Hard Light Productions Forums

Hosted Projects - Standalone => The Babylon Project => Topic started by: 0rph3u5 on March 17, 2020, 09:34:00 am

Title: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on March 17, 2020, 09:34:00 am
Originally, I was not going to do a Discussion Topic on "The Proteus-Project" (https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=96366.msg1894319#msg1894319) while it is on-going, because I thought it would distract from the experimental aspect of it to have this side bar.

But after a brief conversation with Mito[PL] on the Discord, I knew I had to clear up a few things.

Firstly: Dem bloody Rules.

1. The game is very free form. While I will hold to some restrictions with the "valid commands", I will also try not to railroad you into certain outcomes. (It may seem a bit restrictive right now, but you are only scratching at the surface ATM.)

2. The game proceeds in turns. A turn passes each time I make an update, and will move the ingame clock 6 hours forward.

3. I will make updates on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

4. Calling certain commands or having a certain number of turn pass will lead to me injecting new elements, such as the system messages left by the previous "human back-ups" of Stations S498-B.

5. If you are disruptive, I will cordon you off. If that doesn't help, I may get ... less creative. (Euphemism-level >9000)


Secondly: A peak behind the curtain

"The 'Proteus'-Project" story came to be when I was trying to decide what to do in terms of a new "showcase"-release for TBP, ultimately I settled on Project Erlkönig which is coming along very well. But there are number of other ideas in contention - Project Scarlet (picking back up the Psi Corps-stories I had sketched 10+ years ago, but with a crime thriller twist) and Project Crusader (basically reworking Crusade into a duology of campaigns, which would be very abridged versions of the Drakh Plague and Shadow Hybrid storylines). Erlkönig won out because it was technically challenging but also deliverable in a relative shot amount of time - except for the Voice Acting, but one problem at a time.

While trying to decide I did go through a lot of reference material and I just didn't want to let it go to waste.

Now the "Proteus"-story has only tangential connections to any of those projects - mostly because it is now also a delivery vehicle for Erlkönig's promotional stuff (as it has a bit of a problem with deliverables in terms of visual media).
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on March 17, 2020, 09:59:48 am
I'm genuinely enjoying it and am just looking to see how much immersion I can invest myself in 👍
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: MitoPL on March 17, 2020, 10:48:49 am
It's fun to explore it right now. My question would be, how are you going to "slice" the turns up? I think there is the slight issue of treating multi-command posts. For example, if I decide to just blurt out like a dozen commands that I can think of in a single post, this should be treated as a single turn, right?
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on March 17, 2020, 01:20:41 pm
I am not going to show you my cards, but I do have at least one trapdoor in case I get overwhelmed and need to slow walk stuff.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on March 18, 2020, 07:08:55 am
There has been a small mishap, I skipped over turn 4 when doing fixing up the forum output ... so you get 6 hours back and the crash of the INBOX still happened even though it was not supposed to happen yet

Hangovers...
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on March 23, 2020, 06:22:57 pm
I am suspending the game for a week due to health issues.

I caught something last week while shopping for supplies, and need some full.on bedrest. (No, its not a current pandemic bug; different symptoms)
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: perihelion on March 23, 2020, 10:37:54 pm
Take your time.  Hope you feel better soon!
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on March 24, 2020, 10:04:04 am
Take your time.  Hope you feel better soon!

👆👆👆
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: theperfectdrugsk on March 24, 2020, 11:38:06 am
as above; feel better! the forum game has been fun!
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on March 31, 2020, 04:06:54 am
I am back at full health - and we are resumed at turn 9.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on April 03, 2020, 04:39:40 am
I'm not going to blow the AIRLOCKS until we get that resupply.... If we're still here  :shaking:

Anyone got any clue as to the encryption on that last message?

Too many options
https://www.tools4noobs.com/online_tools/decrypt/
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: MitoPL on April 03, 2020, 07:59:21 am
I reflexively yeeted it into a base64 decoder (but a different one) and I got:

Code: [Select]
Nzb wwksl xvpfl rkh hxyff onun ivi qvhc fki.

