Location 1 ( A room) Here, you have access to your personal laptop will be the main physical location of this interactive story. Here you will carrying out all the tasks.
Online: You will be carrying out a list of tasks and will be taken through various online environments. The main environment will be the game location and the other online environments will follow:
Location 1 (The Game) The player will be tricked into playing what seems like an easy adventure game but in reality it will be a stimulated hack experience. From this main page, the player will have to make choices in what they would want to do next. This will be the main platform where the hacker will be communicating with them as well.
Location 2 (call) Link provided by hacker and will facilitate the first encounter with another character facing the same experience as the player.
Location 3 (iCloud account) In this location, screenshots of secret conversations will be revealed. The owner of this account will remain anonymous on the screen. The player will be instructed to upload these files and transfer them.
Location 4 (Email account) An automated email will be sent to the players email account. Here, it will be where the player must accept an e-transfer and deposit into his/ her account.
Location 5 (Twitter) A newsfeed of a major news company reveals that an account of a major organization has been hacked into.
Premise: Not set in any dystopian or alternate reality. It is in the present world, as we know it. Having our personal digital devices act as surveillance cameras. History teaches us that lists of hacking suspects can sometimes be drawn way too broadly. Today, there are even attempts by the British Government Communication Headquarters to monitor everyone who visited the Wikileaks website, even just to browse. Some policies and regulations don’t’ make sense and your data and privacy are overreached by law enforcement. In addition, technologies like Finspy are commercially available today to install malware on your computer or phone and “recruit” it to spy on you. Our omnipresent-networked devices raise big questions that we should openly debate. Balancing these costs and benefits will determine the type of society we live in. All of the imagined scenarios are designed to be highly plausible for anyone. It’s the familiarity that makes them so disturbing.
Culture: Today, we live in a culture that is obsessed with watching others and wanting to be watched. Government organizations and influential corporations (such as Facebook and Google) have access to a lot of our personal data. But, this is because users let them. They agree to all the terms, acknowledging the fact that any content produced through their services will and can be used for their personal benefit. In addition to this, we are all so obsessed with sharing, producing, and consuming content at all times. Users want to be watched by their fellow peers and show the highlight reels of their lives. This is the culture we live in.
Main Protagonist: Player (You)
As a digital native, you will be navigating through everyday online interactions. Some of these activities could include scrolling through you social media accounts, checking your email, or managing your online banking. All of this data and information could be targeted from 'Black Hat' hackers - those who break into secure networks to destroy, modify, or steal data, or to make the networks unusable for authorized network users.
As the player, you will be experiencing a stimulated hack to your personal computer. The main conflict will be internally - making impulsive decisions, driven by fear and a time constraint to carry out the tasks. External conflict will be with the other characters and mainly with the protagonist - the hacker. Through this experience, you will be encountering all of the characters within this interactive story. These interactions will consist of taking orders from the Hacker and working along with other people in similar situations as you.
Main Antagonist: The Hacker
Throughout the story, the player will be interacting with the person who is trying to blackmail them. This is not only one person. They are a collective force that tries to make people hyper-aware that there information online is so easily accessible and that they should be critical of the kinds of content they are sharing with organizations.
They are smart, intuitive, and humorous. To alleviate the thrills and constant angst, some humour will be included within their dialogue. The sarcastic and ironic sense of humour plays well with the premise of the whole narrative- how this could of been avoided in the first place if the player just fully read the terms and conditions of what they are signing up for in the beginning of the game.
The Helper: Jones
the player first interacts with Jones in the first segments of the narrative. Together they share similar fears about what the hackers can possibly do with the information they have collected about them. Back story: He has had an affair and there are secret screenshots and other content within his icloud account. Ironically, Jones helps the main player expose himself and all of the content is sent to his girlfriend ( or now ex - Elizabeth).
Main Plot lines of Development (WIP)
(1)The Game: To the user, the game starts off seemingly like a harmless action/battle game - where the main goal is to have the Greek army lay siege near the city of Troy. In actuality, this is a precursor for what's about to happen to the player. They will be brought to the main game game, the an instructions page, followed by a Terms & Conditions page.
(2)The Agreement: Most people do not bother to read the fine print and blindly click on the 'Accept' button. By doing so, “you agree to abide by our terms of service.” Apparently losing rights to data and legal recourse is not enough of a reason to inspect online contracts. Users give web-based services – and third parties the services contract with, about which users know nothing – the right to keep, analyze and sell their data. Increasingly often, too, people click away their right to go to court if anything goes wrong. Playing off this, the fine print in the Terms and Conditions of this game will include the entire way the game is going to be played out, the fact that their emails will be accessed, their login information for their online banking will be taken, and numerous other aspects of the interactive narrative. It will explicitly state this but most players will breeze through it and will not read the fine print. This is done to make people realize at the end of the game that they need to understand that they are in charge of their own data security.
(3) The Attack: By clicking "Join" or "Accept" , they will automatically be downloading the spy male-ware unnoticed. A gif will pop up and state that the virus is downloading and complete. The hacking stimulation begins.
(4) First Impression: Here, a chatbot will pop-up on the screen and this will be the main way of the hacker communicating with them. The first thing the collective would say is "WE'VE BEEN WATCHING, WE HAVE IT ALL". He will then proceed to state that the player has only 22 minutes to complete the tasks. He will then order the player to respond with. Why 22 minutes? I wanted to make a reference to George Orwells dystopian novel 1984. 1+9+8+4 = 22. This is the Hackers way of saying, "Big Brother is watching you".
(5) +SMS - Save. My. Soul: The player will be prompted to reply with his/her phone number, where he/she will receive a real text message to their phone from the supposed hacker, giving him the next instructions.
Application to do this: SMS hero
(6) Jones leaves a message: The player will call the number provided by the hacker and it will connect them to the character, Jones.
(7) iSee: The player will have to upload and syndicate top secret files/ photos / screenshots found on a designated icloud account. Player choose to not do task - have his/her own data leaked (game over) or carry out the task and continue the game.
(8) Cha-ching: The hacker will then prompt the player to enter his/ her email. An electronic wire transfer will be sent to the player, where he or she will 'deposit' the money into their account.
(9) Big Brother is watching: A twitter newsfeed of a news room will be reporting that there has been a security breach and financial information/bank data will be threatened to be released if ransom not collected. Another tweet will talk about the icloud hack of an influential person.
(10) the reveal/ epilogue: a timer will run blink 00:00 indicating time is up. A troll face will reveal itself. A paragraph will explain the intent of the game and will provide the original terms & conditions agreement form for the player to re-read what they signed up for.
Design snippets + ideas
- History bar being scrolled through gif
- Hacking process ( WARNING )
- virus downloading - windows 84 style gif
- Use light box on wix to prompt the player to enter email address
- automated email - "choose institution to deposit money"
- timer: YOU ONLY HAVE 22:00 minutes (1984 reference) - put big brother in the background
- 3 monkeys (emojis) seek no evil, do no evil, hear no evil,
- audio clips of man
- evil laugh clip
- Terms & conditions agreement form