Beat Ball 2 ScreenshotLast week I had to release a new version of Beat Ball 2 (version 1.2.1) because a recent move from Lightspeed to Apache at my web hotel resulted in the Internet Highscores feature breaking.

Following delivery of HTTP headers, Apache starts off the content by telling a browser how many bytes the content contain whereas Lightspeed did not provide such a figure. The internet highscore feature wasn't expecting the content length so it interpreted the number as an error message instead. I should have intepreted HTTP response better from the start, but you live and learn.

Anyhow, moving on to the topic of this post. Less than a week following the release of Beat Ball 2 (v 1.2.1) a friend of mine spotted it in a 0-day warez release. I haven't put a lot of effort into protecting the game because I suspect it would get cracked regardless of what length I go to in order to prevent it.

Here is part of the Crude .NFO for the warez release:
          ÜÛÛßß             C.R.U.D.E               ßßÛÛÜ
ÞÛÛÝ° P.R.O.U.D.L.Y P.R.E.S.E.N.T.S °Þ²ÛÝ
²ÛÛÜ Ü Ü Ü²ÛÛ
ßßÛÛÛÜÛß ßÛÜÛÛÛßß

Beat Ball 2 v1.2.1

Ü ßÜ Üß Ü
ß²ß ²Ý RLS.DATE.........2012/03/07 Þ² ß²ß
ÜÛß RLS.SIZE..........06x5.00MB ßÛÜ
ÜÜßßß ßßßÜÜ
ÜÛß Ü RLS.TYPE..............Crack Ü ßÛ
²Ý° ßßÜ PROTECTION......Serial+Auth Üßß °ÞÝ
ßÜÜ °Þ² ²Ý° ÜÜß
ßß ÜÛß PLATFORM.............WinAll ßÛÜ ßß

I'm not too bothered about it because I think that those that really enjoy the game support the development by registering a legit copy. If someone downloads the cracked version, I doubt they would have ever considered to buying the game in the first place.

On the other hand, one feature the crackers won't be able to solve. The Internet Highscores will never work on the cracked release =) This is because it requires part of a registered key (that must exist on the web server that hosts the internet highscores) in order for any highscores to be registered. With a cracked version you don't have the key to post the highscores.
              ÝÛÛÞ  NOTE: Remember to turn off www hiscores  ÝÛÛÞ
ÝÛÛÞ from options and block app from the ÝÛÛÞ
ÝÛÛÞ internet with traditional way if needed ÝÛÛÞ

For competitive individuals, like myself, the world wide highscore system is a big part of what makes games fun so it's still worth getting the real deal.

The price of $10 for registering Beat Ball 2 is quite cheap for hours worth of fun as well. About a year ago I added the feature to count the duration of games played. At the time of writing this post the total number of seconds played is 13'222'416 which equals 3673 hours which also equals a 153 straight days and nights.