Com S 227 Assignment 4


Rate this product

Com S 227

Assignment 4
300 points

General information
This assignment is to be done on your own. See the Academic Dishonesty policy in the
syllabus, , for details.
You will not be able to submit your work unless you have completed the Academic
Dishonesty policy questionnaire on the Assignments page on Canvas. Please do this right
If you need help, see your instructor or one of the TAs. Lots of help is also available through the
Piazza discussions.
Please start the assignment as soon as possible and get your questions answered right away!
The purpose of this assignment is to give you some experience working with inheritance and
abstract classes in a realistic setting. You’ll also get some more practice with 2D arrays and lists.
A portion of your grade on this assignment (roughly 15% to 20%) will be determined by
how effectively you have been able to use inheritance to minimize duplicated code in the
Piece hierarchy.
Summary of tasks
1. Create implementations of five concrete subtypes of the Piece interface:
o CornerPiece
o DiagonalPiece
o IPiece
o LPiece
o SnakePiece
2. Implement the abstract class AbstractPiece containing the common code for the
concrete Piece classes above (optionally, you can implement additional abstract classes
extending AbstractPiece, if you find that doing so improves your design).
3. Implement a class BlockAddiction extending the AbstractGame class, in which you
provide implementations of the method determinePositionsToCollapse()and the
4. Finish the implementation of the BasicGenerator class
All of your code goes in the package hw4.
In this project you will complete the implementation of a Tetris-style or “falling blocks” type of
video game. This particular game, which we’ll call BlockAddiction, is a sort of a mix of Tetris
with a game like “Bejeweled”. If you are not familiar with such games, examples are not hard to
find on the internet.
The basic idea is as follows. The game is played on a 2D grid. Each position in this grid can be
represented as a (row, column) pair. We typically represent these positions using the simple class
api.Position, which you’ll find in the api package. At any stage in the game, a grid position
may be empty (null) or may be occupied by an icon (i.e., a colored block), represented by the
class api.Icon. In addition, a piece or shape made up of a combination of icons falls from the
top of the grid. This is referred to as the current piece or current shape. As it falls, the current
piece can be
• shifted from side to side
• transformed, which may rotate or flip it or something else
• cycled, which will change the relative positions of the icons within the piece, without
changing the cells it occupies
When the currently falling piece can’t fall any further, its icons are added to the grid, and the
game checks whether it has completed a collapsible set. In BlockAddiction, a collapsible
set is formed of three or more adjacent icons that match (have the same color). All icons in a
collapsible set are then removed from the grid, and icons above them are shifted down an
equivalent amount. (Note that there is no “gravity” and there can be empty spaces remaining
below an icon in the grid.) The new icon positions may form new collapsible sets, so the
game will iterate this process until there are no more collapsible sets. This behavior is already
implemented in the class AbstractBlockGame, and your main task is to implement the
abstract method determineCellsToCollapse(), which finds the positions in collapsible sets.

Figure 1: An LPiece falling, and the collapsible set of three matching adjacent
red icons disappears, and the blocks above them shift down.
The specification for this assignment includes
• this pdf,
• any “official” clarifications posted on Piazza, and
• the online javadoc
The Piece interface and the five concrete Piece types
See the javadoc for the Piece interface.
The currently falling piece is represented by an object that implements the Piece interface. Each
piece has a state consisting of:
• The position in the grid of the upper-left corner of its bounding square, represented as
an instance of Position (which can change as a result of calling methods such as
shiftLeft(), shiftRight(), or transform()).
• The icons that make up the piece, along with their relative positions within the
bounding square.
