The Anatomy of a game
This is part I of a guest post by Arslan Ali *.
So one fine day while I was busy in creating a training exercise for my team, I stretched back to relax when my eyes stuck on the computer screen of my colleague who was sitting beside me. He was busy playing a game! (don’t tell the boss 🙂 ), and that game was about planes, bombs and dog fights. What I noticed that this was setting of World War 2 backdrop and the gamer have to fly a “Spitfire Fighter Plane” to carry out the given missions – Great! I love Spitfires and was always a fan of them. So eventually I asked for the setup. The game is titled as “Air Guard” and you can download it for free here http://air-guard.en.softonic.com/.
About the Game:
I found it really interesting and addictive. The game has two modes
(a) The Battle
(b) The Campaign.
For the Battle mode you have the opportunity to do an air to air battle with several enemy aircrafts and maintain your score to the highest level. Whereas, in the Campaign mode you are given a choice of 15 different missions to choose from, however the first mission is a practice mission where while flying the plane a gamer is guided by flashing messages about the indicators and controls. So one would know how to do it!
Oh and one more thing…there is no Takeoff or Landing functions so do not worry about that! The plane is either controlled by “Mouse” movements or by a Joystick. It does not do inverted flights but can do sharp turns. Whereas you can use Left Click for “Machine Gun Fire (unlimited bullets)” and with right clicks you can drop bombs on enemy targets (Limited Inventory which depends on the mission scenarios). The Keyboard can be used for speed controls (Press Control to Slower and Shift for Faster Speed) then use arrow keys to change the views, but, the moment you leave it, the view return to normal so it is actually a sneak and peak!
There are also inlet interfaces on the below of your screen. One shows the Compass for direction; one is a radar view showing the base, gamer aircraft in the middle, the incoming enemy aircrafts, ground targets, and Bombers with their movements and direction. However Ground Targets remains stationary.
The terrain is very elegantly constructed with Lush green planes, building structures, and sort of military bunkers and setups. The boundary of the terrain is determined by the Sea. So if you move on to the Sea and start moving in, you will get a message “You must fly back into the mission”. Whereas, most of the time the missions are time bounded. So you cannot break away the boundaries that easily. (We will get back to this later)
Coming to the Testing side
The question is; How does an enemy (ground + air) know that where my plane is?
Most of us never thought of this actually, we simply just start to play and let the game take on to us. But, in reality if we know the answer to this question; then whether you are playing “Counter Strike” or “Air Guard” you can bend so many rules and play around so many boundaries!
How do I discover this? Simple, once I was done with all of the stages; I replayed the stages again. There are two instances of the events; Time and Movement;
Time bound event is where the enemy objects are coming in to close contact (my firing range or vice versa) or comes into the view; whereas rest of the actions of the object then depend on “my plane” and its movements.
(More on the testing side in part II).
* Arslan is an experienced tester and has been a source of inspiration for the testing community in Pakistan. He very actively manages a LinkedIn group Software Testers & QA from Pakistan which has over 1300 members (and it is growing). He also conducts trainings on how to be effective as testers and his next training is in September. I feel it as an honor to have his article appearing on my blog. Thanks Arslan.”