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Project Zomboid Code Theft

DIYgamer has word from a couple of Twitter posts that two laptops with the current builds of Project Zomboid were stolen from the home of the lead developer of The Indie Stone's zombie game (thanks reddit). These statements were apparently followed by some drunken twitter ranting, which provoked an apology on Lemmy's Blog and the apparent deletion of Lemmy's Twitter account. There's an official statement on the Project Zomboid website, and here's a bit:

I won’t beat around the bush. The Indie Stone have just suffered a major set-back. The Newcastle flat where Lemmy and Binky live and work was burgled this evening, and so far the clearest things taken are two computers and Lemmy’s credit card.

Project Zomboid was regularly backed up from machine to machine, but rarely – sadly and infuriatingly – externally. We have lost an awful lot of work. Mash and Binky don’t even know this has happened yet.

Chris (Lemmy) is quite distressed to be honest – we’re still dealing with something that was discovered little over an hour ago. After his tweets on the subject we both agreed it’d be best if I wrote a blog here to calm fears. He clearly isn’t able to currently. (It’s also probably worth saying that there were no PZ player personal details etc. on the machines).

This will clearly severely delay the next update, which was very near completion. I personally only just finished my work on it today (one of the final things on the ‘to-do’ list) and had it ready for input tomorrow.

Project Zomboid, however, will come back stronger.

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37. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 16:53 spindoctor
 
Something as simple as copying the day's work into a Dropbox folder would have been enough to avert this disaster. Considering their monumental incompetence in not backing up their work properly, and adding in their unbelievably unprofessional Twitter reaction to all this... yea, they deserve all the shit that comes their way.  
Some of the most miserable and unhappy gamers on the planet are at Bluesnews
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36. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 12:17 Dev
 
Some people seem to be confused about backup strategies, and what "backup" means.

The more important something is, the more measures one should take to protect and backup the data. Is this something your livelihood relies on? Something your business relies on to work? Maybe family photos that would devastate you if they went missing? Then its pretty dang important. Is it just some steam backups? Thats probably not so important.

HDDs are super incredibly cheap nowadays, and one of the easiest and fastest and cheapest ways to back up. I saw a sale recently (as in last couple weeks) for $37 for a 1 TB hdd, and then a sale for a 2 TB hdd for $60.

At the very least, one should backup all the data. If you keep your data in a central location (such as "my documents") its easy to backup this folder, and its often smaller and faster than backing up the entire hdd. This is a possible strategy to use if the data is important and the time spent to rebuild a computer (such as reinstalling windows) is acceptable.

RAID (such as 1, 5, etc) is not really a backup. The only thing it protects against is physical hard drive failure. If you have a software screwup, or a nasty virus, RAID does nothing.

Backing up from one hdd to another is a good start. Backing up to an external device (such as USB HDD) is even better. If the data being backed up is under 32 gigs, its easy and cheap to get a USB stick.

That 250 page thesis that you need to graduate and you've poured uncountable hours into? Yeah that one. It needs to have an extra copy on a USB stick at a minimum.

One can also get inexpensive NAT setups to backup to a bunch of drives, or just use (or pickup for cheap) an old computer, throw a bunch of drives on it, and backup over the network.

Next step would be off-site backup. These can still be free or really cheap. This protects against things like theft of your computer(s) (such as the project zomboid case), or a fire burning a house down (or the water damage that usually results from a fire!), earthquake, etc. A super easy and free way to do this is email yourself the data in gmail. Gmail has filesizes up to 25 megs and there's browser extensions and utilities to cut up files into 25 meg chunks. This would work fine for that 250 page thesis (and probably the project zomboid source code). There's also things like dropbox, and other file upload things. For unlimited size, one could generate redundant PAR2 repair fils, and upload it to usenet, a good premium usenet provider runs about $10 a month and can access data over 3 years old. There's also special backup services one can pay for such as carbonite that run in the background and constantly uploads every changed data file.

In the case of a business that needs to be always online with important data, one possible backup strategy could be:
RAID on server with hotspare, to guard against hardware failure of the drives. Frequent rolling grandfather, father, son backup to a NAT (both data sets and complete image backups to restore to server from bare metal in case of a problem). Offsite backups to guard against disasters, both physically offsite, and over the internet.

