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Messages - alfadorredux

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As far as encryption their is no silver bullet. But we do have something close. For instance this website has a SSL cert that defines how you connect to it. You probably don't think much about it when you sign into this forum. Most people even have their browser automatically input their password upon page visit.  This is where 2-factor authentication comes in. XenForo offers this and we plan on implementing this system into our login protocol on the game.  To be fair though, it would be very rare for your user credentials to be sniffed out via SSL.

I do often actually think about how SSL works--you can blame that on the prof who taught my Networks course some twenty years ago, who went over it in detail. In the end, SSL is good for encrypting information in transit but poor at proving identity (because that part relies on the honesty and competence of certificate authorities, and many of them aren't either of those things, really), and trying to make it do both was not smart. We're all stuck with the fallout now, though.

If you have any ideas on how to improve, I am all ears.  8)

You don't appear to be doing a bad job. Security is always a tightrope walk between user convenience and keeping the bad guys out. I'm not a security analyst, and I'm not familiar with your specific forum software, so I have no business telling you how high off the ground to put your tightrope, or whether the rope itself should be hemp or nylon.  ;)

P.S. I bought an OpenGL ES programming book so I can implement shader programs into our game that would produce effects exactly like Chrono Trigger ones. I need to learn things like vertex shaders, using the depth buffers, and other things to really make the combat look close.

Might also be worth looking at how the original effects were implemented if you haven't already (should be Mode 7 graphics for the more complex ones, and that's simpler than any flavour of OpenGL--you have more patience than I do if you're going to be dealing with that directly).

There'd be additional blank space for CD sector alignment, too, I'd bet (and depending on the format of the CD, possibly error detection and correction).

Currently registration is closed on the website while I figure out the best way to prevent bot signups. Forum spam is annoying, as you all already know. It needs to be hard for computers and easy for humans to register. No system is perfect, but the more bots we block the better!

It's been a while since I needed to secure anything of this sort, but consider the strategies bots typically use:

1. Playing back an old copy of the sign-up form filled out by some human: just place a timestamp in the form and refuse anything too old to block this. Extra credit if you use the timestamp to hash other parts of the form to make it difficult to tamper with. Humans never see it.

2. Filling out every single field in the sign-up form: include a field hidden by CSS or javascript that isn't supposed to be filled out (mark it clearly for people using screen readers or whatever who might still be able to "see" it). Bonus points if the honeypot field is named something tantalizing like "password" in the page source and the actual password field's name is a timestamp-salted hash of "Spekkio" or something. Humans never see this, either (unless they're using very unusual browser configurations).

3. Tailored bots that were carefully set up by a human to manipulate your specific form: This is where the captchas come in, and sophisticated bots used to only appear if it was worth someone's time to set them up, which means your site is already popular. Of course, using a generic sign-up form from a common web application makes it possible there's already a tailored bot out there.

Unfortunately, captchas are human-visible, and they're universally considered a horrible nuisance. How much of a nuisance which kind is going to be depends on the site's audience. In my case, I have to want what's on a site pretty badly to activate image loading or allow third-party Javascript, but most people don't even notice those things, and I'm not your audience anyway (I prefer single player only).

4. Not-a-bots: there isn't much you can do to guard against signups by people in a third-world tech sweatshop. You end up in a three-legged race involving blacklists if your site is significant enough to attract these. :(

I think we're still another ten years or so from having AI bots sophisticated enough to emulate humans well enough to fill out an unknown form accurately without guidance, thank the Entity.

Excluding IP address blocks and certain User-Agent strings can help curtail bots, but risks excluding some legitimate sign-ups. You could flag sign-ups matching those lists for observation/manual intervention, I guess.

The website also uses SSL to make sure your connection is safe and secure.

The game login protocol also uses SSL to make sure that when you login to the game, your information can not be read by others on the network.  This is useful for say your somewhere like in a hotel playing the game, your credentials can not be easily stolen/deciphered.

Careful, there. SSL is not a silver bullet, even with additional protocols layered on top to mitigate man-in-the-middle attacks. (Having it is certainly better than not having it, though.)

Remember that CC is ~20 years old at this point. The FMVs are low-resolution (probably around DVD resolution, 480p, which was considered pretty good at the time) and heavily compressed--they're going to look kind of blocky on modern equipment no matter what you do.

The emulator probably stored its settings in your user directory, possibly in a hidden file. Without knowing what operating system you're using, I can't tell you exactly where that is, but Google probably can.

As for which emulator to use, you're going to get a lot of different answers. PCSX-Reloaded might be one to try if you don't like how ePSXe performs. Keep in mind, though, that if you're playing directly from the game CDs, the "choppiness" you're seeing may be due to the game having to stop and read something from the optical drive--changing emulators won't fix that.

General Discussion / Re: Go ahead and take a look.
« on: December 27, 2018, 06:22:15 pm »
Welcome back! It's been a while. And yes, commutes are evil. I barely have one, and it's still evil.

Yup, saw Steins;Gate (both original and 0). As for getting more of it, both series were adapted from games (specifically visual novels). So if there's another game, there might be another anime.

The Chaos;Head, Chaos;Child, Robotics;Notes and (sort of) Occultic;Nine anime series were adapted from games created by the same company, but it's generally agreed that they're not as good. Occultic;Nine probably "felt" the closest to Steins;Gate for me (which wasn't very close), but in all fairness, I haven't watched either Chaos;Head or the original Steins;Gate in a very long time.

Note: the CD set you're talking about is Final Fantasy Chronicles, and contains CT and FFIV. FFV and FFVI were on a different set, Final Fantasy Anthology. (Just went over to the game shelf to check.)

