I seldomly play computer games. When I do, I get very drawn in and play really hard, quickly begin feeling guilty for ‘wasting time’ on mindless entertainment, and then quit playing just as fast. As a very logical person and computer programming hobbyist, I am also always looking for ways to beat the game by finding areas to exploit to my advantage. Back in the 90′s while playing Final Fantasy VII, I found a sequence for earning money within the game by depressing keys in a certain order. I rigged up some duct tape on my controller to hold the keys in place and 8 hours later I was rich!
A couple of months ago I became obsessed with MyBrute. The benefit of MyBrute for someone like me is that it only allows three fights per day. This equates to about five minutes of game play per day, which is perfect for preventing me from becoming obsessed with the game and puts me at ease that my competitors are given the same limitation and can’t get ahead. Still, I’m always looking for an advantage. I began looking at ways to create my own bot, or an automated script which would automatically login, go to the arena, select an opponent, fight, and then repeat the process. I wrote a PHP script using the Snoopy class which succesfully completed most of these tasks. Unfortunately, it stalled when it encountered the fight stage because the creators of MyBrute utilize Flash and require a button keypress within the Flash object. Snoopy and cURL are unable of replicating keypresses in an object such as Flash. Perhaps the creators of MyBrute anticipated this, and subsequently my bot attempt was thwarted.
More recently I became obsessed with a game on Facebook called Farmville. Farmville is a cute little game that allows you to build a farm, harvest crops, manage livestock and grow trees. As a player gains experience and money from harvesting they level up and can buy new and exciting items for their farm. It didn’t take long to figure out how to quickly level and earn money and ribbons but as the games progresses leveling becomes exponentially harder and more time consuming. There had to be an easier way! That’s when I thought about using a mouse and keypress replicator that would record my keystrokes and automate the process for me. I found an application called Axife Mouse Recorder which does exactly what I was looking for. All I had to do was record myself planting, harvesting and plowing some crops and automate the recorder to do it for me while I am away. Now I can level in my sleep.
The obvious question that may come from some of you is, “Aren’t you taking away from the fun of the game?”. My answer is no, at least not for me. Different people derive different forms of pleasure from playing a game. While you may be excited and content playing a game in a more traditional fashion, I get the most excitement from figuring out how to beat a game and finding ways to exploit opportunities to my benefit. Games are a form of entertainment after all, and I believe each person should feel free to play in the way they find most enjoyable.