Computer Science 1xx – Assignment #N

DUE DATE: mmddyyyy  



Learning Objectives:
(This is a list of the major topics that you, as students, will learn in this assignment:)

  1. Two-Dimensional (2D) Arrays:
    In this assignment, you will need to become proficient in manipulating 2D (two-dimensional) arrays.  You will develop and demonstrate this skill by coding (in C#) the rules of a game that is played on a 2D grid of squares.
  2. Algorithm Creation And Implementation:
    In this assignment, you will need to take the description that's given below (and in the comments of the code), and successfully implement an algorithm that will interface with the provided code, in order to check that a player's attempted move is a legal move.  Note that instead of spelling out the algorithm, this assignment will instead spell out the rules of the game, and leave the exact algorithm up to you (as opposed to, say, giving you a pseudocode description of BubbleSort & asking you to translate that into code).
  3. Functional Decomposition:  NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: This topic is optional, in the sense that it's good for the student to do this, but not *required* for the students to successfully complete the assignment.  Make sure that you either decide to include this outcome (and remove this note, and the one in the grading rubric), or else that you decide to remove this outcome (and also adjust the rubric appropriately)
    In this assignment, you will need to implement a substantial algorithm (as described in the previous outcome).  This problem is sufficiently large that your code will benefit from 'decomposing' (breaking down) the problem into smaller parts, and solve each smaller part with one function/method/subroutine.  You may then decompose some of those smaller functions further.  The goal is to make your code easier to understand, to maintain, and to reuse.
  4. Basic object usage:
    In this assignment, you will need to manipulate a 2D array of GamePiece objects, wherein each GamePiece object provides you with several methods that you will use to keep track of which player 'owns' a given piece.  You will not be required to create your own classes, nor will you need to know much about object oriented programming in order to successfully complete this assignment.

Grading Rubric: This document is available for you use - you should use it to  to help guide your work.  The rubric is a document which explains how your work will be evaluated, and is located here.


Game Description:

    Othello (also known as 'Reversi') is a simple-yet-engaging game for 2 players; the objective is to have the largest number of playing pieces under one's control when the game ends.  The game is played on a square board composed of a grid of spaces (visually, the board resembles graph paper - normally the grid is 8x8).  The game starts with 2 of each player's pieces on the board.  Each of the players alternates playing, with each player placing a piece on the board during their turn.  Each piece must be placed according to two rules: (1) the newly placed piece is adjacent to one of the other player's pieces that's already on the board, and (2) the newly placed piece must be able to trace a straight-line path (vertically, horizontally, or diagonally) over the other player's pieces to a piece that belongs to the current player, which 'brackets' the opponent's pieces.  Doing so flips (or 'reverses') all the opposing player's pieces between the two pieces.  The game is described in more detail at

    In order to clarify how the game might be played, a demonstration of (part of) a game has been included here.

Writing the program

    For this program, you'll be responsible for implementing part of an existing game.  Most of the game will be provided to you, and you will have to implement two methods, described in detail below in Table 1.  Both of these methods are found in the PlayBoard.cs file, and are the only methods that you will be required to implement in order to successfully complete this assignment.  Note that in order to successfully complete this assignment, you will need to make sure of some code that has been provided to you - these are several methods on the PlayBoard class, as well as several methods on the GamePiece class.  These methods have been described below, in Tables 2 and 3

    In a nutshell, your HasValidPositions method will tell the rest of the program if the current player has any legal moves available (and if not, then the code that has been provided to you will end the game shortly thereafter).  The rest of the program will then figure out what move the current player wants to make, and then call your PlayToCell method, giving your PlayToCell method a particular cell (as indicated by (col,row)  (or equivalently, indicated by (X,Y) coordinate)), and your method will figure out if that is a legal move for the current player to make.  If it is a legal move, your PlayToCell will also handle flipping any game pieces over.

    At this point, you should read through the below documentation, find the code in the starter project that you have to implement, look for (and read) any and all comments that contain the word 'STUDENTS' (they're there to help you understand how the program works)(you may find it easier to search using the Edit menu, then 'Find And Replace', then the 'Find In Files' menu option). 

    Make sure that you read the rest of this document, as the homework instructions continue after these three tables!

Table 1: Methods That You Have To Implement

Data Field Name



You're free to add any data fields

that you need to, in order to accomplish

the objectives set forth in this assignment

Note: all data fields should be marked private (if you need to expose them, use Properties, or accessor/mutator methods)

Method Name





true if the move is valid. A valid move is described in the homework assignment, above. This method will also flip over any pieces  that need to be flipped (remember that every valid move results in pieces being flipped over). If the current player has attempted to place a piece illegally (outside the bounds of the array, not adjacent to a previously placed piece, on a square the won't flip any of the opposing player's pieces, or for any other reason), then this method will return false.


  1. int column: This is the 'X' parameter - the column of the square that the player has attempted to put a piece into. Your code should be able to handle values that are outside of the array's bounds (less than 0, or greater than (or equal to) m_Resolution)
  2. int row: This is the 'Y' parameter - the row of the square that the player has attempted to put a piece into. Your code should be able to handle values that are outside of the array's bounds (less than 0, or greater than (or equal to) m_Resolution)

PlayToCell is given the cell/square that the current player wishes to place one of their pieces into, as specified by (X,Y) (or rather, by (col, row)) location. If the move is valid, this method will flip any pieces that need to be flipped, and then return true. If the move is NOT valid (for any reason), it will return false.




Returns true if there are any legal moves for the current player to make, returns false if there aren't any legal moves for the current player to make.

