Opensource vs Mystery...

Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby charlie » 27 Mar 2017, 22:36

FaTony {l Wrote}:What is complicated? It's like that in all good game engines.

He knows that, he just didn't want to admit he made something up so is trying to twist it.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Duion » 28 Mar 2017, 08:43

FaTony {l Wrote}:
Duion {l Wrote}:The whole topic is much more complicated. Yes there is client side prediction and it is also server authoritative. The client and server run the simulation simultaneously, but the server has the upper hand, so the client cannot do anything through prediction the server does not allow, like cheating or lag teleporting.


What is complicated? It's like that in all good game engines.

No it is not, almost all other games use client authoritative, that is my whole point.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Lyberta » 28 Mar 2017, 08:46

What? I've seen *only* Cube & Cube 2 that do a lot client-side. Any good engine will do everything on server + client prediction.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Duion » 28 Mar 2017, 09:47

Even AAA games out there allow for easy cheating through client side manipulation like lag switching, just search on youtube, you will find videos of that for most games.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby charlie » 28 Mar 2017, 09:51

Duion {l Wrote}:No it is not, almost all other games use client authoritative, that is my whole point.

Yet another false statement. Almost all other games? Name some.

I don't know any popular games that are client authoritative. I'm sure they exist, but I don't know any (and I'm happy to admit what I dont' know, something you are unable to face up to yourself).
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Duion » 28 Mar 2017, 10:55

Like counter-strike, battlefield, call of duty all of those big titles.
I remember in counters-trike there being hacks, where people killed everyone at once in the game with a knife, which is physically impossible in the game.
Look it up on youtube, you can see it all in action.

But I think we drifted far away from the original topic, where my main point was, that you can have server authoritative games, where the clients do not need to see the game code, so they cannot spy and manipulate on the source code, but it would also make the game not 100% open source.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby eugeneloza » 28 Mar 2017, 11:22

Duion {l Wrote}:But I think we drifted far away from the original topic, where my main point was...

Yeah... we really drifted away from the ORIGINAL topic about whether to conceal the plot to provide for secrets and encrypt the savegames to harden cheating in a singleplayer FOSS game or not :D :D :D
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Arthur » 28 Mar 2017, 17:07

Some years ago SuperTuxKart got accused of encrypting to avoid cheating since challenge completion were tied to the same config file as the other settings, and due to historical reasons this config file is in UTF-16. Many editors don't open this encoding automatically, but after setting the right encoding they often do.

Anyway now the progress is in its own file not encoded with UTF-16, and while there have been discussions about whether it should be so easy to cheat we've always fallen on the same reasoning: they only make the game less fun for themselves. Not to mention that the file(s) are not always forward-compatible and forcing everyone to unlock all tracks by racing every other release would quickly get annoying, and it can be easier to test tracks and the challenge system. Don't tell anyone, but now it's even easier to unlock all with just one setting in the config file. ;)
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Duion » 28 Mar 2017, 17:31

Unlockable content is not the wisest choice anyway, it is a cheap way to extend playtime for players by forcing them to repeat boring stuff until they get the better content.
It is used extremely often in console games and such, but for a free open source game it is not a very good system. You could tie it to an internet server to have some kind of ladder game, where the data is stored on the server so you cannot cheat.
Other games have that as well, on your local copy you can mess with the savegames and config files as much as you want, but if you want to tark part in the competition, you have to play online.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Akien » 28 Mar 2017, 22:49

I find unlockable content just fine. It's true that it's a cheap way to extend playtime, but it's effective. Last time I played STK and unlocked all tracks by playing in supertux mode, I had a lot of fun :)
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Lyberta » 29 Mar 2017, 03:10

Duion {l Wrote}:Unlockable content is not the wisest choice anyway, it is a cheap way to extend playtime for players by forcing them to repeat boring stuff until they get the better content.


So much this, I've even written an article that discusses this.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby eugeneloza » 29 Mar 2017, 11:50

Arthur {l Wrote}:they only make the game less fun for themselves.

Ok. I create a secret game event with some easter egg. I give a hint that the solution to the password cannot be found in-game - it's an easter egg after all:
Situation 1a: The player thinks... thinks... thinks... day... two... month... EURIKA!!!! He posts in the forum that he cracked the password and he is the first man in the world to do that! What a discovery! How rewarding!
Situation 1b: The player encounters a password-protected console. He thinks... ahh... to hell with it. I don't want to return here later, I'll look in the code in the game constructor, provided together with the game. Hmm... yeah, really it should have been obvious that the password is XYZ, but I'd never guess it. Stupid game.

Situation 2a:
- Hey! Guys, that's wrong! She shouldn't have died! She was so cute. She was so nice to my character... I don't like it.
- [hint]Did you remember what you have learned from the tutorial? Something you've hardly ever used in game?[/hint]
- What??? I'd never guess it!!! Really awesome!
Situation 2b: Errr... she has some additional unused phrases? Well... that was stupid thing to do. Broken/incomplete quest or... Ahh... there goes the trigger... well... Nobody would ever guess "that". Stupid game.

