Desperate Decompilers

I’m sure you are all well aware of the decompiler that has recently come out. If you didn’t read about it here, it has certainly been a hot topic of discussion across many of the GM Communities including YoYo Games’ glog. Just to keep you on track: the decompiler was released by a user who wishes to keep anonymous, YoYo Games is looking into the possibility of taking legal action against the creators of the said program and the company has also been strongly discouraging use of the program.

Apparently this is not enough of a deterrent for some people, and many users are getting quite desperate to get their hands on this piece of controversial software which manages to retrieve most of the source/editable file for almost any Game Maker Game.

In a post on the G-Java Community forum a user writes

So I ask u politely please give the decompiler if u have it. Or tell me how to do it if u know. I will pay u money. and forget about the whole thing. I am so desperate that If I will not get it soon I will have to spend some time in jail.

If u guys want some money please tell me your amount and i will transfer money on your account
As I told u before decompiling in my country is fully legal.

About the ** rules of GM6 and GM7 of decompiling. I am not buying that and according to my country rules it is legal. So if Overmars thinks I am doing something illegal he can sew me in the High Court and then we will see who is standing in his rights. And if it is so i will get in trouble not u people. I take fully responsibility for buying and using the decompiler (i am 18 yaers old)

And this is certainly not the only case, several other users have been willing to pay money for an opportunity to have this software run on their computer. However their intentions are questionable, and while the decompiler can have many practical uses (such as recovering the source to your own game in the event it was corrupted), there are many other uses that are not only harmful to individual creators, are also damaging to the community as a whole.

Discussion Question: Assuming you had the decompiler utility in your possession and would not get in trouble for distributing it, would you give it to someone who required it in order to ‘recover the source for their game?’

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27 Responses

  1. No. Anyone stupid enough to lose their source file AND too stupid to find the decompiler online are beyond help.

  2. I fully agree with xot. Plus, in any case, I could try to get the source for them but not giving the decompiler. No one will get the decompiler from me no matter what.

  3. I would just decompile it for them.

  4. I think that Yoyo have something to hide. I mean whats the worst that can happen from someone decompiling Sandbox of God (But you can already get the editable from Vertigo Games)

    If Mark wants to do something about this, he needs to get off his high horse, stop threating legal action and build *some* form of encryption into Game Maker

    ** Forgive me if any of that can’t be done, I don’t know much about the way it works

  5. “think that Yoyo have something to hide. I mean whats the worst that can happen from someone decompiling Sandbox of God (But you can already get the editable from Vertigo Games)”
    Sandbox of God, maybe not. But games that connect to mysql databases? All the passwords for the databases are in there. Online multiplayer games? You now have the blueprints to injecting false packets. You can also rip sprites and sounds and other things. Overall, it can be incredibly damaging to a game to the point of ruining it.

    In terms of the question, if they needed it decompiled enough, I would simply do it for them.

  6. “But games that connect to mysql databases? All the passwords for the databases are in there. Online multiplayer games? You now have the blueprints to injecting false packets.”

    Well yes, but in theory the same thing can happen to any game. A good game won’t connect directly to a mysql database, but pass the data through a get variable (as described here: http://www.vertigogaming.net/newboards/viewtopic.php?p=39729#p39729)

    “You can also rip sprites and sounds and other things. Overall, it can be incredibly damaging to a game to the point of ruining it.”
    That still happens no matter what. Just look at all of the NSES sprites you can get (Mario, Lemmings….) If someone was to rip my sprites, well good for them, as long as they aren’t profiting from it I don’t really care.

    But in reality nothing is safe if it’s secure. Surely it couldn’t take much for game maker to have some sort of encryption built it to prevent this from happening. As for the commercial issue, IMHO Game Maker is not the program to use as outlined here: http://www.vertigogaming.net/newboards/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3226

  7. Thomas: Anybody who’s retarded enough to store the password to their game’s MySQL database in the client itself doesn’t deserve protection from decompilation.

  8. @t, how else would you propose communicating directly with the MySQL database? To do so the client would need to provide a password to the MySQL server, how would this be done without exposing it in the client’s source? You could use a silent php dll/extension to manage the database access from the game without using a password, but that wouldn’t be very secure and you’d be better of implementing a password in the client anyway.

  9. You don’t. As long as your client connects to the database by itself, it’s a major security risk and anybody with a packet sniffer can find out the password to your database in seconds.

    GMSQL is meant for servers made with GM; not clientside applications (e.g. MMORPG servers should use GMSQL; not the client).

  10. @Garion: there is encryption. It’s been broken.

  11. Funny part is, it’s not that hard to find I have it (not that I use it or give it to people) but I use the decompiler to decompile my own games for sun to see how badly I coded them, not to steal others work.

  12. Hmm…if YoYo wanted to take legal action on the person who made the GM decompiler, I’d be combing the sites on the web and forcing them to take down the decompiler. I did that myself as a small experiment to see how many downloads I found, and I found 5 downloads for the decompiler, all in working condition.

    I can’t believe someone made a decompiler, and unbelieaveably, there was fair warning this was happening. Check post 2 of Lateral GM’s topic in the G-Java forums.

    If there’s ANY REASON at all there should be a decompiler, it should be YoYo Games offering it as a SERVICE to the Game Maker Community, and making sure that the people that are sending games to be decompiled are to give YoYo information about the game that only the creator would know. And even that sort of proposal was a little shaky.

    If I made this decompiler, I would only want to make/use it for educational purposes only. (It would be fun to know how kamaga makes the Assault series.)

