GameMaker Studio DRM Bug Trashes Legit Resources

GameMaker Studio DRM Bug Trashes Legit Resources

image

YoYo Games says it will remove "destructive" copy protection from GameMaker Studio but won't give up on DRM.

GameMaker Studio developer YoYo Games has acknowledged that many legitimate owners of its software had their game resources permanently trashed after its DRM system went "haywire." The issue first came to light late last week when a user reported a "weird GM Studio error" that had changed all his sprites to skulls and crossed swords. He was initially accused of using a pirated copy of the program but a YoYo employee quickly stepped in and said that "sometimes a virus or something can effect an exe and gives some issue like this."

Unfortunately for many GameMaker users, the problem is much more widespread than just that. "Those who use a legally obtained version of Studio have had game resources, such as sprites, overlayed with an image of a skull and crossbones. The resources are permanently edited, rendered useless," a GameMaker Blog post states. "Although staff have encouraged users to run virus scans on their computers to ensure the program was not tampered with, reports of the issue have become more widespread suggesting it is an official bug and not an anomaly."

An official fix hasn't been released at this point but the "current solution" is to uninstall the program, delete %appdata%GameMaker-Studio and %localappdata%GameMaker-Studio, delete the GameMaker Studio registry key, perform a full system scan to ensure that you haven't actually picked up a virus and then reinstall the whole thing. If that doesn't work, users may contact YoYo's help desk "and we'll see what we can do to help."

It's an ugly situation, but in spite of an admission that it's "hard to argue at this stage" that DRM doesn't cause trouble for anyone but legitimate users, the studio says it won't do away with it. "We'd LOVE to be able to remove the protection completely, but we know that vast numbers would simply copy it if it was that easy," YoYo's Mike Dailly wrote. "There are many levels to the current protection system, and while many are visible like this, there are also many hidden so that we can always tell when a final game was created with a crack."

"We expect an update to go out tomorrow to remove this protection, and will move away from the 'destructive' protection like this, to more passive methods to help protect innocent users who through no fault of their own, somehow trigger it," he continued. "As to why we don't just switch into FREE mode, this is because crackers can simply activate features while the program is running, so doing this serves no purpose other than to annoy paying customers."

YoYo's desire to avoid annoying its paying customers is admirable, but I can't shake the feeling that it's going about it the wrong way.

Source: GameMaker Blog

Permalink

This is just stupid considering pirates are no doubting laughing at this article while playing their bug free version of the game they downloaded while the legitimate users are being screwed over by incompetence.

...So I guess this is more of a reason to still use GM 8.1? From what I can tell, GM Studio only has some neat cross-platform features when compared to 8.1.

Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

They knew about the issue with their stupid DRM and didn't remove it? Once again genuine consumers paying the price for other people piracy.

"destructive" copy protection is redundant when it comes to videogames, at least when it comes to sales :P

You trashed peoples assets and destroyed their work... are you bloody insane, you can only thank the pink fluffy lord none of them is rich enough to drag your ass to court.

People it is high time to use proper tools and show these clowns how poor business practices bite in the ass.
Unity, Unreal and Cryengine all have a free fully featured version which you can make top end games with(unlike GameMaker), move on and never look back.

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

It's strange that you'd find this on Steam.
I've always seen Steam itself as a form of very customer-friendly DRM in itself.

It's terribly obtrusive for them to put GM on Steam and then another layer of user-data-rewriting DRM on top of that.

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

you bought it? you wanted to make a doom clone that bad? and now you want a refund from MF STEAM? (I can tell you their answer right now: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

Why does gameMaker still have a pay for version? it just doesn't make sense the pay for version of GM was never that much more impressive then the free version. what did they finally allow you to introduce real models into the engine (considering that the word sprite was still thrown around in the article my guess is no.

Mr.K.:
You trashed peoples assets and destroyed their work... are you bloody insane, you can only thank the pink fluffy lord none of them is rich enough to drag your ass to court.

