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Enlisting Game Hackers Instead of Fighting Them

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the take-a-hint-sony dept.

PC Games (Games) 118

CVG recently spoke with Christofer Sundberg, co-founder of Avalanche Studios, the company behind Just Cause and its sequel. Sundberg expressed his disdain for both DRM and poor cross-platform ports, and talked about how he sees the hacker community as more of an ally than publishers do. Quoting: "'... 50 percent of the people that work for me come from a hacker background - that's true.' When asked whether approaching leading hackers and asking them to put their programming skills to good use was a wise idea, Sundberg added: 'Oh yeah. I absolutely think that's a fair approach, to think about how these people can fit on the right side of the law. It's one way, at least. Perhaps the truest pirates are too much down the road of anarchy to ever work with you in a proper way; these are the guys who see us as evil! But in Sweden the [hacking] scene was huge... As a studio, we've found that there's definitely a lot of talent [in that community].'"

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first [post] (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628676)

But in Sweden the [hacking] scene was huge... As a studio, we've found that there's definitely a lot of talent [in that community].'"

first [post].

Edification (2)

JamesonLewis3rd (1035172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628684)

My cat, Joe, is a proficient hacker.

Re:Edification (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629238)

My cat, Joe, is a proficient hacker.

And is clearly in violation of the DMCA. From the DMCA:

... shall include all hacking including (but not limited to) any and all computer, electronic or DRM related deflowerations; dismemberment, decapitation, machete-related injuries, and most licensed and unlicensed quackery; fur balls, hair balls and other cat vomit which may or may not contain unknown material(s); wood chopping (but not chipping), splitting and other lumberjack related activities performed on non-commercial or private lands; ...

and what really means 'hacker' and 'pc'? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628720)

this article used two words wrongly: Hacker and PC - http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#Hacker - http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#PC

Re:and what really means 'hacker' and 'pc'? (2)

xororand (860319) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628974)

this article used two words wrongly: Hacker and PC - http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#Hacker [gnu.org] - http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#PC [gnu.org]

The widespread abuse of the term "PC" annoys me to no end as well. No major dictionary defines it as a personal computer that runs Microsoft Windows.
iMacs are PCs. Lenovo laptops are PCs. My x86 desktop running Linux is a PC.

"A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator."

Regarding "hackers"... That battle has been lost already, in my humble opinion.

Re:and what really means 'hacker' and 'pc'? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629174)

GNU forbid we that might use words "wrongly", i.e. in any way that the Free Software Foundation objects to.

It's a short step from using the wrong words to thinking the wrong thoughts, comrades.

Re:and what really means 'hacker' and 'pc'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629690)

GNU seems to be horribly dated here. For instance, they suggest using a racial term to refer to what the rest of the world calls a "hacker."

Please don't spread this mistake. People who break security are “crackers.”

Re:and what really means 'hacker' and 'pc'? (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630540)

Well you could also go to Wikipedia for this:

Hacker (hobbyist)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_(hobbyist) [wikipedia.org]

Hacker (computer security)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_(computer_security) [wikipedia.org]

But most geeks are aware of this disambiguation.

And does anyone actually use the term cracker as a racial term anymore? I thought that term was pretty dated itself.

Re:and what really means 'hacker' and 'pc'? (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629806)

The definition of a word is what the general public agrees is the definition of a word. We are not the general public. Thank God! So "hacker" means kooky and unattractive nerd that uses attractive but useless user interface to do amazing things and can bypass any security on any computer like device at any time.

Re:and what really means 'hacker' and 'pc'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35635572)

The definition of a word is what the general public agrees is the definition of a word. We are not the general public. Thank God! So "hacker" means kooky and unattractive nerd that uses attractive but useless user interface to do amazing things and can bypass any security on any computer like device at any time.

can't we have a real hacker movie? like one where he's power cycling the router that refuses to give him an ip address so that he can get on the net and install the missing dependencies he needs to compile his trojan?

DRM is evil (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628740)

"The DRM does not stop piracy," he said, "it just punishes the people who have actually paid for the game. It's completely useless."

Agreed. So that must be why Just Cause 2 doesn't use any DRM.

Oh, wait, it does. And it punishes people who have actually paid for the game. [giantbomb.com]

So at least his customers agree with that statement.

That being said, Just Cause 2 is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the Square Enix taint is already there, and you get half a game out of the box with the rest being released as an endless stream of DLC [steampowered.com] .

And now that they're published by Square Enix, I wonder how long until we hear about Just Cause 2 2?

At least Square Enix has a fairly simple form of DRM that they employ. The just make games no one in their right mind plays.

Re:DRM is evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628874)

1. Dev companies can be contractually obligated to add DRM.
2. DRM is usually just a stupid wrapper around the PE, maybe with some code hints like where to substitute calls or steal instructions - doesn't always require original devs to add it.
3. That was a demo, the claim without adequate proof. Someone even said the Nvidia drivers caused it. Regardless, at most it was using Steamworks. Not so bad as SecuROM.

Re:DRM is evil (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629852)

1. Dev companies can be contractually obligated to add DRM.

You can be contractually obligated to blow baby rhinos. Personally, I do not sign those kinds of contracts. If you do, don't complain about the taste in your mouth. Also, don't be surprised if I avoid your breath.

Re:DRM is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632010)

All the publishers make you sign them; as well as other requirements, like obligation to ship by a certain date. Perhaps you can give us a AAA dev company who didn't go through a publisher?

Re:DRM is evil (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633132)

id software.

Re:DRM is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633246)

They make popular games now? I thought their last title was Q3A.

j/k ... for the most part.

Re:DRM is evil (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636850)

Most of their games were published by third parties, and they haven't had a #1 mega-hit in a while (unless Doom 3 did better than I thought), but id still counts. I'm not necessarily saying that self-publishing a game is a viable strategy, either, but there is historical precedent for a small indie developer to self-publish and rake in millions. For what it's worth, id software chose not to self-publish Quake, which makes me wonder if maybe self-publishing Doom was more of a hassle or headache than it was worth.

Personally, if I were Bill Gates and John Carmack asked me for a billion dollar advance, I'd probably give it to him. But that's just me. I'm kind of crazy.

DRM is irrelevant (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628892)

The issue of DRM would be solved overnight if a lot more people grew backbones - sorry, just just how badly does a company have to treat a customer before they just turn around, walk away & take their money elsewhere?

There is not one thing that I can think of that I would consider to be something I must pay to possess no matter what - if something is priced at a price I'm not prepared to pay or if that something is crippled in such a way that my enjoyment is crippled in some way, then I just don't buy it.

Nobody forces anyone to buy a DRM-crippled game, that's entirely a decision made by the customer. And if enough people didn't buy enough games because of DRM crippling, then DRM would disappear overnight as a commercial failure and none of us would ever hear of it again.

It's that simple.

Re:DRM is irrelevant (2)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628960)

That's really just it, though. DRM isn't enough to enrage the masses in most cases. You have the extreme outliers like the blow-up over Spore, but all-in-all, people just don't care. Most people will simply pay their $60, play their game, and never be the wiser.

Re:DRM is irrelevant (2)

dovios (2027228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630172)

"Most people will simply pay their $60, play their game, and never be the wiser."

Well, isn't that exactly what they want to do?

Re:DRM is irrelevant (1)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631416)

I never said it was a good or bad thing, just that it is how it is. There won't be a revolution against DRM because most people simply don't care.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629386)

If the game has DRM or is too expensive, don't buy it. Pirate it!

Re:Solution (1)

Captain Vittles (1096015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630202)

If the game has DRM or is too expensive, don't buy it. Pirate it!

This attitude doesn't help. If lots of people steal a game, it tells publishers a market for the product exists but it's too easy to acquire said product without paying. This leads business-types to require the implementation of even more draconian measures, which leads to more problems for users and thus more stealing... you can see where this is going.

The best strategy is to not play the game at all. Yes, this idea 'sucks' in many ways, especially if it's a really good game. But boycotts only work if people eliminate the product or service from their lives completely, or at least give all the market share - both mental and monetary - to a worthy competitor.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35630716)

I agree. I try to get it second hand and then download the "pirated"/DRM-less version. At least your conscious would be clear even though that's probably still illegal (sigh).

Re:Solution (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632038)

The problem is that won't do anything to reduce DRM, rather that will increase it. The companies making games by definition call every downloaded crack and copy of the game "a lost sale" IE if 60 people download the crack, 40 people buy legitimate copies. Even if 40 of the cracks went to legitimate purchasers and only 20 were pirates, the companies would write a report saying "more people pirated our game then purchased it, our sales would be doubled if we had more effective DRM, and thus more money is syphoned from the actually making a good game fund for the next game and more is put into making more intrusive DRM that will inevitably be cracked.

Re:Solution (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632992)

If the game has DRM or is too expensive, don't buy it. Pirate it!

This attitude doesn't help. If lots of people steal a game...

The parent wasn't advocating stealing anything.

Re:Solution (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634024)

If lots of people steal a game, it tells publishers a market for the product exists but it's too easy to acquire said product without paying.

On the other hand, if no one buys the game, it tells publishers that no market for the product exists.

There doesn't seem to be a way to convey, "I like the game but I hate the malware it's bundled with." through market forces.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35638878)

I completely disagree.

Not playing a game tells the publisher nothing. Copying a game (and copying IS NOT STEALING) and playing it tells them that it's worth playing, but that we're not going to give them money for it. It might be because of the onerous price, it might be because of the onerous DRM. But it at least sends a better message than not playing it at all.

Actually stealing the game won't help you with DRM, you get the DRM when you get the retail package, and shoplifting hurts the retailer, not the publisher.

Re:DRM is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35636406)

I just don't want to go through the effort of going to the store, buying a game, installing windows, installing drivers, installing game, oh oops redo from start because there was a problem with drivers, oops now I'm over my maximum number of installs permitted by the games protection mechanisms, so mess with the registry, etc... (perhaps it's not quite as bad as that, but it's how I seem to remember it ^^;;) .

So I just buy Indy Games. Sometimes I even install beta's of open source games direct from svn on linux; because that's actually a little easier these days, and certainly a lot less aggravating.

Re:DRM is evil (1)

lenroc (632180) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631800)

That being said, Just Cause 2 is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the Square Enix taint is already there, and you get half a game out of the box with the rest being released as an endless stream of DLC [steampowered.com] .

OK now I hate DLC as much as anybody, but I don't really see Just Cause 2 as an example of a "half game" without the DLC. Did you actually look at the list you linked? There are a few weird vehicles, a couple moderately updated guns (remember this is a single-player game), and.... not much else. It's not like you need to pay to unlock half the map.

I'm enjoying Just Cause 2, and I have not purchased and do not plan to purchase any DLC.

Re:DRM is evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632384)

The link provided points to a forum post where someone ran into some kind of bug and blamed it on DRM. According to a later poster, the problem may actually be caused by video card drivers.

Re:DRM is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633520)

That thread you link to about the alleged DRM is none too convincing. And the DLC was just minor stuff like guns and novelty vehicles, not half the game as you suggest.

I give up. (1)

webbiedave (1631473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628744)

Farewell, cracking. You gave it a valiant go. Alas, they do not want you.

