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Hacked Mechanics

by timsamoff profile

Espionage
2017

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Good concept, but implementation lacking, March 14, 2018
The idea behind this game is an interesting one: break into a secure system using a simulation of an actual Unix shell, with a time limit. But the actual implementation fell short.

The faux terminal has no scrollback, which is irritating, and the line editing is brittle: I managed to make it so I couldn't type at one point and had to refresh the page. The shell commands are inconsistently defined. `rm` doesn't work on anything except what you're supposed to delete; attempting to delete other files says they're "not found". Directories say they're full even after deleting all of their contents. In a longer game, little errors like this would be forgivable, but this game is so short that they really detract from the experience.

That said, the actual puzzle in this game is a nice bit of fun, and the aesthetic is good. With a bit more polishing this would make a good minicomp entry.

Comments on this review

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timsamoff, March 15, 2018 - Reply
Thanks for the review.

The original version of the game allowed scrolling, but several testers wanted a more 80s terminal feel, which didn't allow for scrolling.

I'd love to know exactly where things stopped working for you -- speaking of testers, this game was tested by nearly 100 people during my thesis research and no one reported any refresh-worthy errors. I'll fix 'em if I can find 'em. ;)

As for the "rm" issue. Note where you were attempting to use the command and it might make more sense to you.

Funny... The "full" directory issue was never reported. I'll try to fix that.
Draconis, March 16, 2018 - Reply
Fair enough! It did have a very 80s feel, which was nice.

I'm not sure what I did that made the text entry stop working, and if it doesn't affect anyone else then I'll just chalk it up to bad luck on my part. The cursor became narrow, like a standard browser text entry cursor, and stopped flashing.

As far as the rm thing, (Spoiler - click to show)I'm used to rm deleting files outright, not moving them to the trash. Even in the game when I rm the data files they just disappear. Perhaps changing the error message to indicate why it fails?

And as for the full directory issue, (Spoiler - click to show)to give a bit more detail: I deleted all the data files, then went back to the root, and ls still said there were 26 files in that directory.
timsamoff, March 20, 2018 - Reply
Thank you for commenting back!

I get what you're saying about the rm issue. I'll think about that for sure.

And, yes, the directory numbering needs to be fixed. Like I said, I'm very surprised that no one else reported on that. :)
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