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Creating Game Components
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FIGURE 15-4 100 tanger nes (count them f you ke) n the Bread and Cheese game.
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At the moment, the tangerines just stay at their initial positions on the screen looking dangerous, which is rather boring. Perhaps they could chase the bread bat instead (your younger brother really likes this idea). The posh name for what you are doing now is artificial intelligence (AI). You want to make it look as though the tangerines are being controlled by an intelligent opponent who knows where you are and is heading that way.
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Chasing the Bread Bat
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To change the way the tangerines behave, you just have to override the Update method in the KillerSprite class. To chase the bread bat, a killer sprite first has to know where the bat is. At the moment, this information is hidden inside the Bat class, so we need to add some code to make this information visible. The best place to put this code is the MovingSprite class; then we can get the position of any of the moving sprites on the screen, including the Cheese and the DeadlyPepper.
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Part III Writing Proper Games
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Using Properties to Read the Bread Bat Position
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We could provide a method called GetX to read the X position of a MovingSprite, but C# provides something called a property, which makes this much easier. Look at this code:
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public float XPos { get { return x; } }
When placed inside the MovingSprite class, the code provides a property that lets objects read the value of x (which is the member of the sprite that holds the position). The new XPos property can be used very easily:
float breadX = Bread.XPos;
This assigns the x location of the bread to the value of breadX. This looks a lot like direct access to a member of a class, but what is actually happening is that the code inside the get portion of the property is running and the value following the return is being sent back as the result of the property. At the moment, there is no way that the position of the bread can be changed (which is what we want in this case). However, this would not stop programmers like your younger brother from trying, as in the following code:
Bread.XPos = 99;
Because there is no set behavior, this fails to compile. However, you can provide such a behavior if you like by adding a set part to the property declaration, as shown here in bold:
public float XPos { get { return x; } set { x = value; } }
15 Creating Game Components
The set behavior of a property uses the key word value as a placeholder for the value specified on the right side of the assignment operator. So if your younger brother s code to write to the property was performed, the value of x would be set to 99. Properties are quite neat, and they can make code look simpler.
Creating the KillerSprite-Chasing AI
The code to make a killer sprite chase the bread bat is actually quite simple:
if (game.BreadBat.XPos > x) { x += xSpeed; } else { x -= xSpeed; } if (game.BreadBat.YPos > y) { y += ySpeed; } else { y -= ySpeed; }
This is pure AI. These statements are doing exactly what you would do if you were steering a tangerine towards the bread. They work on the principle that if the bread was to the left of you, you d move left. If the bread was below you, you d move down, and so on. If this code is placed in the Update method, the tangerines try to head towards the bread. The speed of the tangerine has been set so that the tangerines move quite slowly, but it definitely feels like they are chasing you. If you really want to scare the player, you can speed the tangerines up. Figure 15-5 shows the situation in the game a few seconds after the tangerines have been made to appear. This is actually quite a scary point in the game, as the pepper is also deadly. If you want to make tangerines that ran away from the bread bat (to make a kind of chasing game), you just have to reverse this behavior.
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