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Mornington Crescent 3D Project

Mornington Crescent 3D Project

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Mornington Crescent 3D Project

This project aims to present the game of Mornington Crescent which was made popular on the BBC Radio 4 show "Iím sorry, I havenít a clue" as an interesting and entertaining game. The report demonstrates why this project was chosen, the design decisions made and a description of the implementation of software components. The main features of the project are described along with the problems faced when implementing them. Unit testing is used to demonstrate the functionality of the software and to highlight any weaknesses. Finally, a conclusion is presented illustrating the success of the project and any changes that may be beneficial if implemented during future versions.

A History of Mornington Crescent

The game of Mornington Crescent was originally played on the BBC Radio 4 programme "Iím sorry I havenít a clue", and was created by Geoffrey Perkins. Named after the Mornington Crescent tube station, players take turns at announcing the names of stations on the London Underground system. The game is won by the first player to announce "Mornington Crescent".

The game does not have any defined rules. This is the joke of the game - it is intended as a parody of complicated strategic games which often come with many pages of complex rules and terminology. It is said that approximately 200 people a year write into the show asking for copies of the rules and these people are usually referred to a book called "NF Stovoldís Mornington Crescent: Rules and Origins" but told that it is out of print1. It has been suggested that there may have once been a set of "rules" in the form of a 1952 A - Z of London with bsic rules on each page about the pages you could and could not turn to from that page. The strategy of the game would be to prevent your opponent from turning to the page containing Mornington Crescent or indeed to turn to that page yourself.

Project Proposal

The original proposal for this project was to create the game entirely as a 3D graphics project. After some careful consideration it was decided that it would be more interesting and worthwhile to concentrate efforts less on such graphics and aim to make a more playable game which would hopefully give a more entertaining experience from the game-players perspective.

The core of this project consists of an interactive user interface which allows a player to select a tube station to move to. To add an interesting element to the game-play, a multiple choice trivia quiz is included. The results from this will affect a players ability to move to different stations and thus their overall ability to move to the Mornington Crescent station.

Report Overview

In Chapter 2 of this report, details of research undertaken into the game of Mornington Crescent and its history are given. Chapter 3 shows the design decisions made when considering how the project would be implemented. An overview of the user requirements is given and also planning in terms of time allocation and resource management. Important parts of the project implementation are explained in Chapter 4 however trivial work is not included. A full code listing can be found in the Auxiliary Appendix. The results of this project are presented in Chapter 5 in the form of screen shots taken from the game with appropriate annotations. Chapter 6 gives a set of unit tests along with their results. These aim primarily to test the execution time of the various algorithms used in the game. Presented finally is an overall conclusion of the project in Chapter 7. The results are compared with the objectives given in Chapter 1 and conclusions are drawn as to the success of the implementation, particularly to what extend the outlined objectives have been met. Additional administrative tool descriptions and usage are given in Appendix A. These tools are provided to assist with the addition and editing of information stored in the games binary data files.

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1 Introduction 8
1.1 A History of Mornington Crescent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.2 Project Proposal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.3 Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.4 Report Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2 Background and Literature Survey 11
2.1 Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.2 Development Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.2.1 Project Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.2.2 Project Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3 Design 14
3.1 Requirements Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.2 Solutions to Major Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.2.1 Interactive Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.2.2 Animated 3D Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.2.3 Trivia Quiz Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.2.4 Representation As a Finite State Machine . . . . . . . 17
3.2.5 Internal Data Structure Representation . . . . . . . . . 18
3.2.6 External Data Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3.2.7 Rule Implementation and Changes . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.3 Solutions To Minor Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.3.1 Rule Engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.3.2 Information Page Base Template . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.3.3 Animated Loading Screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4 Implementation 24
4.1 Main . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.2 Game States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.2.1 Loading Screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.2.2 Animated Logo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.2.3 Main Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.2.4 Animated Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.2.5 Choose Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.2.6 Ask Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4.2.7 Question Result . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4.2.8 Instructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
4.2.9 Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
4.2.10 Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
4.2.11 Game Over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
4.2.12 Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
4.2.13 Station Transitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
4.2.14 Loser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
4.2.15 Winner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
4.3 Debug Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
4.4 Cheat Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
5 Results 38
5.1 Game Initialisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
5.2 Information Pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
5.3 Game Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
5.4 Trivia Quiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
5.5 Game Ending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
6 Testing and Evaluation 54
6.1 Test Machine Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
6.1.1 CPU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
6.1.2 Main Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.2 Algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.2.1 Breadth-first Search Algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.2.2 Linked List Traversal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
6.2.3 Station Selection Determination . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
6.3 External File Loading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
6.4 Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
7 Conclusions 60
7.1 Objective Attainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
7.2 Changes To The Project Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
A Additional Binary File Manipulation Tools 63
A.1 Station Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
A.2 Path Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
A.3 Question Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
A.4 Feedback Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
A.5 Rule Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
List of Figures
3.1 Window usage for main map screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.2 State machine representation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.3 Matrix representation of a directed graph . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.4 Pseudo-code for the breadth-first search algorithm . . . . . . . 19
4.1 Object Matrix Attributes and Example Usage . . . . . . . . . 26
4.2 Point Radial Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.3 Junction Stations Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
5.1 Loading Screen Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
5.2 Animated Logo Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
5.3 Main Menu Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
5.4 Instructions Page Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
5.5 Rules Page Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
5.6 Credits Page Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
5.7 Animated Map Screenshot (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
5.8 Animated Map Screenshot (2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
5.9 Main Choose Map Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
5.10 Feedback System Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
5.11 Ask Question Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
5.12 Question Result Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
5.13 Game Over Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
5.14 Game Winner Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
5.15 Game Loser Screenshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
6.1 Graph of Search Time vs Station Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
List of Tables
3.1 States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.2 External Data Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.1 Custom Data Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.2 Feedback String Keywords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
4.3 Cheat Mode Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6.1 Average run times for the breadth-first search algorithm . . . 56
6.2 Average run times for linked list traversal . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
6.3 Average times for detecting station selection . . . . . . . . . . 57
6.4 Load time results for external data files . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

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