Hacker != bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628746)

Hacking is an honourable past-time, in which the hacker "tinkles at the ivories" to see what comes out. There's intrinsically nothing wrong with that.

It's the mainstream media who have usurped the meaning of hacker to mean someone who exploits vulnerabilities in systems (without permission.) I say there's a better term: criminal.

--Newall (a hacker, and proud of it.)

Re:Hacker != bad (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629864)

It's the mainstream media who have usurped the meaning of hacker to mean someone who exploits vulnerabilities in systems (without permission.) I say there's a better term: criminal.

Yep. 30 years ago. Can we get past it yet?

Re:Hacker != bad (3, Funny)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630508)

"tinkles at the ivories"

You mean Pees at the Keys? No, I don't think so.
Tickles the ivories.

Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (5, Insightful)

Sentry23 (447266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628764)

I wonder how much of his coders come from the cracking scene, and how much from the demo-scene.
The cracking scene has always had some ties with the demo scene (and in some cases demo groups where the 'legal-branch' of some hacking groups) but cracking PC games does not bring much skill for game coding. (or is x86 assembly code really such a special skill these days?)

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (5, Funny)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628876)

Is this x86 thingie a new .Net language or what? /ducks

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631038)

no, #86 is the .Net managed version

rebels turned freedom fighters on the news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628910)

words are abused terribly for media hypenosys affect. ms shills here use italics, a lot. not subtle here.

so, when one is backing both sides in a world war, it can be tricky to decide who to side with at any given moment. do we really need all this, to make us safe? from? alah? gays? the truth? what?

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (0)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628968)

Using 'hack' to mean 'crack' is no different from using 'jew' to mean 'con'.

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (1)

Llamahand (1275482) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629476)

Using 'hack' to mean 'crack' is no different from using 'jew' to mean 'con'.

Well, yeah, except for the fact that most people are aware of the definitions of "Jew" and "con." (Well, most of the definitions of con, at any rate. There are a few odd ones that don't get much use.)

Hacker and cracker? Not so much. I consider myself a reasonably savvy guy, and I'm not super clear on the differences of hacker vs cracker. While I realize the broad strokes that separate them, and that they are non-synonymous, I genuinely had no idea that people are offended by one and not the other.

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629714)

"And now for todays FOX News: Kikes on Steroids! These people treat our Global Economy like a Video Game!"

...No, no I don't really think it has the same panache and flair.

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630092)

Using 'hack' to mean 'crack' is no different from using 'jew' to mean 'con'.

Personally, I prefer "gyp" rather than "jew". Just as insulting, but more socially acceptable.

And cracking DRM usually involves hacking.

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35635342)

Yes, calling gypsies cons instead of calling jews cons is much more acceptable. Mostly because the gypsies don't control the banks and the media.

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628982)

(or is x86 assembly code really such a special skill these days?)

For someone to successfully crack a game it is necessary to read through the code and understand it.
Those crackers knows how pretty much all big gaming companies write their code. They also understand that compilers while in theory could generate just as good code as a assembler programmer does not do so in the hands of someone who haven't studied what the compiler does.
If you want GCC to genereate optimal code you often have to help it along. The most common thing is that you have to add a temporary variable instead of writing one-liners to make GCC understand that it shouoldn't put things in memory when it has a couple of free registers. (OK, that example was not for x86, but I assume that GCC has the same problems with all architectures, this may very well be wrong.)

Re:Semantics, hackers, crackers and coders (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635086)

And there are people who confuse modders with hackers.

appears that atlas is shrugging violently (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628816)

there's rumours that he's suffered head wounds from stray depleted uranium ordinance, & is being poisoned as well by our fake weather "scientists' , military exhaust, suvS & black hole construction. how long can even a (damaged/disillusioned) god hold up poop soup? maybe he could get a big bucket, or something? hold on to you're hemisphere. babys rule. the innocents will be protected & they DO have another home.

military exhausting ALL of our resources; ok? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628840)

no. disarm. you're known now.

Re:appears that atlas is shrugging violently (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629496)

Irony of it is even Ayn Rand capitulated and used welfare to help pay for medical bills under a pseudonym, Maybe the world is more shades of gray than some people would acknowledge?

Captcha:redneck

The Creation Of Disposability (3, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628820)

The fact of the matter is that in the 21st century, media & games companies have set goals of ensuring that customers don't hang to things for too long & are always clamouring for the next upgrade with wads of money in their hands - we've already seen the results of this with the movie & music industries.

In the movie industry, it's about rechurning concepts that bring in vast profits quickly - a constant barrage of 3D movies, CGI animations with cute animal characters & endless sequels.

In the music industry, it's about elevating unknowns to pop star fame in very short periods of time, then dropping them after a year or two when they probably start getting too belligerent & demanding too much money.

The games industry is no different, games companies do not want their customers hanging on to games for too long - because they want customers demanding the next release as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the difference here is that the average new game costs at leasts 3 times as much as a new music CD, a new movie DVD or a cinema ticket.

Games hackers are therefore seen as enemies of games companies because the "nice" hackers create (at least for PC versions of games) mods that can prolong the life of a game many times over, resulting in customers being entertained for a lot longer before buying the next game, whilst the "naughty" hackers break games open so that others can copy & play them.

This is precisely why games companies (for the most part) have worked hard to convert PC gamers to console gamers because a console gamer can be restricted in what he/she does with the game a lot more than a PC gamer can be - consequently, this is why the number of PC games titles have tailed off dramatically over the past few years, despite there probably being more people than ever who own PCs and who play games. In other words, it's an artificially induced extinction of PC gaming to suit games company coffers.

