Play TerraTower


You are time travellers from the future world of 2075. In your time fuedalism again reigns supreme and a system of knights, nobels and royalty rule the world. The most valuable asset in your world is land and the most valuable of all land is Aldrich park. During the Cyber Wars of the 2050s, control of the land was taken from the barbarians but shifted back and forth between many warring houses who used elaborate hacking protocols to steal the digital rights to various parcels of Aldrich park. After years of blood shed, grief and technological mayhem, blockchain technology emerged as a fool-proof mechanism for proving rights to territory and as a result, land conquest through warfare was abolished.

This did not quench the most warlike royal families desire for land, however, and now the only means of taking it from the blockchain was to send your loyal subjects back in time to claim the genesis blocks.

You are those subjects, returned from the future, to gain a digital foothold for your future royal household.

You must claim territory before you opponents while attempting to remain unnoticed by the general population so that you don't change the trajectory of time and cause your existence in the future to vanish.


  1. You may play in groups of 2-3

Game Mechanics

  1. TerraTower is a physical variant of a territory capture game inspired by tower defense games. It will be played during the final exam slot on Tuesday, Jun 9, 4:00-6:00pm. Attendance is required for everyone in the class.
  2. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, have a fully charged phone with the software installed, wear sunscreen and or a hat and bring water with you.
  3. The goal of the game is to capture as much territory as possible. The playing area will be a rectangle in Aldrich park. The playing area is a square,aligned on N,S,E,W lines and divided into 125 by 125 parcels.
  4. The game is designed to last 50 minutes and we'll play two rounds. In both rounds it's a free for all. You can try anything short of making physical contact with another team to gain an advantage. Consider bringing bikes, wifi hotspots and multiple client devices.
  5. The basic action of the game is the placement of a tower. Players may place 1 tower every 5 minutes. Every 30 seconds that the tower survives it claims territory in an increasing spread from where the tower was placed.
  6. Players may also place a bomb once every 2.5 minutes. A bomb has a 2.5 minute fuse that burns before it blows up. A bomb that blows up destroys any towers around it and clears the claim on the territory in it's range of effect. Bombs do not blow up other bombs.
  7. When the territory spread of two towers meets, they form a boundary at that location and the spread halts until something else happens in the game
  8. When a tower is destroyed, the territory that it claimed remains in the possession of the original team that placed the tower, but the territory can now be taken over by competing towers as they spread. (i.e. once a tower is destroyed it can no longer maintain its boundary)
  9. Located in the park are 10 codes. The codes can be entered to increase the rate of tower placement, bomb placement and to decrease the bomb fuse time. Each code does one of these things and is described on the paper with the code. The code is a ten digit alpha-numeric case-sensitive string.
  10. Players can see who owns what territory, and where their own towers are, but they cannot see opponent towers. Everyone can see everyone else's bombs. Opponent tower location must be inferred from game board effects and physical observation of other teams.
  11. Aldrich Park does not have strong wi-fi in the center, only on the edges. In order for the towers to be placed and bombs to be dropped, players must run in the park with their smartphone client, record the location of the spot where they wish to place a tower or drop a bomb then go to the edges of the park to find wifi to upload their action with the game server. The action takes effect when the game server receives the message, not when the location is recorded in the park.
  12. Finally, client software can be used to view the world as you move around it.

Software Mechanics

The .apk file is available in the Google Play store or here. Make sure you are using version 1.5

  1. Once the server is started, the first thing that needs to be done is that you have to calibrate your client.
  2. You do this by fetching the status and adjusting your compass.
  3. During the game, the game state is not automatically refreshed. It must be manually updated. Refreshing the game board takes about 15 seconds. Try not to hit the refresh button more than that. When it refreshes it glitches slightly while it redraws the game board.
  4. To place a tower or bomb, you go to the location where you want to place the tower or bomb and hit a button to tag the location. Then you go to where there is network coverage and upload that location.
  5. Information about your success or failure is shown on the status bar.


  1. You will be graded based on game play
  2. Rubric

    • 30% Did you show up for both games?
    • 10% Did your team place a tower in game 1?
    • 10% Did your team place a bomb in game 1?
    • 10% Did your team place a tower in game 2?
    • 10% Did your team place a bomb in game 2?
    • 10% Did your team use a code?
    • 5% Did your team have the most territory at the end of game 1?
    • 5% Did your team have the most territory throughout game 1?
    • 5% Did your team have the most territory at the end of game 2?
    • 5% Did your team have the most territory throughout game 2?