Those interested in discovering what Tomorrow Corporation was trying to do with Little Inferno can buy the game for Windows PC DRM-free from the developer's website, Steam, the iOS App Store and the Wii U Nintendo eShop.
Tomorrow Corporation's Little Inferno is a 2013 IGF finalist in the Technical Excellence, Nuovo Award and Seumas McNally Grand Prize categories. It also received honorable mention in the Excellence In Design and Excellence In Audio categories. The Independent Games Festival will take place during the 2013 Game Developers Conference, in San Francisco from March 25-29.
Congratulations to our friends at Tomorrow Corporation
The following is a re-post from the Tartan, Carnegie Mellon's Student Newspaper since 1906
Carnegie Mellon teamed up with the National Security Agency (NSA) to create a high school hacking competition known as “Toaster Wars,” which takes place April 26 to May 6.
Sponsored by the NSA and supported by Carnegie Mellon’s own hacking group, the Plaid Parliament of Pwning (PPP), Toaster Wars has been developed into a high-profile hacking competition.
It came into being through a large amount of effort put forth by PPP and the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC).
Formed in 2009, the PPP is self-described as a security interest group. According to Tyler Nighswander, senior computer science and physics double major and also one of the PPP’s leaders, the group often creates and competes in Capture the Flag hacking exercises.
“We create security puzzle type things for exploitation, hacking, et cetera,” Nightswander explained. “Then we go in, break into stuff, and hack into things.”
The PPP’s adviser and an assistant electrical and computer engineering professor David Brumley notes the PPP’s success. “PPP is actually ranked in the world for security research groups, even [among] professional teams.” It has competed in various contests, and its next competition is to be held in South Korea. “A lot of people would be interested in computer security from this opportunity,” Brumley said.
As a part of the Toaster Wars competition, high school hackers will be given a scenario in which they are told to use their hacking skills to repair a robot from space and to figure out some of his secrets.
According to the competition’s official website, “The competition is a series of challenges centered around a unique story line where participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the challenge. The challenges are all set up with the intent of being hacked, making it an excellent, legal way to get hands-on experience.”
Kaiyang Zhang, a master’s student in entertainment technology who helped create the Toaster Wars competition, said, “We think it’s a bit hard for high school students to give a theme and get them interested, so they can learn it and progress.”
Danielle Corporon, a master’s student in entertainment technology, feels that, “We chose to develop the game for all ages, so kids, for example, don’t think its limited to younger kids.”
The competition, therefore, was developed to encourage high school students to participate in and enjoy the competition. Additionally, the contest will also help students “learn how to identify security vulnerabilities and perform real-world attacks.”
The hope is that it will also encourage interest in computer science and its applications to cyber security.
“Learning computer science in school is important to real-life situations,” said Tim McMullan, a master’s student in entertainment technology.
Brumley agreed and added that he has expectations for more people to be interested in cyber security.
“A lot of people [are] interested in computer security. Our college kids have siblings, [so] hopefully we’ll have [more] people interested.”
In addition to their financial sponsorship, the NSA has also been a vocal supporter of the Toaster Wars hacking competition.
NSA representative Vanee Vines told the Associated Press, “America increasingly needs professionals with highly technical cyber skills to help keep the country safe today — and to help the country meet future challenges and adapt with greater agility. When it comes to national security, there is no substitute for a dedicated, immensely talented workforce. We need the best and brightest to help us out-think and defeat our adversaries’ new ideas.”
Toaster Wars has gained national attention for its efforts, receiving coverage from major news outlets such as NBC News.
ETC alunma and faculty member Jessica Trybus wrote a story for the online magazine Techonomy about one of the ETC core courses, Improvisational Acting. A true cornerstone of the ETC, the Improvisational Acting course is design to allow students to learn the basics of improvisation acting, but — more importantly — the skills necessary for successful teamwork: always supporting your teammates as well as the ongoing narrative.
Read the story: to see pictures taken by Chris Klug, Assistant Teaching Professor and see pictures of this spring class.
PITTSBURGH-Two Carnegie Mellon University student-run teams will host the first picoCTF, a computer security competition running April 26 to May 6 that challenges high school students to learn the basics of hacking in the context of a story-driven game.
"The story of the Internet competition begins when a robot from outerspace crash lands in your backyard, it's up to the game competitors to use their hacking skills to fix the robot and uncover its secrets," said David Brumley, the Gerard G. Elia Career Development Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Brumley said the competition is open nationwide to students in grades 6-12. Interested participants can register for free on the competition website at http://www.picoctf.com/. PicoCTF is unique in its adventure game-oriented approach to computer security.
The competition is designed by the Plaid Parliament of Pwning, a CyLab computer security research team made up of CMU students and staff, and Team Osiris from CMU's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC-Global). ETC-Global offers a master's program canvassing several disciplines, including artists, game designers and programmers.
While most computer security competitions focus on security experts, Brumley said that picoCTF is different in that it is designed to pique student interest even if they are novices, while still providing challenges to experts. Students participating get hands-on experience in security topics such as cryptography and codes, computer bugs, exploits, and defenses.
"The typical defensive competitions end up with competitors merely running through checklists but CMU's challenge is heavily focused on exploration and improvisation with elements of play," said Brumley, faculty adviser for the CMU's Plaid Parliament of Pwning, which participates in Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions - CTFs are a type of computer security war game in which teams compete to find digital "flags" by solving a litany of hacking challenges. CTF teams from CMU have won hacking honors at competitions in South Korea and New York.
In a story about sexism in the video game industry, Pittsburgh Post Gazette writer Maria Sciullo, talks to Drew Davidson, Acting Director of the ETC, Distinguished Professor of the Practice Jesse Schell, alunma Melanie Lam and first year student, Allison Sommers.
Historically, when you're talking about hard-core [games], it's been young guys making games for other young guys," said Drew Davidson, director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
" 'Verbs' are what you can do in a game: the verbs around a first-person shooter are arranged around combat and fighting. As game designers have expanded the verbs of what you can do, it's opened up more possibilities for more people to want to play. And one of the biggest-growing areas is women over 45."
Mr. Schell agreed it's better to have a variety of perspectives: "There are projects in our industry that go too long and try to do too much. I often think if there were more women in the game industry, things might be a little saner."