, of course, finding a ripper with a brain is a rare occasion =P
In response to Falacy (#9)
Falacy wrote:
Thinking something is impossible makes you fail at life.

On the contrary: thinking that something fictional like teleporting at will is possible makes you fail at life, and will also make you prone to abuse by people claiming to have psychic powers.

Telling people not to release games is even more fail.

Except it's the truth. The same issue as a Javascript password protection system would be present in the system: in any and all cases, the client always has the ability to ultimately get to the files it needs. If it doesn't have that ability, it would be the equivalent of not releasing the game!

This is an entirely preventable situation. Hiding the cache, I thought, would be a very simple, mildly effective discouragement to the rippers. If BYOND put encryption on its rsc files; it would help immeasurably. They could use direct x features to prevent the map control from being screen-capped.

Hiding the cache does very little to help. I like to know which files I've got, so I always show hidden files; the cache would still be visible to me, and it would be public knowledge that it exists. Plus, it's not feasible to hide it because some problems are solved by clearing the cache, and some bugs can be reported more easily if a file from the cache is sent; hiding it would only deter this.

Encryption on the files wouldn't work either. The client has to remain aware of how to decrypt the files, and the files will still exist in RAM as they're being used by BYOND. There'll always be a method to get the files, just like there's always a method to get the password from a Javascript password protection system.

And the DirectX protection has already been said: there's more than one way to get a screenshot, even if it involves making a wrapper and controlling the DirectX instance. But even something as simple as a digital camera might work.

And if all of the above fail, they could at least have some rules in place, that they actually enforced, to suppress the use of stolen materials.

BYOND Staff cannot actively enforce rules like that because of the manpower that would be needed to do this. BYOND Staff consists of Tom, Lummox JR and half a dozen volunteers. Tom and Lummox JR are both working on BYOND itself, so you're asking the volunteers to go police games they don't even like themselves. And if you give the power to the community, the system would be abused and games could be removed just because someone didn't like it.
In response to Falacy (#15)
Falacy wrote:
If that was referring to my no_clip comment, not only does no_clip allow you to pass through solid surfaces, but it allows you to walk on air! ie: floating =P

Noclip does not allow you to walk on air: it simply freezes your position in space. As such, you are not "floating"; you are positioned in a particular spot and cannot be moved unless the noclip status ailment is removed.

True, but even if they only go through 20 or so a day, they could have it cleared up in a year. Not to mention some hubs could obviously be avoided, like Seika and other well known non-rips; pretty much all non-anime games =P

Now onto the reason I brought this up. Even if it can be "cleared up in a year" by going through "20 or so a day", it would still be a significant waste of time. During this time, there would be little to no development on the site, to BYOND nor to the company behind it. And before the year is up, there will be insufficient money to fund even Lummox JR and all development of any kind may well be halted.

Plus, hopefully, the staff taking action to stop rips; would cause people to stop creating the rips to begin with.

False: even if the staff do police rips, there will still be people generating them. The reason why is the same reason that a lot of people still play Anime games nowadays.
In response to Android Data (#17)
Android Data wrote:
Noclip does not allow you to walk on air: it simply freezes your position in space. As such, you are not "floating"; you are positioned in a particular spot and cannot be moved unless the noclip status ailment is removed.

I don't know where you're using no_clip, but in every game I've ever seen it; it allows you to freely move through the levels, as though you were in a spectator type mode.

Now onto the reason I brought this up. Even if it can be "cleared up in a year" by going through "20 or so a day", it would still be a significant waste of time. During this time, there would be little to no development on the site, to BYOND nor to the company behind it. And before the year is up, there will be insufficient money to fund even Lummox JR and all development of any kind may well be halted.

How long exactly do you think it would take to do this review process? In most cases you know a game is a rip as soon as you log in to it. With six people (excluding Tom and Lummox) that means they'd only have to review 4 games per day each. Even if they just sat there and stared at their screen while the resources downloaded, this really shouldn't be any longer than an hour per day per person.

False: even if the staff do police rips, there will still be people generating them. The reason why is the same reason that a lot of people still play Anime games nowadays.

People play anime games because they like the anime? People rarely play rips nowadays (or ever really). There's usually one or two rips per source that are popular, 10-20 that may get a decent amount of players, and the other 100s get like 5 players each.

EDIT: And as for the reviewing, and this topic in general. Since Lummox says that resources from multiple games are only downloaded a single time, even if they're shared between those games. It could even be possible to add some sort of built-in system that tells you you're about to enter a game that you already have the resources for. If its one you haven't actually been to before, then its obviously a rip/or the rip source/using ripped materials. It could even be setup to tell you exactly how much of said resources are being re-used, giving you a general idea of how much is stolen, or maybe even what.
In response to Falacy (#18)
Falacy wrote:
EDIT: And as for the reviewing, and this topic in general. Since Lummox says that resources from multiple games are only downloaded a single time, even if they're shared between those games. It could even be possible to add some sort of built-in system that tells you you're about to enter a game that you already have the resources for. If its one you haven't actually been to before, then its obviously a rip/or the rip source/using ripped materials. It could even be setup to tell you exactly how much of said resources are being re-used, giving you a general idea of how much is stolen, or maybe even what.

And how would public domain resources from, say, Gaming Ground Zero or Free Sound Project fit into that scheme?
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