quarta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2015

Stacker Game in JavaFX

In this post I am going to share with you this simple game I created using JavaFX.

The Stacker game

The goal of the game is to reach the top by stacking rectangles. This is a well known game where when you reach the top you earn some gifts. Here is a video I took from youtube of someone playing this game:

Our game is a little different. We will will only stack 1 rectangle, but the rectangle can be adjacent of the below rect, not exactly on top of it. The number of rectangles to fill will be increasing according to the level and also the speed.

The game in Processing

The game was previously created in Processing, but most of the code I could reuse in the JavaFX version! You can find the source for the processing version in my github.


Creating games with JavaFX

JavaFX was always a platform for games since its 1.0 version. I remember we even had a blog specific for JavaFX script games. Since the end of JavaFX Script and with JavaFX 2, we have some samples that might be downloaded in Oracle's site.
To get start with games on JavaFX I recommend this series of posts by Carl Dea.
JavaFX have all resources we need to create games: animations, resources to detect collision, special effects, play sounds, etc...

Our stacker game implementation

The game is basically based on update a boolean matrix and read it to create a visual representation. When the user click on the game, we make a loop in the matrix to see if the block in the previous line  is true or if the block in the current line is adjacent to the block in the previous line.
The two important classes in our program is the Game Engine and the game itself. The game engine is responsible to make the game alive, because it will make the game update the screen on a given frequency and make it draw itself.
The game is responsible to draw and update the scenario according to time and user's input. Here is the code of these two classes:

There are classes that does nothing. We need to create a concrete class, so we did, we created the StackerGame  class. It contains the matrix that represents the game and will draw the grid and the rectangles according to the time, level and user's input.
The logic of the game is basically move a boolean in the matrix and fix it when the user clicks. If the user click was done when the rectangle had a block below it or adjacent, the game will continue, if not, we will call game over and when the user click again, the game will start from beginning. Note that the score is higher when the user makes a perfect stack and lower when the user stack using an adjacent block.  The game is drawn in a canvas, which is easier to control in our case(we are coming from Processing!).
Notice that we expose some variable using javaFX properties. These properties are used in our main application to display the score, level and eventually the game over label. See the all the code of these two classes:

Here is the game in action:

Possible Improvements

Unfortunately the game has no sounds and the effects are poor. Also, if the user reach the level 20, the game will bug! So, the possible improvements are:

* Improve the look of the game;
* Add sounds;
* Handle the end of the game event.


It was a simple demonstration of a game using JavaFX. As usual, it was done for fun, in a few hours... Don't judge possible bad code... The source is in my github.

JavaFX is fun, is enterprise, is good for game programming, for data visualizations, for learning Java...

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