The position of a piece within a grid is always described by the upper left corner of its bounding
square. Most importantly, there is a getCellsAbsolute() method that enables the caller to
obtain the actual positions, within the grid, of the icons in the piece. The individual icons in the
piece are represented by an array of Cell objects, a simple type that encapsulates a Position
and an Icon. A Position is just a (row, column) pair, and an Icon just represents a colored
For example, one of the concrete Piece classes you will implement is call the LPiece. One is
shown below in its initial (non-transformed) configuration. The method getCells() returns
four cell objects with the positions relative to the upper left corner of the bounding square,
namely (0, 0), (0, 1), (1, 1), and (2, 1), in that order, where the ordered pairs represent (row,
column), NOT (x, y). (The colors are shown for illustration, and are normally assigned
randomly by the generator for the game.) Suppose also that the piece’s position (upper left
corner of bounding square) is row 2, column 3. Then the getCellsAbsolute() method
should return an array of four cell objects with positions (2, 3), (2, 4), (3, 4), and (4, 4), in that
If the method shiftRight() is called on this piece, the position is updated, but getCells()
would still return the same cells, since the positions are relative to the upper left corner. But
the getCellsAbsolute() method would now return (2, 4), (2, 5), (3, 5), and (4, 5).
Each piece defines a particular behavior associated with the transform() operation. For the
LPiece, the transform() operation just flips it across its vertical centerline. The position of
the bounding square does not change, but the positions of the cells within the bounding square
are modified, as shown below. This time the getCells() method should return an array of
cells with positions (0, 2), (0, 1), (1, 1), and (2, 1), and the getCellsAbsolute() method
should return an array of four cell objects with positions (2, 5), (2, 4), (3, 4), and (4, 4), in that
Likewise, if the cycle() method is invoked, the positions for the cells stay the same but the
icons associated with the cells will change. The illustration below shows the result of
invoking cycle() on the first figure:

Each icon shifts forward to the next cell, and the last icon is placed in the first cell. (The
ordering of the cells always the same, even if transformed.)
Altogether you will need to create five concrete classes, described below, that (directly or
indirectly) extend AbstractPiece and, therefore, implement the Piece interface. It is up to you
to decide how to design these classes, but a portion of your grade will be based on how well you
use inheritance to avoid duplicated code. Remember that in the descriptions below, an ordered
pair is (row, column), NOT (x, y):
1. The one illustrated above, called the LPiece. Initially the icons are at (0, 0), (0, 1), (1, 1), and
(2, 1), in that order. The transform() method flips the cells across the vertical centerline.
2. The IPiece, which has a 3 x 3 bounding square with the icons down the center in the
order (0, 1), (1, 1), and (2, 1). For IPiece, the transform() method does nothing:
3. The DiagonalPiece, which has a 2 x 2 bounding square, shown below with its initial
configuration on the left. The icon positions are in the order (0, 0), (1, 1). The transform()
method flips the cells across the vertical centerline, as shown on the right (same as for the
4. The CornerPiece, which has a 2 x 2 bounding square and initial cell positions (0, 0), (1, 0),
and (1, 1) in that order. The transform() method performs a kind of rotation through four
different states as shown below, e.g., after calling transform() once, the cell positions are
(0, 1), (0, 0), and (1, 0), and after calling transform() four times they are back in the initial
5. The SnakePiece, which has a 3 x 3 bounding square and initial cell positions (0, 0),
(1, 0), (1, 1), and (1, 2) in that order. The transform() method transitions through twelve
different states and back to the original, following a snake-like pattern as shown below
(reading left-to-right and top-to-bottom):
When you implement these five concrete types, pay careful attention to code reuse, and
implement common code in an abstract superclass called AbstractPiece. Part of your
score will be based on how well you have taken advantage of inheritence to reduce
code duplication among the three concrete types.
Each of these types has a constructor that takes an initial position and an array of Icon
public CornerPiece(Position position, Icon[] icons)
public DiagonalPiece(Position position, Icon[] icons)
public IPiece(Position position, Icon[] icons)
public LPiece(Position position, Icon[] icons)
public SnakePiece(Position position, Icon[] icons)
The given icon objects are placed in the initial cells in the order given. Each constructor should
throw IllegalArgumentException if the given array is not the correct length.
There are some additional notes below about implementing transform() for the SnakePiece
and for implementing clone().
The Game interface and AbstractGame class
See the javadoc for the Game interface.
