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I have heard many people tell me that a user can dump the VRAM on their GPU and get all the images in my game. Including all "Streamed" images. This includes most of my Menu graphics.

How would a user dump their VRAM and get the images? Is there software that does it?

Do I need to be concerned that this is possible and should I protect my game from it?

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Even if someone would decide to copy everything, it would be easy to notice. –  xfix Apr 20 at 11:45

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Yes, it is possible for a user to get the images in GPU memory. It's not likely they'd get them by dumping the entire GPU memory space (though with specialized hardware, drivers or debugging software such a thing is possible -- Visual Studio has a powerful GPU debugger these days). Rather, they can get them from CPU memory, which is much easier. Your game's entire address space is readable, plus they could install API hooks for D3D or OpenGL that intercept the texture upload calls to help figure out where the actual image data is.

Indeed, if somebody is particular unconcerned for the quality of the ripped textures, or your game has 2D ones, it's easy enough to simply extract them from screenshots.

You cannot protect against this from physically happening. As a general rule, anything in a game client is accessible to a user since they fully control the hardware it's running on.

You shouldn't worry about trying to protect your assets this way. Instead, rely on the fact that you are legally protected by intellectual property law.

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Ok, thanks. Very good answer! Could you explain a little more on how they actually do it? I am confused on how it all actually works. Thanks. –  Elite Gamer Apr 19 at 15:02
    
Try searching for D3D hooking or interception tools. –  Josh Petrie Apr 19 at 15:04
    
Alright thanks. And getting images from the CPU, i did not know you could do that. Thanks so much. I was trying to do the process to my game and see what the user could really do. Agreed, i guess i do have copyright on the images. –  Elite Gamer Apr 19 at 15:06
    
+1 for mentioning that you shouldn't try to prevent this. –  bcrist Apr 20 at 3:38
    
@EliteGamer with gDEBugger its a simple matter to access textures, buffers, shader source code, etc. for OpenGL games. –  bcrist Apr 20 at 3:39

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