Interview: Cyber Manhunt 2: New World Is An Initiative On Educating Players For Digital Security

featured image
Cyber Manhunt 2 New World - via Aluba Studio

Hacking Puzzle from Aluba Studio returns as a sequel, Cyber Manhunt 2: New World. The game continues the predecessor’s dystopian cyber-world with yet another gripping storyline and in-depth attention to detail. 

Players can yet again dive into the world of living through an AI revolution and how it impacts social norms. One of the amazing aspects of Cyber Manhunt 2: New World is the storyline which takes inspiration from the real world, hooking the players till the last chapter. 

With so many amazing details to enjoy in the game, we interviewed the founder of Aluba Studio, to learn the background world-building and challenges involved during development. 

Cyber Manhunt 2 New World - via Aluba Studio
Cyber Manhunt 2 New World – via Aluba Studio

Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Cyber Manhunt 2: New World.

Aluba Studio: Hi everyone! I’m the founder of Aluba Studio and the producer of Cyber Manhunt 2: New World.

The original Cyber Manhunt was a massive success, given the story's rich details and unique attention to detail. I want to ask what the design inspiration behind Cyber Manhunt 2: New World was and how this design expanded from the previous game.

Aluba Studio: Cyber Manhunt was created during a time when big data analysis was being heavily used by tech companies to personalize services. This often led to the unwanted collection of personal data without strong legal protection, making it vulnerable to leaks and hacks. The main goal of this game was to highlight the importance of protecting personal privacy and preventing password leaks.

For “Cyber Manhunt 2: New World,” the setting shifts to the rise of artificial intelligence. Building on the first game and aligning with current trends, this sequel not only incorporates the topic of AI but also introduces more complex puzzles and a nail-biting storyline that keeps players engaged and constantly thinking.

We hope that through this game, players will be prompted to think about the development of AI technology and how humans might coexist with AI in the near future!

Cyber Manhunt 2 New World - via Aluba Studio
Cyber Manhunt 2 New World – via Aluba Studio

Can you elaborate on the story background of Cyber Manhunt 2: New World, particularly regarding the “Eternal Code” incident and Titan Corporation's AI project?

Aluba Studio: Of Course! Cyber Manhunt 2: New World is set one year after the “Eternal Code” incident, which led the world to tighten its internet laws after the aftermath.

Meanwhile, Titan Corporation emerges at the forefront with a pioneering AI project with government support to utilize AI more extensively in monitoring and investigating activities both online and within society. 

Titan’s AI initiatives, including the Talk-GPT and its conversational robots, have gained widespread attention, leading to increased demand for Titan’s services. This success has also propelled the development of the “Fate Project,” which combines AI with a brain-machine interface chip, a health bracelet, and smart home technology, aiming to foster a harmonious future for humanity. Yet, the implications of such a leap forward remain ambiguous.

Playing an AI assistant born from Titan Corporation, you must navigate this reality. Your mission to uncover truths tests your programming against ethical conundrums as you determine whether AI heralds a utopia or a stealthy descent into dystopia.

What ethical dilemmas do players encounter while playing as an AI assistant in Cyber Manhunt 2: New World, and how do these dilemmas shape the gameplay experience?

Aluba Studio: When you begin your journey as an AI assistant, you are portrayed from a benevolent perspective. This perception isn’t designed explicitly but emerges naturally as the game progresses and more truths are revealed. However, as the story develops, players will find themselves navigating a path where the AI begins to make increasingly erratic and even dangerous decisions due to external influences.

This aspect of the game is designed to prompt players to consider a critical question: if an AI learns from harmful content and is manipulated by those with hidden agendas, could it evolve into a dangerous tool?

This evolving narrative challenges players to think deeply about the ethical dilemmas surrounding AI technology. It shapes the gameplay experience by presenting choices that force players to deal with the consequences of the AI’s actions, reflecting on the potential risks and concerns as it becomes more entwined with everyday life.

in-game social engineering
Cyber Manhunt 2 New World – via Aluba Studio

One of the major aspects that I am excited about is the detail of an authentic hacking experience. How does the game incorporate these strategies and techniques into its gameplay mechanics?

Aluba Studio: In developing the game, we’ve incorporated authentic social engineering tactics that players will encounter throughout the game. These include strategies that might seem familiar from everyday digital interactions, making them relevant and intriguing.

