Piracy / Security Key Question

DarkPlasmaBall

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Hey everyone,

I'm totally new to game design and have never sold a game before, so please pardon my ignorance. I'll eventually want to sell the game I'm creating in RMMV, and I was just wondering if there was anything stopping a buyer from just taking the download/folder and distributing it to anyone else who wants it. I know that piracy is a particularly difficult thing to crack down on, so I wanted to know if it was at least possible for each buyer to receive a unique game key that can only be used on 1-2 devices, so that a buyer giving away the game for free/money would have a problem that temporarily limits them (since it could only be downloaded once or twice). Thoughts? Thanks!
 

HalcyonDaze

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I'm curious about this as well. While there is no simple method that I'm aware of, you can at least encrypt the audio and graphics files when you deploy your project. However, I'm sure there is a way to implement some kind of anti-piracy measures. I mean, PC games were doing it in the 1980's.
 

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DarkPlasmaBall

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That's a good point about the encryption of some of the files, although if someone were to just upload the whole game folder onto Google Drive or Dropbox and share it with people, the encryption wouldn't stop the new players from downloading the game and having complete access to playing the game (even if they can't modify some of the encrypted files).
 

Dezue

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Heyho, DarkPlasmaBall!

If you've never released a game before, my honest advice would be to forget the whole piracy thing for now and focus on building an audience for your game instead.

Game visibility is the main problem you'll have to face in your endeavour, so, while I understand the need to 'secure' your game, the sad truth is that it can't really be done to an extent where it protects your game AND doesn't get on your real fans' nerves, like the solution you suggested.
It's more important to focus on making your game known and popular.

Have fun and stay funky,
Dez
 

jkweath

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Gonna second Dezue. I have 7 commercial RPGMaker games. I'm pretty sure all of them have been torrented at some point - hell, I think even the Google Play versions got stolen and distributed for free in China.

TBH it doesn't bother me one bit. It's impossible to measure, but considering my games are relatively cheap and low-profile, I honestly doubt it's reduced my sales by any significant margin.

If you happen to release a smash hit that makes a ton of money, maybe then you might want to look into securing your game, but until then I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Tuomo L

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It's not really worth it. There are several options, of course but they usually cost you more than you get in return.
 

Andar

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any and all protection can and will be broken sooner or later.
the better protections require a DRM server, and that is an ongoing cost in itself that is usually too much for RM games.

your cheapest way would be to get on Steam and let steam handle DRM - and even that is often too much of a fee for most RM developers.
You can try to get through Degica as they do distribute RM Games over Steam, but that will require your game to have a certain minimum quality. And it needs to be at least mostly completed before you can ask them (or any other publisher) for help or access.
 

JosephSeraph

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1609471436271.png

a quick google search seems to confirm what i've always taken for granted; that piracy has little to no impact on game sales, or perhaps may even have positive impact.

in 2020(2021!), I think piracy's only really a problem when it comes to games with online functionality of some sort. So from what seems to be the statistics (please do a proper research first lol) any money spent on protection, will be money gone to waste. It'd be better off stocked up in an investment product or something.

People like to know they're supporting other people. or they like the convenience of platforms, direct support from steam, being able to download as many times as they want, owning a physical thing, etc.
So any money that goes to piracy would be money MUCH better spent in guaranteeing whomever buys your game has a nice experience as a purchaser and consumer. Perhaps even figuring out a way to make the experience of buying a game TRULY different from the experience of pirating it. (That... Well, I can't give that to you. You'll need to research it too.)

edit: said differential can be as simple as a personal Thank You message if you're a small scale content developer, an automatic link to a discord server, etc. etc. (sounds very patrepon-y but i'm sure it can be done)
 

DarkPlasmaBall

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This is all very reassuring, thanks everyone! :)
 

orochi2k

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I remember an interesting moment when I was in university. (ECNU)
I met a guy selling pirate game discs.
He told me he has a game very interesting and he wanted to sell me the discs.
I told him I am the author of that game.

But, as long as people enjoy playing it, I don't care how they get it.

Even some big websites in China such as "Sina", "Gamesky", copying my games to their websites with download links without asking me for permission back them. (The concept of "copyright" does not really exist in China in 2000s)
I just don't care.

I didn't lose anything. But, I received some diehard fans who still follow me to this day.
It's almost like a cult now...

My game's value is in the endless updates. That, by itself, somehow keeps converting pirate users to be legal users.
 
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