The class AbstractGame is a partial implementation of the Game interface. A client such as the
sample UI interacts with the game logic only through the interface Game and does not depend
directly on the AbstractGame class or its subclasses. AbstractGame is a general framework for
any number of Tetris-style games. It is specialized by implementing the abstract method:
List<Position determinePositionsToCollapse()
Examines the grid and returns a list of positions to be collapsed.
(Remember that List<T is the interface type that ArrayList<T implements, so your method
can return an ArrayList<Position.)
The key method of Game is step(), which is called periodically by the UI to transition the state
of the game. The step() method is fully implemented in AbstractGame, and it is not necessary
for you to read it in detail unless you are interested. You will just need a basic understanding of
how it interacts with the determinePositionsToCollapse() method that you will implement.
In BlockAddiction, the task of determinePositionsToCollapse() is to identify the positions
of icons in all “collapsible sets”, that is, sets of three or more adjacent icons with matching color.
If you are interested: The way that determinePositionsToCollapse() is invoked from
AbstractGame is the following. Whenever the current shape cannot fall any further, the step()
method calls determinePositionsToCollapse(). If the returned list is nonempty, then the list is
stored in the state variable positionsToCollapse and the game transitions into the COLLAPSING
state. On the next call to step(), the method collapsePositions() of AbstractGame is invoked
to actually perform the modification of the grid to remove the icons and shift down the icons above them.
In many of these kinds of games, collapsing some positions may create additional collapsible sets of
positions, possibly starting a chain reaction, so the logic of the COLLAPSING state is basically the
while (game state is COLLAPSING)
positionsToCollapse = determinePositionsToCollapse();
if (positionsToCollapse.size() == 0)
generate a new current shape
change game state to NEW_SHAPE
Remember, the class AbstractGame is fully implemented and you should not modify it.
The BlockAddiction class
You will create a subclass of AbstractGame, called BlockAddiction, that implements the game
described in the introduction. The method determinePositionsToCollapse()must be
declared public even though it is declared protected in AbstractGame (yes, Java allows this).
This requirement is to make it easier to test your code.
There are two constructors declared as follows:
public BlockAddiction(int height, int width, Generator gen, int preFillRows)
public BlockAddiction(int height, int width, Generator gen)
(The second one is equivalent to calling the first one with zero for the fourth argument.)
The height, width, and generator are just passed to the superclass constructor. If preFillRows is
greater than zero, your constructor should initialize the bottom preFillRows rows in a
checkerboard pattern, using random icons obtained from the generator. The checkerboard
pattern should place an icon at (row, col) in the grid if both row and col are even, or if both row
and col are odd. See the illustration on page 3.
Implementing the method determineCellsToCollapse()
The method determineCellsToCollapse() is potentially tricky, and you can waste a lot of
time on it if you don’t first think carefully. A collapsible set is defined to be any set of three or
more adjacent icons with the same color, so it could potentially contain many icons. Given an
icon in a collapsible set, it is a hard problem to find just the cells that are part of that set.
However, notice that you do not have to solve that problem. You have an easier problem,
which is to return a list including all cells that are part of any collapsible set in the grid. What
makes a cell part of a collapsible set? Well, either it has two or more neighbors that match its
color, or else it must be a neighbor of such a cell. Therefore, it is enough to iterate over the grid
and do the following for each array element:
If the element is non-null and has two or more neighbors that match, add it to the list,
and also add all its matching neighbors to the list.
The list may contain many duplicates, which is not hard to deal with – just create a new list, copy
the positions over, but ignore any that you have already found (the list method contains()is
useful here). Finally, the list needs to be sorted. Fortunately, the Position class implements the
Comparable interface so you can just call Collections.sort on your list.
The BasicGenerator class
See the javadoc for the Generator interface.
One important detail for the challenge and playability of the game is to configure what pieces are
generated and the probability of getting each type. The role of the Generator interface is to
make these features easy to configure. The AbstractGame constructor requires a Generator
instance to be provided to its constructor. There is a partially implemented skeleton of the class
BasicGenerator class implementing the Generator interface. Ultimately, it should return one
of the five concrete piece classes, selected according to the probabilities given in the javadoc
comments. As you develop your Piece classes, you can just add statements to generate the ones
you have completed and tested. (An easy way to generate pieces with varying probabilities:
generate a random number from 0 to 100, and if it’s in the range 0 up to 10 return an LPiece, if
it’s in range 11 up to 35 return a DiagonalPiece, and so on.) See the BasicGenerator javadoc
comments for more details.
