# Yet Another Pong

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Hi, everyone!

I "finished" building my first game. Obviously Pong.
It's written in C++ on Visual Studio with SFML.

What do you think? What should I consider doing to improve the code?

Thank you very much.

EDIT: added some screenshot and .zip file of the playable game

Pong.zip

Edited by reders

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start by learning how to use classes and object-orientation.

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What do you suggest I set as classes? I didn't use them since I didn't find the need to.

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classes are used to associate variables and functions with a common name. I notice you have a lot of variables that can indeed be grouped under a common name, this would be object-orientation. An obvious association to me are your actual game objects: ball, paddle. Right now you have graphics objects and do work on them all over the place, you could instead put these graphic objects into a class and add methods to do the related work. Another observation is that you have nameless constants all over, you could actually make these constants or defines to give them a name.

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Thank you very much. I'll work on this. One more question. What's the best way to divide the code in different files like headers and such? Is there a standard?

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Pong is an extremely simple game, and it is easy to over-engineer.

I'd ignore the comments about classes for Pong.  The code you've got there does not need them.

The only variable really are the position and velocity of the ball, the position of the paddles, and the scores.  You can add more fluff, but that's all the game requires.  That does not lend itself to game objects with classes and interfaces and interdependencies.  I've put together a pong game for the Challenge this month and it was about 90 lines before I started adding the fluff. Pong does not need to be complex since typically the complex stuff of graphics and sound are handled by libraries.

That is partially why Pong it an excellent beginner exercise.  Larger projects certainly need it, but this doesn't.

For a code review...

Lines 15-47, you don't need to make all of those static.  Global variables are static by definition.

I thought it was interesting that you made some global constants, but you also scattered numbers around the code.  You should probably put all your constants up there, but more on that below.

Overall you place multiple statements on a single line, that is not a typical pattern.  For example, lines 69-75 contain 32 statements.  Why did you do that?  Typical C++ code has one statement per line, even one declaration per line in most cases.  Trying to cram 32 statements into 6 lines makes the code difficult to read.

If each is a block of functionality, consider adding a comment to each block, or pulling it out to a function.

//Old code, this seems difficult for me to read
ball.setRadius(10);	ball.setOrigin(10, 10);	ball.setFillColor(ball_color);	ball.setPosition(640, 360);

// Suggested version

ball.setRadius(10);     //TODO: Replace all these numbers with named constants
ball.setOrigin(10, 10);
ball.setFillColor(ball_color);
ball.setPosition(640, 360);

paddle2.setPosition(1245, 360);

In that snippit of code you've got a lot of magic numbers.  These are difficult to maintain.  It is usually easier to provide named constants that are all found in one convenient location. Then you can change one constant and it is reflected everywhere in the code.  As written you may decide you want to change the paddle origin value from 60 to 48, and so you'll be searching the code for everywhere that has a 60 in it. Then when you find a 60, you'll need to make sure it is the right 60 and not used for something else. And even then, maybe for some reason you didn't use 60 but were using another value to represent something, or maybe you already added to values together but now you want to modify one of them.  Lots of reasons, always use named constants. They should be added up near your other constants used for colors up around line 20.

As for dividing code between files, typically the approach is to block them together by functionality, which usually means by feature or by class. Sometimes a third file will be used when using something like the pImpl paradigm, where the publicly used interface doesn't need to contain all the inner details which can help reduce build times on large projects.

For organization, it depends. Often (but not always) directory hierarchies follow namespace hierarchies, and often (but not always) large subsystems and external subsystems go in their own hierarchies. The exact details vary from project to project depending on what works for the team.

Overall it looks good for this skill level, and looks like it does the job of being a good pong clone.

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Great start for the November GameDev Challenge too!

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1 hour ago, frob said:

Pong is an extremely simple game, and it is easy to over-engineer.

I'd ignore the comments about classes for Pong.  The code you've got there does not need them

I disagree, how is adding some classes over-engineering? In this particular case he did not add classes because he does not understand how to use them. There's a lot of code in there that could be a lot more readable and correct with objects, why favor less for the sake of "engineering less"? If there is one thing this fellow needs to learn about, judging from the code posted, is that he needs to engineer more - a lot more - be it with classes or not.

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Thank you very much for your help
I reworked the variables moving most of the "magic numbers" in to const as both of you suggested.
I also moved the multiple statements per line.

As for the classes I started working on that but as predictable I had trouble doing it now since I would need to redo most of the entire thing.
So now I'm working on a different version for the contest (if I manage to finish it in time) and I'm working with objects from the start.

Pong.cpp

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23 hours ago, h8CplusplusGuru said:

I disagree, how is adding some classes over-engineering? In this particular case he did not add classes because he does not understand how to use them. There's a lot of code in there that could be a lot more readable and correct with objects, why favor less for the sake of "engineering less"? If there is one thing this fellow needs to learn about, judging from the code posted, is that he needs to engineer more - a lot more - be it with classes or not.

The whole reason OOP and classes are used is for reusability of code. if he doesn't reuse anything, he shouldn't use classes.  Namespaces are what you use when you want to group similar functions.

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2 hours ago, Vityou said:

The whole reason OOP and classes are used is for reusability of code. if he doesn't reuse anything, he shouldn't use classes.  Namespaces are what you use when you want to group similar functions.

wholly incorrect on that.

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38 minutes ago, h8CplusplusGuru said:

wholly incorrect on that.

Not sure what you mean.  From the Wikipedia article on OOP: "Languages that support object-oriented programming typically use inheritance for code reuse and extensibility in the form of either classes or prototypes."  Also, from Microsoft's website on C++: "Namespaces are used to organize code into logical groups and to prevent name collisions that can occur especially when your code base includes multiple libraries"

Edited by Vityou

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is it possible that inheritance is a method of code reuse but not the whole point of oop/classes nor the only method of code reuse?

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* Moderator hat on*

This is a gentle reminder that we are in the For Beginners forum, discussing a project being implemented by a beginner asking for help with is code.

Discussion on the poorly-defined meanings of object oriented-ness are not appropriate.  Discussions in For Beginners should be focused on the actual problem the beginner is having.

* Moderator hat off*

Now, on to the updated code.

7 hours ago, reders said:

Here's the upgraded .cpp ... What should I consider doing to improve the code?

I think that code is much more readable, even though it takes up more lines.  Hopefully you agree, as it is your code and you're the one who gets to live with it.

If I use the code-collapse feature of my IDE, the code is broken up into easily understood blocks:  main(), Initialize(), Move_ball(), AI_Movement(), Player2_Movement(), and Reset_all().  I can look at that and understand your game.

Expanding any one of those gives me logic that I can easily understand. For example Player2_Movement() opens to keypressed up and keypressed down.  Each of those actions is easily understood when I expand them.

Those are good, especially in beginner code.

If I were looking to improve it -- even though what you've got in there looks like a runnable game -- I would next try to simplify by merging duplicate functionality.

Moving up and moving down seem like the same operation, the only difference is that one is positive and the other negative, you can use a clamp function to limit movement both at the top and the bottom.  That's 7 lines removed.   The AI has different logic controlling if they move the paddle up or down, but the actual logic of moving of a paddle is the same as you're only modifying the y value. Extract the duplicate paddle-moving logic to a new function that accepts both a reference to a paddle and the direction it moves, and you remove another 10 or so lines of duplication.

Moving the ball also has a lot of duplicate math that depends on ballsp_x is positive or negative. That duplicate math can probably also be merged.

I'd also look at more consistent naming conventions.  Sometimes they start with uppercase or lowercase, sometimes they have underscores, sometimes they have abbreviations. There are automated ways to rename all variable instances in most IDEs, so it is usually an easy thing to clean up.

Games are shipped but never really done. There are always improvements developers want to see and bugs that could be fixed.  Players don't normally dig through the source code, and if they did often they'd encounter nightmare fuel.  If your code does the things you want to do and fits whatever performance criteria you've been given, you can call it good enough, even when it could be better.

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I've uploaded an edited version of my Pong game for the November Challenge. Take a look.

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