Scope Creep Hack-venture – Learn Linux and/or Hacking!

Learn Linux or Ethical Hacking from the ground up while playing a 3D fully immersive and interactive adventure game. Web/PC/Mac

 Scope Creep Hack-venture - Learn Linux and/or Hacking

UPDATE – Backer exclusive: $10 dollar and up level bonus: You will get a modded version of the game that will be focused on teaching Linux command line skills. There will be no hacking in that mod but you will learn Linux. And have fun doing it. 

I would like to introduce you to a unique approach that combines adventure gaming and blended learning.

Take on the role of Merl McPenrite, an ethical Hacker that unwittingly gets involved in a conspiracy far beyond his control. He will need a combination of hacking, computer, and problem solving skills to be able to get out of the mess he finds himself in. Do you have what it takes to get him out alive?

In case you were curious as to where the characters name came from: MERL is an acronym for May Emulate Real Life.

It is my firm belief that learning should be fun. Some people spend thousands of hours playing repetitive games that require a wealth of knowledge to be successful. Why not use that time to learn something that is actually useful and beneficial!  Hacking and other computer skills are generally best learned through repetitive action. People go as far as to create virtual labs with hundreds of systems to be able to practice their art. Why go through all of that when you could start up a game and lose track of time while your are practicing skills that you need to know in the real world?

Scope Creep is but one of many projects that MidGames will be producing over the next several years that focuses on bridging the gap between learning and fun.

The game will have several different difficulty levels:

  • Easy – If you are just starting to learn about hacking then this is the level for you. Challenging enough to keep you entertained and yet basic enough to prevent frustration from setting in. You are able to use a menu driven approach when attempting do things such as scanning a network or hacking a computer within the game. You get to try things multiple times so that you can learn as you progress. This difficulty level requires very little real world knowledge and is a great starting point for people that that just want to enjoy a fun game and possibly learn something valuable along the way!
  • Medium – You will still have a menu driven approach available but now you will also be able to type in the actual commands necessary to make the systems do what you need it to. Do not expect this level to be easy. This is the level that most beginning ethical hackers should already be at. Bad decisions will have a minor impact on the game world. You may get second chances.
  • Hard - You want hard, you get it. This attempts to simulate the real world as closely as possible. You will have to know the commands for the challenges you will face. Bad decisions will have a huge impact on the game.

There will be a collection of mini-games made specifically to reinforce the skills necessary to make it through the game.  Why should you read a boring book when you can practice your knowledge in a game?

The game is set in a interactive 3D world where the character can interact with NPC’s, pick up items, use items and more. The computer simulations are clear and crisp and emulate the types of tools that you would need to know and understand to get through the challenges that Merl will face. The challenges are not all computer based as the ethical hacking field requires a large subset of skills such as hardware hacking, social engineering and more.

Here is an early screenshot of the first office area that Merl McPenrite begins his journey in.

There are several other areas but I do not want to give away the plot or the challenges in the game. 

Screen shot of the initial office 'tutorial' area. Realtime shadows are off and we did not fully lightbake yet.
Screen shot of the initial office ‘tutorial’ area. Realtime shadows are off and we did not fully lightbake yet.
This is the receptions tutorial area. No post processing and real time shadows are off.
This is the receptions tutorial area. No post processing and real time shadows are off.

It will be playable in your Browser, your PC, Mac, or just maybe even on your Linux box (Dependent on Unity 4.0 release date. We will also need to test the port at that time to ensure it actually works as expected.)

Although we are fully dedicated to this project and willing to put hundreds, even thousands of hours into making this learning experience something unique, entertaining, and well… Awesome, we still need to buy licenses and handle other expenses. If funded, the project will be released much sooner and will contain features otherwise unavailable. We are willing to spend the hours, but we still need the financial assistance to make this happen. The funding goal is the absolute minimum we still require to get the game released in a timely manner. Any additional funding would be used to make the game better in many different ways such as graphics improvements, additional features, etc.

Midgames (Pronounced similar to ‘Mighty-Games’) is a small startup led by myself. I have managed to recruit a few (2..) members to share my dreams and spend some time working on level design, graphics, and story line. You may be surprised at how difficult it was to convince talented individuals that they should invest their time on projects that will be given away for free :-).

The MidGames mission is to provide innovative interactive blended learning for various fields. As previously mentioned, Merl is but one of many areas we would like to move forward with. We are building out a reusable framework that will be viable for various other areas of focus as well. If the skill requires repetitive action, memorization, and quick thinking we believe that we can probably make it less painful to practice using our techniques.

About Me

I am an experienced security professional with over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. I hold many industry certifications such as the CISSP, MCSE, Net+, OSWP, and more. I am also an avid Unity 3d fan.

I am also the author of “Advanced Penetration Testing for Highly-Secured Environments: The Ultimate Security Guide” published by PacktPub.

Lee Allen is indeed the author of this book
Lee Allen is indeed the author of this book.

If you made it this far, I would like to thank you for your time. This dream is going to become a reality one way or the other and I would love to have you join my adventure through assisting in this KickStarter.

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