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TheNoobHunter

Would A Game About Phone Phreaking Work?

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I've been playing some hacking sims recently, mainly Uplink and Hacknet. The idea popped into my head of a hacking game about phone phreaking ( a precursor to computer hacking that involved exploring and exploiting telephone systems in the 1970's and 80's). It would be largely based on exploration and it would have multiplayer so that other players could interact and in some cases sabotage each other. While the concept seems really interesting and fun to me, I can't help but feel that the novelty would wear off and the game would get boring very quickly. I'd like to know what you think and/or what elements could be added to make the game more fun.

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How do you picture the game working, mechanically? You mention exploration, but I'm not sure what that means in the context of a game about phreaking. It seems like the most fundamental question to answer in a hacking game is how the act of hacking is actually represented.

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To me the biggest hurdle is that:

 

This game concept is mainly fun to people who expierienced that in the first place. You know, the guys who hear "70's phone hacking" and instantly know what you are talking about. The guys you don't have to write a 2 page introductionary piece for, or repeatetly have to tell "no, its not about mobile phones!", "no, its not about an alternative universe were there were mobile phones in the 70's!".

 

Now, I guess this group is fairly small:

- These guys are in the older age group now. Of course some of them game... but will your game reach them?

- These things were quite obscure back then. No internet to spread urban legends and half truths in mere seconds around, and interest in tech generally lower. Even the guys that expierienced the 70's probably don't know what you are talking about.

 

Of course some people like playing "obscure historical settings" BECAUSE they weren't there. Still, I'd say your taget audience is way smaller than the target audience for games about computer hacking. This phenomen has taken the world in storm, and many people got first hand expieirence with their computer being infected with a virus. The tales of computer hackers are the things of legends nowadays.

 

I personally have never heard about phone hacking. And I was born at the end of the 70's.... didn't had the chance to expierience it myself... but if it was such a huge thing, I would remember having heard about it during my childhood.

 

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Blueboxing, huh. I've never done it myself, but I had three or four friends in school who did. Not sure why they did, it was pretty pointless. Probably did it only because forbidden and because "cool". The risk of getting caught was admittedly low in a 95% analog network, but unless you had relatives living abroad (none of us had) the most "useful" thing you could do was making a trans-continental call and back, shout "Hello" in the phone and wait a second to hear your own voice saying "Hello". It's fun doing that once when you're 12, but it's already boring after that. Well OK, in theory you could have used it for BBS, but those were all local calls anyway, and none of us paid a phone bill at that time either (parents did), so again... pointless. How did that work? You sent some kind of "secret" (actually well-documented) tone to signal hangup, but you didn't hang up. That was all to it. The sattelite would trust that you really hung up when you said you would, and it would thus stop billing you. Then you would just dial again (touch tone, which was the single biggest hurdle in Europe at that time, phones being impulse-dial, not tone-dial). One kid got a tone-dial phone for that purpose, the others just used their modems. With that in mind, I imagine such a game being pretty boring. I mean, what are the challenges, what's to gain, what do you get points for?

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Like others said, it is hard to understand why this game is fun. The main idea is obscure.

Can you remodel it to a known theme? Eg: Knights in space = Jedis; Swords = Light sabers. Medieval = your idea, space = remodeled theme.

Edited by estevan95

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