People it is high time to use proper tools and show these clowns how poor business practices bite in the ass.
Unity, Unreal and Cryengine all have a free fully featured version which you can make top end games with(unlike GameMaker), move on and never look back.

There really isn't anything like game maker - A simple 2D game engine AND development environment. Which makes this really unfortunate.

And people kept asking me why I hold onto old versions.
I can only imagine how it must be to have that game you have worked on for over a year irreversably destroyed because loldrm.

This is stupid. They ruined people's assets and are now claiming it's not there fault. I'll tell you who probably hasn't had a single issue with this, pirates. Idiots, they're all idiots.

MorphingDragon:

Mr.K.:
You trashed peoples assets and destroyed their work... are you bloody insane, you can only thank the pink fluffy lord none of them is rich enough to drag your ass to court.

People it is high time to use proper tools and show these clowns how poor business practices bite in the ass.
Unity, Unreal and Cryengine all have a free fully featured version which you can make top end games with(unlike GameMaker), move on and never look back.

There really isn't anything like game maker - A simple 2D game engine AND development environment. Which makes this really unfortunate.

You can also tie in Ogre (the engine behind Torchlight, as well as some lesser-known games) for free.

Sadly, however, my own efforts with GM and Ogre came to an unfruitful conclusion upon realizing that, for some reason, the combination of the two is absurdly CPU-limited (upgrading from a 6870 to a 7970 made no frame rate difference), and its graphical capabilities are effectively capped somewhere between Morrowind and Oblivion, on a computer that can run Skyrim (with a dozen graphics mods) at the same speed.

Still, you could probably manage a Torchlight clone with it.

Andy Chalk:
He was initially accused of using a pirated copy of the program but a YoYo employee quickly stepped in and said that "sometimes a virus or something can effect an exe and gives some issue like this."

So, known issue. Here's a big neon "fuck you" to any company that KNOWS their program ruins possibly months of the customer's hard work and thinks it's a good idea because it will annoy one or two pirates while they are still testing their cracks of the program and don't have a large volume of time and resources committed to it.

Andy Chalk:
An official fix hasn't been released at this point but the "current solution" is to uninstall the program, delete %appdata%GameMaker-Studio and %localappdata%GameMaker-Studio, delete the GameMaker Studio registry key, perform a full system scan to ensure that you haven't actually picked up a virus and then reinstall the whole thing.

Alternately:
1) Download crack.
2) Run it.
3) There is no step 3.

Andy Chalk:
"As to why we don't just switch into FREE mode, this is because crackers can simply activate features while the program is running, so doing this serves no purpose other than to annoy paying customers."

As opposed not doing this, which so far as only served to annoy paying customers?

This is a good money after bad thing, right? The DRM is a sunk cost, and they're so desperate to salvage it that they're burning MORE money and customer goodwill rather than admit they made a mistake and call the DRM a loss, going forward with what money and goodwill they have left.

All this is telling me is that if I were to use this program, I should find a pirated version with the DRM cut out. There is no benefit to me to using a legitimate copy: it has higher cost and could possibly wipe all my progress due to a bug.

I'm happy to support the developer and buy their product, but you have to show me that paying for it is, at least, giving me product equal to the free version, not clearly worse. Or, if the paid product is clearly faulty and the pirated version puts me at risk.. I just won't get it at all and spend my money on something else.

Wow, just... WOW. There should be a class action lawsuit. Losing your work like that is inexcusable and could cost you a lot of money and time.

Funny maybe if their website suddenly was given the same treatment they would squik louder

I guess their website might indeed be the right place for new wall hangings...

Disclaimer: Any claims to illegal activity I may or may not have made were entirely for the purposes of humor.

pleasedontbanme...

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

Bought a game on Steam. Didn't know it had DRM. I mean, I know this is completely different DRM...but you bought a game on Steam. And didn't realize it has DRM. Think about that statement for a bit.