As a PC gamer in my 40s, I wouldn't for one minute want to compare myself to teenage or younger gamers. But I still play a lot of PC games today despite buying very few (in all honesty, the only PC games titles I sit in anticipation of are the Fallout series ones) but I don't copy or pirate any either. All I do is enjoy playing and replaying old titles with community mods & levels, I also do a lot of retrogaming.

If the youngsters of today need better & better graphics in a game for better immersion then good luck to them & I'm not one to argue with them - if anything, graphics were something that appealed very much to me when I started computer gaming on the ZX Spectrum & the Commodore Amiga.

But ultimately, it all comes down to the hackers who write mods & emulators that allow me to satisfy my gaming needs without my having to buy any new games - not to mention, as a mostly Linux user anyway, the large number of Open Source games like Alien Arena and World Of Padman where, if I feel like a little multiplayer gaming, I can dive online for a half hour or so without having to spend weeks in an MMORPG or the like.

Re:The Creation Of Disposability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629590)

With you on this, huge fan of urban terror myself. Just wish there were more single players games with stories you know? Hey I recommend you give this a try: http://earok.net/derelict the developer is all kinds of awesome.

Re:The Creation Of Disposability (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629938)

I am so with you. I would love an Open Source GTA clone. Think of the plot the mod community and open sourcers together could make for it? And I was so excited about your like until I got it... .exe? No Linux? Sigh... I guess I should quit my WINEing...

Re:The Creation Of Disposability (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635922)

I could be wrong here, but wasn't original GTA just released as a freebie but not open sourced?

Re:The Creation Of Disposability (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635910)

Good link! Thanks for that.

Re:The Creation Of Disposability (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630278)

RPGs are about the only genre left where mods seem to be accepted and made possible by the game developer.

Re:The Creation Of Disposability (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635950)

If you're talking World of Warcraft, that's a different model because Blizzard need to keep releasing updates so that players are still interested in subscribing.

I only tried WoW for a month myself after my buddies kept badgering me to give it a go but it wasn't for me anyway, though my buddies have been playing regularly for a few years now.

Otherwise I'm a big Fallout 3 and Fallout NV fan (I prefer solo play RPGs where I can progress in my own time, not when I need to keep up with friends - but that's just me) and those games have a huge modding community.

Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programmers? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628830)

I know, it's really tough to generalize like that but I ask this question because of an experience I am having right now and it's the very burning question I seek perspectives on.

My programming background is more formal. When I plan a project, I plan the UI, the data structures, the program code and of course, the intended functionality. Only after that do I start coding.

When I started in programming, I was a kid -- I just wanted to write code and see what I could make it do but I eventually outgrew the idea. But the more I did that, the more I realized I didn't know what I was doing and the more complex my programs became, the more lost in them I became. Those problems led to my needing to become better educated and more systematic in my approach to coding.

I have a co-worker who is absolutely enamored with hacking and cracking. He is by all definitions a script kiddie. He has managed to generate some simple apps which are useful, but when I look at the code, I am ... well, there is no kind way to put it -- it looks like a teenage boy's bedroom. And while he is coding his current project, he is routinely banging his head on the keyboard trying to figure out why he is getting segfaults and the like until he gets himself through that step of that module of code.... (I presume there is going through steps and modules) I have watched him kill himself over not knowing when to use an ampersand to pass a pointer or what have you. That's when it hit me -- he still has no grasp of C coding fundamentals -- it is not a part of his inherent thought processes when his is "thinking code into an editor" which is what a good programmer should be able to do.

As I said, I have seen his source code in PHP projects... not good. I have seen where he left output generated by program unclean and incomplete. Now I see he simply doesn't think in code at all --- he spits out commands and then tries to get them to work. All he does it hacking and cracking... he actually uses metasploit and meterpreter scripts in administrating PCs on the network.

And it goes without saying that none of this is documented particularly well if at all.

So the question is one I believe I already know the answer to -- are hackers/crackers better programmers? I think no. But what does anyone here think? I am pretty sure some will take the opposing view point and I suspect they will be the same people who once asserted that validating your input is a waste of processing and code execution time.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (5, Insightful)

nbetcher (973062) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628902)

I have a co-worker who is absolutely enamored with hacking and cracking. He is by all definitions a script kiddie.

You pretty much answered your own question: he is a script kiddie, not a hacker or cracker. Hackers are elegant and, in my experience, have a higher sense of intelligence and thought process. That's often the divide for people who go to school to earn their degree in computer science and the ones that are successful programmers without going to school to earn their degree; the formally educated feel like they deserve some bonus credit because they blew tens of thousands of dollars getting a piece of paper. Don't get me wrong, going the degree route is the smarter choice overall, but it certainly doesn't give merit to your skills. In fact, I'd probably hire a seasoned hacker over someone with less than 10 years of school-earned programming experience.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629066)

This "divide" is probably the one I've been hearing about where some people just can't program. As in, they can "type in commands" as the parent described but they can't program in the abstract. This is probably the same people (again, heard about, never met one) who fail the FizzBuzz test, yet claim to have worked as programmers for a very long time - that would mean that these people must have hunkered through their career by copying code of the internet and altered it until it works.

Now, most people who become programmers without a degree probably either succeed or fail, and most in the above category probably just give up and try something else - but if you have a degree from a university that (in the eyes of the people doing the hiring) says that "you are a competent programmer", and you are the sort of person who aren't otherwise interested in programming, you might just expect to learn on the job. And you get a job, since you have a degree, but you never really learn to program, or learn just enough not to get fired.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630800)

Programming is both a skill and an art, like painting or cooking. There is a skill, which is mostly knowledge, that you have to train up. But there is also a binary switch...you either have it, or you don't. You either grasp the concept, or you don't.(1)

If you're ever in a CS program, you'll notice that between 25%-50% of the people actually understand 'programming' by the second year or so. (The number is probably higher in better schools.) Most of these people who understand had already dabbled going in, but sometimes you'll find someone who hadn't ever done it before but managed to suddenly just get it.

