A strange request for Construct 1....

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  • This won't be useful to most people, but here's my request nonetheless.

    I tend to rename the file extensions of exterior files, so that it's not so easy to determine which file is for what if users take a peek at them.

    This is just to deter casual gamers from poking about in them, and doesn't make a game any more secure.

    Any game can be hacked.

    While I have no problem with other renamed exterior files, my current problem lies with .ogg files.

    They are not loaded or recognised with a new extension, which I presume is because the loading routines are dismissing them when the .ogg extension isn't seen, rather than checking the header of the actual file for filetype.

    Can this be changed Ash?

    Or is there another way to do what I want.

    Cheers,

    Krush.

  • I know why you want this, but in this era of youtube and other sharing sites, it's very easy for people who haven't beaten the game (even casual users), to see all of your game's content in a video or some other thing. renaming music just so someone won't listen to it is a bit futile. Maybe make all the other files .ogg files?

  • You've completely missed the point.

    It's not about stopping people from hearing or seeing content from the game.

    Why would I want to do that?

    The reason .ogg is mentioned is because it appears to be the only type of file (so far) that can't be renamed and still recognised.

    There are various files that hold different information for the game, and if all files were able to be renamed to the same extension, but still recognised from the game, then it might deter people from messing with any of them.

    I'll give you a couple of examples of why this is important.

    #1:

    Several years ago I wrote a scenario for the trainsim Trainz.

    This was written in the built-in TrainzScript language (java-like), and although the scenario itself could be encrypted, the associated files could not be.

    When I released it, from the thousands that enjoyed it, I got requests for help from dozens of people who had big problems with it.

    This took up a lot of my time, which I was ok with until I found a common thread to these complaints.

    One by one I found out that those having problems had been "exploring" the files in the scenario folder, and had decided to replace one thing with another, thinking they knew what it was for, etc.

    So much of my time wasted on people who should have just played the bloody thing, and stopped digging around in the source files.

    #2:

    A similar situation again, where a program I wrote for the Driving Sim community (which allowed replay camera positions to be determined by you) was released as a beta to the community, with all the warnings that go with a beta.

    After some people started prodding around in the source files, they found that my program would delete all the camera positions from their track.

    They were completely oblivious to the fact that it was their "messing with files they shouldn't go near" that caused all the trouble.

    Even when I took the beta private with a dozen or so testers, one of them continued to mess with the files (I guess he was trying to be clever) and kept getting problems.

    Of course, I didn't find out about that until I'd wasted many hours trying to track down the problems he was having.

    How would the Devs here like it if half the bugs on the tracker for Construct were the cause of someone using unreleased versions of code that no-one else was using?

    So, to clarify again, it has nothing to do with not wanting people to see graphics or hear music from the game.

    If people want to do this, then that's fine.

    It's the same as watching how to complete a game on YouTube or buying a strategy guide for a game before you've even tried playing it!

    I don't understand why anyone would do that, but they do, which is fine.

    This request is so that I can rename the extension to ALL my exterior files, so that it looks like I'm using some sort of proprietary filetype to hold my game's data, and so deter the casual gamer from bothering to dig through them.

    Krush.

  • Ah, ok then. I did miss the point. It 's just that you used the words "take a peek at them", which made it seem like you didn't want them to see what they contained. Since you used .ogg as the example it made it seem like you didn't want content to be easily accessed. Like you said though, it's for the sake of uniformity.

  • It 's just that you used the words "take a peek at them"

    Yeah, not the best choice of words on my part.

    If the .ogg files are the only ones I can't disguise like this, then no worries as it's not really going to break the game if people changed them (it'll just sound rubbish), so at least the important ones are pretending to be something else.

    It's just that all external files with the same, strange extension would be daunting to the casual user.

    I'm not trying to hide Top Secret files here.

    We'll see what Ash has to say, should he decide to bother.

    Krush.

  • should you even support a game that's been tampered with?

  • should you even support a game that's been tampered with?

    Well, with the ones that I mentioned from years ago, I did drop support for those as soon as I found out what was happening.

    I do like to give support to anything I release, because most of the time it's something simple to fix, or maybe even a bug that I've missed, which is useful to know.

    So if I can put people off from playing with the files, then great.

    Seeing as it looks like I'm right about the .ogg files being read solely on their extension rather than the file header (otherwise Ash would have said something by now), I'm going to have to look at another way.

