TROJAN 77

A physical and gamified simulation of the Trojan computer virus designed for technology museums.

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Expertise:

Concept | Research | Arduino

Storyboarding | Scripting

Filming | Editing

 

Project Details:

Completed in March 2015 as part of the Physical Computing course at CIID. The project was made together with Dhruv Saxena, Liliana Lambriev and Karan Chaitanya Mudgal.

 

Special thanks to:

Massimo Banzi

Ubi de Feo

Lorenzo Romagnoli

Alice Pintus

Concept:

Trojan 77 is a gamified simulation of the Trojan virus - a malware designed to provide unauthorised access to a user's computer. Inspired by the tilting labyrinth game, it provides a simulation of a few key effects of the virus - i.e., passwords leaking out and files being deleted culminating in system crash. The player's task is tocomplete the game by hitting all the touchpoints. Making this information visual via animated projections help to communicate the effects in a fun and memorable way. 

Context:

The idea of designing something analog to explain a digital construct was an exciting challenge to undertake. The way that computer viruses operate can be very complicated and hard to explain without overloading people with detailed information. We aimed to show the effects of the Trojan virus through a physical installation to be placed in a technology museum. 

Process:

The form was inspired from old school joystick controlled arcade game machines. The Trojan moved through several prototyping stages. Initially the wooden structure was built, followed by the maze. The structure was built light such that the servo motors responsible for tilting the maze back and forth could handle its weight. 

The hardware was pretty straightforward. 2 servo motors controlled the tilt of the maze while 4 light sensors got triggered when they were covered by the ball. These sensors were placed at key touch points in the game. The triggering of these sensors further triggered off actions in a Processing sketch. The sketch contained different entities such as passwords, pictures and files.

Filming & Editing:

Inspired by documentary style film making of Charles and Ray Eames, the concept video was filmed and edited in a similar fashion. The narrative was crafted quite similarly to 70s style documentaries as well as the artefacts needed for the video were produced to support the same style.