Four in Row

Learn creating a Four in Row game using Windows App SDK with this Tutorial

Four in Row shows how you can create simple a two-player game where the objective is to get four items in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row displayed with emoji and with a toolkit from NuGet using the Windows App SDK.

Step 1

Follow Setup and Start on how to get Setup and Install what you need for Visual Studio 2022 and Windows App SDK.

In Windows 11 choose Start and then find or search for Visual Studio 2022 and then select it.
Visual Studio 2022
Once Visual Studio 2022 has started select Create a new project.
Create a new project
Then choose the Blank App, Packages (WinUI in Desktop) and then select Next.
Blank App, Packages (WinUI in Desktop)
After that in Configure your new project type in the Project name as FourInRow, then select a Location and then select Create to start a new Solution.
Configure project

Step 2

Then in Visual Studio within Solution Explorer for the Solution, right click on the Project shown below the Solution and then select Manage NuGet Packages...

Manage NuGet Packages

Step 3

Then in the NuGet Package Manager from the Browse tab search for Comentsys.Toolkit.WindowsAppSdk and then select Comentsys.Toolkit.WindowsAppSdk by Comentsys as indicated and select Install

NuGet Package Manager Comentsys.Toolkit.WindowsAppSdk

This will add the package for Comentsys.Toolkit.WindowsAppSdk to your Project. If you get the Preview Changes screen saying Visual Studio is about to make changes to this solution. Click OK to proceed with the changes listed below. You can read the message and then select OK to Install the package.

Step 4

Then while still in the NuGet Package Manager from the Browse tab search for Comentsys.Assets.FluentEmoji and then select Comentsys.Assets.FluentEmoji by Comentsys as indicated and select Install

NuGet Package Manager Comentsys.Assets.FluentEmoji

This will add the package for Comentsys.Assets.FluentEmoji to your Project. If you get the Preview Changes screen saying Visual Studio is about to make changes to this solution. Click OK to proceed with the changes listed below. You can read the message and then select OK to Install the package, then you can close the tab for Nuget: FourInRow by selecting the x next to it.

Step 5

Then in Visual Studio within Solution Explorer for the Solution, right click on the Project shown below the Solution and then select Add then New Item…

Add New Item

Step 6

Then in Add New Item from the C# Items list, select Code and then select Code File from the list next to this, then type in the name of Library.cs and then Click on Add.

Add New Code File

Step 7

You will now be in the View for the Code of Library.cs, within this type the following Code:


using Comentsys.Assets.FluentEmoji;
using Comentsys.Toolkit.WindowsAppSdk;
using Microsoft.UI.Xaml;
using Microsoft.UI.Xaml.Controls;
using System.Linq;

public class Library
{
    private const string title = "Four In Row";
    private const int total = 3;
    private const int size = 7;
    private readonly string[] _players = { string.Empty, "Yellow", "Red" };
    private readonly int[,] _board = new int[size, size];

    private int _value = 0;
    private int _amend = 0;
    private int _player = 0;
    private bool _won = false;
    private Dialog _dialog;

    // Check Vertical & Check Horizontal

    // Check Diagonal Top Left & Check Diagonal Top Right

    // Winner, Full & Asset

    // Set & Add

    // Layout & New

}                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
                                    

The Class that has been defined in so far Library.cs has using for the packages that were added of Comentsys.Assets.FluentEmoji and Comentsys.Toolkit.WindowsAppSdk amongst others needed. There are also some const and readonly values for parts of the game and to represent the board along with a Dialog that will be used to display messages in the game.

Step 8

Still in the Class for Library.cs after the Comment of // Check Vertical & Check Horizontal type the following Methods:


private bool CheckVertical(int row, int column)
{
    _value = 0;
    do
    {
        _value++;
    }
    while (row + _value < size &&
    _board[column, row + _value] == _player);
    return _value > total;
}

private bool CheckHorizontal(int row, int column)
{
    _value = 0;
    _amend = 0;
    // From Left
    do
    {
        _value++;
    }
    while (column - _value >= 0 &&
    _board[column - _value, row] == _player);
    if (_value > total)
        return true;
    // Deduct Middle - Prevent double count
    _value -= 1;
    // Then Right
    do
    {
        _value++;
        _amend++;
    }
    while (column + _amend < size &&
    _board[column + _amend, row] == _player);
    return _value > total;
}                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                    

CheckVertical will check to see if there is a vertical set of four items for the current player or for a horizontal set of four items then will use CheckHorizontal.

