Posted on Nov 30, 2009

The Game 3.0

Yet another game is now complete and over. I’d have to say this was one of the better ones we’ve made! It’s always very difficult to judge the quality and difficulty of tasks beforehand, but based on player response the conclusion is that it was successful. I thought I’d share some of the problems that were in the game. For more about the game me and Fredrik make, see The Game and The Game 2.0.

Stage 1, problem 7 — The Kidnapping

That’s all the clues you got. Notice that the title is actually a link to an .mp3 file. Three weird voices reciting numbers can be heard on it. However, this was a red herring; the real clue was in the album art image in the meta data of the file.

The sound file linked to in the title.

People on Macs can run this command in the Terminal to produce the voices recorded in the .mp3 file.

The album art of the .mp3 file linked to.

The picture was taken near the south entrance of the venue. If a contestant searched the place displayed in the photo, he or she found a note underneath the counter with a phone number written on it. When calling the number, morse code for the word “” could be decoded. On this webpage yet another sound file could be found.

The last message from the kidnapped girl. The voice is actually me, somewhat edited :)

On the second .mp3 file a scared female voice was whispering landmarks she saw while being dragged away by unknown people. Her ill fate ended by what she described as “…roses …five stones…” This was a description of a fountain outside of the venue. If the players identified it, ran over there and searched the place, they found a note with the password to the next level.

Stage 2, problem 4 — Exploded Encryption


For this task I implemented an encryption that I came up with, which I call Exploded Encryption. Basically, it converts a string to ASCII codes and hides these sparsely (“exploded”) within the decimals of pi. This was, however, too hard for the players to backtrack without clues. But the intended way of solving it was to first realize that the numbers seem completely random. But since there still must be something hidden in there an external key should be able to provide it. This key I used was pi.

The explode() function I wrote to generate the string. It’s on Github here.

The interesting information within the string can be found by overlaying it with pi, and extracting the matching digits at the same indices.



Pi, and the given string, with the corresponding digits highlighted.

The resulting string is 71658484656765. The skilled eye notices that each pair of numbers are between 65 and under 100, something that should make the hunter think of ASCII codes. Indeed, converted to text the string yields “GATTACA.”

If every random sequence of numbers is overlaid with pi from now on, I am probably to blame. :)


  • Ni-Q says:

    Yeah the game was a great one and I truly enjoyed all the tasks, but even the slightest hint of Pi would have been greatly welcomed on the last task ;)

    Still, the winnners deserved to win. Congratulations to them! We’ll beat them at dekompile anyway!

  • Emanuel says:

    I feel for uniQrew, and yeah, a hint towards Pi would have been most suitable. Anyway, make sure you get your revenge at dekompile :)

  • Murray-Mint says:

    The game was truely brilliant. Some great tasks and was really close at the end. Congratulations to the winners, they deserved it!

    More thanks go to you and and ique though for running yet another excellent puzzle hunt.

    At least 3 puzzle hunts to take part in before dekompile, just need to sort out a British entry :)

  • Ehsan says:

    Haha! Wonderful! I particularly enjoyed the kidnapped girls voice… ;)