Everyone else is trying to program by rote. Sometimes they can do this, sometimes they can't. If they can't, they flunk out, if they can...well, they get degrees, and will spend their life doing what you said.

And FizzBuzz is a good example of a weeding tool. Any actual programmer should be able to create a pseudocode FizzBuzz in under five minutes, and probably faster than that. Although I might recommend something slightly different, just in case these non-programmers with degrees have memorized it.

I once had the idea that 'Fibonacci Replace'. might be a useful test. Almost everyone who's been through a CD degree knows the Fibonacci sequence, and it's easy enough to describe. The test is just...print all numbers from 1 to 100, except replace all numbers in the Fibonacci sequence with a 'Fib'.

People who actually grasp programming will start with a loop from 1 to 100, and have a 'current' and 'last' variable which start with '1' and '1'. When they hit current, they print 'Fib', add last to current, and copy old current into last. Otherwise print the number. (I think, it's a lot harder to write it out descriptively than to psuedocode it, and I don't want to even try to write pseudocode for the forum to mangle.)

People who do not grasp programming will be baffled by having to do two things at once, much like they get confused by FizzBuzz. But even having memorized the FizzBuzz example won't help. What's worse, they might recall the program to print the Fibonacci sequence, and try to fill in the blanks between numbers, which is a totally nonsensical way to solve the problem if you're a programmer. (Actually, a real programmer might just calculate it pre-loop and stick it in an array, but it's obvious if they do that.)

In addition, they have to use at least one temporary variable to store value as they swap numbers around, something they really don't grasp. You start with two variables, you end up with one holding the starting value of the other, and the other holding the two original values summed. You need a temp variable _somewhere_ in there.

1) Strictly speaking, there are a bunch of switches. You can grasp procedural programming but not be able to deal with a functional thing like LISP, you can not understand object-oriented programming, you can not really understand databases, etc, etc. You can learn them technically if you're a programmer, but not have have the 'art'. But there is a 'circuit breaker', that all those switches are hung off. If that's not on, you won't grasp any of it.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630840)

Actually, right after I posted this, I realized you didn't need a temp variable. I thought you needed temp = current; current = current + last; last = temp;

But presumably, you have a counter variable somewhere else, so you can do current = current + last; last = counter;

Duh, that's what happens when I try to describe code without actually coding it.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35636928)

But even if they needed to swap the numbers, they wouldn't need a temp variable to do so...

a ^= b; b ^= a; a ^= b;

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631804)

Woot! I'm using your question in some near term interview. I'm bored with trying to think up unique and interesting questions, on the fly, only to have the candidate flub them, and still feel like I can't use the question again.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (2)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632184)

Sometimes the simplest do the trick. I mentioned temp variables. (Although it turned out I didn't need them.) Non-programmers don't understand logic flow, which I think is the major difference between programmers and others. So something like:

You have three variables, a, b, and c. You need to make a end up holding b-a, and b end up hold holding a+b. c can end up with anything you want.

A real trained programmer will use c as a temp variable. c=a;a=b-a;b=b+c;. They won't even have to think about it, it's obvious why you gave them c.

Anyone else is going to attempt a=b-a; b=a+b, because they don't grasp that the first instruction changes things, which seems to be the fundamental perceptual issue of a non-programming mind. They see everything happening at once.

A real untrained programmer, someone who thinks like a programmer but has somehow never come across the problem before, will write it wrong at first, and then stare, baffled, for a second, until they think of using c, and then fix it. (I am not sure where you'd find such a person, though.)

And some God-like programmer is going to come along and demonstrate that you don't have to use c at all, you can magically XOR things or have a long string of a += b -= c += a or something and make it all work with only two variables. Obviously, they pass also.

Tests used to use 'swap these two variables', but people have been trained how to do that. But if you disguise what's going on, if you want them to swap and do math at the same time, non-programmers won't figure it out.

Non-programmers are not able to break things down into discrete instructions. They do not understand that. (I feel like a sighted person trying to describe how a blind person sees.) It's why the first programming class ever, at every college, starts off with something like 'break down your morning routine into steps', to try to get them thinking like that, but a good percentage of the people cannot.

Which, incidentally, is probably not a 'deficit' on their part. Seeing things as a unified whole instead of a bunch of tiny instructions is probably better for most things in life, in fact. For example, you can't read if you try to parse each word of a sentence individually.

It's just not better for programming.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632630)

And some God-like programmer is going to come along and demonstrate that you don't have to use c at all, you can magically XOR things or have a long string of a += b -= c += a or something and make it all work with only two variables. Obviously, they pass also.

A reluctant pass...firstly, they are, in all probability, not god-like (see footnote); most likely just a show-off, or someone who's indignant at being given such a trivial exercise. (see footnote)

So you give them a pass, then an Untrained Programmer will be working on their production code a year from now, see some XORs and run away whining for his mommy, who then hands it over to the aforementioned Real Programmer, who sees a clusterfuck of XORs in order to save on one temporary variable and replaces the whole mess with "c=a;a=b-a;b=b+c;" on the grounds that it's more readable to ALL programmers likely to be maintaining the code in the future, including the *80% of programmers who are merely average.

There are a lot of high numbers quoted for the percentage of a product's life-cycle it spends in maintenance mode, none of which I recall, but the point is, you don't want someone writing "clever" code if only they and other "clever" programmers (i.e. really clever programmers and those programmers who've been exposed to those particular "clever" idioms) can debug it.

