Hacking is often not accurately portrayed in media, and especially in video games. The creators of hacking scenes often glaze over what actually happens in favour of speed and glam. But hacking is more than this and we hope that with H.A.T.T. we can better represent hacking in video games.

What is H.A.T.T.?

H.A.T.T. (Hack All The Things) is designed to be a proof-of-concept for a video game mechanism in which the user can realistically 'hack' into computers and files as part of a mission, be it as part of a virtual criminal organization or on the side of the good guys.

How it works

H.A.T.T. emulates a terminal, in which the user can create and edit 'files' and explore the different directories - just as if they are using an actual command line. Using Java, we embedded Lua so that the user can write and execute scripts in Lua using the user interface, which looks just like a normal command terminal. We also made many standard Linux commands available for the user to use, which we wrote in Java to complement H.A.T.T.'s virtual file system. We restricted the use of Lua libraries and commands so that H.A.T.T. remains isolated from a real computer's files. H.A.T.T. is not created to teach users how to hack; rather it provides a fun and easy way for players to interact with computers in a realistic manner.

What's next for H.A.T.T.

Hacking can be easily incorporated in many video game plots; whether it be something as small as manipulating a security system so that the rest of your team can enter a building unnoticed, or as focused as completing missions for an anonymous hacking organization, computers are an integral part of the player's experience and H.A.T.T. can enhance that. We see H.A.T.T. being implemented into a game, where a user can first learn the basics of our virtual command line and then complete missions as part of a larger goal.

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