How to prevent readers from "cheating"?

You know most people here looking into code and change their files? I am not because I am a role-player but most people do .
You have in my opinion a wrong view of this. This is not a multiplayer online game where cheat affects everyone.
If you pay for a game and after several playthroughs they want to know what if I have x stats or other changes. They don’t harm anything and is their own copy.

I see this as Modding. They add a mod in his own personal copy For instance make all npc men or giving a pet to pc.


This will not work, I see that if I use that chode then the game ends. I will know what I have to do to know the code, this will not prevent anything.


Yep, this will only add frustration to some of your readers and you really cannot “cheat” in a single-player game anyway (well until we really do develop sapient AI, but then it wouldn’t strictly speaking be a single-player game anymore).

Not going to touch @Havenstone’s excellent writing in XoR with my own mumblings, however since for many characters he writes a male and a female version anyway I’m just going to mod it so it flips all of them to use their male versions in-game, this won’t change everyone to male, nor remove pivotal and canonically female characters from the game, just flip all the gender flipping ones to male.
Now if @Havenstone were to use something like what you are proposing it won’t stop me from peeking at the code and modding, but it will likely knock a full point off my review score due to the added levels of frustration.


I love to look at CoG’s code after first play. Not for best/ideal playthrough, but for finding more unusual and interesting roleplay opportunities.
And I also looking for some tricks to learn from others in scriptwriting XD

Also on sidenote, while I generally dislike cheating(it takes away fun of playing the game from my point of view), CoG for me more about tailoring story than “winning”. Only thing I considering as cheating in this games is when someone artificially infusing ingame stats.

This is the spirit of the original post, to try and keep the player from solving things the easy way.
The point is not to frustrate the player, but to encourage the player to bask in the reward they have earned by solving things the way they were meant to be solved.
I only wanted to help make that sentiment a reality.

And see, the code I proposed is most certainly not unbeatable.
Not by any means.
It’s just meant to act as a deterrent, and by the above reaction, I’d say it’s looking good.

Oh, I am not opposed to modding.
I put the code here as another option for developers, to give them another choice in their design process.
Maybe developers will think more about why people cheat in the first place?
They will have to balance these thoughts with thoughts of what truly makes a game fun to play.

What is “fun” to you, in a game?
This last question is for everyone.

As posted elsewhere, my first playthrough is always my “official” playthrough for me…unless I die prematurely, since everything is brand new.

However, if it is a game I like, then I will try and explore the various side-branches/paths. In situations like that, especially if the game is on Steam, I will manipulate values/variables because I do want to enjoy the other stuff, but I don’t want to waste time all over again.

As others have stated, in multi-player games, cheating shouldn’t be allowed (unless someone is new, and there is an agreed upon ‘handicap mode’).

In a single player game? A lot of it boils down to time or frustration. People, especially considering the fact most gamers are now in their 25-30 range just don’t have as much time (family, work, etc.). If I want to play the newest JRPG, I don’t want to spend 3 hours to just gain 1 level.

The other aspect is frustration. I know there’s been a general trend to make games easier, but if something is hard for very little reason, then people will put it down…and it might put them off of buying other games from that dev. I know that is why I basically did a copy/paste cheat on Darkest Dungeon…I didn’t want to spend hours rebuilding groups if I suffered total party kills.

And the rallying cry of ‘just git gud’ only shows that person either has more time on their hands, or is an asshole. Ultimately, games are meant for personal enjoyment…especially single player ones…and while there certainly is pride in beating a frustrating level, if it takes you 10 hours to do it…no.


There are people who only want be super powerful and beat each stat check no matter what or where. They don’t see this as a story who needs challenge, They see it as a game they want totally beat and have all achievements same time.

There are people like me that creates characters with personality and defects and virtues. Seen the stats checks as a way to express their views and personality further. In that sense a fail or not in the check is not the important…

Then there are people that creates a character probably based in themselves in first play. And later on chexk code to discover how get other achievements and that or even change something to get one they can’t get.

I think be paranoid about Oh my good people is looking my code I wanr encrypted it. Is a bad thing due lot of work and some people just would say Ok, then I will pick pirate versions to alteration of game.


Exactly, @Lys. These are exactly the kinds of things developers should consider. :slight_smile:
To be a bit more specific, I don’t recall any games on the CoG label that are designed with a grind in mind?
I think it’s fairly well established that CoG titles are meant to be, and forgive me if I get the quote wrong, “like a Bioware game without the grind.”

In what instances might a developer need or want to use the code sample I provided?

