Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

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Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby ShadowTiger » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:59 am

I'm an active member of a community that hosts an original "Legend of Zelda" (NES) recreation software fanbase where it's possible to put a password onto your project files so nobody can edit or or take resources out of it, at least not without a ton of work. People have already created makeshift password-removal programs that can make anyone's quest project file unpassworded and open to change.

Seeing as how the Doom community does fairly similar things with Doom, i.e. putting in resources, editing them, creating maps, designing games in the Doom engine, and so on... but nothing is ever passworded, and I just did a search on the forums for "Password" and didn't find anything even remotely relevant, at least not in the General ZDoom Discussion forum one forum category up, so I figured that nobody here ever really considers a password for their project to be important? Is that the case? Am I wrong?

I just find it really interesting how people who have access to (Essentially apparently only symbolically...) passwording their stuff will really hold on to their ability to protect their stuff, while people who have never been able to password-protect their stuff never seem to need to do so. But again, please tell me if I'm wrong. I'm just interested in hearing opinions about this.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby xenoxols » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:04 am

If somebody password protects their mod, then that would make them a douchebag, IMO.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Gez » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:15 am

The idea is bad and wrong.

But it's also pointless because:
ShadowTiger wrote:People have already created makeshift password-removal programs that can make anyone's quest project file unpassworded and open to change.

Well duh.

There was a recent Doomworld thread on the topic.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby ShadowTiger » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:26 am

Ah, so that thread exists. Thank you.

To focus on the detailed specifics of the matter, Doom modifications start with open-source platforms. This other program started with something that was built to be passworded from the beginning. That would make a difference. Even if the original Doom sources weren't open source somehow, they still have built-in cheats in them. This other program only has cheats enabled if the author chooses to enable them from within the lockable editor. So these aren't exactly apples vs oranges here.

But I am hearing a lot of morality-related concerns. Some people are afraid to allow their levels to be spoiled by people taking a peek behind the curtains, as it were. That's a legitimate concern, but it's also a highly individualized concern. If someone wants to go through all the work to make something less fun or challenging for themselves, that's really only a disadvantage for that one individual. Unless somehow it results in an easy time getting a public #1 high score on some ranking. (Which this program doesn't have at all.)

If anything, the original question is out of respect for the developers of this other program who want to make it open source, rather than outright removing the password ability. The open-source nature of the program would allow anyone access to the passwording algorithms and would let them make their own password cracking utility, which already exists. People have taken the original poll to make it open source and brought it to its extreme of having the password crackable. ... .... which it already is.

A few people in those communities have referenced other gaming communities like this one that don't use passwords to compare how a passwordless technological environment works very well. It's almost like saying that a lockable door doesn't really exist, so nobody steals anything from each other.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Gez » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:37 am

The open source vs. closed source aspect is only "security through obscurity". If you give encrypted data to people, some of them will find out how to decrypt it. Especially since you actually want them to decrypt it (the Legend of Zelda executable is supposed to be able to play them back after all) so that severely limits your options for robust encryption. Worst case, someone puts the game in a disassembler and reverse engineers how it decrypts data, then implement that in a stand-alone program.

If the community isn't an awful cesspit, it's much safer actually to put some "please do not distribute modified copy without my permission or use it as a base for new mods" request and hope it'll be respected.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby wildweasel » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:27 am

My answer is no. The truth is, few of my projects are truly 100 percent "mine" in terms of resources and code, because I often make use of the inherently open source nature of ZDoom to construct my mods. I would not feel right to lock that all down and not let people root around in it to see how it all worked, even if I did have a guarantee that it wouldn't get cracked.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Zanieon » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:48 am

I either say no, many things i do is basically heavy edits of already existing stuff as there are other that i don't edited much but still have my hand there to not say i did a lazy job, however there are other things i did that is truly mine and was done for my own mods that i don't care others using anyway, especially my sounds, but recently i've being see them around many mods and no credit was given to me because well probably the guy who took thought that i ripped from some game, but that is wrong, not all sounds in Hunter's Moon isn't ripped as well not all the sounds in Doom Reinforced, after all it's sounds only, i don't stay whoring about credits when just those are used.

Passwording stuff don't keep your work safe, there always will have people who will try break the encryption as Gez said, that happens alot even for games that have DRM.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Mikk- » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:37 pm

I can understand why people might want to 'lock' their projects especially if it focused heavily on original content such as music or sprites etc. As it would be discouraging to some to pour their heart and soul into something only to have it picked apart by the creator of the next 'Shuffle' mod. However; politely asking people to not rip their content should be enough for the average Forum goer. If someone desperately wanted said resources without permission they'd get it regardless of whether the archive was locked or not.

On a tangentially related note I could definitely get behind an archive locking feature in something like GLOOME for commercially released projects (if we get any)
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Marisa Kirisame » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:16 pm

It could be easy to just have whole archives be encrypted/decrypted with a key embedded somewhere in the executable. Kinda like how Dark Souls 2 does it (except they use a public key in an easily available file in the same folder as the game data).
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Graf Zahl » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:03 pm

No, you cannot do that with open source software. If it's supposed to be recompilable by everyone getting the source it needs to contain the key.
With commercial software, sure - but even there, once someone cracks the encryption it's all over.

There is no encryption system that hasn't been cracked. Spending time on developing new ones to 'protect' some content is an exercise in futility.
These days you can find everything that's being sold with DRM in cracked form minutes after the commercial release - and these encyrption schemes were not made for some pathetic game modders but to actually protect the sold items. So far nothing has worked.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Kinsie » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:19 pm

I think the effort that the engine developers would need to be put into an (ultimately futile) mod-protection system could be put to more constructive uses.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Marisa Kirisame » Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:33 am

DRM is indeed pointless.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Hellstorm Archon » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:41 am

If I recall correctly on the Skulltag forums a few years back, there was a mod called Super Skulltag. It basically had a lot of advanced features and heavily modified maps and gameplay. If anything, it could very well have been the first mod to include "ragdoll physics."

But even before that, the author decided to lock the WAD file itself (the first public release, I believe), and it caused a massive shitstorm there. It got so bad that KekDose withdrew his contribution to that mod, and the author got banned for quite a while. It wasn't until a couple of years later that the author was unbanned, and he cited his age (13 years old, I believe), as part of the reason he acted like an asshat back then. Then he introduced the more advanced stuff, including the aforementioned "ragdoll physics."

Moral of the story: more often than not, locking your mod is essentially calling a flamewar upon yourself.
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby Zanieon » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:54 am

Ænima is who did that, and yeah i rmb that flamewar, but he learned the lesson, the project still exists under the same name but on Zandroforums
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Re: Would you prefer your projects here passworded?

Postby edward850 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:49 pm

Everytime something like this gets brought up, it gets stated that this is impossible to do as any security you impose would be publically accessible, and then could then be immediately reused to unpack any said protection in the first place.

Obviously this doesn't get stated enough, because the question keeps cropping up. So one last time:
This is impossible to do as any security you impose would be publically accessible, and then could then be immediately reused to unpack any said protection in the first place.

MarisaKirisame wrote:DRM is indeed pointless.

Technically it's not DRM. Unless we are now doing paid/licensed mods. To which I would certainly hope not.
Edit: Wait, I see you were actually referring to Graf Zahl there. Should be noted that DRM is mainly used to thawt Day 1 cracking, to which it does its job for the most part (resulting in rather hilarious situations). It's when it tries to be more than that it becomes ultimately worthless.
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