Online Play Cheating
9:03 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story
Matt Pritchard of Ensemble Studios (creators of Age of Empires II: Age of Kings) has written an amazing piece on the motivations of cheating in online gaming play, published on Gamasutra. Along with his views on the effects of cheating, he has come up with some advice for developers to try and make games more secure against the cheaters, or at least to try to combat the hacking of online play. Here's an excerpt:
Cheating hit closer to home for me while I was working on the final stages of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. Cheating online became a widespread problem with the original Age of Empires. Tournaments had to be cancelled due to a lack of credibility, the number of online players fell, and the reputation of my company took a direct hit from frustrated users. Unable to spare the resources to fix the game properly until after Age of Kings was done, we just had to endure our users turning their anger upon us -- probably the most personally painful thing I've experienced as a developer.This begs the question: Is cheating damaging to the online world? Or does it just breed a different variety of gamer/coder? After all, cheating could be seen as analogous to crime and graft in the real world. Has cheating affected your perception of or participation in an online game? Share your thoughts in our forums.
Gamasutra Article on Cheating in Online Games
What about your next game? This is a good time to introduce my first two rules about online cheating:
Rule #1: If you build it, they will come -- to hack and cheat.
Rule #2: hacking attempts increase with the success of your game.
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