assassin's creed sartor book

The Sartor Classics III – Hidden Messages

This is part of a series of posts about the my Sartor Classics project.  See all the posts here.

Now, the goal was to send the final product to the Ubisoft studio in Montreal and raise an eyebrow. I wanted to make them curious, to draw them in. Thus, I needed to keep things relatively transparent; while my original intent was to make finding the existence of the hidden message a challenge in and of itself, the likelihood of someone receiving the book and taking enough interest in the thing to notice any subtle clues — well, it seemed a little self-important on my part. 

Hiding a text within a text consists mainly of signifying something unusual within the base content. A slight different font, formatting — there are several methods. In the interest of clarity, I simply underlined the letters I needed.

And the trouble began.  Seems easy enough, right? Take the ciphertext, find the matching letters in the base text, and underline. Easy. Except when the ciphertext has a “q”, and the base text doesn’t have one for five pages. I found myself running out of space, and that right quick.

The best solution I could find was to just add the letters in, typos in the manuscript. The odd “z” instead of “s”. That sort of thing.  Not ideal, but functional.

2 replies on “The Sartor Classics III – Hidden Messages”

Would it be easier to change the hidden word? I get that the hidden message is kind of the ultimate point, but changing “the assassin failed a pop quiz” to “the assassin failed a test” would still convey the same story and might be easier to turn into code.

I like where you’re head’s at!

The code looks like this: Ugaxoajlyguvjuptrfxdxcrjfoxupxnxlgxujqrhhxxpptrpgnrxu etc.

Since I encrypted it all at once via the magic of computing, I only had a general sense of where I was in the story at any given time in the process. And the cipher shifts with every sentence. Given that, messing with the source seemed neater. Though it did break my nerdy little heart to have to add typos into the text.

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