Communicating With Ciphers
The initial idea for this project focused on this idea: We encrypt the delivery of our messages, so why not encrypt the messages themselves? The idea was to create a way for people to encrypt and decrypt their messages using a cipher that only the two of them knew.
A Game of Two Minds
The idea changed to be more game-based and focused on the P5 canvas, instead of taking the text away to send to the other person. The first player writes a message, decides on a cipher, then writes a hint to help the second player guess the cipher.
Then the second player receives the hint and has three tries to guess what the cipher is, based on the hint. If the second player guesses correctly, then they decrypt the message and are able to read it. If the second player doesn’t guess correctly in three tries, then they aren’t able to read the message.
I initially wanted to use a keyword cipher to encrypt the message that’s sent to the other person, because it’s a more complicated cipher. I instead used a Caesar cipher, which uses the amount of letters in the cipher word to shift the alphabet by that amount. This cipher type was more straightforward to implement and to the players, it looks like it functions the same as a keyword cipher.
As I created the game in P5, I realized that it had a two player arcade game feeling to it, so I designed it around that idea. The font and music both give the players an arcade vibe, as well as the quickly appearing and disappearing dots on intro screen.
You can also play the cipher game through P5.