I last discussed Set about 3 weeks ago. At the time, my implementation was based on buttons. It worked fine, but when I saw how it looked on a friend's machine running the 'classic' theme I was appalled.

I got thinking: there has to be a way to make this game more interesting.

The answer: 3D and gratuitous animation.

The address for the XBAP hasn't changed: http://j832.com/workBlogFiles/WpfSet/

WPF Set - 3D!

The source code has been checked-in to my SVN repository. The code files actually live under J832.Wpf.BagOTricksApp, but you can build and play with the stand-alone app by loading the J832.WpfSet solution file. (Thank you, CSProj file linking feature.)

Cool stuff:

  • The listbox on the right that displays the matched sets now uses AnimatingTilePanel.
  • First use of the new WPFUtil class, which exposes a set of Animate methods. These basically formalize and abstract my simple attraction-based physics model. I support 1-dimensional (double), 2-dimensional (Point/Vector), and 3-dimensional (Point3D/Vector3D) animation. Check out ZapScroller and AnimatingTilePanel in the source to see the other places these are used.
  • I've also added some helper extension methods to WPFUtil. Very useful.
  • Implemented a couple of super-simple 3D components: ButtonBase3D and ToggleButton3D. An interesting exercise. Hoping to move FlipTile3D to these in the future.

Not cool stuff:

  • Keyboard accessibility has evaporated. With the previous implementation, you could tab around to the buttons and press spacebar to select/unselect a "card". More work than I signed up for in this iteration, but something to keep in mind.
  • WPF handles z-order great in 3D unless you have transparency in your textures. Take a look at the corners of raised cards. Very frustrating. The only work-around is to manually re-order the child elements. Lame.
  • Perf is great...on my super fast workstation. Even on my relatively beefy laptop, I notice some glitching when things are moving around. Ideally, I'd detect machines hardware limitations and degrade the animations. I should probably offer a "turn off the fancy stuff" check box. Eh, V3.

This will of course be included in the next drop of the full bag-o-tricks, but I thought it was cool enough to share out-of-band.

Have fun.