*The remaining 20% being made up of the 19.99% of people who've been shown the XOR trick and the 0.01% of "god-like" programmers who intuit it.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634854)

And some God-like programmer is going to come along and demonstrate that you don't have to use c at all, you can magically XOR things or have a long string of a += b -= c += a or something and make it all work with only two variables. Obviously, they pass also.

A reluctant pass...firstly, they are, in all probability, not god-like (see footnote); most likely just a show-off, or someone who's indignant at being given such a trivial exercise. (see footnote)

Actually, you'll never even know that you've been interviewing a true "god-like" programmer because they'll just get bored with such a mundane problem, open the Real Life debugger, hit the "Rewind to Previous-Stack-Frame" button a few times, and walk past your office leaving you wondering why the applicant never showed and experiencing a strong sense of deja vu.

...sorry... I know I'm not supposed to talk about us, but I can't keep pretending that your world isn't just a big physics simulation when you make blatant references to us.

P.S. We don't not "magically XOR things", we mathematically XOR things... That's the difference between make-believe and platypus.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

jasmusic (786052) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629270)

Going the degree route is absolutely meaningless because of what little they teach in college. In fact it's a liability because if you were already a good programmer at age 18 (an age you know you enjoy programming rather than chase the dollar) you wouldn't have pursued it.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629908)

Blah blah blah. I was a good programmer at 18, took CS at a world top-five university, learned a great deal and became an even better programmer. And, living in a once civilised country, it only cost me about $5,000. Thinking you're so smart you can't learn anything from a top CS program is arrogant foolishness.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35635364)

Blah blah blah. I was a good programmer at 18, took CS at a world top-five university, learned a great deal and became an even better programmer.

Agree.
I was good, even dabbling in homebrew Operating Systems by that age but you really don't realise how little you actually know until you expose yourself to other people doing different things.
I breezed through first year with the introductory courses for programming but Discrete Math was rather insightful as was introductory Computer Engineering. Theory of Computation is also very neat (Turing Machines, computability). There were points that I openly admit I hated like "Business systems" but others that were quite insightful like Database Theory (relational algebra), Algorithms and AI.

Claiming that, having taught yourself, you are now a great programmer and don't need a university degree is generally a sign that you probably do need that degree, you are being too arrogant to actually be as clever as you think you are.*

* Such people do generally have a track record of programs they've built that work well enough so they are acceptable hires for programming jobs [maintenance would be my choice] in business but they are only really in their element on day to day tasks. A good understanding of architectural design in software may be lacking though.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630458)

No, he's not a script kiddie. He's just a bad programmer.

Script kiddies don't do anything new, they just run code written by other people. Someone who tries to write code, even if not very good, is one step above them.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35634142)

The reality though, is that my employer has the pleasure of employing some of the brightest game programmers in the world for peanuts, because other companies wouldn't sponsor H1-B Visas for those without a college degree.

Their loss, our gain :)

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (2)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628930)

I think you're sort of answering your own question. He's not good at what he does, and evidently can't work or think in a structured manner, so he's a bad hacker/cracker/programmer/what-have-you. Personally, even though I don't have a formal programming education I think that it's intuitively self-evident that any "competent programmer" can learn to break copy-protection/write exploits/etc, not because "it's easy" but because most security holes that can be exploited are perfectly evident if you actually understand the systems that incorporates them. You could think of hacking/cracking as a specialized subset of programming.

Buffer overflows and stack/heap smashing attacks are as obvious as brute-forcing passwords or SQL injections if you understand how the processor and OS executes code and manages memory. But of course learning those things requires structured, hard work.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629060)

If you live in America/England you probably haven't met any crackers before - not good ones at any rate. Most of the talent is foreign, predominantly RU.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629096)

Or you have met ones, but they can't tell you that they are because they don't wan't to wind up in trouble for it. It's probably reasonable to assume that there's less crackers where there are enforced laws against computer crime though. Russia seems to have an open "hacker scene" like the one I've read about in the US in the 80ies, and that probably helps a lot.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (1)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631024)

> there's less crackers where there are enforced laws against computer crime though.

It doesn't work like that. Mostly enforcing those laws just causes backlash. Mostly those crackers are just young people
who have not yet figured out what is the alternative to the cracking and they just follow what everyone else is doing around them.
Different people find different ways to handle the situation; for some it's creating some software on their own, and others
will find they want to create graphics... I see this stage just a mechanism for making young people choose what they want to do in the future. The only way to get them choose it themselves is to put them in situation where they need to change the status quo. But it needs a mechanism which detects if the people can actually make their own decisions, instead of just following what others are doing.

Re:Are "hackers/crackers" good or better programme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629426)

...England...

I've course not, we only live in a surveillance state which we really really despise and have a vast corporate culture that hoards and retains data by law, absolutely not a sort of environment that breeds discontent amongst smart individuals who want to rage against the system in the modern world of computing... not at all....

Another perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35629074)

I've been involved in video game hacking for some time and the majority of the scene roughly matched the description of your coworker. A minority however possessed and demonstrated exceptional skills. They designed clean and modular frameworks, wrote readable C++ and C# code and commented the inevitable assembler bits. There was plenty of documentation, discussion on a high level. It was a pleasure to interact with these people. However I guess that about half of them had some formal education.
The large rest of the community however seemed to leech off the small core, more or less using brute force on their path to shoddy hacks and bots.

Seems reasonable, if you listen to them (5, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35628922)

And we might not always tell you what you want to hear.

Back in The Day, I wrote a borg client ("Rogerborg") for Netrek [netrek.org] which used a man-in-the-middle attack (and a bit of library overriding) to spoof the RSA authentication scheme used to detect blessed client binaries - Netrek was decades ahead of its time with regard to security.

