Game design with protection against malicious acts

statement: shaping the design of the game, by trying to protect against malicious acts, leads, in general, to crappy design.

because in the end, u’d have to deny a player everything, and have a trusted computer system do everything. eg., no team damage (who knows? maybe the player is trying to nade teammates 15% of the time); aiming assistance (who knows? maybe the player is trying to waste server slots by making it appear that he/she is trying to hit something), permission to connect only from certified IP addresses of trusted computer salons, where the person has legally registered his/her full name, address, etc. (who knows? maybe the player would otherwise relay information to a friend on the enemy team); etc…

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Your presumption is wrong and the conclusions you draw from it are extreme and baseless. In the absence of a malicious player, no part of the play experience would scream “we’re doIng this because someone might abuse something!” however that doesn’t mean the game shouldn’t account for malicious players or have ways of dealing with them. If the game has no protection from abuse from malicious players: Guess what… You’re gonna have malicious players ruin everyone else’s experience - whenever they feel like it .

The game design can account for this in small ways to minimize the impact that malicious players have.

Team killers and repeat bleeders can temporarily be made into outlaws and other teammates are rewarded for killing them.

Spawn time can be delayed for them.

Buildings can offer protection against marked move or decon by disallowing a newly connected player to do those things for N minutes.

There are many methods to deal with lusers, with the example scenarios you cited not being any of them - except for ‘registered’ player recognition and the potential to give him abilities unregistered players don’t have.

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based on the mixed up plurals, i suspect that u’ve mixed up the presumptions( ! ) and the conclusion( ! ), and forgot about the arguments( ! ). what exactly do u believe is WRONG?

not exactly. the system that encompasses the game should have the appropriate protection. the key point is that such a system should be as separate from the game as possible.

one general-purpose system that should work very well for real-time games is a game rewinding system: where an admin can revert the full state of the game to a previous one, eg. one from 10 seconds ago. (on a side-note, such a system would be perfect for training the execution of various maneuvers/plans.)

that statement is as vague as mine.

so such a human mutates — with fancy glowing effects — into a masked texas ranger, called an outlaw, that uses a unique type of weapon, called the 6-shooter, and should be killed by everyone, and upon succeeding, the outlaw drops a pot of gold, which can be collected for credits/evos, but only if it’s carried to a defence computer / booster. the existence of outlaws is globally announced, and every player is directed to the nearest outlaw through waypoints. the alien version of an outlaw is a spaghetti monster that throws forks.

no, srsly. ew. fuck that shit. it sounds fun, but really, it should fucking be not part of the game.

a relatively good counter-example. i’ll amend my statement:

statement: shaping the design of the game, by trying to protect against malicious acts, leads, in general, to crappy design; a notable exception is if the protection system

  • has a minimal connection surface with the game, and otherwise resides mainly in the management system surrounding the game (eg., an admin system that is invoked primarily by admins);
  • cannot be used to one’s advantage (eg., disabling team-damage for apparent crappy shooters is a no-go); and
  • affects the game only in a way such that
  • some kinds of potentially-malicious acts have no effect (eg., the “deconstruct” command is simply denied), or
  • as if malicious acts had not happened at all (eg., the game is rewound; or a deconstruction is reverted, but preferrably only if noone has used that fact to his/her advantage, such as by passing through).

Red Eclipse simply kicks repeat team killers.

Your presumption:

Your conclusion based on the incorrect presumption:

‘Shaping the game design’ implies the game is design around this scenario - which is not the case and is not the same as having the design account for these scenarios and dealing with them. Currently the game is not designed at all to account for this, so adding features which do account for malicious players, while having minimal or no impact on other non-malicious players is desired.

Getting killed by friendlies (on purpose) and losing your gear isn’t fun and shouldn’t be part of the game either. The outlaw is not a bad guy in a western movie. The outlaw functionality already existed on SST and worked great.

If the statement boils down to “Shaping game design to stop malicious users = Shitty game design” then yes, I’d agree with you DevHC. Stopping “toxic” players sound like some League of Legends-tier Koolaid freezie pops that I have no interest in sucking down at the playground for $5 a piece just because the Teacher’s Union can’t afford it’s benefits for the year.

That being said, I have no such issue with having meta-systems on top of the game design that tries to deter retards. RomDOS already mentions increasing spawntimes for repeat TKs, which I think can be a good thing as long as the number of TKs is reasonable within [x] timeframe.

However, that is one of the few things I agree with RomDOS. As such, RomDOS mentions that:

Guess what… You’re gonna have malicious players ruin everyone else’s experience - whenever they feel like it .