The UI
There is a graphical UI in the ui package. The controls are the following:
left arrow – shift the current falling piece left, if possible
right arrow – shift the current piece right, if possible
down arrow – make the current piece fall faster
up arrow – apply the transform() method
space bar – cycle the blocks within the piece
‘p’ key – pause/unpause
The main method is in ui.GameMain. You can try running it. It will start up a small instance of
the partly-implemented class example.SampleGame. See the “Getting started” section for more
details. To run the UI with your BlockAddiction game once you get it implemented, you’ll
need to edit ui.GameMain.
The UI is built on the Java Swing libraries. This code is complex and specialized, and is
somewhat outside the scope of the course, but of course you are welcome to read it. It is
provided for fun, not for testing your code! It is not guaranteed to be free of bugs.
Testing and the SpecChecker
As always, you should try to work incrementally and write tests for your code as you develop it.
For the Piece hierarchy you can follow the examples in in the sample
Do not rely on the UI code for testing! Trying to test your code using a UI is very slow,
unreliable, and generally frustrating. In particular, when we grade your work we are NOT going
to run the UI, we are going to verify that each method works according to its specification. In
the default package in the sample code there are some examples with ideas for how to test.
We will provide a basic SpecChecker, but it will not perform any functional tests of your
code. At this point in the course, you are expected to be able to read the specifications, ask
questions when things require clarification, and write your own unit tests. Since the test code is
not a required part of this assignment and does not need to be turned in, you are welcome to
post your test code on Piazza for others to check, use and discuss.
The SpecChecker will verify the class names and packages, the public method names and return
types, and the types of the parameters. If your class structure conforms to the spec, you should
see a message similar to this in the console output:
x out of x tests pass.
This SpecChecker will also offer to create a zip file for you that will package up the two required
classes. Remember that your instance variables should always be declared private, and if you
want to add any additional methods that are not specified, they must be declared private or
See the document “SpecChecker HOWTO”, which can be found in the Piazza pinned messages under
“Syllabus, office hours, useful links” if don’t remember how to import and run a SpecChecker.
Special documentation and style requirements
• You may not use protected, public , or package-private instance variables. Normally,
instance variables in a superclass should be initialized by an appropriately defined
superclass constructor. You can create additional protected getter/setter methods if you
really need them.
Style and documentation
See the special requirements above.
Roughly 15% of the points will be for documentation and code style. Here are some general
requirements and guidelines:
• Use instance variables only for the “permanent” state of the object, use local variables for
temporary calculations within methods.
o You will lose points for having lots of unnecessary instance variables
o All instance variables should be private.
• Accessor methods should not modify instance variables.
• Each class, method, constructor and instance variable, whether public or private, must
have a meaningful and complete Javadoc comment. Class javadoc must include the
@author tag, and method javadoc must include @param and @return tags as appropriate.
o Try to state what each method does in your own words, but there is no rule
against copying and pasting the descriptions from this document.
o When a class implements or overrides a method that is already documented
in the supertype (interface or class) you normally do not need to provide
additional Javadoc, unless you are significantly changing the behavior from the
description in the supertype. You should include the @Override annotation to
make it clear that the method was specified in the supertype.
• All variable names must be meaningful (i.e., named for the value they store).
• Your code should not be producing console output. You may add println statements
when debugging, but you need to remove them before submitting the code.
• Internal (//-style) comments are normally used inside of method bodies to explain how
something works, while the Javadoc comments explain what a method does. (A good
rule of thumb is: if you had to think for a few minutes to figure out how something
works, you should probably include a comment explaining how it works.)
o Internal comments always precede the code they describe and are indented to the
same level.
• Use a consistent style for indentation and formatting.
o Note that you can set up Eclipse with the formatting style you prefer and then use Ctrl-Shift-F to
format your code. To play with the formatting preferences, go to Window-Preferences-Java-
Code Style-Formatter and click the New button to create your own “profile” for formatting.
