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First Person Shooters (Games) Piracy Games

Garry's Mod Catches Pirates the Fun Way 365

UgLyPuNk writes "A few hours ago, Garry Newman – the creator of Garry's Mod – asked, quite innocently, whether anyone was unable to shade polygon normals. He received a few comments, mostly jokes, but a quick look at Google suggests that there are indeed a few people who are experiencing problems with their game. You can hear Newman's chuckling from here — not the normal response to a wide-spread bug report, but this is no normal bug. It seems that the developer has deliberately enabled an error in GMod, which will only affect people who have pirated the game."
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Garry's Mod Catches Pirates the Fun Way

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  • Dummies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Scorch_Mechanic ( 1879132 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:39AM (#35804576) Journal

    Pirating GMod 10 is like visiting five ice cream shops in a row and getting enough "tastes" to fill a quart. Simply not worth the effort, considering that GMod10 is, was, and will remain ONLY. TEN. DOLLARS. If you own any of Valve's excellent recent games, you've fulfilled the only other requirement (a Source engine game). Chances are high that if you're interested in GMod10, you've already got one or more of those.

    I can understand pirating a $50 game because you want to stick it to the publisher or you want to try it out before shelling out, but pirating something that costs $10 strikes me as a remarkably pointless gesture.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:49AM (#35804634)

    From TFA:
    "Making the situation even sweeter, the number which appears in brackets after the error statement is in fact the gamer’s 64-bit steamid.

    Y’see, Steam keeps a list of which accounts have actually forked over the $9.99 for a legit copy of GMod – so it’s a simple matter of checking ids and turfing out the pirates."

    As such, only people who reported the problem AND whose Steam accounts lacked a proper purchase of Garry's Mod were banned.

  • Re:Dummies (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:54AM (#35804652)

    I think most of the people who pirate GMod do it because of the shit they pulled on people who tried to distribute the free version after they switched to pay. $10 to selfish idiots is still $10 to selfish idiots.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yeshuawatso ( 1774190 ) * on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @02:54AM (#35804656) Journal

    Well, would you prefer a more intrusive form of DRM? Removing the shading from a game isn't as bad as some of the DRM schemes that we've seen before by the bigger publishers. The authors aren't looking out to catch the pirates, they're not looking to sue anyone, they're just comically (inside joke, of course) telling the people that they've received an inferior product instead of the normal way of big titles where the pirated versions are superior to the retail version.

    I for one welcome this. It's so small that it doesn't cause too much harm to the pirates in terms of game play, yet big enough that the pirates know they can receive the feature for just $10-$15 depending on prior Steam purchases. It reminds me of when I downloaded the X-Men Wolverine production rip. The CGI was incomplete and it was a nice reminder that I should just wait and rent the DVD (a very effective piracy deterrent, if you ask me). Unfortunately for Fox, I was bored well before the missing CGI came into play (it really was a terrible movie), and fortunately for them, I'm interested in seeing the new X-Men First Class when it comes to theaters in June (let's hope it's not terrible).

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Simon Donkers ( 950228 ) <[info] [at] [simondonkers.com]> on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @03:13AM (#35804762) Homepage
    It turns out that the people who like to hack the copy protection and share the game aren't the real gamers.
    I've read a success story about a game in which the finish of the first level wasn't there when the DRM check failed. It was cracked multiple times & uploaded but none of the pirates notices the game could not be finished. It took 2+ months for a real crack to be made while lots of gamers got frustrated with the cracked version and the game had higher sales then normal in the first 2 months.

    So making sure that an illegal version has a worse game experience then the genuine article will make people pay for it. If the copy protection is totally obvious then crackers won't upload buggy cracks and thus the illegal version will have a better game experience.
  • by anomnomnomymous ( 1321267 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @03:15AM (#35804770)
    I'm not too sure if I condone this behaviour, nor do I think this is a 'fun' way to catch pirates: A fun way was how the Nintendo DS version of Michael Jackson: The Experience made copied versions of the game unplayable and taunts gamers with the blaring sound of vuvuzelas: See here [wired.com]

    The problem I have with these kinds of protections is that they also might affect paid customers; Same as with strict DRM.

    I already bought Garry's Mod after having played it for free (as the HL2 mod).
    It was less than 10 dollars, so a real bargain. But I would have reconsidered it if I heard of this beforehand.
    Nonetheless, all power to the developer to protect their property.
  • Ultima III (Score:5, Interesting)

    by upside ( 574799 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @06:50AM (#35805620) Journal

    Ultima III wouldn't let you interact with NPCs - they'd say "Honesty is a virtue, I will not help you" or something to the effect.

    Personal experience. As a teenager I bought Ultima III (I think) for the Amiga for $many_weeks_allowance. The original floppy was corrupt, and being an expat in a remote country meant I couldn't get it replaced. A buddy mailed me a pirated copy to replace it. A "fun way" to catch pirates for sure, but there I was with a box, shiny cloth map and a game that would tell me I'm dishonest. Never got to play it. Guess whether this experience motivated me to (a) buy more games or (b) pirate games instead.


    I understand the rationale behind copy protection and DRM, but they can make life hard for legitimate users and end up counterproductive.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Libertarian001 ( 453712 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @12:09PM (#35809010)

    If a reviewer claims that, then you point out that they're using pirated software and go from there. Suggest to them that they remove the slanders comments, publicly apologize, get a legitimate copy and try the review again. If not, start the law suit.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen