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  1. #1
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    What WebHost Plan?

    Maybe there is another way of doing this all togther. Basically I have a Windows-based game that I made (later I will be adding network support so I know I will need VPS).

    For now, I have a registration form in my games help menu that people will need to use to get their registration code for the game. Also I want to prevent people from stealing my game by verifiying their registration code against my MS SQL database each time they load the game. I can disable their use of the game by using my admin program and locking out their registration code if their registration expires.

    I do not want the windows game to communicate directly with the database because then I would have to include my connection string and database username and password with the program. I'm sure you can see why I can never do that. So I want the program to simply to this:

    1. They start the game
    2. The game contacts my .Net Remoting program and provides its registration code.
    3. My .Net Remoting program contacts my database and checks, the code.
    4. If the code is valid a "Go" signal is sent back to the game from the function and the game is unlocked.
    5. If the code is not valid a "Stop" signal is sent back and the game gives an error message saying they cannot play it.

    I know how to do all of this already, and I don't need any advanced networking support, but my knowledge on website-side of things is kind of limited.

    How would my Windows application communicate with the .Net Remoting Application that is sitting on a website that is on shared hosting. Or can it even communicate? I've done something like this before but I needed an IP address and port number that the .Net Remoting application was listening on, if I remember correctly. I can convert my shared hosting account to a deticated IP if needed, but would I be able to access a port number, and if my program could even run on my website 24/7 I don't know.

    I'd like to do this without upgrading to a VPS right now. I can't really afford it.

    Edit: Does a .Net Remoting app even need to be running on the server, or just called like an external DLL? Maybe, I am thinking about a Windows Service that I needed the IP:Port for. I don't remember anymore.

  2. #2
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    As you seem to be in control of both sides; server and client and seems you can do whatever you like, what about

    Client ask for a page called
    http://CodyCoder.com?serial=MySecretCode

    and your web server returns 200, if GO and 404 if STOP

    Seems simple enough


    My observations though are:-
    A) Instead of 'buying' your game, I pay by the month ?
    B) I have to be online to play your offline game ?
    C) Two script kiddies and half an hour, would crack that ?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    You are going to need a dedicated server setup for you to install a service or or listening app on, unless you can get permission from shared hosts for that, but i highly doubt it.

    Yes, that will be cracked without much effort. Making the code not post at all, etc, etc. But at the end of the day. There are massive companies that spend lots of money on securing their games which still gets cracked quite quickly

  4. #4
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    You are going to need a dedicated server setup for you to install a service or or listening app on
    Except if you make your service or listening app behave just like a web server, re my first post.

  5. #5
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    Take the web server behaving like a service idea that I first mooted and take it too the logical conclusion. You don't need a WebHost plan at all, you don't actually need a server for this client server communication to happen. Web companies give the server side away free all the time.

    You need to find a service like PhotoBucket, ImageBin, Google Groups, Facebook, MySpace, BlogSpot or any website that allows you to create content. Even this forum here could be used. Create an account on that website and create pages with specific names, for example
    http://myspace.com/user/codycoder/<registration code>.html
    The important thing here, is that A) You and only you can create and delete the files B) That you are able to add your own characters to the filename C) that the hosting company (in example myspace) don't change thier part of the URL.

    Next you create a page for each customer that buys your game, the content of the page is irrelevant.

    Get your game to look for a HTTP page to exist, in this example http://myspace.com/user/codycoder/<registration code>.html, if it does then GO, if doesn't then STOP.

    No server code needs to be written, or space needs to be bought by you.
    Last edited by SirKilljoy; Mar 19, 2009 at 07:18. Reason: Added BlogSpot to the list, as blogs seems an obvious choice to use to create the pages with

  6. #6
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    Well, you probably would be better served by changing .NET remoting to WCF services over HTTP. Shouldn't really change the program semantically and should let you work with most web hosts around rather than needing dedicated hardware.

    That said, I'd worry more about getting people to want to pay a monthly fee to play a game. You really need some compelling content to survive in that world.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the ideas. I am not planning on charging people to play the monthly game. Just they can download a demo version, and if they like the game, they can register it for a few dollars. Once they register the game their registration number will continue to work, if they don't register once the demo expired they will no longer be able to play the game because they game will check for valid registration number on each startup of the game.

    Plus this will help because there will be a chat room in my game, so if people are getting into trouble in the chat room, and get reported. I can simply flag their registration number and they can't play the game anymore.


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