If you have questions
For questions, please see the Piazza Q & A pages and click on the folder assignment4. If you
don’t find your question answered, then create a new post with your question. Try to state the
question or topic clearly in the title of your post, and attach the tag assignment4. But
remember, do not post any source code for the classes that are to be turned in. It is fine to post
source code for general Java examples that are not being turned in, and for this assignment you
are welcome to post and discuss test code. (In the Piazza editor, use the button labeled “code”
to have the editor keep your code formatting. You can also use “pre” for short code snippets.)
If you have a question that absolutely cannot be asked without showing part of your source code,
change the visibility of the post to “private” so that only the instructors and TAs can see it. Be
sure you have stated a specific question; vague requests of the form “read all my code and tell
me what’s wrong with it” will generally be ignored.
Of course, the instructors and TAs are always available to help you. See the Office Hours
section of the syllabus to find a time that is convenient for you. We do our best to answer every
question carefully, short of actually writing your code for you, but it would be unfair for the staff
to fully review your assignment in detail before it is turned in.
Any posts from the instructors on Piazza that are labeled “Official Clarification” are considered
to be part of the spec, and you may lose points if you ignore them. Such posts will always be
placed in the Announcements section of the course page in addition to the Q&A page. (We
promise that no official clarifications will be posted within 24 hours of the due date.
Getting started
General advice about using inheritance: It may not be obvious how to decide what code belongs
in AbstractPiece. A good way to get started is to forget about inheritance at first. That is, pick
one of the required concrete types, such as LPiece, add the clause implements Piece to its
declaration, and just write the code for all the specified methods. (That is, temporarily forget
about the requirement to extend AbstractPiece.) Then, choose another concrete type, and write
all the code for that one. At this point you’ll notice that you had to write lots of the same code
twice. Move the duplicated code into AbstractPiece, and change the declaration for LPiece so
it says extends AbstractPiece instead of implements Piece.
That’s a good start, and you can use a similar strategy as you implement the other piece types.
Remember you’ll need to include one or more protected constructors for AbstractPiece in order
to initialize it.
At this point we expect that you know how to study the documentation for a class, write test
cases, and develop your code incrementally to meet the specification. There are some example
tests provided with the Piazza homework links to give you some ideas about how to test your
code. The comments should explain everything pretty well. You can work independently on the
Piece classes and on the BlockAddiction class. The BasicGenerator is not directly needed
until you want to actually try to play the game.
In addition, in the examples package you’ll find a simplified, partial implementation of the
Shape interface, called SamplePiece, and a simplified, partial subclass of AbstractGame called
SampleGame. If you run the main class ui.GameMain, it will start up this game and you should
see a two-block shape falling from the top. Try implementing the shiftLeft and shiftRight
methods of SamplePiece to make the block shift from side to side with the arrow keys. That
will be a rudimentary Tetris game.
To run the UI with your BlockAddiction game once you get it implemented, you’ll need to edit
the create method of ui.GameMain.
Implementing transform() for SnakePiece
Please do not just write twelve different cases! There are a few ways to approach this, as always,
but here is one idea. First, imagine that there is just one cell that starts at (0, 0) and the transform
method should shift it to (0, 1), then to (0, 2), then to (1, 0), and so on (picture the yellow icon in
the illustration above). Rather that using a bunch of if-statements, you can just create an array of
Position objects in the order you want:
private static final Position[] sequence =
new Position(0, 0),
new Position(0, 1),
new Position(0, 2),
new Position(1, 2),
new Position(1, 1),
new Position(1, 0),
new Position(2, 0),
new Position(2, 1),
new Position(2, 2),
new Position(1, 2),
new Position(1, 1),
new Position(1, 0),
and then maintain a counter that goes from 0 to 11 and wraps around to 0. At each call to
transform(), update the counter and set the cell position using the counter as an index into
your sequence array. How about the remaining three cells? Notice that the positions you want
for them are always the three preceding ones in the sequence array, where again, if your index
goes down from 0 you wrap around to 11.
