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Hacker game design

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Hi there,

 

I am working on an adventure TPP game in which the game character is a hacker. It is the minor feature of the game, however the player from time to time will have to break some codes, hacks some computers etc. I would very much like to deliver a bit of reality in that aspect like using command line, searching patterns in memory dumps, installing keyloggers and so on (Just to make player feel like me when I was a kid at school shutting down all PCs via net to my class-mates during IT classes). However I cannot assume that person playing this game will have any experience in hacking, bash, programming, scripting or any OS administration. So I would like to ask for any tips that would help me to make this enough easy for player but still interesting and giving the sense of really hacking into a computer.

 

For now I have designed it in such way that the game character is a hacker and he has the knowledge on how to do hacking stuff. So the player only does quite simple tasks like installing keylogger and watches the rest being done by the character. For example: you are supposed to break into some wi-fi spot. You get the menu with options which are explained by the game character. When choosing one, then you have update in your notepad what you need to do to achieve the goal. Any suggestions on how to improve that part?

 

 

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various implementations come to mind:

 

1. pressing buttons. the player presses buttons, clicks on stuff to do actions. stuff animates (cut scene or in game). they're in. (perhaps with success check). sort of interactive movie gameplay.

 

2. puzzle based. 

 

3. quest/mission based. multiple quests/missions to learn the skills and get the tools to do the job. perhaps including puzzles, success checks, etc.

 

some aspects of play in a game are more engaging than others. streamline the dull stuff.

 

don't let your personal fascination with the subject color your judgement.

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I like Norman's suggestion of it being quest/mission based. Even though the user may not know anything about hacking, you could start them off with tutorials or missions that'll teach them how to hack in your world. Mission 1 installing keyloggers and Mission 5 is inputting their own commands. Mission 10 involves them hacking a system on their own, using everything that they've learned, against a timer or being caught by the police. 

If you introduce the user to your world and give them enough tools to understand and adapt, they'll get the sense of hacking. 

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You are looking for something more 'real' ...

 

A simple pseudo programming language (pick one of the scripting languages that you can imbed) which the player must generate a matching output pattern (letters/digits)  to 'hack' a code input or mimic some challenge/request system.

 

Pretty simple and simplified  for the game aspect  (but with varying difficulties and different forms) to achieve their 'hacks')

 

In game utilities to run/test their hack 'coding'

 

Usually there is also wending your way through a 'system' to find the access points   for interesting (valuable) access/data   - with one step making possible the next progressive step deeper

Edited by wodinoneeye

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