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Network Security game

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OK, this is a bit of a long post...bear with me. For our senior design project, me and three other comp. engineering students have the task of creating a game that will be used by our Information Assurance department in educating highschool and college-age students about network security. The basic premise is that you have a network, you put in security measures, and as time goes on, your network will be attacked. The comparison used by our professor was that it would be like a "Sim" game, except with network security. Now, my main problem is...how the heck do you make something like this interesting, both graphically and simulation-wise? I have a little knowledge of networking, and it seems to me it involves a bunch of arcane concepts that would be hard to simulate in a game. I''m not experienced in game programming and neither is anyone else on the team....so if you pros could give tips on some gaming theory, that would be most appreciated. The website for the project is: http://seniord.ee.iastate.edu/dec0306/

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i have an idea.

lets take four bimbos from hollywood and send them into space. we''ll let them find their way back to earth on their own.

considering the obscure nature of your project, i cant find myself knowing how to create such a game (and im a learn-ed c++ and DirectX programmer myself). but to take a team that knows virtually nothing about game programming, and try to create something that some people that ARE game programmers cant do? flawed logic. do you know and computer languages? for a computer engineering class i would hope so.

did your team develop this idea? or was it assigned? if it was assigned then it may be possible, but if you were assigned a more ambigious project and you came up with this idea, it is possible that you are in over your head. a little more information is required.

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quote:
Original post by Neen10do
i have an idea.

lets take four bimbos from hollywood and send them into space. we''ll let them find their way back to earth on their own.

considering the obscure nature of your project, i cant find myself knowing how to create such a game (and im a learn-ed c++ and DirectX programmer myself). but to take a team that knows virtually nothing about game programming, and try to create something that some people that ARE game programmers cant do? flawed logic. do you know and computer languages? for a computer engineering class i would hope so.

did your team develop this idea? or was it assigned? if it was assigned then it may be possible, but if you were assigned a more ambigious project and you came up with this idea, it is possible that you are in over your head. a little more information is required.




We''re seniors in computer engineering, so yes, we are competent in several languages. It is a daunting project so I don''t expect that we''ll make a professional quality game, although I imagine we can outsource some of the graphics/sound/music. I''m not interested in the actual implementation of the game, but what the principles and theory that would go behind making network security "fun". Here is the official project description:

quote:

The goal of this project is to develop a working computer game to help introduce people to the issues surrounding computer security. The game would be modeled after the Sim games and would allow the game players to purchase equipment to help secure one of several predefined network configurations. The game would attack the network and the user would get points based on how well they designed the protection system. The game could either be web-based or Windows-based.

Client: Information Assurance Center




Yes, it is ambiguous. And the subject matter is obscure and inaccessible...that''s why I asked the question of how to go about designing it in the first place


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I’m sure there was an old C64 or Amiga game called Hacker or something like that in which you had to break into a computer system, I can’t remember too much about it but you might want to get an emulator and look for a old-school game like that.

Along those lines I recon a console based game in which you were either the hacker trying to get into the system or the sys admin trying to keep the hacker out could be quite a satisfying gaming experience if pulled off properly. You could probably even use Lisp or Python for this and make up your own "operating system" for the game interface.

Although this would be a simulation it wouldn’t really look anything like the Sims.

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quote:
Original post by KiwiMelon
I’m sure there was an old C64 or Amiga game called Hacker or something like that in which you had to break into a computer system, I can’t remember too much about it but you might want to get an emulator and look for a old-school game like that.

Along those lines I recon a console based game in which you were either the hacker trying to get into the system or the sys admin trying to keep the hacker out could be quite a satisfying gaming experience if pulled off properly. You could probably even use Lisp or Python for this and make up your own "operating system" for the game interface.

Although this would be a simulation it wouldn’t really look anything like the Sims.




Yeah, I tried out the game UpLink, which is supposedly a successor to Hacker. Pretty neat game...at least it gives some insight on how to incorporate network security into a game from the opposite perspective. I think the setup of the game will be that you are a network administrator in charge of a company''s server. As the company expands, you earn more money to implement more countermeasures. And as the company grows bigger, its server will come under attack more often. Also, more countermeasures require more maintenence and may reduce the performance (depending on what you used). So, there will be a very basic economical model behind this. I don''t know why my prof thought the "Sim" games (not "The Sims", necessarily) would be a good model. I can''t think of any way to graphically represent these concepts...but since the game is meant to appeal to high school students/college freshman, obviously, it won''t be text based.

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Yeap, and also you can add that the more strict you are with the security, the angrier the workers will get, because if they can''t use their ICQ, or if sharing files via ICQ doesn''t work because of you, they''ll get pissed and try hacking themselves from the inside out! Because all they care about is that they can have a little bit of fun once in a while, as they DO have acccess to the net (or at least should have that).

So the stronger security you have and the bigger the company, you have to have courses in Network Ethics & Security for the workers, so they understand that they can''t do whatever they wish
. Also investing a bit on some IPX-entertaiment, so that they can, instead of hacking themselves out to the Internet during their breaks, they''ll play Quake instead

I know this has happened in real life

Have fun

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