Read by Council Hinder design theft

    Erth Paradine

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    Request:
    Add mechanic to prevent wholesale copying of entities, settable when spawning.

    Currently:
    PlayerA sells a ship to PlayerB. At any time PlayerB could create blueprint of the ship purchased from PlayerA, and duplicate, and sell to PlayerC, PlayerD, etc... This undercuts PlayerA's time & energy, providing PlayerA with a reduced incentive to invest into designing/building/selling/repairing ships.

    Result of proposed:
    PlayerA sells entity to PlayerB (either directly or through distributors). PlayerA must manufacturer and distribute additional entities of the same design.

    Suggested Method:
    Add "AllowCopy" boolean flag to ship core (or ship entity), and perhaps also station entity. Entity flag can be set either by admin (anytime) or by player (only when spawning).
    if AllowCopy=false
    Deny saving blueprint.
    Deny shipyard "Create blueprint from design"
    Deny shipyard "Deconstruct to design"

    Rationale:
    Some of us are farmers, miners, explorers or fighters, others prefer to design and build.

    To support a player-run economy, help players preserve/enforce rights over their in-game designs, and therefore further incentivize builders/traders to invest time and energy into their preferred in-game activities of selling/building/repairing such designs.

    Successful economies do not allow for duplication of someone else's work to sell as your own, without first getting the original designer's permission. Right now, there is no effective in-game mechanic to limit easy duplication of another's design.

    Defects/Workarounds:
    This suggestion is not intended to prevent anyone from repairing their purchased entity, copying an entity block-by-block, or utilizing templates to copy/paste large chunks at a time. What this mechanic would accomplish though, is discouraging what is currently VERY easy/quick design duplication.

    Complementary Ideas & Suggestions:
    • Blueprint licensing: a long-running discussion in this thread covers the topic of blueprint licensing, or repair permits. A concept largely intended to applied upon in-game blueprint usage, providing various "tiers" of access to blueprints and additional possibilities for players to repair, trade, and distribute protected entities. There's also a few ideas floating around regarding more granular control over how designs are used anywhere (e.g. not just on one server). The licensing idea has a lot of merit, and could certainly add a lot to the game, but IMHO its also much more complicated to implement (and use). For that reason (licensing complexity) I will not be integrating the licensing topic into this OP, as I would like to see something basic (e.g. a simple "AllowCopy" flag) implemented sooner than later, and then later expanded upon with more granular features (that may or may not expand the concept of entity duplication into blueprints themselves). I will happily link to a relevant licensing thread once that emerges.
    • Storage & Utilization of "Repair Designs" onboard each ship: As this idea/conversation evolves, a number of participants have helped shape a more intricate, but NOT necessarily more complicated approach, to the original idea proposed.

    UPDATE #1: Created Complementary Ideas & Suggestions section.
    UPDATE #2: Revised template idea from allow copy/paste of protected entities, to only allow paste on protected entities. As that seems a more generally-supported idea in this thread: don't hinder changes to a purchased entity, but also don't make it easy to copy it in bulk.
    UPDATE #3: Clarified my understanding/summary of the lively Blueprint Licensing discussions.
    UPDATE #4: Added to Complementary Ideas & Suggestions section: Storage & Utilization of "Repair Designs" onboard each ship.
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    I'd have to agree with this proposal. We NEED this.

    I have a style that tends to stand out while offering a powerful (for size) combat loadout. Several players have been asking me to sell or even give them ships, designs and blueprints of my builds they like. I usually refuse such requests; seeing that it may eventually come back to haunt me when I inevitably face off against my own creations in battle.

    For the record, I have been badly damaged and even defeated by my own creations in single player tests, so my designs aren't something I just throw around like a party favor.

    I agree with your assessment of the potential for added immersion via in-game economy. I am primarily a designer and feel it would be nice to be able to benefit from my design skills in the multi-player environment. I'd gladly sell ships and weapons to other players; provided I had the ability to profit in-game for each build I sell with assurance that others won't be able to carbon copy the design and spread it all over the server; essentially giving it away for free.


