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Dozen Days of Words: Hangman


Making of Hangman

Friday March 20, 2009 - First 2 hours of development.
0:00 - 0:30 Worked out new development rules for series. See About Dozen Days
of Words section for the details.

0:30 - 2:00 Planning and putting together the skeleton for the game.
This episodes game is going to be the game of Hangman. I don't really think
that I need to go into details about the rules for this game. The only major
variation of this game that I know about is how many segments (chances) that
the player is given. To deal with this problem I am going to have three
different difficulty levels. The Higher the level, the fewer mistakes the
player is allowed.

Sunday March 22, 2009 - next 4 hours
2:00 - 2:30 Title.
Pretty much the same as episode 2 class but with different labels.

2:30 - 4:30 Hangman Drawer.
States of the drawing, constants, and the drawing code for drawing the picture.
The drawing of the hangman is actually 11 separate drawing segments with a
switch statement being used to determine which part to draw. For now it is a
fall-through switch with the drawing order being reverse so that it draws
through from the furthest drawn part backwards to the first part. If I have
time near the end of development to add animation, then this will probably have
to be re-worked but for now this should suffice.

04:30 - 6:00 Layout
With the hangman being able to draw itself, it is time to get the layout of the
game completed. There are three separate parts that make up the user interface
for the game. First, in the top-left of the screen is the hangman image that
gets drawn as the player makes wrong guesses. On the right side of the screen
are the letters that the player clicks on to make a guess. Finally, on the
bottom of the screen is the puzzle.

Monday March 23, 2009
6:00 - 7:30 Puzzle generation
Here is a task that should have only taken about half an hour, if that, but due
to a minor error ended up taking an extra hour worth of debugging effort to
find the problem. The problem was that I used the String class' substring
function instead of the substr function. One requires that you specify the
starting location and the ending location while the other function uses the
starting location and the length of the desired string. While it is nice to
have both, when you accidentally use the wrong function without realizing it
then you end up with really weird results.

Thursday March 26, 2009
7:30 - 8:30
Letter selection
Implementing the handler for the letter tiles required the implementation of
the puzzle solving portion of the game. This is where my original
implementation plans changed as I realized that it was possible to accomplish
my goals a lot easier by taking advantage of the letter tile class.

8:30 - 10:00 Hangman drawn to mistakes
With the game letters appearing, getting this in synch with the hangman being
drawn becomes important. Because of the three different difficulty levels, this
was a bit more complicated than I originally thought it would be. The draw
states for each difficulty are put into arrays. The start game difficulty
determines which array gets used for the game.

Friday March 27, 2009
10:00 - 11:30
Win/lose support
Determining losing is easy as when the array holding the drawing states has
reached the final position then the game has ended. Winning was a bit tricker
to figure out. My original thought was to build a string by grabbing all the
puzzle letters and comparing it to the solution string. Instead, I realized
that it was a lot easier to just count the number of underscores were left in
the puzzle.

Sunday March 29, 2009
11:30 - 15:00
Fine Tuning
Adding an underlying hangman. Cleaning up the layout of the user interface.
Having winning and losing displaying the solution in a different color. Over
a hundred puzzles. The puzzles took a lot longer to put together as I decided
to use a list of games that I have created. Man, have I ever created a lot of


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