It was a great learning experience, and convinced me that trusting the client is futile; there are always more people out there trying to crack it than you have developers to protect it. I kind assumed that in the 18 or so years since then that lesson would have been learned, but even to this day, we still see game after game released that try to play whack-a-hack on the client side.

Please take it from me: you can't win that fight. And that counts double if you have to pay developers to effectively fight against the enthusiasm of your playerbase. The more successful your game, the more potential crackers you have.

Saying "Yeah, put some checks in the binary, or ship it with Punkbuster and we'll fix it later."? That's a great strategy if you're planning for failure.

Secure the servers, come up a network protocol that designs out the ability for cracked clients to profit, and you're done. If your game doesn't lend itself to that design - like a twitch FPS where an aimbot can get an auto-kill - then bad news: You. Are. Screwed. Just try to make your costs back before your client gets raped and your game collapses under the weight of the bots.

Re:Seems reasonable, if you listen to them (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629000)

But how many man-hours would that entail? Looking at Punkbuster and the various DRM schemes, it looks like the main blockage to the built-in-security-in-games suggestion is the pervasive outsourcing of security solutions to outside companies, and they obviously can't just waltz in and redesign the program. Either the programmers or an external consulting group of some sort would have to work/collaborate on it from the beginning. And management would probably only be able to see "cheaper faster clamp-on security vs. inherent expensive and slow security" without understanding the real tradeoffs. Or just not caring, because none of their competitors have it, and hey, people buy and play the game right?

Re:Seems reasonable, if you listen to them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632828)

Developers have had over a DECADE to get their shit together and start implementing built-in security. Trying to blame management, the development team or the external anti-cheating companies is just trying to ignore the issue.

Counter-Strike was/is plagued with aimbots, but that came out in 1999/2000. Online gaming was just getting started; fine, I can overlook that.

CoD:MW2 came out in 2009 and is plagued with aimbots... Why?

Re:Seems reasonable, if you listen to them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35630536)

Or play Whack-A-Hack, but steal back the CD keys as you go: the VAC approach. Much fewer people will use bots if it means they can get permabanned from 99% of the server infrastructure, relegated to a ghetto full of all the other skiddies.

Re:Seems reasonable, if you listen to them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35630980)

Had Rockstar Games learned this, they wouldn't have wasted $200k on a copy protection for GTA IV that fell in what, a day or two?

The game was amazing and was part of a hugely successful franchise. It was guaranteed to sell like hotcakes regardless of what they did.

Just Cause 1 for PC was a crappy port (2)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629260)

Everyone here is focusing on the "we shouldn't have DRM" hypocrisy,while ignoring the "we shouldn't have bad PC ports of console games" hypocrisy. This tells me that nobody here has ever played Just Cause for PC.

Just Cause is a GTA style sandbox game. You're a CIA agent in a tropical paradise ruled by an evil Communist dictator who has to be overthrown because he's evil and Communist. You go around fomenting revolution. You play the "good drug dealers" off against the "bad drug dealers." You play the civilian police off against the army. You assassinate members of the Evil Communist Dictator's government. Pretty much, you go around wreaking GTA style havoc.

Oh, and advertising materials said that the island was something like "100 times bigger than GTA III." So in order to get from your successful mission with the Good Cartel to your CIA contact who will tell you to go assassinate the Evil Dictator's son, you need to steal a vehicle. The best way to do this is with your grappling hook, which can hook on to vehicles, and then you can reel yourself into the cockpit/driver's seat and commandeer the vehicle. Seems like a pretty cool feature, right? The hook in this game is literally a hook.

Here's the kicker. Like I said, I played it on PC. GTA style sandbox games universally play better with a gamepad than with a keyboard and mouse, so I have a USB one. It's not like Just Cause, or any game in this genre, is a twitch shooter. There's too many things to do that aren't move or shoot. Splitting up the various controls that are easily confused makes sense. (The classic example is tilting a helicopter left or right versus using the helicopter's rudder. GTA III era games map tilting the helicopter to the joystick used for movement, and the rudder to the left or right shoulder buttons.) Just Cause does NOT accept a gamepad as an input for some reason. It also doesn't let you remap your controls to a set of settings that makes more sense to you. Those are two basic features that every PC port should have added to it, and the lack of them means they probably cut corners somewhere else too.

Secondly, because GTA style sandbox games are not twitch shooters, most games in this genre have a lock on feature, even on PC. They took the lock on feature out of Just Cause PC (it's in the console versions) for some reason. This makes it impossible to steal a faster vehicle than the slow helicopter that spawns at your base, which makes it impossible to get from mission to mission, which makes the game not fun because all the areas outside missions are boring and not part of the gameplay. Remember how the island is 100 times bigger than GTA 3? Well, 99% of that space is useless.

The game should have interested me. I love GTA. I love Red Dawn. This game is pretty much those two concepts mixed together. By all rights, I should have loved Just Cause. But because of the poor PC port of the first one, I had no interest in the second one. A lot of people will keep buying games despite DRM. It won't kill PC gaming. But EVERYONE has a breaking point in terms of crappy ports, and THAT is what will move everyone to consoles.

Oh please, stop the melodramatic "evil" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629456)

These people are not "on the road down to anarchy". Spare me the melodramatic crime spiral, do you know a single cracker who even sees himself as a criminal? Or as someone who'd see this as his career, as the big, evil mastermind of the next big cracking crew? Puuuleeeeaaase!

These are people with some skill (of varying degree, I admit... *sigh* the good old copy protections of the past are a past, sadly, today it's more a vanilla crack over and over... but I ramble) who enjoy a good battle of wits. At least most of those I met are. Now, I might have been gone too long, but I can't figure out where to make money with this. Couldn't even back in the days before the internet as a data distribution medium, with P2P and other free means of transfering and swapping data, became big, So it is KINDA unlikely someone sees this as his career opportunity, isn't it?

