Monday, January 08, 2024

Card Chess - Code Knight daily review

In the dynamic world of game development, creating an immersive and enjoyable user experience is paramount. Today's focus was a deep dive into enhancing a game known as Card Chess - a strategy game combining elements of chess with the randomness of cards. Our journey through various aspects of game development using C# and Myra, a UI library for MonoGame, offered insightful glimpses into the intricacies of building a captivating game.

Elevating the Endgame: The Win/Lose Screen

A crucial part of any game is its conclusion - the moment of triumph or defeat. We embarked on creating a win/lose screen that not only announces the game's outcome but does so while showcasing the final state of the board. The challenge was to overlay this information elegantly. By employing a semi-transparent screen, we managed to display the game's result while allowing players to view the endgame board state, enhancing the player's connection to the game's conclusion.

State of Play: Refining Game States

Next, we delved into the game's heartbeat - its state management. The GameState enum in CardChessGame.cs was fine-tuned to include specific states reflecting various game outcomes. This addition paved the way for more nuanced control over the game's flow, allowing for a more refined gaming experience.

User Interface: A Touch of Finesse

A significant portion of the day was spent enhancing the game's user interface. We replicated the CreateOpeningMenu method to craft a results menu, complete with a "Play Again" button - a feature allowing players to jump right back into action. To ensure clarity in communication, we added a label displaying the game's outcome, making use of the EndGameState. Attention to detail was key as we meticulously adjusted the positioning and padding of UI elements for optimal layout and readability.

Terrain Choices: Enhancing Strategic Depth

In a strategic twist, we introduced a terrain selection feature in the opening menu. A dropdown list, or ComboBox, was implemented, offering players the choice between different terrain types like "None", "Random", and "Chequerboard". This feature not only added a layer of depth to the game's strategy but also showcased how UI elements could be dynamically populated using enums for a streamlined codebase.

Behind the Scenes: Game and Board Logic

A significant discussion point was where to store the terrainType variable - in the game class or the board class. This decision hinged on the architectural and functional implications within the game. We also refactored the ResetGame() method to incorporate terrain type, illustrating the importance of adaptable and maintainable code.

Localization: Crossing Language Barriers

Finally, we touched upon the topic of localization. Using enums to populate UI elements like a ComboBox poses a unique challenge in a multilingual setting. We explored the use of resource files for localized strings, ensuring that the game remains accessible and enjoyable to a diverse audience.


Today's journey through game development highlighted the delicate balance between technical prowess and creative vision. Each line of code, each UI adjustment, and each gameplay tweak brought us closer to a game that not only challenges the mind but also delights the senses. As we wrapped up the day, it was clear that the art of game development is a continuous pursuit of perfection, where every detail contributes to an unforgettable player experience.

Code Knight