So... is putting self-sabatoging, irreversible code into the DRM of your only product- the product that is your entire face to your user community- ever, EVER a good idea?

"We'd LOVE to be able to remove the protection completely, but we know that vast numbers would simply copy it if it was that easy,"

it is. Pirates walk around your easy DRM like nothing. Day after new version release there is already a cracked version. DRM ONLY harms your legimate users.

So... is putting self-sabatoging, irreversible code into the DRM of your only product- the product that is your entire face to your user community- ever, EVER a good idea?

putting a self-sabatoging, irreversible code into the DRM of ANY product is never a good idea.

They knew about the issue with their stupid DRM and didn't remove it? Once again genuine consumers paying the price for other people piracy.

no, for programmakers stupidity.

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

Steam IS DRM.
By this logic, you should delete all your games on Steam and never use your account again.

So I've been recently told that it's been fixed ever since two days ago upon making this post. Good thing, too, I'm saving up money to buy the Android module.

I thought the lesson that copy protections will always have false positives was learned with Settlers 3's "pig iron", guess mistakes will be repeated until mankind is gone. Seriously, what smartass was so sure that his system would never fail that he built something like that into the software? If this was any other business there would be lawsuits but fortunately software makers can assert all privileges and reject all responsibility with EULAs.

The best thing about GameMaker is that it lets a developer of any skill level get right to work, Other systems are not so straightforward, other engines and languages take time to learn. What I like about it, is how it typically ends up that the user has to use code to do what they want, it encourages them to learn some programming, and eventually move onto more complex systems. If I had GameMaker when I was a teenager, then I'd have loved it, just like I loved SEUCK (Shoot-Em-Up Construction Kit) on the C64. Effectively it's a learning and rapid deployment tool, it's not there to compete with Unity and UDK - it doesn't try to and it never will do. I would say that if you have no development experience, then grab it, learn from it, test your ideas, and if possible finish a project or two in it - by then you'll have a strong skillset and invaluable knowledge of how a game engine works, to take onto a more complex language. If you have as much fun making your own games as you do playing games, then it doesn't matter how capable people might think it is - it gets results, more results than the auto-negatives, doubters, and haters will ever accomplish.

Frostbite3789:

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

Bought a game on Steam. Didn't know it had DRM. I mean, I know this is completely different DRM...but you bought a game on Steam. And didn't realize it has DRM. Think about that statement for a bit.

Denamic:

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

Steam IS DRM.
By this logic, you should delete all your games on Steam and never use your account again.

I think you are being obtuse on purpose. Yes steam itself is DRM but it is upfront about the whole thing and the chains rest very lightly.

What I meant when I said DRM was "customer fucking code". As far as I can tell Steam is not customer fucking code, and that is what this developer put into his application.

gardian06:

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

you bought it? you wanted to make a doom clone that bad? and now you want a refund from MF STEAM? (I can tell you their answer right now: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

Why does gameMaker still have a pay for version? it just doesn't make sense the pay for version of GM was never that much more impressive then the free version. what did they finally allow you to introduce real models into the engine (considering that the word sprite was still thrown around in the article my guess is no.

I'm a hobbyist developer and I want to work in mostly 2D. Unity is a butt for doing anything sprite based since (unless something changed in 4) you still have to create your colliders and meshes in 3d space, lock everything to the proper axes...etc etc etc. Even something simple like having a sprite change direction is agonizing. I had to make 2 different versions of each sprite and replace it at each direction change since I didn't find any way to just say "flip horizontal". Honestly I don't know Unity that well so there is probably a better way to do it but that was way too much work for what I wanted to do.

And the drag and drop coding of GM for most common functions appealed to my laziness.

Absolutionis:

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

It's strange that you'd find this on Steam.
I've always seen Steam itself as a form of very customer-friendly DRM in itself.

It's terribly obtrusive for them to put GM on Steam and then another layer of user-data-rewriting DRM on top of that.