In case of a disaster, if one still has access to the hdds, one can send them out to a data recovery center and often get most of the stuff back. Be warned though, in the case of a SSD, if there's a hardware failure, the stuff is likely gone.

And none of this covers any sort of encryption to secure the data.

Now, I'm not an authority in the field, but these are all common sense approaches to backing up. And even something as simple and easy and quick as throwing it onto a USB stick or emailing it to themselves on gmail could have saved them.

This comment was edited on Oct 17, 2011, 12:24.
 
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35. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 11:34 Fibrocyte
 
Ventura wrote on Oct 17, 2011, 09:05:
This is certainly a case where you need to set aside your pride and say "now that I think about it you guys are right".

Best of luck with that.

Granted, there are levels of backing stuff up. The more important it is, the greater the steps you should take. While I obviously wasn't going to be setting aside an off-site location for what was just a freeware mod, I still cared enough to copy it to something that would be with me during the day, just on the off-chance my home was burgled.

Not quite the same thing atall, considering they lost their source where I'd still have had a backup of mine, but you're welcome to go with whatever floats your boat.

So you your data doesn't fall under "important" which was my requirement for an off-site backup.
 
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34. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 09:05 Ventura
 
This is certainly a case where you need to set aside your pride and say "now that I think about it you guys are right".

Best of luck with that.

Granted, there are levels of backing stuff up. The more important it is, the greater the steps you should take. While I obviously wasn't going to be setting aside an off-site location for what was just a freeware mod, I still cared enough to copy it to something that would be with me during the day, just on the off-chance my home was burgled.

Not quite the same thing atall, considering they lost their source where I'd still have had a backup of mine, but you're welcome to go with whatever floats your boat.
 
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33. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 08:41 Fibrocyte
 
Ventura wrote on Oct 17, 2011, 06:16:
Sounds like you were doing the EXACT thing they did

Except for my taking my laptop with me, you mean? Way to miss the point.

I'm not as concerned during the weekend, because there's usually always someone here, but thanks for your concern.

I get what you're saying, but you did the same thing these bozos did. If you have important IP or data that you don't want to lose then it needs to be backed up to an off-site silo.

This is certainly a case where you need to set aside your pride and say "now that I think about it you guys are right".
 
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32. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 07:24 necrosis
 
Ventura wrote on Oct 17, 2011, 06:16:
Sounds like you were doing the EXACT thing they did

Except for my taking my laptop with me, you mean? Way to miss the point.

I'm not as concerned during the weekend, because there's usually always someone here, but thanks for your concern.
Your laptop is with you 100% of the time and never in the same physical proximity as your desktop?

How you back your data up is up to you but don't criticize other people when your doing the same thing.
 
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31. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 06:16 Ventura
 
Sounds like you were doing the EXACT thing they did

Except for my taking my laptop with me, you mean? Way to miss the point.

I'm not as concerned during the weekend, because there's usually always someone here, but thanks for your concern.
 
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30. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 06:03 Mangrove
 
They needed to upload it into their brainbox, like in Johnny Mnemonic. It can hold 80gb without nosebleeds, not too shabby.  
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29. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 01:38 Dev
 
Ventura wrote on Oct 17, 2011, 00:45:
Sorry, no sympathy from me. While working on my freeware Warcraft 3 mod, I used to copy the unprotected map to my laptop (off my desktop) before taking it with me into work each morning.

Gotta be smarter than that.
Talking to yourself?

Sounds like you were doing the EXACT thing they did. I'm sure there were times you left your laptop at home while doing things (such as on weekend), and anyone could have broken in and stole both of them.
 
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28. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 00:45 Ventura
 
Sorry, no sympathy from me. While working on my freeware Warcraft 3 mod, I used to copy the unprotected map to my laptop (off my desktop) before taking it with me into work each morning.

Gotta be smarter than that.
 
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27. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 00:40 JeffD
 
In other news... 2 noobs leave their doors unlocked and their security alarm system password is "password"

I can't think this game was worth 2 coins if these computer savvy programers have no idea how an external backup drive/tape/offline site works.
 
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26. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 23:17 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
These guys are obviously new to the software development game, and have made some major mistakes. The internet being what it is, of course random anonymous assholes flame them and the Indie Stone guys respond horribly.

