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TroyIn my previous post I mentioned that I attended a party at GDC thrown by the CMU folks from the Entertainment Technology Center. It was there that I had the pleasure of meeting TJ Jackson, a technical director for Dreamworks and also the man behind Troy.

Created as part of the Experimental Gameplay Project under the theme of "violate", Troy was designed and built in one week as a Web-based augmented reality game. In it the player explores the topic of invasion of privacy and... um... well, if I told you any more then I'd be spoiling the game. Suffice to say that the goal of the game is to figure out how to play. It is not a long game by any means, but parts of it are sure to stump many people that give it a try; and it's a lot of fun while it lasts.
Here are a couple of tips to get started: things aren't always as they seem; and click this link only if you get really stuck with encryption.

Although most of the game can be played via the Web, one significant component of it requires the launching of a Windows-only executable, and therefore the game cannot be played on any other platform. This is an unfortunate shortfall of the game since the contents of the executable could have been created in Flash just as easily, thereby retaining the cross-platform compatibility seen with most Web-based games.

You can check out some of TJ's other games at the Experimental Gameplay site. A post-mortem of the game is also available.


Man... this seemed really intriguing, but the fact that it's Windows-only leaves me sad and wondering just how cool it might have been. Somebody please do a conversion of this that's cross-platform!


Wow... that was... indescribable. Just when you thought that you had finally got what you were looking for... Well, I won't spoil it.


Wow, that was quite the neat little game...definitely room for growth on that one.

A google search can turn up the necessary tool(s) for the encryption portion of the game, thankfully


I am absolutely stuck.

I have the password for filesharing, but can't figure out the password for the zip or for email.


Can someone send me a link to this executable? I'm just getting a 404. One of the comments was to go to the 'Parent Directory' link, which didn't return anything immediately relevant.

baba44713 March 29, 2006 8:44 AM

Cool game. I really like this creepy augmented reality games.


One thing totally ruined it for me. One of my early stupid tries for getting Evan's password was simply googling "troy" and "vangough" hoping to find some fake blog or something.
Unfortunately, the very first result was a complete walkthrough of the game, given by the author himself. At first I was happy cos I though that this was a part of the game somehow but soon have realized that this is jsut a complete spoiler for it.
Too bad.


Why does the picture link to a zip file containing the URL? methinks that it's the wrong link.


Ignore the last comment. Why do they bother doing that? Can't they just link to the URL in the zip file?


Bah! I get a 404 error everytime I try the URL in the zip file... I guess Troy gave up sharing... =)


Hmm, semms that the URL provided in the zipfile doesent work anymore.


I'm stuck! Already... =þ
What I did so far...

-found the members page & evan's login name
-found the login & pwd for the file share section in IMG_2304.jpg
-found the hint for evan's login name "anniversary"
i thought that the anniversary could be Vincent VanGogh's death or birth anniversary, but I tried every combination (7291890, jul291890, 72990 etc...) but none of them worked...
So I tried with thesaurus (ceremony, commemoration, feast day, festival...) but still none of them worked...
I tried to find a reference of some anniversary with the Becky girl of the photo but found none...
Now what? °°


Brilliant! A very well designed game. Id love to see something like this which had had longer spent on it.



Try looking more closely at the email. Theres another URL in there


Mm, Stefano, and cosie - the problem you're having relates to my hint: "things aren't always as they seem". =)


The link inside the zip isn't working


:rolls eyes:


Ah, yes! I guess I couldn't think outside the box. It's experimental... experimental media, experimental puzzles, everyday elements, rearranged experimentally. It's experimental. Got it now. =)



Hi! This is TJ, the maker of the game. Glad to see you all are enjoying it. This was made last semester as part of CMU's Experimental Gameplay Project, and was made in four days, so yes, it's very short :) This was my first attempt at not only writing an augmented reality game (the rest are OpenGL based mini games), but was also the only game I wrote with a plot and characters.