There will always be players running around either trolling or being fucktards. Always. The best system that was ever invented against these kinds of people was having a fast dedicated server be populated by decent-minded people and competent admins. If this doesn’t exist, then any fancy in-game system implemented to deal with this would always fail 100% as soon as the match starts.

The game design can account for this in small ways to minimize the impact that malicious players have.

Let me ask you something: Which of the following suggestions you made accomplishes this?

A) Everyone stops whatever they’re doing in the match and instead of playing Tremulous, they play Oddworld: Cron’s Wrath by takin’ down them hooligans for dem’ bounties, YEE HAW STRANGER


B) Spawn time can be delayed for them.

There is a key difference between the two of your suggestions that you have failed to pick up on. Quoting DevHC one more time:

the key point is that such a system should be as separate from the game as possible.

This is it. “Gamifying” the behaviour of bad players is only going to take attention away from the game at best (which is what trolls want) or people will ignore it and !votekick them anyways.

Why won’t people become outlaws on purpose just for the hell of it?

Because once they are killed, several minutes will be added to their respawn time, effectively taking them out of the game (temporarily). Once they respawn (their ‘outlaw’ factor has cooled down), there is a timer where if they do stupid things (team dmg and tk) again within a few minutes they can be automatically kicked.

When a person on your team is not ‘friendly’ they are treated the same as an enemy player. This one-time ‘gamification’ can be experienced solely by the outlaw (if say, their team’s turrets shoots them, or their own trappers trap them near acid tubes), or experienced by them and any other player who encounters them (the enemy team still gets points for killing them), giving a ‘gamified’ way to set in motion a series of events to automatically accomplish what “/callvote kick” does (and a bit more);

  • Visible punishment of the shitty behavior of the outlaw
  • Small reward for any player who kills them
  • Removes the outlaw player from the action for N minutes, which can then
  • Kick them from the server, if they tk/bleed again within Y minutes
  • Doesn’t require consensus from other players to work
  • Doesn’t need an admin to be present
  • All is done without otherwise interrupting ‘the game’

The experience is not repeatedly game-ified, you just get kicked.

Why not simply spec / ban them for several minutes, so that they don’t waste team slots?

TK is retarded and only works in comp play where everyone is on Ventrilo servers. The only good reason I can see it being used is as a bandaid patch to nerf humans shooting down hallways aimlessly when making actual gameplay adjustments would fair better. TK makes it so that pushing is harder, certain weapons like Psaw/Flamer/Luci/Grenade are objectively worse and encourages flamebait behaviour.

The best version of TK I’ve seen is where all bullet weapons do only 40% to to teammates, laser does 80% and Luci/Grenade does 100%. That way some of the most spammable shit in the game (Luci/Pulse) isn’t spammed as often. That being said, its better to just overhaul some of these weapons before considering new TK systems.

I disagree. Players who run around killing others are either A) Mad or B) Trolling. Making them outlaws will actually help them draw more attention to themselves while they continue running around shooting shit up.

If no admins are around, people use !votekick.



There is at least one situation when tk helps the team. That is when humans have neither construction kits nor armories., and building can still be done.

Servers had !kill commands for situations like these.

I know that on gpp there is /kill, although there is a standard 20 second delay, and at a crucial time in a match, 20 seconds can men the difference between victory and loss.

I’d rather have a 20-second delay over people TK’ing each other over the dumbest shit.

Or just make it so that you can switch your default class at the Reactor/Overmind.

which, again, should not be part of a serious game (it may be part of a game that aims to look stupid).

which is how, in general, a basic, automated malice-detector system works.

i’d be very happy if i could fuck with others by outlawifying them based on my sole discretion. requiring consensus is a system design that attempts to thwart malicious finger-pointing — this is what u r supposed to be arguing for, not against.


so, to summarize, outlawification is the “memed” version of the reaction of an automated malice-detector system.

btw, it would be ultra fun to collaborate with 5-6 ppl to

  • enter a server containing 2-4 ppl,
  • join the game,
  • decide upon a team to outlawify,
  • start TKing on that team to become outlaws, and
  • protect the outlaws of that team (using measures from both teams).

Currently I see two fundamental problems with the “outlaw” system.

  1. We would be sending the message that the way to settle issues with trolls is to take away your attention from actually playing Tremulous and give the trolls attention with revenge, because revenge is fun.
  2. No matter how hard you try to perfect this system, dedicated trolls will always find a way to troll around this system, and even with this system. The need in-gam for honour and the enforcement of justice by intervention of irl humans when honour is broken, will not be made obsolete. But since the code for the "outlaw" system, that @romdos is proposing, already exists, I think we should setup a server to test it anyways, and find some of the infinite ways to break it.