Preventing SWF reverse engineering and pirate copying

Posted on:May 22 2008

As you might already know, I recently turned once again a could-it-be-done just-for-fun-project into a released full featured product, a single player browser role playing game, actually. I created it using Flex and thus, it's just a flash game, although an abnormal huge flash game. (And it's getting bigger time after time, with a huge addition with more than 15 new quests scheduled for next week for example.)
I also created an SWF protection tool which I wrote only for Darkness Springs development, and released it later to help other Flex developers. And now, after Darkness Springs is out for one month, I am glad I did this: Pirate copying actually is really a huge problem with flash games. It is different from the PC game market where the players copy the games. Here, other Flash developers will copy and reverse engineer your game and flash game websites will grab your swf and publish it on their sites without even thinking about asking you. As I can see from the webserver logs and simple google searches, the problem is incredibly huge, basically, nobody gives a s**it about copyright, it seems. Fortunately, until now, nobody has been able to reverse engineer and republish the fully working game as it seems, only the demo without piracy counter-measures has been illegally copied on dozens of servers [which actually is good ;)].
So I am really happy about having created irrFuscator, and should you ever create a flash game, I can recommend you to use an obfuscator like it. And BTW: I added a string encryption feature to irrfuscator last week which I think should turn out to be quite useful as well.


but information wants to be free :O
2008-05-22 16:12:00

Information wants to be free, and should be such... But one should know where the information originally came from... =}
2008-05-22 22:08:00

I have no idea, but would have expected that DS runs with a database backend? In that case hackers would have a *really* hard time to reverse engineer the game, even if the code wouldn't be obfuscated. Apart from the fact, that all game data would reside in the database, where it could not be easily read.
2008-05-23 08:37:00

marcus: of course, you are right, that's one of the major counter measures against piracy. But still, other developers usually want to know how the game works, steal code and and players try to cheat.
2008-05-23 08:49:00

linuxman: While I'm all for open-source efforts, it's one thing when people decompile to learn insider tips and techniques, and another thing when people decompile your game, change the game title and author, then republish the game. Unfortunately for the Flash developers, it's nearly ALWAYS the latter. Check the Chinese Olympic Flash game rip for more details. It's front page Google for the search terms Flash games chinese olympmic.
2008-05-23 16:34:00

well done! I´ll try this :)
Rodrigo Cardoso
2008-05-26 16:30:00

Pardon my english, but you sir are a total badass.
2008-05-28 09:15:00

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