How rewarding would be posting "beating the boss by 1lvl party" on youtube in contrast to anybody being able to check for a "shortcut" in the constructor? Yeah, even for those who did it by themselves it won't be rewarding, because anybody could look that trigger in the game data.
And how cool for the user to write a "walkthrough" saying "I didn't get the trick with that speckled wall... it should display some image, but no matter what I did there was just noise". And some other player writing him an e-mail: "Hey! I've cracked the code! You just have to... It's really easy once you've got the idea."
And how much more rewarding would be making a "less than an hour speedrun" without cheats/mods while anybody can get "god mode" and finish the game in 30 minutes...

Sometimes its not "just one man" - it's the community. Which will (or won't) help each other. Think over their problems together. Marvel at somebody's success. etc.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Duion » 29 Mar 2017, 14:38

You could hide the password in the code but in form of a complicated equation, so the player can chose if to solve the puzzle regularly or solve the equasion.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby eugeneloza » 29 Mar 2017, 14:48

Duion {l Wrote}:You could hide the password in the code but in form of a complicated equation, so the player can chose if to solve the puzzle regularly or solve the equasion.

Even simpler. Don't care about the password equation (not sure what it means :)), but just use some not-very-clear savegame file format that it won't contain the password visible, e.g. as with UTF16 in the example above. Or in binary. Or encrypted (and requiring at least basic programming knowledge to decrypt - the game is opensource so anybody can do it if he wants).
However, on the other hand that means "to deliberately hide/obfuscate" something. Which doesn't follow the spirit of FOSS.
It's like writing all the program code in a single line without spaces and with obscure variable names. It looks open-source (source is open), but made with absolutely reverse goal.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Lyberta » 30 Mar 2017, 03:55

All this sounds like a game that I will uninstall after 2 minutes.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby themightyglider » 30 Mar 2017, 06:40

For a FOSS game it would be the better choice to keep everything as open and hackable as possible. If your game will have an interesting story someone will spoil it somewhere in the internet. (Maybe as blogpost or let's play video.) So I can't figure out any advantage if you try to hide it in your code.
If you like to have things like passwords inside your game and don't want the players to find them in the source or save games, why don't you write a function that generates random passwords based on a seed. This seed could be stored in your save files as plain text. So players could look up and understand both the save files and the game source without a chance to spoil them self or others.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby eugeneloza » 30 Mar 2017, 08:06

FaTony, you've never played Eye of the Beholder, UrQuan Masters or Wizardry then :)
themightyglider, yes, that's exactly my reasoning behind the question. E.g. How glad I was to finally discover Orcish Mines in RogueBox. And how unrewarding would have that been if I knew it beforehand (e.g. by a spoier or if it were obvious from the source what to do).
I still don't know how to get to an island in a cave in Valyria Tear. And that catches my imagination, I "return in my thoughts" to that cave again and again. And how rewarding was to hear from Bertram that I was the first to discover a secret room in the temple :)
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Arthur » 30 Mar 2017, 09:04

People play games for different reasons. Sometimes they just want to get on with the story rather than being stuck for hours at the same puzzle. I've played some adventure games and were able to visit walkthroughs when I got tired of walking back and forth trying to figure out what I was missing, and without reading spoilers of the rest.

However I only did that after trying to solve the puzzle a number of times. So as long as the player needs to leave the game to cheat, ergo there's some barrier to entry, I feel like there's little use in trying to restrict it. If people get too frustrated they will simply stop playing the game, without seeing the rest of the story and telling their friends they finished it and liked the story. That happened to me with a game I played 1-2 years ago, where I intended to continue it but never got back to it. And if I finally do I intend to cheat by finding a walkthrough since otherwise I probably won't play it again.

So what's more important to you, keeping your secrets or having more people play the game till end and see all the hard work you've put into story and artwork, and also the other puzzles?
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby eugeneloza » 30 Mar 2017, 12:10

Arthur {l Wrote}:So what's more important to you, keeping your secrets or having more people play the game till end and see all the hard work you've put into story and artwork, and also the other puzzles?

Well, basically I'm speaking of a non-linear game (now I see my fault :) I should have told it later).
There is a main story, let's imagine it is 5 hours long.
But there are dozens of secrets and side quests which are non-obligatory for a player.
So if the player doesn't like the game he/she'll either stop playing, or just run-through the main plot in one day and forget about it.
But I'm making the game in the style, that I'll like myself.
It will contain a lot of secrets which are not meant to be all solved by someone. Most of them don't give any cool profit, but discover something funny, emotional, interesting, exciting, etc.
So, the player comes to a console and he just sees the name of the console with no obvious way to find the password. He tries to crack it but the password is too strong. Finally he either remembers or googles the name of the console and wow... there is a password. He opens the console and there's an easter egg and a bit XP, and an additional side quest.
If he doesn't like the idea, he just forgets about the console and goes on. That doesn't prevent him/her from finishing the game.
I plan about ~50% of the plot will be in such secret or non-obligatory side-quests. Sometimes it's because not all the content is *interesting*. I.e. who would care about the history, unless he/she likes the game. And if he/she likes the game, it'll be fun to know more about the world.