(And here is an interesting challenge for you: could you reuse this same strategy for
Note about the clone() method
The clone() method is also discussed in “Special Topic 10.2” of the textbook.
TL;DR In most cases you can just copy and paste the clone() method from SamplePiece into
AbstractPiece, changing the SamplePiece cast to AbstractPiece.
A Piece must have a clone() operation that returns a deep copy of itself. This is actually a
critical part of the implementation, since the mechanism that the AbstractGame uses to detect
whether a shift or transform is possible is by cloning the shape, performing the shift or transform
first on the clone, and checking whether it overlaps other blocks or extends outside the grid.
The method clone() is defined in java.lang.Object as follows:
protected Object clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException
The default implementation of clone() makes a copy of the object on which it’s invoked, and
although it is declared to return type Object, it always creates an object of the same runtime
type. However, it is a “shallow” copy, i.e., it just copies the instance variables, not the objects
they refer to. Therefore, in order to use it, you have to add your own code to deep-copy the
objects that your instance variables refer to (for the Shape classes, you might have a Position
and an array of Cells, for example). In addition, due to some technical nonsense we have to put
the call to clone() in a “try/catch” block. We have not seen try/catch yet, but do not worry, you
just have to follow the pattern below, as seen in examples.SampleShape:
public Piece clone()
// call the Object clone() method to create a shallow copy…
SamplePiece s = (SamplePiece) super.clone();
// …then make it into a deep copy
// (note there is no need to copy the position,
// since Position is immutable, but we have to deep-copy the cell array
// by making new Cell objects
s.cells = new Cell[cells.length];
for (int i = 0; i < cells.length; ++i)
s.cells[i] = new Cell(cells[i]);
return s;
catch (CloneNotSupportedException e)
// can’t happen, since we know the superclass is cloneable
return null;
In most cases, you’ll implement AbstractPiece using instance variables for the position and cell
array as in SamplePiece, and in that case you can just copy and paste the clone() method,
changing the SamplePiece cast to AbstractPiece. Basically, you need to make copies of any
mutable objects that your instance variables refer to, so that the original and the clone don’t share
references to the same objects. So if you have added more reference variables to AbtractPiece,
consider whether they need to be copied when you make a clone.
The clone() mechanism in Java tends to be a fragile and often trouble-prone, and it only works
on objects that are specifically implemented with cloning in mind. Java programmers tend to
avoid using clone() unless there is a good reason. Notice that in the example above, we’re not
using clone() to make a copy of the the Cell – it’s simpler just to use the copy constructor. But
for the piece classes, by taking advantage of the built-in clone() mechanism you can
implement clone() just once in the superclass and allow the subclasses to inherit it. (Of course,
if any of your subclasses have any additional, non-primitive instance variables beyond those
defined in your superclass, you’ll need to override clone() again for them in order to get a deep
What to turn in
Note: You will need to complete the “Academic Dishonesty policy questionnaire,” found on
the Assignments page on Canvas, before the submission link will be visible to you.
Please submit, on Canvas, the zip file that is created by the SpecChecker. The file will be named and it will be located in whatever directory you selected when you ran
the SpecChecker. It should contain one directory, hw4, which in turn contains a minimum of
eight files, including:
(plus any other abstract class you’ve added to the hierarchy).
Please LOOK at the file you upload and make sure it is the right one!
Submit the zip file to Canvas using the Assignment 4 submission link and verify that your
submission was successful. If you are not sure how to do this, see the document “Assignment
Submission HOWTO”, which can be found in the Piazza pinned messages under “Syllabus,
office hours, useful links.”
We recommend that you submit the zip file as created by the specchecker. If necessary for some reason,
you can create a zip file yourself. The zip file must contain the directory hw4, which in turn should contain
the the required .java files. You can accomplish this by zipping up the src directory within your project.
Do not zip up the entire project. The file must be a zip file, so be sure you are using the Windows or
Mac zip utility, and NOT a third-party installation of WinRAR, 7-zip, or Winzip.

Open chat
Need help?
Can we help you?