World Introduction

This year’s Holiday Hack Challenge starts with a boat on the ocean:


At the bottom of the screen there are buttons for controlling things:


The first button allows me to set an destination and will direct that arrow coming from my boat towards it. The second allows me to say “AHOY!” to other boats. And the third is settings.

At the bottom left there’s a world map showing each of the six different Geese Islands:


The yellow boat represents me. The blue dot represents my current set destination, and the green flags are boat race points. The boat race is an interesting side game that didn’t really play into the overall challenge and isn’t further addressed in this write-up.

The instructions on screen say to go to the Orientation Dock, the only blue dot on the world map at this point. When I get close, there’s a green circle, and on entering the circle, the game offers a chance to dock.


As I visit places to dock around the island, they show up as red dots on my map:


Orientation Dock


This small island has Jingle Ringford waiting for me next to an empty table:


First Terminal


Jingle Ringford welcomes me:

Jingle Ringford

Jingle Ringford

Welcome to the Geese Islands and the 2023 SANS Holiday Hack Challenge!

I’m Jingle Ringford, one of Santa’s many elves.

Santa asked me to meet you here and give you a short orientation to this festive event.

Before you head back to your boat, I’ll ask you to accomplish a few simple tasks.

First things first, here’s your badge! It’s that starfish in the middle of your avatar.

Great - now you’re official!

Click on the badge on your avatar. That’s where you will see your Objectives, Hints, and Conversations for the Holiday Hack Challenge.

We’ve also got handy links to some awesome talks and more there for you!

The badge looks like previous year’s KringleCon badges:


There is currently only one objective:


Jingle continues:

Jingle Ringford

Jingle Ringford

Next, pick up that fishing pole over there in the sand. That will come in handy when you’re sailing around the islands.

A fishing pole appears and I’ll walk over to grab it.

Jingle Ringford

Jingle Ringford


OK, one last thing. Click on the Cranberry Pi Terminal and follow the on-screen instructions.

With that, a Cranberry Pi terminal appears on the table:



Just like last year, the first terminal challenge is just to make sure I can use the terminal:


I’ll type “answer” in the top pane and complete the challenge.


Jingle offers me direction about where to go next:

Jingle Ringford

Jingle Ringford

Perfect! Your orientation is now complete!

Head back to your boat or click on the anchor icon on the left of the screen to set sail for Frosty’s Beach where Santa’s waiting for you. I’ve updated your boat’s compass to guide the way.

As you sail to each island, talk to the goose of that island to receive a colorful lei festooning the masts on your ship.

Safe travels my friend and remember, relax, enjoy the sun, and most importantly, have FUN!

With the fishing pole, there’s a new options on the boat menus:


This allows me to fish, which I’ll go into in detail later.