A little puzzle

Ant Mitchell ant at badmagic.com
Fri Sep 8 16:51:18 PDT 2006

Well, its late, and I might be misunderstanding - but why not just  
send each player an MD5 hash of your order. All players do the same.

When the time comes to show your order, its easy to verify that the  
orders match the published md5s.

If they don't match - someone is cheating !.  You don't have to  
disclose the order to anyone until you all agree, so there is no  
possibility of artificial discovery.

MD5 hash programs are easy to run on a text file.

Not sure what the orders are but the need to be more than just a few  
numbers to ensure someone does not attempt to guess the MD5. If they  
are 'english' and do not follow a specific format, they should be  
pretty hard to guess.


On 8 Sep 2006, at 23:06, Robbie Bow wrote:

> Here's the scenario: I am playing a game of Diplomacy with online
> friends. One guy (who isn't a player) is the games master; receives  
> our
> orders by email and when the deadline for that turn is up,  
> processes the
> orders and posts the results on a forum for us all to read. Now it
> happens that the GM is off on holiday for 2 weeks, so we have a  
> problem:
> how to process the orders without a GM.
> I was thinking along the lines of having a script that we could all
> submit orders which it duly encrypts. The tricky bit (for me) is  
> how to
> make a system such that to decrypt the data it would require all 4
> players to process it in some way (thus none of us can peek at anyone
> else's orders before everyone is satisfied with their orders) - this
> also means the system needs to be able to replace orders from any  
> player
> up until the point we all do our bit to decrypt it, and seeing as I  
> will
> probably be hosting the script, will need to be able to set the other
> players up with their keys such that I cannot easily find what those
> keys are.
> Hmm. Any tips gratefully received.
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