Yes, I agree with not encrypting one’s code unnecessarily. Which again begs the question. When would it be necessary (or useful) to implement the code sample I provided? Answering that question is part of the design process. :slight_smile:

1 Like

That too this sort of tactic generally is a good way to create a piracy problem where none existed before. Before Steam and other relatively easy online checks (well for those of us with reliable internet connections anyway) became the norm, when I was a bit younger I distinctly remember either holding off on some games or movies or taking “other” actions due to not wanting something like the SecuRom rootkit on my system.
In general the more onerous your anti piracy measures the more piracy you’ll be creating as a direct result of it


Certainly! But I wonder when “anti-cheat” became conflated with “anti-piracy”? :smiley:


Because with more modern games both anti-cheat and anti-piracy are looking to obscure or lock down the code, since it is no longer viable to lock the distribution medium, such as the CDRom.


Certainly! But I wonder when start-of-the-art, industry-standard preventative measures were conflated with the simple code sample I provided? :smiley:

I’ve never considered it cheating to look at the code. For one thing, I almost always stick with the choice I was going to make anyway, and more just use the code to see the results of paths not chosen. I guess it helps that I don’t really see these as games to be won, but rather stories to be read. And a very unsatisfying playthrough of a published CoG (which involved multiple non-intuitive choices, resulting in a depressing story finished by a pointless death) didn’t help me to see the benefits of “playing blind”. I guess it helps that I generally play WIPs these days rather than released games, so me looking at the code is helping the author, too. :grin:

@Carlos.R, I’m afraid I don’t see the point of your code; it doesn’t hurt code-readers at all, and rather hurts people who don’t know to do the research before they try the password, thus making it better to read the code. :confused:


The only CoGs I really consider the grind are the ones with like 40+ Achievements…and say half of them might be single changes at the end, or obscure in game combinations.

Then the grind arises because CoG doesn’t espouse saves/reloads and you could spend a lot of time getting back to the position where you were to make the other choice. (And for the record, I’m fine with most games not doing the save/reload thing)

Note that the save/reload thing doesn’t have to go for ‘cheating either’. In one of the beta-testing threads, I know I said it would be nice for a beta-tester to do a save/reload as well to test other paths.


I’d like to agree with most of this. :smiley:
So, as a generic example…

Let’s say the MC is a James Bond type spy character and you have to diffuse a thing set up in a crowded building, like a large auditorium or whatever, before midnight or else kaboom.

In order to diffuse the thing, you have to enter in a code.

The premise of the game is that there is not enough time to evacuate everyone safely, because the super villain has rigged booby traps that will go off if there is a mass stampede of people trying to flee. So the only way to save them all is to diffuse the thing before you run out of time.

So maybe you start at 10:00 so you have exactly 2 hours to win.
Each decision could eat up a certain amount of minutes.
The ultimate goal is to find the code that diffuses the thing.
So for whatever plot reason, as you work through the game, choosing how to spend your time, you make the right choices and get the code, then you go to where the kaboomy thing is hidden, enter the code, and diffuse it.

If you knew what the code was from the beginning of the game because you cheated and looked at the code, then it’s no fun at all.
Actually, in this instance, if you don’t randomize the code for every playthrough, the game’s replay ability will suffer greatly.
It all depends on how you design your game, and if and where this type of code sample I provided will be wanted or needed.

I would say the early 2000’s with the rise of MMORPGs. Piracy existed before then, but at that point, most games were still ‘home use only’ affairs, and so if a person cheated on their own, no big whoop.

But with the advent of online gaming, some of the tools which could be used to cheat, could also be used to crack games, etc. And like everything else big companies do, most try the ‘one hammer solves everything’ answer.

But not all companies saw things this way, either. I mean, for all the grief Bethesda gets, they also learned that with their style of games, modding adds to the longevity. Firaxis with the Civilization games as well.


Surely in that case, it would be better to have a variable like knowthecode, which is set true when you get the code, and you can’t enter the code until the variable is set to true. If people have to guess the code, then it would be pretty frustrating. And it’s not about replay value, because the exact code won’t really make it more interesting. (436541356 is not more fun than 2348794735.)


Lol, well I meant in this thread, not in general… but that’s very informative, thank you for that. :slight_smile:

Oh, it was just a generic example. Don’t make me make it actually work. :stuck_out_tongue:

But see, the generic story I gave “almost” worked until we ran into a design choice.
If design choice A is better than design choice B, then we should in fact go with A, yes?
You could in fact design it the way you suggested, yes.

Making it fit the specific needs of an actual project requires actual work.
Having more options to choose from was my intent, and so I think I have achieved that. :smiley:

1 Like

Sorry about that :slight_smile:

It doesn’t. :slight_smile:

While I won’t speak for @idonotlikeusernames, I know I have a habit of getting on an occasional soapbox, and start talking of things not necessarily pertaining to a direct question…and I know that’s where I was going with the piracy/cheating thing in this thread.

And it doesn’t help when we do see devs think something might help, and then double-down when it proves awful.

1 Like

Oh, no problem at all! That actually got me wondering how @Cataphrak does it… I mean, his ability to carry a thread into the tens of thousands of responses is worth a University study, if you ask me. Maybe @Gower or @adrao could publish a study on this? :grin: