# How to Make a Decoding Game

by Ocean Malandra

You don't have to be a secret agent or government spy to play games with codes and write secret messages that only your friends will understand. The key to creating a secret code that only select people can understand is having a secret decoding system known only to those in the loop. These systems can be simple and allow those who possess the code to interpret secret messages without fear of anyone else ever finding out what's in the message.

• Paper
• Pencil

## Shifted Alphabet Code Game

Step 1

Select a number between one and 25. Share this number only with those who you want to be able to read your secret messages.

Step 2

Choose a message you want to code.

Step 3

Count down the number of letters in the alphabet based on the previously selected number. For instance, if you chose three and want to write "B," write "E" instead. Write the full message in this manner.

Step 4

When decoding a coded message, count back up the alphabet the designated number of letters to find the actual letters.

## Numerical Coding Game

Step 1

Write down the entire alphabet on a sheet of paper. Draw a line over each letter and allow a space for another character to be written above each letter.

Step 2

Assign each letter a number between one and 26. Write this number above each letter on the line. Randomize the numbers as much as possible -- for example, do not use one for "A," two for "B," etc.

Step 3

Make copies of the paper displaying the numerical code. Distribute these to anyone you want to share coded messages with.

Step 4

Write a message using the numerical code. Use dashes between each number to differentiate them. For instance, "1-3" would represent two letters, as opposed to "13," which would represent one letter.

Step 5

Decode incoming messages by using the sheet of paper to match each number to its corresponding letter.