Uonn huu sgmffcnf me:
Zkfsyrqza

Seems like this hits the spot, as the strings were decoded to something that seems to follow the basic rules (capital letters and interpunction).

From this point, I presume this is some sort of letter combination cypher. Throwing myself at Caesar code didn't work.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: theperfectdrugsk on April 03, 2020, 08:22:07 am
`wwksl` is throwing me. There aren't many english words that start with double-letters. Of the ones I can think of, none are 5 letters AND do not repeat letters. Possible that the double-letters in the code are subs for a completely different character?
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on April 03, 2020, 08:52:50 am
Basic substitution would lead me to look at the first word, common three letter words starting sentences are few.  E being the most common letter (allegedly) should help.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: MitoPL on April 07, 2020, 03:31:40 am
@theperfectdrugsk:

If this would be a cypher with some constant value of the character shift all over the text, this would have been pretty trivial, I think. Throw in some characteristic words that you'd use in the beginning of the sentences, use such repeating characters to narrow down word possibilities and then figure out the couple possible cypher methods and apply them to the text. But, not so easy.

My opinion: I don't think it's any syllable manipulation cypher, nor a constant value shift of any sort... So it's either a variable shift, or an actual keyword based cypher. I wonder if this isn't a rather late-game objective, as first riddles in such games are pretty often not too complex and not leading to very important discoveries right away.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on April 07, 2020, 03:37:58 am
The database might offer some clues if you are really stuck.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: MitoPL on April 08, 2020, 07:50:06 am
Looks like 0rph3u5 is giving us a crutch if we don't break the code in some time window... Not sure what to feel about that since there aren't many people here.

That said, now it's confirmed that the encryption actually uses some code. Possibly a lengthy one. Also possibly in German. I hope there's no umlauts in there! :D


This seems like a job for someone who is at least mildly knowledgeable on Babylon 5 lore, maybe some enryption type or a passcode was used in some episode of the show?
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on April 08, 2020, 09:20:34 am
Not a crutch, its a tutorial. You need turn over a few rocks.

And there is no time limit related to that code. While there is at least one doomsday clock in the game, it has not been triggered yet - and you will know when you do.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on April 15, 2020, 05:04:27 am
Can we have updates once a day as it's soooooooo intense waiting for updates.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on April 16, 2020, 02:21:45 pm
Sarcasm doesn't get you closer to a solution....

This might:
Quote
tachyon signals containing sensitive information receive at least two layers of encryption, not including encoding for transmission.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on April 16, 2020, 03:34:25 pm
I didn't use sarcasm tags.  I'm genuinely enjoying the topic and would relish faster cycles.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on April 21, 2020, 10:04:55 pm
Okay, at this point I will concede that I went a bit overboard - two layers of encryption are probably to much to beat on a casual basis. So I am subtracting the easier layer of encryption (which was a monoalphabetic multiplication cypher, using the multiplier 9):

Spoiler:
Nxd ooech rltph zev vrupp qnin yly wlvg pey.

Iqnn vii cskppgnp km:
Xepcuzwxa
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on April 22, 2020, 12:39:35 am
This puzzle is why I suicided.
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: MitoPL on April 22, 2020, 07:02:11 am
Hm. 9, you say.

Dekker, did you just commit NEIN? :lol:
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: Colonol Dekker on April 22, 2020, 08:09:52 am
Watch that first step.  It's bloody high 😂
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: 0rph3u5 on May 05, 2020, 12:47:19 pm
You may have noticed the absence of a post in the game topic today.

I'd like to blame it entirely on X-Com: Chimera Squad (which is buggy, imbalanced but also beautiful, engaging and all kinds of awesome*), but is owed to the fact that I'll retooling the rest of the content to suit the current level of engagement. It will take me some time to work out the details.

*Three things I cannot in good conscience say about my writing :P
Title: Re: "The 'Proteus'-Project" Discussion
Post by: MitoPL on May 05, 2020, 01:40:55 pm
Sure, take your time. Maybe someone also joins this game along the way.