The only reason I buy from steam (and I've spent thousands of dollars probably) is because I know that on the off chance Valve decides to pull a dick move and lock my account I can go to gamecopyworld or piratebay and retrieve any of my "property" that they decided I couldn't have. If I didn't have that option then I would only ever buy retail where I have a disk and I can re-install anytime.

rembrandtqeinstein:
The only reason I buy from steam (and I've spent thousands of dollars probably) is because I know that on the off chance Valve decides to pull a dick move and lock my account I can go to gamecopyworld or piratebay and retrieve any of my "property" that they decided I couldn't have. If I didn't have that option then I would only ever buy retail where I have a disk and I can re-install anytime.

Even retail copies might not save you these days. Seen some games (DoW2 among other things) require you to register your X serial# online in order to install. If the publisher decides to kill your "account" for whatever reason then the retail copy you paid for is useless plastic.

Once more, the industry continues to prove that software piracy is the only way to ensure your own property rights...

rembrandtqeinstein:
I think you are being obtuse on purpose. Yes steam itself is DRM but it is upfront about the whole thing and the chains rest very lightly.

What I meant when I said DRM was "customer fucking code". As far as I can tell Steam is not customer fucking code, and that is what this developer put into his application.

No, we're not.
You did not say what you apparently meant to say and don't get to be upset when people 'misunderstand'. You said stupid shit and simply got called out on it.

gardian06:

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

you bought it? you wanted to make a doom clone that bad? and now you want a refund from MF STEAM? (I can tell you their answer right now: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

You know Yahtzee's newest game was made in Game Maker, right? It's not just for Doom clones.

Also, I've been able to get refunds on Steams. Granted, they were very extreme circumstances, but it's possible.

I find it amusing that each time it happened, they send me an email explaining that they do not do refunds, along with a copypasted clip from their TOS in the same email that tells me they refunded the amount straight back into my bank account. I almost imagine a gas station clerk handing over a pack of cigarettes to the customer who requested it, while saying "We do not sell cigarettes in this establishment. Have a nice day."

Scrythe:

gardian06:

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

you bought it? you wanted to make a doom clone that bad? and now you want a refund from MF STEAM? (I can tell you their answer right now: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

You know Yahtzee's newest game was made in Game Maker, right? It's not just for Doom clones.

Also, I've been able to get refunds on Steams. Granted, they were very extreme circumstances, but it's possible.

I find it amusing that each time it happened, they send me an email explaining that they do not do refunds, along with a copypasted clip from their TOS in the same email that tells me they refunded the amount straight back into my bank account. I almost imagine a gas station clerk handing over a pack of cigarettes to the customer who requested it, while saying "We do not sell cigarettes in this establishment. Have a nice day."

I loled hard core at both the illustration, and these supposed e-mails. no evidence needed (considering ease of fake)

Scrythe:

gardian06:

rembrandtqeinstein:
Rofl...I just bought that on steam sale, and now I'm going to ask for a refund because I didn't know it had DRM in it.

you bought it? you wanted to make a doom clone that bad? and now you want a refund from MF STEAM? (I can tell you their answer right now: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

You know Yahtzee's newest game was made in Game Maker, right? It's not just for Doom clones.

Also, I've been able to get refunds on Steams. Granted, they were very extreme circumstances, but it's possible.

I find it amusing that each time it happened, they send me an email explaining that they do not do refunds, along with a copypasted clip from their TOS in the same email that tells me they refunded the amount straight back into my bank account. I almost imagine a gas station clerk handing over a pack of cigarettes to the customer who requested it, while saying "We do not sell cigarettes in this establishment. Have a nice day."

Spelunky was made in GameMaker as well, the PC version anyway - but look at it now, doing pretty well on XBL. No offense to Yahtzee, but people have made some really pretty and clever games with GM, that would make his games look medieval in comparison :).

Thanks for this article Andy. I now know to avoid YoYo games in the future. Any company that embraces destructive DRM doesn't want my business. Ever.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here