Other than that, I wasn't impressed with the final selection on the PSClassic either (I mean, Revelations: Persona? Whose idea was that? I've played the game, and it's deeply flawed to the point of being tedious and painful to play sometimes). They really should have put out versions focusing on specific game genres--an RPGClassic with all the Square and Enix releases of the era, Suikoden I and II, WildArms 1 and 2, Koudelka, Persona 2 (both of them), Star Ocean: the Second Story, the PSX-era Tales of games, etc. is something that I would at least consider buying, even though I already own legit PSX disc copies of most of those games.

Of course, it turned out that inside the cute plastic shell, there's an off-the-shelf ARM-based board running a lightly-modded version of PCSX, and people have already started to hack it. I give it a year at most before someone figures out how to hook up an external CD drive and make it play whatever you want.

Chrono / Gameplay Casual Discussion / Re: Thanks for Crimson Echoes.
« on: December 17, 2018, 09:52:29 pm »
As far as I can puzzle out, CT's copyright won't expire until at least fifty years after it was released (Japanese copyright term for works produced by a corporation, which will probably be upheld by most countries that have signed the Berne Convention or other international copyright treaties).

Not after release, but after the death of the author. So it could take quite a lot longer than fifty years.

Some countries have special provisions for works created by corporations (since they don't die like normal people). I get the impression Japan is one of them.

Chrono / Gameplay Casual Discussion / Re: Thanks for Crimson Echoes.
« on: December 17, 2018, 09:21:59 pm »
The length of copyright terms is a painfully complicated subject (it varies from country to country, depends on when the work was created, by whom, and what type of work it is). As far as I can puzzle out, CT's copyright won't expire until at least fifty years after it was released (Japanese copyright term for works produced by a corporation, which will probably be upheld by most countries that have signed the Berne Convention or other international copyright treaties). The only way that will change is if the copyright holders specifically release it into the public domain, assuming that "public domain" is a valid concept in Japan (there are countries where it isn't).

The music licensing thing is a special case.

And trademark is a completely different pot of eels.

One could be really nasty by pulling the two concepts in together. Frex: Character A is tricked into believing that they have to offer up a human sacrifice in order to acheive immortality, and Character B walks into it willingly because they know that unless Character A does this and finds out that they've been lied to, they won't become the person who [does important thing in the future that saves Character B's life/family/country].

Chrono Cross Modification / Re: Remaking Lynx battle idle animation
« on: December 03, 2018, 05:46:32 pm »
Then one possible game plan would go like this:

0. Rip the first Cross CD and pull the disc image apart. Tools should be floating around here somewhere as part of a sticky post, if you don't have them already.

1. Overwrite file 3809 with 3811 and see if that gets you the animation you want (it will probably mess up the attack animations. Don't worry about that.) If that doesn't work, you'll have to use 3886 as the donor file.

2. Figure out which animation in 3809 you want to replace. Worst case, you can do this by zeroing out parts of the file and seeing where the game breaks.

3. Figure out which animation in your donor file (3811 or 3886) matches the one you want to swap in. They may or may not be in the same order as the animations in 3809.

4. Replace the bytes that correspond to the animation in 3809 with the ones from the donor file and sew everything back up to produce a new CD image. This may require some messing around with pointers, but hopefully the tools will handle that for you.

Chrono Cross Modification / Re: Remaking Lynx battle idle animation
« on: December 02, 2018, 08:55:21 am »
It's probably not absolutely impossible, but it's likely to be difficult. (And I can't actually see whatever pictures you were trying to provide, but it doesn't really matter anyway.)

Cross's animation format is weird, and unless someone's come up with one fairly recently, we have no tools for working with it. You'll have to set joint translations and rotations manually, with a hex editor.

Animations for Serge-as-Lynx are in files 2134 (overworld) and 3809 (battle) on a standard Cross disc. The special battle animations for scythe-wielding PC Lynx are in file 3811. Animations for Lynx as an enemy at Fort Dragonia are in 3886. Animations for Lynx as an NPC will be embedded in each location where he appears. He may have the most separate sets of animation files of any character, so it may take you a while to accomplish whatever you're trying to do.

Good luck.

Chrono Cross Modification / Re: Question about summons
« on: November 28, 2018, 06:13:32 pm »
This may be a dumb question, but what do you mean by "summons"? To me i immediately think of FF type summons

That's pretty much what the level 7 and 8 elements in Cross are (Golem, Salamander, etc.).

Chrono Trigger Modification / Re: Call for playtesters!
« on: November 20, 2018, 08:54:07 pm »
I have an iPad, so I'd need something for IOS.

I thought Apple pretty much banned emulators from its app store. Unless you have an older or jailbroken device, you may be SOL.

Polling / Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« on: November 08, 2018, 08:02:46 am »
I think the problem with just going back and undoing things, is that your opponent can then do the same thing, then you go back and undo that, and so on...

That's what the Blinovitch Limitation Effect is for. Not that anyone working on Enterprise is likely to have watched enough old Doctor Who to remember its existence. ;P

this universe would actually be governed by fatalistic time travel -- which means that attempts to change time end up only fulfilling events that occur. Think the 12 Monkeys movie, the first Terminator film, etc.

The reason I'm not sold on this is that the player may feel deprived of agency when they figure out what's happening. It works in movies because no one expects to be able to affect the outcome of a movie. Games are a bit different.

One fun act about this concept is that the villain is actually the hero from further in the timeline, but our hero isn't aware of the connection for some time.

That, on the other hand, strikes me as a good idea.

I'll have to read the detailed summary at some point when I hurt a little less.

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