Are HTML5 games safe from decompiling?

7 posts (showing 1-7)
Gogafem

Market Level 1Community Level 2
121 posts

I have a page on Dropbox where I have hosted my HTML5 games. Would it be safe to provide potential sponsors with these links?

posted 2015-05-16T09:44:29-07:00
bstone

Market Level 0Community Level 0
18 posts

Unfortunately HTML5 is the worst option when it comes to "safe" as you put it. Even after a good deal of obfuscation changing anything in the code is still rather easy. That includes removing site locks, replacing art/branding, etc. I don't even mention stealing art and audio resources - it's never been that easy as it is with HTML5 games.

But does it matter? No, not really. Publishers/sponsors aren't interested in that kind of activity. Unfair competitors could be interested but if you're contacting sponsors directly or use only trusted outlets to advertise your game to them then you should be pretty safe. If somebody manages to steal your IP and secure a deal with a sponsor using a direct clone before you then you can easily prove your authorship and ruin offender's reputation. Re-skinned clones could be more problematic but they give you a slight edge as re-skinning takes time.

If you're going the self-publishing route then you'll suffer the most as you will have to constantly monitor your game clones and shut the offending pages/accounts down. A waste of time that you could rather spend on developing other successful games.

posted 2015-05-16T11:08:16-07:00
Gogafem

Market Level 1Community Level 2
121 posts

bstone said:

Unfortunately HTML5 is the worst option when it comes to "safe" as you put it. Even after a good deal of obfuscation changing anything in the code is still rather easy. That includes removing site locks, replacing art/branding, etc. I don't even mention stealing art and audio resources - it's never been that easy as it is with HTML5 games.

But does it matter? No, not really. Publishers/sponsors aren't interested in that kind of activity. Unfair competitors could be interested but if you're contacting sponsors directly or use only trusted outlets to advertise your game to them then you should be pretty safe. If somebody manages to steal your IP and secure a deal with a sponsor using a direct clone before you then you can easily prove your authorship and ruin offender's reputation. Re-skinned clones could be more problematic but they give you a slight edge as re-skinning takes time.

If you're going the self-publishing route then you'll suffer the most as you will have to constantly monitor your game clones and shut the offending pages/accounts down. A waste of time that you could rather spend on developing other successful games.

Thanks for the clarifications.

I only offer the games to potential sponsors and I have used most of these games in FGL's 2014 HTML5 distribution platform.
I also have Facebook posts with screenshots from the games, so yes, I can prove my authorship.

posted 2015-05-16T11:28:19-07:00
RedSpark

Market Level 0Community Level 2
76 posts

it doesn't matter, since most sponsors will ask you to give them unobfuscated game anyways

posted 2015-05-27T11:05:52-07:00
bstone

Market Level 0Community Level 0
18 posts

That's interesting. What if your HTML5 game is a result of compiling some higher level language (e.g. Java or Haxe)? Will most sponsors complain about the obfuscated nature of the delivered code in that case?

posted 2015-05-27T11:48:12-07:00
b10b

Market Level 4Community Level 7
970 posts

@bstone in the case of Haxe, I've had no objections with the outputted JS.  If you're using OpenFL you are more likely to receive concerns about the upfront filesize.  Additionally, it is always advisable to tell a Sponsor that if they make any changes to the source you probably can't support it.

posted 2015-05-27T15:43:59-07:00
bstone

Market Level 0Community Level 0
18 posts

Good to know! Thanks b10b.

posted 2015-05-28T06:58:08-07:00