    I just pray this doesn’t slow down the development of GM. Shame on you, *name of decompiler creator withheld*.

  13. If GM7.1 used a new encryption scheme, it would be useless again as anyone could study and create a new decompiler. (see GM6.1)

    The answer would be to make Game Maker games compatible with protection software. I have tried protecting a GM game with many, but the game doesn’t work afterwards. Otherwise we could apply whatever protection we wanted to.

    And no, I won’t help anyone talking English like that, using ‘f’ words and trying to violate someone’s hard work by saying the EULA doesn’t apply for him. In addition, he should back-up more often. There are numerous ways for doing that: CDs, USB drives, Hard Disks, Backup utilities…

  14. On another note, why the heck is the Debug Form still in the game executable?
    I mean, if the final game is not meant to be debugged, why the delphi form is still there and accessible? ( You can call the form with a single winapi.)

  15. GM’s architecture isn’t secure.
    No one on the development side pretended it to be.
    That doesn’t make it rightfull to decompile it.
    I know what I’m talking about: I’m rather good with delphi, and it took some time to learn how to do certain things. GM has many of these advanced things, which the creator must have used alot of time on.

    Decompiling for fun, for “learning” or simply because the system isn’t secure is disgusting. The decompiler wasn’t meant to be what it is, and I do give some right to the original creators.

    The problem isn’t them…
    It’s YOU people.
    They made a tool, but who’s using it? You.
    And on that matters, the decompiler’s USE is illegal anywhere, no matter what country you’re in. This is because the EULA, which is a standard law body.

    Personally I think there’s been to many fuss on this anyway. People are blaming the creators, but it’s you people that keep this going.

  16. Good point, Sciberras.

  17. I agree that Yoyo should stop complaining about people using it and actually do something about it.

    However, that doesn’t give anyone the right to use a decompiler.

  18. Well during summer we’re eventually going to get an updated version of GM7.1, so until then work on your games people.

    “GM’s architecture isn’t secure.
    No one on the development side pretended it to be.”

    Well I disagree on this. As long as you put in online capability, cheat codes, passwords, constants etc. you must allow the creators to protect those aspects/credentials. Problem is GM games won’t allow us to. Why?

  19. I would absolutely not give it out. If they lose their source code then it is their fault.

  20. That user caused us(G-Java/G-Creator team) so much trouble when he threatened to kill Mark Overmars(http://forums.g-java.com/index.php?showtopic=6919). Hopefully, he never showed up again. We don’t like killers nor false threats.

  21. Okay, seriously. That is messed up beyond belief.

  22. A few months ago I had mentioned that I lost the source to one of my games, and I was literally flooded with links to the decompiler. I ended up not using it as I found my backup USB drive. However, a few weeks later I was inundated with angry users demanding that I give them credit for helping me recover my source.

    I wouldn’t trust that nutjob with the decompiler if he can’t even spell “sue.” Let alone a gun.

  23. I would definitely re-distribute this software if I would not get into trouble for doing so.

    The reason for my intention is not to pity those who have lost their source code, but to empower those wishing to maliciously use this program to de-compile .exes.

    Endorsing the act of stealing other people’s work you may say? Quite frankly, yes.

    First of all, people who are against the act of distributing this “decompiling software” are near-sighted. They can only see in the present and cannot apparently see in the future.

    They selfishly notice that the use of this software will result to their “hard work” being exposed to the public. Their greed wants this software from being exposed.

    The people who want this software, on the other hand, are of two types of people: malicious and the more concerned people.

    The more concerned people wish to combat the malicious people more than anybody else. If nearly every single person you knew (that uses Game Maker) had in their possessing a software that could easily decompile “Game Maker Programs”, Game Maker will be of less value.

    Less people keep interest in things of less value.

    If the bank could easily be broken into…. the bank will be of less value, thus no one will use the bank to safeguard their money. Good thing they take care of this issue immediately.

    Unlike the development of Game Maker. You hardly ever see any patch-fixes for Game Maker (i.e. V7.1, V7.11, V7.12, etc.)

    If this issue won’t be resolved anytime sooner, why not spread the joy and give everyone the ability to exploit this decompiler?

    Why make it a rare thing when it is better to make it a common thing?

  24. P.S.

    I have this de-compiler. Just so you know….

  25. e_barroga – You might term such users selfish, but you can’t deny that they are protective.
    I can see no wrong in making a game for free but not giving the source. At least you can play it for free, why do you have to ruin it by messing with the source?
    Learning? Look at the clones of open source engines! The problem is, all those clones are actually worse then the original!

    You sound like this is something simple which could be fixed in some time. But it isn’t. There are several bright minds trying to solve this problem without others saying they ain’t doing nothing.
    The thing is, all those criticizing seldom do anything usefull at all.
    Oh, and thanks to the ingenious creator of decompiler, it can’t be twarted due to several reasons, which I’m not bothering mentioning.
    GameMaker can’t be of “less value” it wasn’t meant to be secure in the first place. Ever noticed how all interpreted languages are very easy to crack into? GM can’t be an exception.

  26. The problem about any kind of so called protection is that it tends to keep the law abiders out (aka People that want to learn from the code or maybe help find errors or improve it such as making games into java to make them multi-platform)

    and the law breakers interested (after all what fun is it without a challenge?).

    Plus there are very easy ways to steal stuff from a game without decompiling it. The only hard thing really is code.

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    Garlic Press. Or better yet the added protection means they feel safer thus the additional weight and size matters
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