Step 9

While still in the Class for Library.cs after the Comment of // Check Diagonal Top Left & Check Diagonal Top Right type in the following Methods to check for a set of four diagonal items for a player:


private bool CheckDiagonalTopLeft(int row, int column)
{
    _value = 0;
    _amend = 0;
    // From Top Left
    do
    {
        _value++;
    }
    while (column - _value >= 0 && row - _value >= 0 &&
    _board[column - _value, row - _value] == _player);
    if (_value > total)
        return true;
    _value -= 1; // Deduct Middle - Prevent double count
    // To Bottom Right
    do
    {
        _value++;
        _amend++;
    }
    while (column + _amend < size && row + _amend < size &&
    _board[column + _amend, row + _amend] == _player);
    return _value > total;
}

private bool CheckDiagonalTopRight(int row, int column)
{
    _value = 0;
    _amend = 0;
    // From Top Right
    do
    {
        _value++;
    }
    while (column + _value < size && row - _value >= 0 &&
    _board[column + _value, row - _value] == _player);
    if (_value > total)
        return true;
    _value -= 1; // Deduct Middle - Prevent double count
    // To Bottom Left
    do
    {
        _value++;
        _amend++;
    }
    while (column - _amend >= 0 &&
    row + _amend < size &&
    _board[column - _amend,
    row + _amend] == _player);
    return _value > total;
}                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
                                    

Step 10

While still in the Class for Library.cs after the Comment of // Winner, Full & Asset type in the following Methods:


private bool Winner(int row, int column)
{
    bool vertical = CheckVertical(row, column);
    bool horizontal = CheckHorizontal(row, column);
    bool diagonalTopLeft = CheckDiagonalTopLeft(row, column);
    bool diagonalTopRight = CheckDiagonalTopRight(row, column);
    return vertical || horizontal ||
    diagonalTopLeft || diagonalTopRight;
}

private bool Full()
{
    for (int row = 0; row < size; row++)
    {
        for (int column = 0; column < size; column++)
        {
            if (_board[column, row] == 0)
            {
                return false;
            }
        }
    }
    return true;
}

private Viewbox Asset(int player) => new()
{
    Child = new Asset()
    {
        AssetResource = FlatFluentEmoji.Get(
        player == 1 ? FluentEmojiType.YellowCircle :
        FluentEmojiType.RedCircle)
    }
};                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
                                    

Winner will use the previous Methods to check if the current player is the winner to see if there is a vertical, horizontal or diagonal set of items. Full will be used to check if the board is full and Asset will be used to create the Emoji to represent the players with a Yellow Circle and a Red Circle.

Step 11

While still in the Class for Library.cs after the Comment of // Set & Add type in the following Methods which are Set to place an item for a player and Add for the Button and Events which form the game board.


private void Set(Grid grid, int row, int column)
{
    for (int i = size - 1; i > -1; i--)
    {
        if (_board[column, i] == 0)
        {
            _board[column, i] = _player;
            Button button = (Button)grid.Children.Single(
            w => Grid.GetRow((Button)w) == i
            && Grid.GetColumn((Button)w) == column);
            button.Content = Asset(_player);
            row = i;
            break;
        }
    }
    if (Winner(row, column))
    {
        _won = true;
        _dialog.Show($"{_players[_player]} has won!");
    }
    else if (Full())
        _dialog.Show("Board Full!");
    _player = _player == 1 ? 2 : 1; // Set Player
}

private void Add(Grid grid, int row, int column)
{
    Button button = new()
    {
        Width = 100,
        Height = 100,
        Name = $"{row}:{column}"
    };
    button.Click += (object sender, RoutedEventArgs e) =>
    {
        if (!_won)
        {
            button = (Button)sender;
            row = (int)button.GetValue(Grid.RowProperty);
            column = (int)button.GetValue(Grid.ColumnProperty);
            if (_board[column, 0] == 0) // Check Free Row
                Set(grid, row, column);
        }
        else
            _dialog.Show("Game Over!");
    };
    button.SetValue(Grid.ColumnProperty, column);
    button.SetValue(Grid.RowProperty, row);
    grid.Children.Add(button);
}                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                    

Winner will use the previous Methods to check if the current player is the winner to see if there is a vertical, horizontal or diagonal set of items. Full will be used to check if the board is full and Asset will be used to create the Emoji to represent the players with a Yellow Circle and a Red Circle.

Step 12

While still in the Class for Library.cs after the Comment of // Layout & New type in the following Methods:


private void Layout(Grid grid)
{
    grid.Children.Clear();
    grid.ColumnDefinitions.Clear();
    grid.RowDefinitions.Clear();
    // Setup Grid
    for (int index = 0; index < size; index++)
    {
        grid.RowDefinitions.Add(new RowDefinition());
        grid.ColumnDefinitions.Add(new ColumnDefinition());
    }
    // Setup Board
    for (int column = 0; column < size; column++)
    {
        for (int row = 0; row < size; row++)
        {
            Add(grid, row, column);
            _board[row, column] = 0;
        }
    }
}

public async void New(Grid grid)
{
    _won = false;
    _dialog = new Dialog(grid.XamlRoot, title);
    _player = await _dialog.ConfirmAsync("Who goes First?",
        _players[1], _players[2]) ? 1 : 2;
    Layout(grid);
}                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                                    

Layout creates the look-and-feel of the game by setting out the game board and New will start a new game and ask which player should go first as either Yellow or Red.

Step 13

Within Solution Explorer for the Solution double-click on MainWindow.xaml to see the XAML for the Main Window.
Solution Explorer MainWindow.xaml

Step 14

In the XAML for MainWindow.xaml there will be some XAML for a StackPanel, this should be Removed:


<StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal" 
HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Center">
    <Button x:Name="myButton" Click="myButton_Click">Click Me</Button>
</StackPanel>                               
                                    

Step 15

While still in the XAML for MainWindow.xaml above </Window>, type in the following XAML:


<Grid>
    <Viewbox>
        <Grid Margin="50" Name="Display" 
        HorizontalAlignment="Center" 
        VerticalAlignment="Center" Loaded="New"/>
    </Viewbox>
    <CommandBar VerticalAlignment="Bottom">
        <AppBarButton Icon="Page2" Label="New" Click="New"/>
    </CommandBar>
</Grid>                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                    

This XAML contains a Grid with a Viewbox which will Scale a Grid. It has a Loaded event handler for New which is also shared by the AppBarButton.

Step 16

Within Solution Explorer for the Solution select the arrow next to MainWindow.xaml then double-click on MainWindow.xaml.cs to see the Code for the Main Window.
Solution Explorer MainWindow.xaml.cs

Step 17

In the Code for MainWindow.xaml.cs there be a Method of myButton_Click(...) this should be Removed by removing the following:


private void myButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    myButton.Content = "Clicked";
}                                        
                                    

Step 18

Once myButton_Click(...) has been removed, within the Constructor of public MainWindow() { ... } and below the line of this.InitializeComponent(); type in the following Code:


private readonly Library _library = new();

private void New(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e) =>
    _library.New(Display);                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                    

Here an Instance of Library is created then below this is the Method of New that will be used with Event Handler from the XAML, this Method uses Arrow Syntax with the => for an expression body which is useful when a Method only has one line.

Step 19

That completes the Windows App SDK application. In Visual Studio 2022 from the Toolbar select FourInRow (Package) to Start the application.
FourInRow (Package)

Step 20

Once running you can choose to play as Yellow or Red then the first player to get a horizontal, vertical or diagonal set of items wins the game or you can restart the game by selecting New.

Four in Row Running and Output

Step 21

To Exit the Windows App SDK application, select the Close button from the top right of the application as that concludes this Tutorial for Windows App SDK from tutorialr.com!
Close application