    With this idea in place, you'd see players like us popping up all over the place; from spacecraft dealerships to manufacturers of fighters, turrets, and power armor, to space station architects. You could even add NPC shops that will buy your ships (within reason) like a car dealership and pay you a profit for them. Meanwhile the vast library of forum community content still remains available to those who wish to opt out of this part of the player economy.

    I hope Schine sees this and realizes that this would be a great addition to the game.
     

    Lecic

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    Another thing I like about this is that it'd make espionage harder and more interesting. If someone infiltrates your faction to steal a ship, they would need to physically transport the ship somewhere for storage for it to be picked apart.

    I would say that there should be some sort of design you could have that would be bound to a specific ship, also, so you can have a design for a ship for repairs that won't allow for duplication of the ship.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Another thing I like about this is that it'd make espionage harder and more interesting. If someone infiltrates your faction to steal a ship, they would need to physically transport the ship somewhere for storage for it to be picked apart.

    I would say that there should be some sort of design you could have that would be bound to a specific ship, also, so you can have a design for a ship for repairs that won't allow for duplication of the ship.
    The only thing I'd tweak about that is that a spy who steals a ship, shouldn't automatically know how to repair the stolen vessel in question. That way, a player couldn't just steal a ship and fly it home for repairs. They would have to reverse engineer the craft and rebuild it in order to make use of a reproducible design.

    Example: the Tupolev Tu-4; a soviet copy of the U.S. Boeing B-29 super fortress.

    Otherwise; they'd be stuck with a crude knockoff that may or may not be quite as effective as the original.

     
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    I heavily agree with this, part of the fears I have had for this community is the the threat of somebody stealing a design, and then simply passing it off as their own. With this it means, as already stated, that ship owners who fear having their designs stolen but would like some way for players to use them can finally get their ships out, make profits, and still keep their designs safe. However wouldn't it also be interesting if you could license ship designs off to other players, such as how the British during WWII licensed tank designs for the Russians to produce, so that other players could manufacture and sell your ships thus giving you a wider area to sell to and greater profit while they are still credited as your design?
     
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    Awesome.

    Really, we need in-core design items so that a ship, once built, can be repaired to the design rather than you digging up the design to repair it to.

    That said, this shouldn't be allowed for people who do not own the original blueprint/design. This would give royalties to the people who originally made the ships....in the form of repair prices.
     

    FlyingDebris

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    Sounds good to me.

    I've had a decent amount of experience with ship blueprint stealing and frankly it has been one of the more frustrating things I've had to deal with. Something like this would really help out my time administrating the NFD build server.
     
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    Cool, I like it.

    Let me throw something out there. When a ship is first built the builder receives an 'original' blueprint. They can either produce ships indefinitely with it in a shipyard or create 'duplicate' blueprints that would only allow one entity to be built from them before being destroyed. The builder could sell the duplicate BPs or the whole ship built from their shipyard the choice would be theirs.

    Obviously, if you have a great design the original BP would be very valuable and precautions would need to be taken to keep it safe.

    It has potential for massive butt hurt though when people have their originals ninja'd because they left them lying around.
     
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    Sounds an awful lot like what I mentioned last night in the server. We really need a function like this, glad you took the time to post it and explain it a lot better than I would.
     
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    Lukwan

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    As a builder who does not mind sharing some of my builds I wholeheartedly agree with the OP. I would like to have the option, as the original builder, to share one copy with a 'friend' and not worry about what happens afterwards.

    Additionally I would like to suggest that a permanent tag for 'designed by_______' be attached to the BP to avoid disputes over who built the original.
     

    Erth Paradine

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    Sounds an awful lot like what I mentioned last night in the server. We really need a function like this, glad you took the time to post it and explain it a lot better than I would.
    Yea, you were the third person in as many days, seeking a means of selling ships that couldn't be copied. I'm happy to see that my initial thoughts on mechanics is being well-received.
     