As in examples above, you can grasp how personally I see such stuff. I like when I reveal something hidden, something not intended for everyone to see. When I work hard and get a nice reward. I like that. Not all people like that. But I do. And I make something for such people. I have something in store for those who like history. For those who like puzzles. For those who like easter eggs.
But uniqueness is another feeling than just "reading about" something in open. It's trial. It's something that grasps imagination. It's something really rewarding if you finally find it out. Something you can even boast to your friends: "Hey, guys, I've solved that crazy door puzzle!" You feel a pro, when a newbie comes and asks "I'm stuck in level 3... Where do I get the candle that old man asks?" - "It took me almost an hour to get the candle. Unless I understood that it's a trick. Give cheese to the intelligent rat and it'll tell you that the old man is crazy and will give you the key" - "No-no-no. Rat is a shortcut - you'll miss a large location and a trophy. You can really find the magic candle. Remember the book you've been given. It's still there, behind the painting."
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby NaN » 30 Mar 2017, 17:08

If all you want is some basic obfuscation just xor the content with some key: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XOR_cipher

It should be good enough to keep people from "accidentally" reading it and spoiling their fun.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Lyberta » 31 Mar 2017, 06:00

All this feels like an insult to Freedom 1 - freedom to study and make changes to the source code.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby Duion » 31 Mar 2017, 10:07

FaTony {l Wrote}:All this feels like an insult to Freedom 1 - freedom to study and make changes to the source code.

No, it is not, you can still study it and change it and obfuscating some non game mechanic relevant values or passwords does not hurt you studying and changing the games source code, you could just replace it.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby charlie » 31 Mar 2017, 11:43

Duion {l Wrote}:No, it is not, you can still study it and change it and obfuscating some non game mechanic relevant values or passwords does not hurt you studying and changing the games source code, you could just replace it.

I still don't get the benefit of it. What do you gain?

You lose something; the inevitable complication (no matter how slight you determine it to be) will result in you spending more time dealing with problems.

I just don't see why it matters. The game will only be spoilt for people who willingly go after spoiling it for themselves - which is their choice. Why are you trying to stop people from looking through the game data? What possible gain is that for you as a developer?
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby eugeneloza » 31 Mar 2017, 14:14

charlie {l Wrote}:I just don't see why it matters. The game will only be spoilt for people who willingly go after spoiling it for themselves - which is their choice. Why are you trying to stop people from looking through the game data? What possible gain is that for you as a developer?

Well... to obfuscate the texts I just need to add BlowFish = true in the engine :)
That won't stop those who want to go for spoiling. But that'll require them either to check the game source for the correct BlowFish keyphrase and preform de-chiphering. Or to compile the game data editor (which is also FOSS) - not hard to, but will require installing the FOSS engine properly which is not tricky.
I.e. this is just a simple "ARE YOU RALLY SURE YOU WANT THIS?"

I'm looking from my personal point of view.
If something is easy to look up - I'll do it (and, maybe will regret it later). If not... It'll be easier to resist the temptation :) Or stir me up to study the code.

When speaking of secrets... Can we speak of mystery, when anybody can open the folder and see everything?
But mystery itself is always so intriguing! :)
Yes, in some time every secret will be revealed. But why not make it happen too soon and spoil the fun?

Imagine yourself making a scientific discovery. Isn't it great? Sometimes you get even a real prize for that.
And now imagine you make a discovery... you crack a problem, the humanity couldn't solve in decades. And all you get is "what's so special?.. Everybody knows that!"
Which one is more rewarding?

All this feels like an insult to Freedom

Yes, that's exactly the problem I feel. Maybe not "insult to...", but "not following the spirit of..."
However, everybody still preserves "freedom to study and make changes to the source code (and scenario)" (as all the code and data is open), it just becomes a bit harder to filter out "making this without an obvious goal to do it deliberately". Kinda "Are you really sure?" with "yes" button requiring a bit work to push.
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Re: Opensource vs Mystery...

Postby charlie » 31 Mar 2017, 14:29

eugeneloza {l Wrote}:I'm looking from my personal point of view.
If something is easy to look up - I'll do it (and, maybe will regret it later). If not... It'll be easier to resist the temptation :) Or stir me up to study the code.

When speaking of secrets... Can we speak of mystery, when anybody can open the folder and see everything?
But mystery itself is always so intriguing! :)
Yes, in some time every secret will be revealed. But why not make it happen too soon and spoil the fun?

Imagine yourself making a scientific discovery. Isn't it great? Sometimes you get even a real prize for that.
And now imagine you make a discovery... you crack a problem, the humanity couldn't solve in decades. And all you get is "what's so special?.. Everybody knows that!"
Which one is more rewarding?

You are creating a problem to solve, not solving a problem.

How many games have you ruined for yourself by going into the game folder and digging around because you were too impatient to play them first?
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