This was my favorite game I think I made, but even though it required little to no coding, it was the most difficult due to the fact I had to write :) A lot of it doesn't make sense, some of the puzzles are random. I rip it all apart in the post-mortem linked above, which is also a walkthru (spoiler alert).

Apologies for those who can't run the Windows exe. Since we were working in such tight development constraints in an academic setting, we weren't really concerned with making our games multi-platform, so I just used my OpenGL Windows framework I had already developed for the remainder of my games that semester. If you get to that point in the game, here's the spoiler:

Cryptic text comes up that asks you "Why are you so nosey, my little child? Why do you want to know my secrets? Perhaps…it is time to know yours…" The game then displays a url, noseychild.evanvincent.com.

Now that I've started working full time in the film industry, I haven't really taken the time to make new games. But this positive feedback I've recieved from GDC and Jay has motivated me to start back up. Without the time constraints of the academic project, maybe I can spend more time fleshing things out. Thanks for all the input!


Cheers for stopping by TJ, and it was great meeting you at GDC! I, too, would enjoy seeing what you can come up with given a bit longer to flesh out your ideas.

The post-mortem you wrote was great insight to some of the issues you struggled with during the game's rapid development cycle. It really is amazing to me that you were able to create such an integrated multimedia experience in just 4 days.

Well done! =)


4 days? Im amazed.. this is by far one of the best ideas I've ever seen. I would love to see something like this fully realised, with the ideas you wrote in the post-mortem.

Heh, when I found out the password clue was


I went onto the ETC's main website, looking for his birthday. Wild goose chase there, but if a full version included things like that, then I think it would be a masterpiece. Thank you for making this game, and opening people's eyes to the possibilities. Not all games have to have, well, a game ;)


I think the most disturbing part of this game, for me, was that it was all too familiar. I really am a nosey child and I've done this sort of thing before..
The fact of the matter is, I didn't realize it was a game up until the email, and even then.. wasn't sure until the members page wasn't fleshed out enough (too bare to be a redistributed work, too solid to be a custom job). A REALLY good idea at that point would be a tagline at the bottom- similar to 'Simpleclub 0.1' with a link to a sourceforge page (for a fake project, of course), to give the feeling that it IS a real messaging/group system, just in it's infancy.
It was brilliant- but it screams for an encore. One that takes longer than a week to make. I loved the idea about a mail client, but of course writing your own would be too much.. TJ, if you're still reading, email me and I'll give you more details of my ideas, if you're interested in a collaboration...


Wow wow wow - This is one of the more creative games I've seen in a while. What a concept.


all i'm saying to the peoples who it "seems" to be not working for is LOOK MORE CLOSELY

Hasty Lumbago April 21, 2006 1:19 PM

Having found the foo what got me the bar to get into the (other) foo, I then got stymied on how to FORMAT the bar!.

foo, there's bar in those there woods.

Nonetheless, this is a bloody BRILLIANT thing. I only wish I had stumbled upon it without someone telling me it was a reality based game.

But then, Not everything gets to be I Love Bees.


Just in tune with the game's ARG nature, even though the non-Windows crowd appears left out, thanks to this very interview and site I was suddenly thrust back into the loop where I feared stuck as a Mac user...

Great game.


For those of you trying to find out more about Evan...

The evanvincent.com URLs do not work anymore.
However, the WayBack Machine does...
evanvincent.com (archived)

Kyle Teigen February 19, 2007 5:29 PM

Well, I started playing this game and was having a great time of it...

...but when I got to the evanvincent.com part it was taken down (and replaced by a generic little search engine).


I really love the concept of this game, but...

noseychild.evanvincent.com is just a generic search machine, which at first I thought was part of the game, but 'twas not so. :(
Also, The Wayback Machine won't allow access to Evan's blog, rendering the game just a tinsy bit unplayable.

AnonyMouse November 21, 2011 5:23 PM

Hmm... not sure if I wanna download a game that's ABOUT violation of privacy...


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