A repo for the Mozilla Privacy Arcade Cryptomancer Challenge, part of the 2017 Global Sprint
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Cryptomancer Challenge

A line-drawing icon showing a wifi signal coming from a cluster of crystals.

Challenge Leads: Antero Garcia, Tiphaine Romand-Latapie (@tromand), Chad Sansing (@chadsansing), and Chad Walker (@cryptomancer-actual)


What happens when the Internet shows up in a fantasy world full of mythical creatures?

That’s the question Cryptomancer tries to answer. Cryptomancer is a role-playing game (RPG) about information security (infosec) in a fantasy-setting that includes open and closed networks made up of crystal shards that put people in contact with one another across long distances.

In the world of Cryptomancer "crystal shards" are like smart phones - they let you find information and communicate with people near and far, but the shards can also be used to follow you and learn your habits. All together, the crystal shards make a "Shardnet," which is like our Internet.

For the Mozilla Privacy Arcade Cryptomancer Challenge, your job is to create an adventure for Cryptomancer that allows players to:

  • Create a safe and inviting space for players from diverse backgrounds. You should be able to run this adventure at a local game store (LGS), library, or cafe, and anyone curious about the game should feel welcomed and empowered by your storytelling.
  • Enact strong online safety habits like encryption, trust-building, and two-factor authentication.
  • Enact core Internet health principles like digital inclusion in their adventures. For example, if you incorporated privacy and digital inclusion into your adventure, characters in your story would be working for a goal that made the game world feel more secure, but also more welcome for all, regardless of race, income, nationality, or gender.
  • Successfully problem-solve in-game challenges related to privacy, security, and inclusion.
  • Make connections between in-game experiences and local online safety and inclusion issues.

The big idea is to help players feel empowered by your adventure to act on what they learn about privacy and security in real life.

Here are some ideas for generating your own adventures. For example, players could:

  • Help a community made of several fantasy races disappear from the Shardnet (the fantasy Internet) and go offline. Can your adventure group lead them through a threat assessment to keep their home from being discovered and surveilled?
  • Make sure that a courier has vital information makes it to their destination without their message being intercepted or changed. Can your group ensure its safety online and off?
  • Wake up in a strange fortress full of Shardnet-connected devices that want to keep them trapped inside. Can they solve each device’s puzzle to escape their prison? Can they discover the impostor among them working against the group? Can they figure out how they got trapped behind the fortress walls?

Cryptomancer is cast with western fantasy characters and ideas, but you can localize your adventure to reflect beliefs, customs, expertise, stories, and traditions local to you and your players.

Check back in May, 2017, to learn how you can access a copy of Cryptomancer to help you prepare for the sprint.

Share your adventure in the Cryptomancer Challenge folder of our Mozilla Privacy Arcade repo and keep us up-to-date on your work by tweeting at @MozLearn with the hashtag #mozsprint. More about repos below.

What Kinds of Skills Do I Need? What Kinds of Things Can I Make?

There are lots of ways to contribute to this project that use different skills and talents. For example:

  • Someone who loves storytelling might craft several different adventures or scenarios for the game that incorporate online safety and related issues such as digital inclusion.
  • Someone who loves to draw might illustrate another contributor's adventure or help come up with characters for different adventures.
  • Someone who loves puzzles might contribute privacy and security puzzles set in Cryptomancer's world for another contributors to use in an adventure.
  • Someone who loves to teach might invent a teaching guide for an adventure or for Cryptomancer itself.
  • Someone who loves advocating for users' rights might put together 1-sheet explainers of key issues other contributors might address in their adventures.

All of our contributors and their work deserve care and thanks.

If you're unsure of what to contribute or how to contribute a piece of work, never hesitate to ask a project lead for help. We are here to support you and will be answering questions throughout the sprint.

Are You New to Information Security or Role-Playing Games?

Whether you're a veteran of 1000 campaigns or a newcomer to information security, role-playing games (RPGs), or the Global Sprint, we want to make sure you feel welcome contributing to the project of your choice.

These resources might help you get started with information security and RPGs.

Information Security

Role-Playing Games

Can I Get To Work Before the Sprint?

Of course. It's fine to begin the sprint with work already in-hand. You should feel free to set up for the sprint however you'd like. You might:

  • Make some designs, puzzle, or story ideas for feedback during the sprint.
  • Put together a team to begin work now and continue it after the sprint. You can do this online through your network or in our project's issue tracker. You can also recruit a team to work face-to-face in your community.
  • Reserve space now to host a "site" or meet-up during the sprint (see more details about hosting a site below).

Just keep in mind that we're asking you to license the work openly so our everyone can use, adapt, and build upon your contributions (see more about licensing below).

How To Share Your Work

We’ve set up a repo for the projects you make in response to these challenges. You can check out what the greater Global Sprint community is up to on the 2017 Global Sprint landing page.

