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Testing Times

I recently answered an invitation in the team request section of the Game Maker Community forum asking for people to help test the early beta of a game. The team request section isn’t normally a place I frequent since it tends to be full of repetitive baldy worded posts requesting an entire game development team or people to help with the construction of MMORPGs.

When responding I was directed to the team’s privately hosted forum where I was instructed to register and download the latest version of the project, a top down shooter game named Excalibur War: Norak.

From what I read at the GMC I assumed the game was in its late stages since external testers were being sought, however I was surprised to find that the entire download was a little over 1.5 MB.

The basic controls are very simple; you choose your movement direction by moving your mouse and use sensible WASD controls to move around the room. Clicking shoots and you can use your middle mouse button to quickly change between the different available weapons each with their own characteristics and ammunition.

There is a very basic AI commanding “terrorists” to walk directly towards you shooting, they are therefore extremely predictable and easy to defeat.

Defects include the ability to shoot through walls when you are adjacent to them and the huge bonus that is invincibility. You don’t die regardless of how many times you are shot, that green circle on the top left of the screen is how the health bar appears when you have been shot at a lot and should be dead.

Mysteriously internal rooms appear empty until you walk up to them at which point ammunition and health packs appear within them. This could be part of the game, but I see no reason why this should be the case.

There is a nice mini-map in the top left corner of the screen enabling you to pinpoint terrorists and health packs, but this just makes things too easy – especially when there is no chance of you dieing.

What do you think?

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MarkUp Magazine: Issue 9

Playing Catchup