This Australian Game Will Turn Us All Into Hackers

This Australian Game Will Turn Us All Into Hackers

Hacknet is terrifying. It’s the closest thing to a real life hacking sim I’ve ever seen.

Developed by Adelaide-based developer Matt Trobbiani, Hacknet is a game that forces players to enter the shady world of internet security. It attempts to replicate the real world of hacking as opposed to the stylised Hollywood version of it. You won’t be bashing keyboards really quickly and talking really loudly about jacking the mainframe, you’ll be utilising real UNIX commands and trying to break through firewalls.

This is scary to me.

Players have to solve the mystery of ‘Bit’, the murdered creator of an invasive security system. As a failsafe he’s left the player a trail to follow, and follow it you must, down the rabbit hole of hackery.

It sounds super interesting. Hacknet is the latest game being published by Surprise Attack Games. These guys tend to support and invest in interesting game concepts, and this is no exception. Surprise Attack is describing Hacknet as “accessible but uncompromising”, which is precisely what you want a game like this to be.

The soundtrack features Carpenter Brut, who worked on Hotline Miami, and comes out August 12 on Steam and the Humble Store. I have an early copy of the game which I’ll be checking out. I’ll let you all know how it goes.


    • Love using this site at work and having it on 3 screens and full screen and then leave my desk, it really freaks people out when they walk past.

  • Very interested to know how this game is…sounds like a great concept but I agree that it could make the illegal trade a lot more accessible to people

  • I’m waiting for the DLC expansion that lets you pretend you’re a hacker but you’re actually just launching DDoS attacks on assorted online gaming services

    • Coming soon: Script Kiddie DLC pack – 5% of the skills for 1% of the effort!

      * convince your friends to install a trojan over social media
      * open and close their CD-ROM drive at will!
      * accomplish nothing whatsoever

    • Also allows you to pretend you’re vying for some sort of wonderful social/corporate justice, despite being nothing more than tryhard anarchists and the digital equivalent of a ten year old with a box of matches. Conjure a wannabe hacker manifesto so people know you’re the real deal! Who needs skill when you have a botnet at your disposal!

      h4ck t3h p14n3t!!11!!!on3e!!11!

  • I can’t view the video at work so I’m really just commenting here so I remember to come back later, but I recently discovered an older game called Uplink which has been pretty amusing. How does this compare?

    • The alpha’s been on indiedb for a few years now – played through it on my lunch break, and it looks pretty promising. Looks like there’s a contracts system similar to Uplink (iirc – it’s been a while), too, but haven’t seen evidence of hardware upgrades or stuff like that; but there’s a bunch of stuff in the video that isn’t in the alpha, so no idea what the final version will introduce.

    • Loved Uplink back in the day. This seems to be the same deal, even the same style interface, but you type commands instead of a lot of the clicking in Uplink.

  • The website interests me in that it contains nothing but a logo and animation. No clues in the source, but for a game about hacking, I would almost guarantee theres a meta-game or ARG going on there.

  • I thought the ‘internet is a series of tubes’ style of hacking in WATCH_DOGS was the closest thing to a real life hacking sim computers were capable of.

  • Carpenter Brut! They do some really good music.
    My fear with ultra-realistic hacking sims is finding out that it was actually a clever front for a crowdsourced hacking effort against real world servers.

    • Easy enough to disprove. Log all your network activity. If the game is any good it’ll even teach you how 😉

    • Their contributions to HM2’s soundtrack were all pretty great. Le Perv and Roller Mobster are just mad pumpin’, I love ’em.

      What’s the rest of their music like?

    • Although it’s an Australian developer, it’s a US publisher. I assume it’s the publisher, not the developer, that created the trailer (especially if it’s a sole developer – I doubt he’d have time) for a predominantly US audience.

      It would be a lot clearer for everybody if it said “12th August 2015” instead of 08.12.15, but actual words like that don’t look as hacker-y as a series of numbers 😛

      • What they should do is 2015.08.12, which makes the most sense for archive purposes.
        Okay, maybe they shouldn’t but it still works great for keeping things in order!

      • We are actually an Australian publisher, but sending stuff to international press, it is usually easier to use the US date. If we say it is coming out on the 13th locally, that’s actually the 12th in the US so that’s why we go with that date.

        As for the numbers, only reason we did that is because it looks more hackery.

    • I have never thought of doing this but wish I had. So many promising indies to look up 2-3 yrs after their Kickstarter launched/they impressed a journo with their alpha.

      • I think I’ll forget, at least we’ll have the memory of doing this right? I couldn’t put it on my Wishlist for Steam 🙁

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