    I may look into checking all the data files on startup, checking the filenames and filesize, and only continuing if all is well.

    If any file isn't there or is the wrong size, then I'll get my program to display an error message ("Program failed to run - Error 666") and when someone quotes this error message to me, I know that they've messed with the files.

    Will save me a lot of time.

    And it's no different to normal error trapping.

    It's just Human Error trapping.

    Krush.

  • I haven't tried myself, but can't you just make the ogg files hidden within the folder? The same people that can't figure out you changed the name of a file, also likely won't know how to show hidden files

    In all honesty though, what you're requesting is pretty silly.

  • In all honesty though, what you're requesting is pretty silly.

    Really?

    Care to explain why?

    Having read and written many files in binary format using c++ for many years, the name of the file and the extension is unimportant, and just serves to locate the file in the windows system.

    As far as I'm aware, XAudio2 is no different, and the fact that Construct needs the file extension for audio files appears to be purely to save the Devs having to program Construct to read the file's header to determine the filetype.

    INI files without an extension work perfectly, as an example.

    I'd like to hear Ash's comments on this, because I'm pretty sure that XAudio2 doesn't require a file extension because, as I've already said, the filename is just a means to get a handle on the actual binary file.

    Just because you've never used binary files, don't understand the concept, or have no need for files without extensions, doesn't make it silly.

    Krush.

  • Sensing a little defensive response there, so take it easy. I meant the need to rename something just to keep a casual user from realizing it's an image/whatever. That's the silly part.

    I don't think the extension issue itself is silly, so relax.

  • Sensing a little defensive response there, so take it easy. I meant the need to rename something just to keep a casual user from realizing it's an image/whatever. That's the silly part.

    I don't think the extension issue itself is silly, so relax.

    He explained his reasons quite well. If you can't see what Krush is talking about and think it is silly, then really it's your opinion. It's also fairly obvious you either didn't read, or didn't fully understand his post explaining why.

    Not intending to nit-pick... but you should really avoid reserving judgement for things that may not make sense to you.

    *EDIT*

    Just to clarify, so you don't think I'm being a bastard... I thought the same thing as you when I first read the original post. After reading Krush's reasoning/explanation I completely agree with what he says.

    ~Sol

  • You both are reading WAY too deeply into my use of silly ... and I am not even referring to the ability to change the extension. Merely the idea that it would be added security.

    I read every word and in fact switch file extensions quite frequently for work. I fully support the fact that an ogg file (in this case) should load with a different extension ... my ONLY point was the security factor.

    Edited for sarcasm

  • Anyhow, please don't respond to me again, and let it go now. I realize you're the "King of OT" and somehow a moderator, but nothing else needs to be said.

    Check your PM's

    ~Sol

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  • Woah.

    Time to take a step back 6Fix.

    My reasons for wanting to change the file extension is genuine, and I don't think I could have done any more to explain the reasons for it.

    If you don't get what I was saying, or don't agree with it, then fine.

    But to say it is a silly request because of either reason is not right.

    And if you have read my posts, you'll see that I never said it was for security reasons. Not once.

    In fact, I went to great lengths to show otherwise.

    Have you read the post where I explain what happened years ago with previous users messing with external files?

    If so, your comments about security and the request being silly is even more baffling.

    Maybe you've never released anything, and have never had to give support for it.

    And as for defensive, damn right.

    When someone who clearly hasn't bothered to read the reasons behind what I'm saying decides to make a judgement on it, I can't be anything else.

    If Ash was to post here saying that allowing the renaming of ogg files would mean spending time away from more important things, or that XAudio2 does require file extensions, then I'd be glad of the info and look to other ways of deterring people from messing with files.

    I have a couple of other ideas.

    One of which is similar to what Ultimate Play The Game (Rare) used on their 16k Spectrum games in 1982, which ironically, I learned when taking their software apart nearly 30 years ago. lol

    Thanks to Sol and everyone else who understood what I was saying, even if it was something that they had no use for themselves.

    And thanks for not locking the thread.

    I'm still hoping to hear from Ash on the subject.

    Cheers,

    Krush.

  • Is this specific to XAudio2? You didn't mention XAudio2 in the OP, but it should be pretty straightforward to tweak the file loader if it's just that. (Sorry, in a rush, answer might be in the thread somewhere)

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