Game design, game programming and more

Uh-oh: was the company site hacked?

Anyone who runs a web site knows that they’re constantly under attack. You only have to look at your log files to know that hackers running site-scanners are constantly hitting your servers looking for unpatched vulnerabilities to exploit. One of the servers I wrote for Guild Wars 1 — named AcctHttpSrv — was designed to […]

Writing Server and Network Code for Your Online Game

I spoke this year at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2012) on “Writing Server and Network Code for Your Online Game”. Since I tend to talk quickly, to say the least, I thought it only fair to post my presentation slides for those who attended but didn’t manage to take notes fast enough. I find […]

Installing firewall exception rules programmatically

Writing installers for applications requires a substantial effort, even when using tools like InstallShield. My challenge for today was to write as little code as possible (because I’m lazy) to configure Windows Firewall exception rules so that the game I’m working on wouldn’t “pop” a dialog box asking the user to configure firewall settings — […]

Using transaction rate-limiting to improve service reliability

I develop and publish multiplayer games for a living, and have discovered some useful solutions for running reliable online services. The one I’m writing about today is how to implement reasonable usage limits so that services are less likely to be abused by hackers. Y’see, hackers find ways to manipulate games by simulating the behavior […]