The Unscrambler Machines

Description of game play:

The UnscramblerMachines were, in a sense, decoder devices.  Their screens contained a visual clue which was obscured by a noise generating algorithm.  The sole input device was a combination dial and button of which the player was required to find the right combination of pushing and turning in order to bring the image into focus and reveal the clue.

Observations of player interactions:

The Unscrambler Machines had an intentionally unobvious mapping of user input to visual feedback in order to promote players to experiment.  Players who were more willing to experiment without seeking instruction were generally a lot more successful at solving the Unscramblers.

There were two Unscrambler Machines on the SCOOT game trail, each located in environments that were visually in stark contrast with the devices themselves (the National Gallery of Victory and the Arts Center).  They also played a distinctive SCOOT tune which was recognisable from areas where the devices themselves were not visible, allowing them to be hidden in more obscured locations for players to seek out.  Both these factors provided the player with a sense of familiarity by reinforcing the SCOOT aesthetic in otherwise unfamiliar locations.


  • Andrew Brown
  • Craig Gibbons
  • Deb Polson