Editing game client to connect?

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mewkips 101 Aug 08, 2008 at 18:04

mmm, okay so I hope this is going to the right place… and will make sense to someone out there… Lets try…

A game I’ve been playing has finally shut down. I’m looking to create a private version that will connect to my IP and make my own little world. I’ve done this before with other mmos but the clients were already set up… Buuuut seeing as though not many people ever seemed to get into this game no one ever bothered to make private servers(or publish information on it perhaps?)…

I’m not sure what files need to be edited in order to tell the client where to connect. I’ve been scanning google… and lines of code… aaaand folders… for a few days and I’m stumped. I’m pretty much out of phrases to search for (lol ;[). So I’m hoping someone here can give me a nudge in the right direction… Things to google or tuts that give information on client editing…

Oh yea, It’s not illegal to host private servers as long as you’re not making money and you’re not sharing it with others, correct? If it is let me know please ;x

OH! I also don’t have much experience writing computer languages so if that is going to be necessary can anyone give me some good books to learn.

So yea, thanks for reading. ;)

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Reedbeta 168 Aug 08, 2008 at 18:25

I’m a little confused. Is this an open-source game? Do you have a copy of the server program you can run locally? Without it, editing the client is pretty pointless…

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mewkips 101 Aug 08, 2008 at 18:40

@Reedbeta

I’m a little confused. Is this an open-source game? Do you have a copy of the server program you can run locally? Without it, editing the client is pretty pointless…

Open source, don’t believe so… and no, I don’t have the program yet, I haven’t gotten there. Thats why I ask what I should be looking for. I’ve been wasting time looking up things that don’t apply.

**does it help if I tell you the game is Sims Online? (looks at feet in shame)

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Reedbeta 168 Aug 08, 2008 at 20:24

Well, how are you planning to get a copy of the server program? I doubt they’re just giving it out. B)

As for the client, if the server address is stored in a config file someplace you should be able to find it and get at it. If it’s stored in a binary (.exe, .dll, etc.) you’re looking at using a hex editor, which would be trickier. In any case, if you at least know the domain name of the server the game connects to, you should be able to search all the game files for that string to find where it’s stored; that would at least put you on the right track.

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TheNut 179 Aug 09, 2008 at 03:55

It’s not illegal to host private servers as long as you’re not making money and you’re not sharing it with others, correct?

  • There so many different views on this in every country and it’s quite a fuzzy law, so don’t take my word on it. Generally for personal use it’s OK. As long as you don’t use any code or property of the company, you’re safe to write hooks or your own emulator as it is solely your IP. However, some restrictions apply. They may have an EULA which prohibits reverse engineering. So while it’s not against the law to reverse engineer own copies of works, you are breaking the digital contract between you and the company, in which case they can chase you based on those grounds. However, since EULAs are flaky and in most cases not lawfully approved, it can be fought.

OH! I also don’t have much experience writing computer languages

In all honesty mate, reverse engineering takes years to master and usually comes after mastering various areas in programming and in most cases low level assembly knowledge. Not to throw you off, but an MMO + reverse engineer + no programming knowledge pretty much labels this project futile. In any case, I’ll throw you a bone.

1) Pray to a deity of your choice that the authors did not implement an encrypted protocol.

2) If they didn’t, download and install a program like Wireshark (previous Ethereal) or Packey Spy (my own protocol analyzer ;)

3) Use the software in 2) to analyze packets. Start it up and run the game. Dissect ONE problem at a time.
a) Found out what protocols and ports they are using. Document it.
b) Find out how connections / handshakes are made. Document it.
c) Find out how account sessions are done. Document it.
d) Do this for every element in the game. DOCUMENT it.

4) Once the network protocol is analyzed and mapped out, start writing your own server.

5) One that’s done, start focusing on everything else. Since at this point the network protocol is done, the rest is up to you. Implement AI how you want it, game mechanics how you want it, etc… No more reverse engineering at this stage.

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mewkips 101 Aug 09, 2008 at 08:26

Hahahaha, wow, thanks for all that. As soon as I started posting this thread I had a feeling this was going to be a huge undertaking… but that is HUGE… I reckon I better put this is on hold until I get some schooling under my belt, eh?

(looks at her feet again and kicks dirt)

Thats alright. I’ll start studying…and praying lol… This is important to me so I’m extremely grateful for any reply I got and they’re all saved… I’m determined to figure this out… mmm, I might even get decent at these things…

By the time I’m 30(long time) I will have resurrected TSO, count on it. Nostalgia here I cooooome…
Wish me luck! ;}

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Mattias_Gustavsson 101 Aug 09, 2008 at 11:33

It would probably be easier to wait for this game instead http://www.tirnua.com

As I understand it, it’s done by some of the same people who made Sims Online, and is pretty similar