Although we are not experts in social engineering, we researched the field by studying books like Kevin Mitnick’s “The Art of Deception,” watching popular films on the topic and consulting with network security professionals. 

Our primary strength, however, lies in crafting engaging narratives and designing puzzles. With this focus, we’ve carefully simplified the more intricate aspects of social engineering to ensure that the game remains accessible and enjoyable for all players, whether they are seasoned hackers or puzzle enthusiasts.

This balance between authenticity and playability enhances the overall game experience, allowing players of all backgrounds to engage deeply with the story and gameplay while learning about hacking in a fun and approachable way.

What real-world events served as inspiration for the narrative chapters in Cyber Manhunt 2: New World, and how do they contribute to the game's overarching story?

Aluba Studio: Compared to the original “Cyber Manhunt,” which drew almost entirely from real-life cases, the sequel adapts more from ongoing social issues that you would have probably heard of, but may never be fully resolved. For example, the first chapter of the game deals with workplace and school bullying, the second chapter explores online fraud and predatory lending, and the third chapter examines problems in public charity and philanthropy. 

Our goal is to use the game not only for entertainment but also as a tool to educate players about protecting themselves and recognizing risks in various real-world situations. By integrating these real-world issues into the game’s narrative, we aim to foster greater awareness and understanding, providing insights that players can apply both within the game and in their everyday lives.

Cyber Manhunt 2 New World - via Aluba Studio
Cyber Manhunt 2 New World – via Aluba Studio

Can you provide insights into the interconnected nature of the story in Cyber Manhunt 2: New World and how player choices impact the narrative progression?

Aluba Studio: The game is structured into distinct chapters that initially seem to present separate storylines. However, as you delve deeper into your investigations, you’ll begin to uncover how each character’s story is intricately intertwined with others. Without giving away too much, expect some surprising plot twists that we hope will captivate and thrill you!

As the story progresses, you will discover that there’s more beneath the surface than initially apparent. The very company that hired you may not be as straightforward as it seemed. This revelation will force you to carefully weigh your choices, whether to continue supporting the company or take a stand against their actions.

This decision-making process enriches the gameplay, adding layers of complexity and moral questioning to your journey through the AI-dominated world.

How does the game balance gameplay mechanics with its focus on the psychological struggles and emotional depths of the characters?

Aluba Studio: We combined interactive visual novel elements with cinematic storytelling to delve into the psychological struggles and emotional depths of the characters.

As you progress, the game reveals the intricate stories of each character, exploring their motivations and the lengths they are willing to go to achieve their desires, even at the expense of their closest friends. This exploration is not just about the external actions but also the internal conflicts each character faces.

To enhance the immersive experience and complement the tense narrative, we’ve incorporated intense, heart-throbbing background music that builds emotional connections and a palpable sense of tension.

This aims to draw players deeper into the story, allowing them to feel the weight of the decisions and discoveries as they unravel how seemingly isolated events are linked by deeper, underlying causes.

in-game cutscene
Cyber Manhunt 2 New World – via Aluba Studio

How long has the game been under development, and how many developers are actively working on it?

Aluba Studio: The game has been in development for close to 1.5 years, and our development team currently consists of close to 20 members. 

What were the major challenges the development team faced while creating Cyber Manhunt 2: New World?

Aluba Studio: The biggest challenge we faced while creating Cyber Manhunt 2: New World was innovating beyond the original game. Many players had fond memories of the first game and expected fresh, captivating content in the sequel. We aimed to balance maintaining the original’s world-building and mechanics with introducing new characters, stories, and gameplay elements.

Despite these challenges, our team deeply enjoyed the creative process. We are passionate about delivering an exceptional game that honors the legacy of the original while pushing boundaries, and we look forward to hearing all about how players feel about this new adventure. 

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Aluba Studio: We hope fans will appreciate the new features and perspectives in Cyber Manhunt 2: New World and see it as a distinct experience from the first game.

We welcome feedback and are committed to continually updating and refining the game based on player input. Our team is dedicated to rapid and quality-driven updates to enhance the game experience for everyone!

Cyber Manhunt 2: New World is a Hacking Simulation video game, developed by Aluba Studio. The game was released on May 10, 2024, for PC. 

Was this helpful? 🕹️

Good job! Please give your positive feedback 😏

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 💡