Eventually they'll all end up in some kind of business like this. It's similar in my trade, security. Eventually, everyone who ever poked at the security of some machine will climb the career ladder and end up as ISO or even CISO of some company. You will notice that a lot of CISOs are very shy in the vicinity of cameras. It could be a career stopper if someone remembers them from a certain conference some years ago where they went by a completely different handle than what's now displayed on the corporation homepage. ;)

Re:Oh please, stop the melodramatic "evil" (2)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629598)

Yeah. I'm thinking the main drive behind cracking/releasing is recognition and cred. You get to be all secret and stuff, part of an "inner circle". You're doing things that other people can't do, and are looking in awe at - your abilities are speculated about and discussed. But given that you're not actually creating anything or making real changes (just giving people free entertainment), it's probably going to wind up feeling pretty empty I'd imagine.

Re:Oh please, stop the melodramatic "evil" (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630912)

Here it the big problem with your post: Most criminals don't believe they are evil or have done anything wrong; even murderers and serial killers. Just ask any prisoner.
 
That the crackers don't see themselves as criminals does not mean they are not criminals or that they are not evil. In fact, it argues for believing they are evil. I know someone who was arrested, jailed, tried, convicted, and put in prison for delivery and sale of heroin. She says she didn't do anything. She and her husband delivered and sold heroin to a friend how set them up. She handled the communications and driving. He took the heroin into the house and completed the transaction. She managed to repeatedly violate her probation all the while claiming she didn't do anything. That is why she is in prison.

My stepbrother, who is a habitual thief and drug abuser who can't hold a legitimate job, is the same. He didn't do anything when he was arrested for breaking into cars. And, he didn't deserve to be put in prison when he violated his probation by driving around in a stolen car.

Bobby Joe Long, a serial killer, kept a diary of his conquests. In it, he talks about how the 13yo girl was really into it as he held a knife to her and ass raped her. He didn't see anything evil in kidnapping, raping, and killing women. He was convicted because a 15yo victim convinced him she wouldn't tell the cops and was would be his girlfriend.

Every criminal I have met or seen has been the exact same way and say the exact same thing "I didn't do anything! I l didn't do anything wrong!"

They think the law does not or should not apply to them and that is the thought pattern and behavior that will lead them to commit fraud and embezzel and take kickback at their companies. They go from petty criminal to cracking to get CC numbers and commit fraud to embezzelment, fraud, and insider trading. And, all the while, they do not see themselves are evil or as criminals.
 
I guess that makes it OK, right?

Game Wardens (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35629560)

Turning game poachers into game wardens is an old trick, dating back many centuries.

This is not a new thing, at all.

Re:Game Wardens (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631770)

This is slashdot. Old is new and new is...also new.

Re:Game Wardens (1)

Ocker3 (1232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634386)

Excellent analogy, perhaps with a correlation. The better the poacher, the better the warden (one would imagine). A hacker who is actually able to pull off very complicated hacks probably has either immense talent or has a methodology.

Good Idea! (0)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35630768)

Yes, let us reward cheaters, griefers, crackers, and theives. That will show them. Yes, yes it will. And, when they steal, we can throw them a prarade too.

Re:Good Idea! (2)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631410)

Wow, talk about missing the point. Oh, and a basic lesson in logic: Some hackers are pirates, and some pirates cheat, but that doesn't mean that all hackers are cheaters or pirates.

Re:Good Idea! (0)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633422)

Did they break in to a computer system without the owner's permission? Yes? Then, they are crackers with no respect for anyone or anything else. They, by definition, can not be trusted because they don't care what about the effect their actions have on others. All they care about is doing what they want and fuck everyone else.

Re:Good Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633830)

Because the point is SHOWING THEM, not money, progress, or productivity!

I am so glad you're not a businessman, you would burn whatever company you got into the ground.

disdain for poor cross-platform ports my ass! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631816)

If the people that made JC2 really cared about making a decent PC port of their console title, they wouldn't have used Xinput! But they did use Xinput, and in the process they helped Microsoft in their plan to obsolete 99% of existing gamepads in favour of the Xbox360 gamepad. To me that rates as NO DISDAIN WHATSOEVER for poor ports.

Re:disdain for poor cross-platform ports my ass! (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632716)

"Never ascribe to malice that which can be easily explained by incompetence." Incompetence in this case is more likely laziness, but the point stands.

It's a good idea in theory, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633066)

I've worked on an amateur game project where a game-hack writer was brought aboard as part of the coding team, with the idea to develop an anti-cheat module for the game.
While that was done reasonably successfully, the module was useless without being encrypted, and the encryption used made most virus scanners go apeshit.
Suddenly, there's a trust issue going on between the users of the game and the developers of the game. We've got to indicate there's a false positive here, or otherwise fix the issue. (Which the game-hack writer couldn't be bothered to do, and the rest of us didn't have the knowhow to attempt.)
Except we can't, because the game-hack writer is having odd mental issues and won't trust anyone else on the development team with his module's sourcecode, so we're in the same boat as the users.

All in all, it was a pretty big clusterfuck of ego, unreasonable paranoia, and a massive mistake that caused drama and killed the module due to lack of confidence in it by the main development team and user base and lack of support from the game-hack writer.

A binary choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35635356)

These Hackers need to fit on the other side of the law where they can screw the end-user in the moral way instead of the immoral crime of screwing the developer.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35636300)

>>Perhaps the truest pirates are too much down the road of anarchy to ever work with you in a proper way; these are the guys who see us as evil!

I doubt a game developer would be seen as evil by a pirate. Even copy protection developers would be seen more like a challenge :)
There ARE evils, but those are the game distributors.

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