IFComp 2020: BYOD

A very short piece about hackery in a corporate environment, enabled by a nigh-magical app on your phone that gives you remote access to anything networked, provided you know its address. The app presents any functionality of its targets through the Unix everything-is-a-file paradigm, letting you read and write them through simple commands.

It occurs to me to wonder why we haven’t seen more parser IF about command-line hacking interfaces. It seems a natural fit, and I for one would like to see more of it. Especially since this game barely whets your appetite for snooping around in other people’s computer systems and then it’s over. I could see making much more use of the system presented here — or maybe it’s good that it doesn’t pad it out? One thing makes me think it could support a longer story: it takes place in one room, and there’s a sense that the filesystems are a substitute for conventional exploration.

One thing I almost missed by playing from a standalone interpreter: The website provided for the game is something else. The index.html is a perfect replica of an old MS-DOS directory listing, with the right font and everything. In addition to the game, it gives you a couple of virtual feelies, including a fake hacker newsletter and something very similar to a 90s Amiga demo. All this is kind of anachronistic to the game content, with its 2000s smartphone, but it’s a lovely little Hypnospace-ish nostalgia trip that put a smile on my face and raised my rating by a point or two, even if it’s not a part of the game proper.

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