1. Introduction
2. Vocabulary: Zone
3. Background
4. Structure
5. Target audience
6. Development strategy
7. Game components
8. Software architecture
9. Hardware architecture
10. Hacks and bugs
11. Design considerations
12. Flexibility
13. Future entertainment
Site: Utrecht
Metamorphosis of Zone
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Zone Exploration

Hacks and bugs

We may not predict all the possible moves of a player in the Maze. He may invent or unintentionally produce a sequence of actions which may cause a malfunction or misinterpretation of the scenario by the server. In a computer world this may mean "hacking" a game - skipping a level or obtaining something illegally. The worst - and the less complicated type of a malfunction is a bug which causes a program to fall.

A player doesn't see a computer screen but a real environment so there should be a different approach to these events.

In case of a bug, when a program falls, the game server operator may reload the game. In a time of reboot or reload the mission may be run by a secondary server which should have "safety scenarios" for each part of the Maze ready to be activated in case of the man server failure. These scenarios (additional missions) should keep the player from proceeding to the next stage before the game reloads.

In case of a "hack", when player's action is misinterpreted by the server, it may be safe to allow the game to continue. The Hack should be recorded and later analysed by the research team in order to prevent it in the future or "approve" it as a legal move.

The player should not be able to detect whenever the game server functions properly, his portable interface should be run by a separate computer independent from the Game server.


In such a complex system there's always a chance to break something - intentionally or not. A player in the Maze may stumble upon a sensor and break it, or he may get angry and hit a robot etc. Fortunately, from the experience of amusement parks and game halls we know this never becomes a major problem and this doesn't happen too often.

Except for the obvious condition that everything must be durable, every player who enters the Maze should be properly instructed that he's responsible for any type of intentionally caused damage. The progress of the game should be recorded by cameras and any illegal action will interrupt the game. The recording of the game may be used in court against the violent player.

Utrecth, Railway museum.

Zone Exploration game simulation, 2007.

Zone Exploration game simulation, 2007.

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