A repo is a repository - or collection of files - that belong together on GitHub. All the files contributed by everyone working on your project will eventually wind up in 1 repo so you can see each other's work, give feedback, and adapt it for yourself or your own communities.

If you are new to GitHub, it is totally fine to work on another platform, like in a Google Document, and to copy and paste your text into an issue or to share a link to your work through an issue. A project or challenge lead will put it into the master "repo" (repository), or collection of work, for you.

Please note that we’re asking all contributors to apply a Creative Commons-Attribution 4.0 license to whatever non-code contributions they make during the sprint. We’re asking contributors to license code contributions with the Mozilla Public License 2.0.

However you decide to work or whatever you make, there are lots of ways to contribute:

  • Spreading word about the Global Sprint beforehand through your professional and interest-based networks.
  • Organizing a team ahead of the sprint and helping it prepare.
  • Hosting a site, or meet-up, during the sprint for people in your community so they can work together in person.
  • Proposing helpful changes to other contributor's content with "pull requests," or requests to pull new content into older files to update them.
  • Crafting new content for the project and contributing it through pull request, issue, or link.
  • Sharing resources by filing an issue.
  • Sharing feedback by filing an issue.
  • GitHub vets, fork the repo and submit pull requests.

There is no wrong way to contribute, and project and challenge leads are here to answer your questions help you get your work into the repo. You should feel free and empowered to share your work before, during, and after the sprint on social media (like through blogs, Facebook, and Twitter), as well.

Thank you for your contributions to the challenges in our Mozilla Privacy Arcade project.

How To File an Issue on GitHub

GitHub can be challenging for new users. If you experience difficulty with it, you are not alone. We want to help you overcome those challenges or find a way to contribute that works for you.

For this project in the Global Sprint, we can use a feature called the "Issue Tracker" in GitHub to communicate with one another. It's kind of like a shared message board combined with a to-do list. To address an issue to a specific person, you add their name to the issue the same way you would to a tweet, like this for example: @chadsansing would address your message to Chad, one of our project leads.

If the Issue Tracker is too difficult to use, contact a project lead. We will work with you and help you find a way to contribute no matter what.

Here are some steps you can take to get started on GitHub if you'd like to try it.

  1. First, create an account on GitHub.

  2. Then visit our repo or the folder for the challenge you'd like to work on during the sprint.

  3. Next, click on the "Issues" tab near the top of the page.

  4. Finally, click on the green "New Issue" button to the left of the page. You can then title your issue and add content. Specificity helps.

Before you submit your issue, label it. You can choose one from the "Labels" dropdown menu to the right of your issue. Add the light-green #mozsprint label to each issue to file and then pick the label that goes with the challenge you're working on during the sprint. This helps people find the people and issues associated with the challenge to which they're contributing.

We have challenge labels for:

  • mpa-cryptomancer-challenge (gold).

We also have labels for site-related news, as well as for finding help and answering questions:

  • site-related is light purple.
  • help-wanted is red.
  • questions are blue.

After you apply all your labels, your issue should have a #mozsprint label, your challenge label, and possibly a site-related, help-wanted, or question label.

If you'd like to learn even more about GitHub, check out the GitHub for Collaboration section of Mozilla's Open Leadership Training Series.

How To Host a Site

If you organize a team for the Global Sprint or would like to run a "site" - like a meet-up at a community center or in a learning space or makerspace - visit this page to learn how to register your event.

Site leaders receive support from project and challenge leads to help people learn and work together face-to-face. They commit to being on-site from 9AM to 5 PM local time each day so they can:

  • Welcome people who come to work in-person.
  • Ensure that your site is a safe and friendly working environment for all.
  • Help to promote the Global Sprint to your communities and encourage local participation.
  • Serve as a point of contact for communicating (updates, progress) with the rest of the Sprint during the event.
  • Help to collect data on activities on the Site (number of participants and contributions).

If you would like to host and register a site, let a project lead know how to help. We will make sure you feel well-prepared to host a site.

When To Sprint

This year’s Global Sprint runs for 48 hours from June 1st, 2017, to June 2nd, 2017. Sprint hours are 9 AM to 5 PM in your local timezone. You can sprint for a few hours, for a day, or for both days. You can contribute to 1 project or several. There is no wrong way to participate in the sprint.

How To Follow the Sprint Online

We will be curating and sharing your work throughout the sprint, so keep in touch and let us know how things are going at @MozLearn on Twitter using the hashtag #mozsprint.

You can also see "Featured Projects" on Mozilla's Network Pulse, our resource for sharing exciting events and resources with our community.

After the Sprint

We’d love to keep up with you after the Global Sprint, as well, to follow the development of your projects. We can also help you write a session proposal for this year’s MozFest.

Questions? File an issue and cc @chadsansing or email Chad.

Let’s go play.