Nintendo has taken a step further in its lifelong ambition to stop modders from modifying its games for either cheating or emulating.
According to a new patent listed earlier today, Nintendo understands that there are already conventional methods to determine if users have modified a game. These methods often rely on an attestation program which goes back and forth between the server and client to confirm mismatched (compromised) data. However, modders have now begun modifying the attestation logic itself, forcing developers release patches to update the attestation code.
Nintendo proposes improvements on the same conventional approach by employing “code reuse” techniques. The publisher notes that there can be thousands of code sequences in a game, some of which can be chained together by the game itself to perform attestation functions such as memory checks and hashing operations. Without firsthand knowledge, modders will be unable to confirm which code sequences are combining to perform functions and hence be unable to stop the attestation program from identifying modded code.
Furthermore, the same technology can be scaled up to make the attestation logic even more complicated. Instead of a single code combination, developers can hide “a large number of possible combinations that each potentially generate a different result.” Hence, allowing Nintendo to auto-generate attestation programs in its games on the fly to identify modded files.
“The logic described herein does not necessarily need to rely on any secrets (keys, algorithms) and can work even when the system is completely compromised,” reads the patented method.
Nintendo has for long been against emulators running its games on other platforms. Emulation requires modders to modify pieces of the game to accept a different hardware other than a Nintendo platform. If the aforementioned patented method does not completely stop modders from emulating Nintendo games, it will make the emulating process much more harder to achieve.