Testing The Idea On Revealing Some Original Codes From The Obfuscated Version

Started by DoubleX, August 25, 2020, 11:30:47 am

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Disclaimer: This post doesn't mean that I support the idea of releasing plugins with obfuscated implementation codes, and in fact I'm personally against it in most cases(but my feeling on this isn't the point of this post at all), it's just that there might be some really extreme and rare cases making this approach at least a considerable backup plan for some plugin developers(but making this move should still never be taken lightly).

I've obfuscated 1 of my RMMV plugins(an advanced complex battle system plugin with way more than 3K LoC of implementation codes), which isn't published yet and is an older version, and I've posted it in my github repository: RMMV Plugin Obfuscation Test
Please feel free to deobfuscate this plugin(and please submit a pull request with your fully deobfuscated version), as it's a very, very old and outdated version anyway, and the current version I'm working on already has much, much more contents than that highly deprecated version(and it's still far from being complete).
I've tried to deobfuscate this obfuscated version using several online deobfuscators, but none of them can fully deobfuscate it, even though they do help quite a bit, so I don' think deobfuscating the whole thing all at once will be an easy, simple and small task(unless you're a deobsucation experts of course).

The supposed workflow of revealing parts of codes is as follows:
1. Users asks plugin developers to make some tunes and tweaks on the plugins but failed to do so(goes to 2)
2. If such tunes and tweaks can be done by editing parameters/configurations/notetags/script calls/plugin commands, then teach those users to do so, otherwise go to 3
3. If these tunes and tweaks are(after considering all factors) worthwhile to be supported by the plugins directly, then upgrade the plugins to support them(or at least announce such plans), otherwise go to 4
4. If these tunes and tweaks can be independent from the plugins, then teach those users to make those workarounds, otherwise go to 5
5. Gives the minimum amount of relevant codes(minified then deminified) to the users, and ensures those codes won't work without the rest of the plugins
Then scammers trying to steal the whole thing will have to ask for tunes and tweaks for tons of different plugin parts very quickly, and this will make their true nature very obvious, especially when it's clear that they aren't even taking time to actually implement their tunes and tweaks with the help of those revealed codes(plugin developers can also setup a policy to restrict the same user to ask, say, only 1 small group of revealed code parts per day per plugin or even per week per plugin).

I've also added 3 examples on some users requesting some parts of the plugins to be tuned and tweaked, even though I know that real plugins really using this approach will have way more than 3 groups of revealed code parts:
Add Delay Between Becoming Able To Act And Actually Inputting Actions
Change ATB Bar Window Opacity And Padding
Set The Actor And Enemy Starting ATB Values
I've tried to use them to help further deobfuscating what's already deobfuscated by online deobfuscators, but I can't even recognize which parts of the still highly deobfuscated implementation codes correspond to the revealed original versions(being minified then deminified before being revealed), so again, I feel that deobfuscating the whole thing will still be complicated and convoluted, even with the help of these revealed codes(please exclude the deobfuscation experts here).

1. Does this approach let users effectively and efficiently tune and tweak the parts of the plugins they wanted, and what obstacles will they face if the reality isn't as ideal as it should be(possibly other than the cheap one time payment/periodic subscription needed to have such accesses)?
2. Will this approach help a scammer deobfuscate the whole plugin implementation codes, or at least enough parts of them to make a standalone plugin that can make profits way more than what those scammers costed(I'm specifically excluding the case of a highly coordinated team of scammers with many teammates)?
But not anything involving the pros and cons/rights and wrongs of obfuscating plugin implementation codes, because I've made this example as a little experiment to test whether this idea can indeed let users tune and tweak the parts of the plugins they want while still stopping scammers from stealing plugins, and I don't want this post to be severely derailed or even closed :)
My RMVXA/RMMV/RMMZ scripts/plugins: http://rpgmaker.net/users/DoubleX/scripts/