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Interview with a hacker

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It's a rainy day in August 2001. Water falls all the time, and in a moment of special craziness I meet Mister Nonexistent to do this interview. I know he's an invention of my mind, but realize he doesn't know it, so the first thing I do is tell him the truth.

HHM: Good morning, Mister Nonexistent.

MN: Hi.

HHM: You know it's just a fake interview I've done for the readers, so they think I've spoke with important people. You are just an invention of my mind, and nothing anymore. I hope you knew that.

MN: No, I didn't. So everything I'm saying now is just what you are wanting to hear... right?

HHM: Yeah.

MN: Oh... And am I supposed to agree with you in everything you say?

HHM: No, you can have different opinions on those subjects I don't care about.

MN: Like the color of my shoes.

HHM: Exactly. It's simply horrible.

MN: I agree, my mother bought them to me.

HHM: See, you sound very mature. But let's this interview begin. What's your real name, then?

MN: I don't know, what do you think?

HHM: It's... Ekakdjieokkjafk.

MN: Ok. I'm called Ekakdjieokkjafk.

HHM: No, that was a typo. I tried to write "Ekakdjieokkjafkkjfjauei".

MN: Well, no need to repeat the name then. Now you know how I am called, and that should be enough for all.

HHM: But it's not.

MN: My real name is Ekakdjieokkjafkkjfjauei.

HHM: Surprising. You have the strangest name I've ever heard.

MN: Ok, ok... Continue asking.

HHM: Tell me about your latest creation.

MN: It's called "Guess a number 2001" and is an action game with an amazing plot... It's somewhat violent in some points, but also includes humour and is the hell fun.

HHM: When we met some days ago, you told me you were going to release its source code in this interview, as an exclusive work for Was it true?

MN: No. That was just a joke.

HHM: No way, it was true. Write that source in the space below, and do it quickly!

MN: Sure, here it goes.

#include <windows.h>
#include <iostream.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main()

  // this variable isn't used anywhere.
// it's here just because of its funny name.
int i;

// this variable represents those times full of glory
// when men where men and coded their own OSes just to
// have a way to play the winmine game.
int thoughtNumber;

// you know, variable names have to be very explicit about
// their function. Otherwise they fall in ambiguity when
// reading.
int temporaryIntegerUsedForExtraStuff;

// just hate those big names.
int* j=&temporaryIntegerUsedForExtraStuff;


cout<<"Welcome to this incredible adventure!!!"<<endl;
do {

cout<<"First imagine a very risky situation"<<endl;
cout<<"for the hero of this game."<<endl;
cout<<"Now please feel afraid."<<endl;
cout<<"Scaring, eh?"<<endl;
cout<<"Now, guess a number from 1 to 5."<<endl;
cout<<"Write it down to avoid the hero"<<endl;
cout<<"dying in this dangerous situation."<<endl;

if (thoughtNumber==(*j)){
cout<<"You've guessed it right! Now the"<<endl;
cout<<"hero can escape away and save their"<<endl;
cout<<"friends of the monster!!!"<<endl;
cout<<"You are the winner!!!"<<endl;


  cout<<"Wrong answer."<<endl;
cout<<"The hero almost dies, but it"<<endl;
cout<<"gets a way to escape at the latest"<<endl;


} while (thoughtNumber!=(*j));

return 0;


HHM: Oh, what an incredible clear and professional code!!! I wouldn't believe you did it alone.

MN: Of course I didn't. I just coded the more important parts of the game, like the AI, and the other 30 persons of the team did the rest.

HHM: It seems to be a very big team.

MN: Not at all. My latest game before "Guess a number 2001" took 213 programmers, twenty musicians, one graphician and two dogs to get done. The final code had 200 lines and was a very impressing text mode action game.

HHM: Amazing. Tell me, what's the secret to manage those big teams with such a success?

MN: The secret is... Hey, it's a secret! I'm not supossed to tell you.

HHM: You are a creation of my mind... wouldn't you tell a secret to yourself????

MN: Err... now I think about it... Ok, the secret is to put all the team in a IRC channel, and let people chat a lot about the project while you code it all by yourself. Sometimes, when you need help, you ask somebody and it comes. It's all I think.

HHM: Your answer wasn't that cool for me. Why don't you say something like that you write a very detailed design document, divide the members in subteams, give them goals, and plan it all very carefully so not to make mistakes?

MN: In fact my secret about managing the teams successfully is that I write a very detailed design document, divide our members in subteams, give people goals, and plan it all very carefully so not to make mistakes.

HHM: I really wonder what your graphician did in the project. After all, it's a text mode game.

MN: The graphician was one of the busiest members of the team. He did more than 500 textures and 3d objects, some of them very complex ones. He worked a lot together with the guy that coded our 3d super fast graphics engine. Nothing of it appeared in the final release of the game because of that text mode decision, but surely both will thank us a lot for all the experience they got during the development phase.

It could be also a new (and very impressive) line in their CVs.

HHM: What do you think of the final result of your game?

MN: It's right. We tried to do something, and came to that goal in less time than we imagined (four years against one decade). The plot is also incredible, I told you. Sometimes it's really scaring, dark and deep, and then it comes with an extra surprising happy circunstance.

Honestly, I can't sleep after playing it. Nightmares come to me all the time.

HHM: It combines humour and drama, IMHO.

MN: Exactly.

HHM: And now the latest question: Do you have anything to say to those guys who want to be like you?

MN: Yes. They have to train a lot because being brainless is a full time job. And game development isn't that difficult when you know enough about physics, cooking and riding bicycles.

HHM: Cool. Well, thanks a lot. Have a nice day inside of my head.

MN: See you.



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Created June 1, 2005; Last modified: March 12, 2019