Moral of the story, the actual game developers should never talk directly to customers. Only ass kissing or flame wars will result. Use forum moderators/impersonal surveys/PR people, etc.

Honestly though, it'll probably help these guys in the long run, learning these lessons the hard way. The game is interesting, and if they can get their minds right they can still release a great product.

I look forward to the retail of Project Zomboid, as well as their next game.
 
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25. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 22:52 Nate
 
LightAssassin wrote on Oct 16, 2011, 21:10:
Sounds like a group of people who have no idea how to manage themselves. I think they are in over their heads and should get somebody to be their business manager and PR person because they are awful at it.

They screwed up, and have done before (paypal issues and they were at fault, google checkout again with them at fault, and webhosting issues because they are too cheap). They talk about getting all these preorders and then complain about how expensive things are. By god did they do any budgeting, cost analysis or even simply check the price and requirements of what they need?

Not backing up was retarded on their behalf, and after people put their faith and prepaid for the game, they deserve the harsh words they are getting.

They claimed they had enough for 6 months development time from pre-orders, and then complain they don't have enough for their servers and everything associated with keeping them running. CDN setups are cheap via the big providers... this whole thing just appears so amateur.

True, true.
 
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24. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 21:27 Kosumo
 
QQ  
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23. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 21:10 RenownWolf
 
Sounds like a group of people who have no idea how to manage themselves. I think they are in over their heads and should get somebody to be their business manager and PR person because they are awful at it.

They screwed up, and have done before (paypal issues and they were at fault, google checkout again with them at fault, and webhosting issues because they are too cheap). They talk about getting all these preorders and then complain about how expensive things are. By god did they do any budgeting, cost analysis or even simply check the price and requirements of what they need?

Not backing up was retarded on their behalf, and after people put their faith and prepaid for the game, they deserve the harsh words they are getting.

They claimed they had enough for 6 months development time from pre-orders, and then complain they don't have enough for their servers and everything associated with keeping them running. CDN setups are cheap via the big providers... this whole thing just appears so amateur.
 
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http://www.renownwolf.com
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22. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 20:56 Creston
 
Crustacean Soup wrote on Oct 16, 2011, 19:44:
Surf wrote on Oct 16, 2011, 16:17:
2. Drop box, free 5 gigs, or pay a few bucks and have even more data. Their game, Zomboid, is tiny, and the 5 gigs probably would have been fine for them if money was THAT tight. Not having their data backed up is inexcusable.

For software, they'd be better off with a paid source control service. GitHub is $7/mo for a private account with one collaborator, $12/mo for five. Setting up some sort of (externally backed-up) source control is really the first thing you should do when you're starting a software project.

At the very LEAST, they should have made backups to a couple of 20 dollar USB keys. The fact that they apparently genuinely believed that having two laptops with the code was enough is just... insane.

Creston
 
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21. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 20:35 Jerykk
 
its a crappy top down game, not a full on FPS epic from EA. It sucks but cmon lets not blow it out of proportion.

Ouch. Reading such posts makes me sad. Project Zomboid is more interesting than 99% of shooters out there. It's a damn shame that they've lost so much progress due to the theft.
 
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20. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 19:44 Crustacean Soup
 
Surf wrote on Oct 16, 2011, 16:17:
2. Drop box, free 5 gigs, or pay a few bucks and have even more data. Their game, Zomboid, is tiny, and the 5 gigs probably would have been fine for them if money was THAT tight. Not having their data backed up is inexcusable.

For software, they'd be better off with a paid source control service. GitHub is $7/mo for a private account with one collaborator, $12/mo for five. Setting up some sort of (externally backed-up) source control is really the first thing you should do when you're starting a software project.
 
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19. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 17:25 ASeven
 
This game has almost as much potential as Minecraft in the sense of freedom and player decisions, but holy shit that was a terrible reaction to a stupid mistake. Though I believe if they ever finish the game this could become a classic, these kind of reactions put a damper on anyone's faith in them as developers.

Still, I do feel for them, a bit. Being robbed is never good, they still should have used so many of the backup options available out there.
 
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18. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 16, 2011, 17:18 Wildone
 
its a crappy top down game, not a full on FPS epic from EA. It sucks but cmon lets not blow it out of proportion.  
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