A few weeks ago I was contacted by a group of people that asked me to join a Whatsapp group called Unfair-Gamers, the name of an italian community website that I created almost 10 years ago while I still was in my teenage years and known online as
D4.Ny. I was very happy and surprised to discover that many members of the community were able to stick together for this long after the website was closed. This is probably what prompted me to write this commemorative post, and also to serve as a point of reference for anyone that was involved.
I would define Unfair-Gamers as a gaming, modding and ethical online-game-hacking community. The main reason the community started was to learn and share the knowledge needed to create such tools, for us there was a more interesting game inside the game: a game made of learning, experimentation, reverse engineering and creativity. For me it was a very important part of my life as it defined the path that I would take later on.
I like to think that the community succeded in its mission, and although there were a lot of original releases accounting for millions of downloads, the main accomplishment was to produce knowledge in an expanding field where the information was scarcely available on the web.
The community was most active in the timespan from 2010 to 2013, peaking at almost 2 million page views per month, more than 200k posts and 100k users (of which 3000 were active and 20k with at least one post, the remaining registrations were mainly to download and use our releases).
Peaks in the graph usually correspond to major releases, Google Analytics was missing for a short period after a website redesign.
While game hacking can be seen as a nuisance by many, Unfair-Gamers produced mainly hacks that wouldn’t be disruptive for the other players, but were aimed to lessen the grind and provide a more enjoyable experience.
Game hacking consisted mainly in scouting for memory addresses or data structures and modifying their values, creating and injecting new code, changing the control flow of the game, scripting actions or directly calling game functions for automation.
The main tools of the trade were:
- Cheat Engine: a powerful memory scanner and debugger
- OllyDbg: probably the most iconic debugger ever created
- Programming and scripting languages
- Other minor tools such as disassemblers, DLL injectors, process explorers.
Example 1: Minimap replication
The game memory is being scanned for monsters and their attributes, a first small step in order to create a bot. The monsters position is then drawn on a canvas for demonstration purposes.
Example 2: Long range monster puller
The function responsible for damaging a monster is being called directly, skipping the attack and thus bypassing security checks on weapon range.
Although game hacking skills may look like a very specific topic at first sight, its concepts can be applied in many other situations and often be very useful.
Everything has an end (or almost)
UG would have been nothing without its community, to whom I want to give a special thanks for all the content they created, the help they gave and for just being there every day to have a chat. A community that somehow still managed to survive until this day.
Unfair-Gamers was fully shut down on March 1st, 2014, along with its smaller sister community The Coders Bay. The reasons were mainly due to a shift in interests and priorities of the staff members, content creators and active members.
It was also the end of an era of its kind, and as I said I like to think that in a way the community succeded in its intent, with all the information now being available out there. It was a fun project and also an important phase of my life to which I will always look back with a smile.
- You can get an high resolution version of the splash logo here.
- The top 15 members by post number were, in order: Ryukizashi, ThePILLI, GLyTCH, Zyrel, ionut_baluca, D4.Ny, xXStephXx, vezdebest, Sakawa, Kingblast, MrTiz, ActionMan95, Sky92, Zioborn, Madara Uchiha. (Top 100)
- The most viewed posts were Metin2 hacks and bots by D4.Ny, Metin2 private server guides by Kingblast and a Dark Orbit bot by SnFede.
- A style revamp was also in the works, but I never had the time to complete it.
- The green emoticons used on The Coders Bay can be donwloaded here.
- I was going to release one last bot for Metin2, but my testing account was banned in the process, after passing undetected for years, and I was too exausted to make a new one.
Were you a member of Unfair-Gamers? Leave your story below!