Parameters: None


This method will check if there are any more legal moves that the "currentPlayer" can make. Returns true if there are, returns false if not (the code that has been provided to you will will then end the game afterwards)


Note: all methods should be marked public

Note: All methods should run in a minimum amount of time, and with a minimum amount of space (memory) consumed.


Table 2: Methods On The PlayBoard Class That You May/Will Use

Data Field Name


public const int BlackPlayer = 0;

Notice that since there are two players, and  since we want to refer to players using a textual name (rather than a number like 0), but since C# would prefer to refer to the players via numbers, we instead use a trick of defining a 'variable' with the number 0, and in our code, we use  the variable name instead of 0.

(Note that the variable is marked as being 'const', meaning 'constant'- C# will never let this 'variable' change it's value)

So, we could use code like the following in our PlayToCell method:

if (CurrentPlayer() == BlackPlayer)
"Black's turn to move!");

     EchoToBottomStatus("White's turn to move!");

public const int WhitePlayer = 1;

This is the same trick for the player who will place White game pieces (see description above).

Method Name





This method will return an integer, representing the current player. BlackPlayer is defined as 0 (see the comments around the BlackPlayer variable, at the top of this table), and WhitePlayer is defined at 1, but you should use the BlackPlayer/WhitePlayer variables to refer to players, if you need to refer to specific players at all. More likely, you'll use feed this method's return value to the GamePiece.IsPlayer method, in order to check if a particular game piece belongs to the current player or not.

Parameters: None

Description: The return value column says it all



NextPlayer returns the integer identifying the next player to play. Since there are only two players, the next player is also the only other player. Otherwise, it works just like CurrentPlayer, so read the comments about that method, too :)

Parameters: None

Description: The return value column says it all



Table 3: Methods On The GamePiece Class That You May/Will Use

Method Name



FlipPiece void

Parameters: None

Description:  This method will flip a given game piece. If the piece is currently owned by the BlackPlayer, then calling this method will cause the ownership to flip to the WhitePlayer. Similar, if the piece is currently white, then calling FlipPiece will make it black

FlipToPlayer void


  1. int player: The number representing the player. In the PlayToCell method, you should instead use BlackPlayer or WhitePlayer, instead of using 0 or 1 directly. Failure to do so will result in the loss of points

Description:  This method will flip a given game piece, so that the piece is now owned by the specified player (and the color will be adjusted so that the BlackPlayer's  pieces are colored black, the WhitePlayer's pieces are colored white, etc)

IsPlayer bool

true if this GamePiece object is owned by the specified player, false otherwise


  1. int player: The number representing the player. In the PlayToCell method, you should instead use BlackPlayer or WhitePlayer, instead of using 0 or 1 directly. Failure to do so will result in the loss of points

Description:   This method will allow you (in PlayToCell, or HasValidPositions) to determine if a given piece is owned by a specific player. Note that this is different from figuring out if a given space is blank - see the sample code in PlayToCell to see how to tell if a cell/square is empty.


How To Play The Game:
Game/Program Controls: XBox
When running the game/program, you can control it using the following Gamepad controls:


  • Left thumbstick to move cursor (red dot)

  • 'A' Button to place the current player's game piece (note that for this two-player game, you will need to hand the control back and forth between players)

Game/Program Controls: PC
When running the game/program, you can control it using the following keyboard controls:

Here is the keyboard to controller mapping.



Group Work, Commenting:


            You are not allowed to work in groups for this assignment.  You should start, finish, and do all the work on your own.  If you have questions, please contact the instructor.


            Additionally, you should aggressively comment your code, paying particular attention to areas that are difficult to understand.  If you found something to be tricky when you wrote it, make sure to comment it so that the next person (the instructor, who's grading you) understands what your code is doing.  It is not necessary to comment every single line.


The purpose of new requirement is to both help you understand, and have you demonstrate, a thorough understanding of exactly how your program works.


Every file that you turn in should have:

·        At the top of each file that you normally edit, you should put your name (first and last), the name of this class (“BIT 142”), and the year and quarter, and the assignment number, including the revision number, which starts at 0 (“A2.0”).  If you’re handing this in again for a regrade, make sure to increase the minor version number by one (from “A2.0”, to “A2.1").
You normally edit the C# source code files (.CS files), and any Word documents that you're handing in (if any).
You do not normally edit the .SLN or .CSPROJ files, and so you should not try to put this identifying information in those files.


In general, you should make sure to do the following before handing in your project:

·        All variables used should have meaningful names.

·        The code should be formatted consistently, and in an easy to read format.   


What to turn in:


·        A single electronic folder (a directory).  This folder should contain:

o       The source code for the program – all the .CS files in your project.
I would prefer that you include the project files – stuff ending in .SLN and .VCPROJ, so I can build your project more easily.  If you can save these files (the .SLN / . VCPROJ) into a file format that can be opened by VS.Net 2003, that would be great.

o       You have to name the folder with your last name, then first name, then the assignment number (both the major version – 2, and the minor (revision) number – 0).  Example: "Panitz, Mike, A2.0"


·        You should not include the Debug directory, or anything from it.  I will dock you a couple points if you do.  Also, you don't need to include your .NCB file, if it's present.


How to electronically submit your homework:


There's a link on the homework page to the document that guides you through handing in your work, using the SourceGear Vault program.



This document and the related materials are developed with support from Microsoft Research Computer Gaming Initiative under the Computer Gaming Curriculum in Computer Science RFP, Award Number 15871.