Sophie’s safecracking simulator

A few weeks ago on twitter I read a tweet by Sophie and they were working on a safecracking simulator. I was intrigued and joined the conversation. Both to comment (and compliment) on the progress and add ideas for even more realism!

https://sophieh.itch.io/sophies-safecracking-simulator

So what’s the game? They designed a safe lock simulator and the game is to crack the safe! The lock from the fictional brand Safe and Sound (S&S). It acts as an average group 2 safe lock with three wheels (4xCCW, 3xCW, 2x CCW, and 1x CW). You input the combination with your arrow keys: Left and right arrow for moving the dial and control/shift to control the dialing speed. The simulated lock works just as you might expect, you can feel and hear the contact points and you can manipulate and graph it just like any other group 2 safe lock.

Cracking a safe

I’ve bought the game as soon as it was available and spend a couple hours cracking my first virtual safe.

Cracked the safe with manipulation. The transparancy is on for the screenshot.
Safe manipulation graph.

I like to start with getting a rough idea for the lock and do this by dialing all wheels left (AWL) with 20 number increments. I noticed the wheels are almost perfectly round requiring a full AWL graph and find one number at the time. I graphed AWL with 2,5 count increments and found the gate between 80 and 85. I set the number to 82 and tested the wheels. I found the number was on wheel three.

Then graphed W1 and W2 left and parked the W3 to 82 and graphed it with 5 count increment. Wheel one was at about 7. Figuring out what wheel it is was actually tricky as the simulated safe does not have flies and this means LRL is not the same as RLR for this lock. This also means you can find a number that’s impossible to dial without some calculating.

Lastly I graphed the last number 7-X-82 and found the combo 7-78-82. The dial stopped at 80 indicating I opened the lock. In the version I played it wasn’t possible to open the safe. I claimed being the first one to open the virtual safe on twitter shortly thereafter.

What else can the simulator so?

Once you have mastered the three wheel, why not try a twenty wheel lock? This lock will take 21 times right, 20 times left, 19 times… Or was it 21 times left, 20 times right. at what number was I again? In total it would take 231 moves to just open it with the combination. I can’t imagine how fun it would be to graph this one!

Not all hope is lost as the safecracker gets a handful of tools to simplify the process: Gyroscope angular measurement, camera to amplify vision, sound spectrum analyzer, and X-ray vision. You can also use advanced keyboard shortcuts to spin the dial exactly one rotation, simplifying the safecracking process.

Suggestions to Sophie

The project is very cool and certainly a functional game. These are a few suggestions for added realism:

  • I feel the current shape of the wheels is too perfectly round. Real life safe wheels are sometimes oval or egg shaped. They sometimes have an offset from the wheel center as well. This feature is only beneficial when the wheels are closer matched in size. Currently it’s very hard to find what wheel is the largest and thus the one you want to isolate.
  • As far as tolerances I think the game does very well. Yes, you can make it more tight but then you can easily make the safe impossible to manipulate. It’ll not be bad to have a setting you can play with to make the lock a lot harder.
  • Currently the safe does not have flies. It’s hard to explain what it is or how it works; It’s a small movable element that ensures you can dial two numbers on consecutive wheels to the same number. If it’s worth the effort for this extra realism, I won’t know.
  • Lastly there are a lot of ways you can go to with this project. As a simulator it works but it would be very cool to have a ‘spot the fault’ puzzle game. I.E. The combination is 10-20-30 and it only opens sometimes. Then the player could learn about failure modes like when fly is stuck or the wheel slipped. You can use the trouble shooting guide for a S&G as inspiration. In the PDF it starts at page 9.

Conclusion

The game is very much what I expected from it and it captures the nuances very well. I will certainly recommend it to people that are looking into safecracking. I will use the the simulator as training material as well. (Every participant buys their own copy.) I think it can be a very useful teaching tool.

I don’t think I would play much with the simulator myself, mostly as I have played with and have access to the real locks. The game captures the tediousness of safecracking very well and that’s amazingly impressive 🙂

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2 Responses to “Sophie’s safecracking simulator”

  1. bongman says:

    Mobile versions?

    • Jan-Willem says:

      That would be very cool! At this moment there is only a (DRM free) version for Win, Mac, and Linux.

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