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This chapter is from the book

Testing the Game

Unless you just happen to be a fan of memory games, you'll hopefully find the Henway game to be much more fun to test than the Brainiac game from Hour 8, "Example Game: Brainiac." The Henway is the first legitimate action game that you've created, which makes it considerably more interesting from a playability perspective. Keep in mind that action games often require a greater deal of testing because it's hard to predict how sprites will react in every little situation. You should play your games a great deal to make sure that nothing out of the ordinary ever happens, or at least nothing detrimental that's out of the ordinary.

Figure 12.2 shows the Henway game at the start, with your lion-hearted chicken poised for a trip across the highway.

Figure 12.2Figure 12.2 The Henway game begins with the chicken in the Start Area, ready to make an attempt at crossing the busy highway.


If the chicken immediately starts moving when you start the game, there's a good chance that your joystick needs calibrating. Refer back to the section titled "Calibrating Joysticks" in Hour 7, "Improving Input with Joysticks," if you've forgotten how to calibrate your joystick.

To get started with the game, just begin guiding your chicken through traffic using the keyboard or joystick. If you successfully navigate the chicken across the highway, the game will display a message and award you with 150 points. Figure 12.3 shows the message that appears when you succeed in crossing the highway.

Figure 12.3Figure 12.3 Upon successfully making it across the highway, you are notified by the game and awarded 150 points.

Of course, even the best Henway player will eventually get careless and steer the chicken into the path of an oncoming car. Figure 12.4 shows the message displayed after a chicken is hit by a car.

Figure 12.4Figure 12.4 Getting hit by a car isn't as grisly as you might expect, but the game does display a message to let you know that you've lost a chicken.

After you lose a chicken, the number of chicken lives in the lower right corner of the screen will reduce by one to show the remaining lives. When you eventually lose all three chickens, the game ends. Figure 12.5 shows the end of the game, which simply involves a message being displayed that notifies you of your final score.

Figure 12.5Figure 12.5 When you've depleted all of your chickens, the game ends.

Although it might be sad to steer three chickens to their demise in a highway full of busy traffic, it's all just a game. Despite it's relative simplicity, hopefully you can appreciate the Henway game in terms of it representing a culmination of much of what you've learned throughout the book thus far. Even so, there is much ahead as you continue to build more exciting games from here on.

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