Chuan Chuan Law

DevOps | Software Automation | Continuous Integration

Tag: BMM

Poker Machines Gaming Venue Host Integration

Poker machines are like ATM machines. Every machine is distributed but connected to a centralised system.

 

Every machine keeps its own auditing information. For example its access history, total of paid out, etc.

 

Every machine in the gaming venue will need to go through host integration testing before it is ready to be on the “market”.

 

During host integration, we verify the following (in general):

 

– Centralise system is able to control and configure the single machine

 

– Machine is reporting correct statistics to the centralised system

 

Again, every gaming venue’s centralised system is different and very customised to its own needs. For example, some gaming venue will have their own “player’s card” which player can transfer or accumulate credits based on how much they’ve played. All these needs to be tested during host integration.

The Truth About Poker Machines Software




I have to be very careful about this one to avoid myself from getting into trouble. So I will just put all the general stuff here.

If you always wonder if there is a way to “cheat” the poker machines in order to win, you will be very disappointed because the answer is NO.

The software is governed by the game’s rules and is purely based on random numbers.

Basically, you can look at a poker machine software in the following aspects:

(1) Base software – Software that governs the the hardware, for example insertion of $10 notes will increase the credits

(2) Game software – Software that determines the game’s rules, for example 3 Aces will pay 10 credits

The exciting bit about base software testing is that it involves hardware testing. This is probably the most different aspect from other software testing.

As the game is governed by the game rules run by random numbers, the way to attack this piece of code is to replace the random number with your own test parameter and verify the expected output. This will include hacking the code, and reinstall your modified software into the hardware.

Gaming software is fully regulated by the government. BMM acts as an independent party between the gaming manufacturers and government to protect players.

Therefore, do not worry if you will be cheated by the machine, because what it says in the game rules is true.

Besides the software bit, we also need to ensure that the artwork (game rules, images) does not confuse players, does what it meant to, and clearly explains what it meant to do.

In Australia, every state and even every gaming venue has its own rules and regulations. Therefore, besides ensuring that the software works as it expected, we also need to do compliance testing according the different rules and regulations.

I would say 70% of your time will be spent in front of the poker machine. The rest of the time will be doing source code evaluation and mathematical evaluation via computer.

As a summary, the job is really very different and interesting, because you feel that having fun all the time!

Internet Casino


Cantor Casino

 

Cantor casino was my first, last, and also only internet casino project, which is also the route that took me into REA.

 

So how does internet casino differs from poker machines?

 

We look at internet casino from the following aspects:

 

Regression

 

This includes game rules and artwork. The main difference from poker machine is that instead of making sure the game state remains correct during poker machine/user interruption, we do it via the lost of internet connection, power failure of computer, etc. Payment method is via online gateway instead of notes and coins.

 

The most important aspect of a gaming software is to protect the player. For eg the wins and remaining credits are correct.

 

Artwork & mathematical evaluation (it is also run by random number generators)

 

Mathematical evaluation is a complex process which needs to be done with some in-house tool.

 

Compliance

 

Again, all gaming software is needs to be fully approved and regulation by government. I forgot to mention in my previous blog about the Percentage Of Return To User. Basically all games have a certain Percentage Of Return To User which is set by the government that needs to be met. This is verified during the mathematical evaluation.

 

Browser compatibility – as with any other web application, browser compatibility is one of the key issue

 

System Integration

 

System integration with the host is the most exciting bit (besides the fact that it flew me to London).

 

During the system integration phase, load and performance testing was performed besides the areas mentioned above

 

The site might not be accessible from every country, therefore, we need to verify this as well.

 

 

Process verification

 

The Customer Service manual and process was also questioned and verified during the system integration phase.

 

Basically, we interviewed the CCC team with various situations and verify their process. For eg, what steps are taken to verify that the player registered is above 18 years old.

 

The key thing to remember here is to always blame the “process” but not the “people”… 😉

BMM International – A coincidence


IT market was pretty bad back in 2003, when I first graduated. I was offered 2 jobs after I graduated, 1st is a programmer role at a superannuation company, and 2nd a software testing role at BMM International. I have chosen BMM merely I desperately needed money at that time and the salary that BMM offered was 10k more than the programmer’s role.

So there, I started my software testing career by coincidence….

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