    Nuclear Doughnut

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    As another server owner I'll throw my weight behind this idea. I implore Schine to protect the rights of the individual as well as help server owners manage the Intellectual property theft that has been happening recently.
     
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    Nuclear Doughnut

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    I know this isn't a temporary solution but I purposely downgrade the ships I offer to the public in terms of design. I remove the features that allow it to be really optimized
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    I often do a similar thing. I call it the "consumer grade" variant. It keeps people wondering "How the hell did he do that?"
     
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    Interesting idea, and would make a great server.cfg option if implemented.
    [DOUBLEPOST=1463666649,1463664813][/DOUBLEPOST]Okay, at first I thought this was dumb (copyright enforcement inside a video game??), but the more I think about it the more I like it. It definitely opens up the door for players on a multiplayer server to just be dedicated designers/builders who can sell their work to other players, which could be the start to having an actual useful economy system in the game.
     
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    I would say that there should be some sort of design you could have that would be bound to a specific ship, also, so you can have a design for a ship for repairs that won't allow for duplication of the ship.
    Enter: Rightclicking on the core to set repair bp. Uncopyable.
     

    Erth Paradine

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    Awesome.

    Really, we need in-core design items so that a ship, once built, can be repaired to the design rather than you digging up the design to repair it to.

    That said, this shouldn't be allowed for people who do not own the original blueprint/design. This would give royalties to the people who originally made the ships....in the form of repair prices.
    Superficially, I like this idea. Although I struggle with how such a thing could be implemented. As it is, some blueprints consume 50+MB of disk space (even though when spawned, the same ships don't consume nearly as much disk space.

    Multiply this by hundreds of ships, and blueprint storage requirements quickly becomes a significant issue. How would such a ballooning storage issue be addressed?
    [DOUBLEPOST=1463670657,1463670531][/DOUBLEPOST]
    The only thing I'd tweak about that is that a spy who steals a ship, shouldn't automatically know how to repair the stolen vessel in question. That way, a player couldn't just steal a ship and fly it home for repairs. They would have to reverse engineer the craft and rebuild it in order to make use of a reproducible design.

    Example: the Tupolev Tu-4; a soviet copy of the U.S. Boeing B-29 super fortress.

    Otherwise; they'd be stuck with a crude knockoff that may or may not be quite as effective as the original.
    How about a logic-based combination lock that shuts down thrusters.
    [DOUBLEPOST=1463670795][/DOUBLEPOST]
    Another thing I like about this is that it'd make espionage harder and more interesting. If someone infiltrates your faction to steal a ship, they would need to physically transport the ship somewhere for storage for it to be picked apart.

    I would say that there should be some sort of design you could have that would be bound to a specific ship, also, so you can have a design for a ship for repairs that won't allow for duplication of the ship.
    That's where I was thinking; what a great job for repair specialists; either the original designer, or a ship mechanic.
    [DOUBLEPOST=1463670981][/DOUBLEPOST]
    Awesome.

    Really, we need in-core design items so that a ship, once built, can be repaired to the design rather than you digging up the design to repair it to.

    That said, this shouldn't be allowed for people who do not own the original blueprint/design. This would give royalties to the people who originally made the ships....in the form of repair prices.
    I don't know if I'd agree to paying repair royalties to the original designer. After all, we're not required to have our vehicles serviced by an (often overpriced) original manufacturer IRL. Unless it's optional...black markets would be an interesting mechanic in itself.
     
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    Not sure what tothink about this. I understand the need for it tho;

    But one thing. What if i modify slightly the ship. Then its my design, then i can save the blueprint. What if i have modified only say i added a wing bit here and there...
     
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    Royalties sound a bit too much for a game.

    As for modifications, I would think that whatever flag says that the ship/blueprint can't be copied would prevent you from re-blueprinting the modified design. Unless you're the original designer I guess.