We ran the Project 2 contest at Defcon 19, August 5-7 2011. The contest was designed to appeal to beginners, ramping up to puzzles which would intrigue the most skilled hackers. The contest was designed as an Augmented Reality Game, with a complex backstory which would be revealed as players proceeded through puzzles.
Unbeknownst to us, the Defcon 19 badge was being designed by LostboY as an Augmented Reality Game. This overshadowed our story–and honestly, we’d be hard pressed to outdo Lost. Now that we’re part of the cool kids club, we should be able to do much better coordination with other contests for next year, so this sort of thing shouldn’t happen again.
Despite the overlap with the badge contest, we had easily over 100 players, with 49 making at least one point and 17 spending enough time to make at least 10 points. Not much of the story was uncovered, so we may re-use it later (probably not at Defcon though).
The contest ended officially at noon on Sunday, but 6 teams requested we continue running the contest, which we did until about 3:30pm
One of the most exciting outcomes we observed was that players began helping each other out. Even the eventual winner was providing hints and tips to other players.
You may view the scoreboard, as captured at the time we turned off the server.
We’ll be back at Defcon 20 in 2012 if we’re permitted, with updated puzzles and better coordination with other contests. We’ve gotten a lot of excited feedback from players who plan to come back either alone or in teams and we’ll make sure we can accomodate both.
If anybody does a write-up, we’d love to link to it!
Zephyr raised $140 for the EFF by shaving his beard ($100) and getting a mohawk ($40). Unfortunately, they wouldn’t count the beard toward our total, so we didn’t rank; otherwise we would have come in second place.