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Creating Challenges From Scratch - Admin

This KB article will cover how to create a custom challenge in CloudCTF. If you have not yet created a Cloud CTF environment, please see Creating a Cloud CTF Environment and Launching a Cloud CTF Environment.

Open the Add a Challenge Window

1. First, please navigate to the challenges page by making sure that Challenges has been selected at the top of the page, then please click on the plus icon as shown in the example below.

2. Next, please select Add a Challenge From Scratch to open the Add a Challenge window.

The Add a Challenge from Scratch option can be found after clicking Add a Challenge on the top right, and will be the second option. Opening the Custom Challenge Window


Edit General Challenge Information

1. Once you have opened the Add a Challenge window, please make sure the flag icon has been selected. This will allow you to edit general challenge information. The flag icon is located on the left-hand side of the window.

The flag icon is on the top left of the window, as the first option of four icons.

2. Next, please give the challenge a name, description, and point value.

The name, description, and point value sections are shown in the window.

3. You will now need to add a flag for the challenge. Please click on Add a Flag and select either String or Regex (regular expression) as the flag type.

  • If the flag is a String type, the player has to match the string exactly, to include the same capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

  • If the flag is a Regex, you may enter a regular expression that will be used to match the players' input. Regular expressions allow for more flexibility in the players' flag entry, but they are more complicated to create if you are not familiar with them. To learn more about regular expressions used for Regex flags, please go here.

Note: CTF Admins can add multiple correct answers for a single challenge by clicking on Add a Flag for each possible answer they wish to add. Points will be awarded to the player if the flag they enter matches any of the flags provided in the challenge. You can remove a flag by clicking on the trash bin icon located to the right of the flag.

The Add a Flag option can be found below the Type and Flag headers. The delete option is to the right of the Flag field.


Adding Artifacts and Hints to Your Challenge

1. To add an artifact (file/web link) to your challenge, please make sure you have clicked on the Artifacts and Hints icon as shown in the image below.

The Artifacts and Hints icon can be found on the left side of the window, below the Flag icon.

2. Once you have clicked on the Artifacts and Hints icon, please click on Add an Artifact and then select your artifact type. This can be either a file or a web link. Next, please supply a name for the artifact and then add a file or web link to the challenge. After you are finished, please click on confirm to add the artifact to your challenge.

The Add an Artifact is located just below the Artifacts header. Once clicked, a pop-up window containing information fields about the artifact type, name of artifact, and artifact file. Adding an Artifact to a Challenge


How to Edit or Remove an Artifact

1. To edit or remove an artifact, please click on the artifact name as highlighted in the image below.

The artifact name can be found under the header named Artifacts.

2. Once you have opened the Edit an Artifact window, you can upload a new file, change the web link, or permanantely remove the artifact by simply clicking on Delete.

The confirm option is located in the bottom right of the window, and the delete option is located at the bottom left of the window.


Adding Hints to a Challenge

1. Hints can be added to challenges by simply clicking on Add a Hint and then providing a hint message and assigning a hint cost value. After you have provided the hint details, please click on Confirm.

Note: The hint cost value will be deducted from a team's overall point score if they have sufficient points and decide to purchase the hint.

The Add a Hint option is located under the Hints header. Adding a Hint to a Custom Challenge


How to Edit or Remove a Hint

1. To edit or remove a hint for a specific challenge, please click on the hint as highlighted in the image below.

The added hint can be found under the Hints header.

2. Next, please modify the hint information and click on the Confirm button, or click on Delete to completely remove the hint.

The confirm option is located at the bottom right of the window, and the delete option is located at the bottom left of the window.


Setting Challenge Categories and Limiting Attempts

1. Challenges are separated into various categories in Cloud CTF, which lends to organized navigation while viewing the challenges page. Some of these categories inlucde items such as Crypto, Networking, Web, and more. CTF Admins can select an existing category or create new categories when creating or editing a challenge. This can be acomplished by first clicking on the Advanced Settings icon as shown in the image below.

The Advanced Settings icon can be found on the left side of the screen, below the flag and paperclip icons.

2. Once you have navigated to the advanced settings of a challenge, you will then be able to select from existing categories or create a new item by simply typing in your custom category. In the example below, we will be adding a category titled "New Category".

Note: If this category does not already exist within the dropdown menu, it will be added to both the challenges page and the category dropdown list, once the challenge has been created.

The category section can be found under the Settings section. Creating a Custom Challenge Category


Adding Challenge Tags

1. Adding tags to challenges in Cloud CTF helps Admins find challenges related to a specific topic or niche when searching through the challenge library. If you intend on creating and saving multiple challenges for the Cloud CTF Challenge Library feature, we recommend that you assign accurate tags that will assist you in locating it at a later date. To get started, please click on the Tags icon as shown in the image below.

The tags icon is located on the left side of the screen, as the bottom most choice.

2. Next, please click on the Tags input field to add a tag to the challenge. You may create your own tags by simply typing them in the text field, or search for a tag from the dropdown list provided.

A dropdown menu containing a list of tags is located below the Add a Challenge window.


Create/Confirm Your Challenge

Once you have finished customizing your challenge, please click on Confirm as shown in the image below to add your challenge to the challenges page.

The Confirm button is located at the bottom right of the window.


How to Save a Challenge to the Challenge Library

To save your custom challenges to the challenge library, please see the article Saving Custom Challenges to the Challenge Library for more information.


How to Edit a Challenge

CTF Admins can edit and modify all challenges available in Cloud CTF. To learn more about editing custom challenges, library challenges, or custom challenges that have already been saved to the challenge library, please see How to Edit Challenges in Cloud CTF for more information.


More on Challenge Management

If you are interested in learning more about managing challenges in Cloud CTF, please see Cloud CTF Challenge Management for more details. Our Challenge Management article links to topics such as creating and saving custom challenges, adding challenge hints and flags, understanding challenge statistics, and other advanced challenge management features.