So what’s been happening with Top Secret? Well I’ve updated the game to make it easier to play and I've also added game keys. Read on to find out more...
Firstly a few people have been struggling to start the email version of the game. To do this you have to send an application form in a specific format. Unfortunately the game was not very helpful if you sent an invalid application! To fix this I’ve added more detailed error responses. If you now miss out a field in the form, or send an invalid game key the game will let you know. Hopefully this should help people when starting the game.
I’ve also re-added the ‘How to play’ email at the start of the game (which some of you might remember from the Kickstarter demo). At some point when refactoring/rewriting this was taken out of the game, but it’s back in and should make onboarding a bit easier.
Finally I’ve added a new ‘Security Key’ field to the email application form. This prevents people who don’t own the game from playing. I’ve tried to keep this as light touch as possible - there are no restrictions to which email account you can use your key with, or how many concurrent games you can use it for, so it shouldn’t impact how you play the game. And you don’t need the key at all when playing offline. Here’s a filled-in example of the new application form using a game key:
---- NSA Internal Transfer Request Form ---
First Name: Edward
Last Name: Snowden
Use PGP Encryption (Y/N): Y
UTC offset (hours): 3
Security Key: https://topsecret.itch.io/top-secret/download/humbletopsecret-007
Please explain why you wish to join the Signals Intelligence division (200 words max):
To uphold the constitution of the United States of America.
Please note the contents of your application may be used for promotional and training purposes. All information is stored securely by the United States Office of Personnel Management.
To start the game you send your form to firstname.lastname@example.org as usual.
In the above form the security key is ‘https://topsecret.itch.io/top-secret/download/topsecret-007’. NB. This is a fake key! For Kickstarter backers I’m distributing Top Secret by itch.io and you should receive your key in the next few days. Note you won’t be able to start a new email game until you receive your key.
Until next time,
In the news
The cypherpunk revolution - Thomas Rid
Edward Snowden doesn’t deserve a pardon - Washington Post Editorial Board
The Washington Post is wrong: Edward Snowden should be pardoned - Trevor Timm
House Intelligence Committee urges no pardon for Edward Snowden - New York Times
The House Intelligence Committee’s terrible, horrible, very bad Snowden report - Barton Gellman
I was a CIA whistleblower now I’m a black inmate, here’s how I see American racism - Jeffrey Sterling
How to send an email in 1984 - Motherboard
The price of connection: ‘surveillance capitalism’ - The Conversation