Creating a Multi-Player Game in Visual Studio .NET

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6
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Creating a Multi-Player Game
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In this chapter, you will
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Discover how to detect and use individual button-press events in a game. Learn how to create and debug a complex program. Write one of the only 16-player games for the Xbox in the world.
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Introduction
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Now that you can write programs that process data, read input from the gamepad, and display text and graphics, you can move on to create some proper games. The first games that you are going to create are simple to use and play, but are great fun, particularly if you have large numbers of people around to play them. While you create the behaviors for the games, you also learn some more C# constructions that can be used in later games.
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Game Idea: Button-Bashing Mob
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One very popular and easy-to-create game is one where a player has to repeatedly press a button as quickly as possible. Players compete against each other, and the winner is the one who can press their button the most in a given time. Because each gamepad has four buttons and the Xbox can support four gamepads, up to 16 players can take part, for maximum button-bashing fun.
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Creating the Button-Bash Game
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To get started, you need to create an empty project called ButtonBash. This project needs to be able to display text. The best way to do this is to create a new project and then initialize and load the font as for the Big Clock application in 5, Writing Text. Set the size of the font to 30 in the SpriteFont1.spritefont file that you create. To create the game, you first build a program that counts and displays the presses of a single button on the gamepad. Then you can scale up the program and use more buttons. This is a very common programming technique. Make a button-bashing game for 16 players sounds a bit daunting, but Make a program that counts how many times the B button on gamepad 1 is pressed is something you can probably do.
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Part II
Images, Sound, and Text
Note To comp ete th s program, you are go ng to take two th ngs that you a ready know how
to do (read buttons on the gamepad and d sp ay messages on the screen) and use these ab t es to create a game ca ed Button Bash You do th s sort of comb n ng a ot n programm ng; n fact, you can th nk of wr t ng programs as str ng ng a set of behav ors together to get the requ red resu t
Button-Bash Game Data
Your program needs to keep track of the number of times the button has been pressed. You can use an integer to hold the value as follows:
// Game World int count;
The value of an int variable in C# can go over 2,000,000,000. It s unlikely that anyone who is not Superman could press a button that number of times in a minute.
Starting the Button-Bash Game
The game is started by the player pressing the Start button on the gamepad to zero the counter. The program handles this in the Update method:
protected override void Update(GameTime gameTime) { // Allows the game to exit if (GamePad.GetState(PlayerIndex.One).Buttons.Back == ButtonState.Pressed) this.Exit(); GamePadState pad1 = GamePad.GetState(PlayerIndex.One); if (pad1.Buttons.Start == ButtonState.Pressed) { count = 0; } base.Update(gameTime); }
This program builds on the gamepad reading code that you wrote in 3, Getting Player Input. It creates a GamePadState variable called pad1 and then tests to see if the Start button has been pressed on it. When the Start button is pressed, the conditional statement in the Update method sets count to 0.
6 Creating a Multi-Player Game
Displaying the Button-Bash Count Value
As the game is being played, it must display the current number of presses on the screen for the player to see. You can use a variant of the Draw method in the Big Clock program to display the value in count:
protected override void Draw(GameTime gameTime) { graphics.GraphicsDevice.Clear(Color.CornflowerBlue); string countString = count.ToString(); Vector2 countVector = new Vector2(50, 400); spriteBatch.Begin(); spriteBatch.DrawString(font, countString, countVector, Color.Red); spriteBatch.End(); base.Draw(gameTime); }
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