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Brief Information about the November 19th CSIG Meeting

One Balloon - REINCARNATED - A Simple Graphics Program/Game/Practice-Aid

by Bruce Arnold
Catch Me!  

Welcome to the CSIG, a Special Interest Group of the ACGNJ. This is an exciting time for the C Language programming since Microsoft now has 4 different language compilers: C++, C++ Express, C-Sharp, and C-Sharp Express. These are all capable of creating Windows (tm) programs. (Some are FREE!)

Here's a brief synopsis of this month's meeting:

The original C++/cli program from Sept. 2012 has been recoded into a C-sharp program.  About 75 percent of the conversion was provided by a utility called "CppTOsharp" which I will also present. Since both compilers utilize the same DOT NET libraries, the algorithm as well as the code remains quite similar. The main difference is with regard to syntax. For example: "->" and "::" are changed to ".".

The object of this program is to create a Teaching Aid for students of Computer Literacy who have no mouse experience.  That's right: NO-MOUSE-EXPERIENCE. A few years ago I wrote a program called "Balloons" for that same purpose. About 75 percent of new computer users can work with that program and then move on to programs like "Solitare" in order to develop the proper HAND-EYE coordination necessary to productively use a computer. The other 25 percent are left behind. This application is for them.

 As can be seen in the screen shot above, the program displays a colored circle on a colored background. Additionally, the circle or balloon has some text printed inside. When the user moves the mouse over to the balloon, it "runs away" from the mouse. The goal of the game is to click the mouse inside the balloon before it runs away.  (1 second delay.) If the user is successful, the balloon "explodes" and the counter is incremented. A new balloon then appears in another location.

 This program demonstrates several of the DOT NET graphics functions. The algorithm is created around a STATE MACHINE in order to control sequence.  Trigger events into the code include: A. The mouse has a new position. B. The mouse has been clicked. C. Timer elapsed. The States of the program State Machine include: Outside_Balloon, Inside_Balloon, Balloon_Exploding, Balloon_Imploding.

The program uses a number of DOT NET Library functions including the following:


There are a number of ways to refer to Microsoft's latest compilers and code. Here's what Wikipedia says: The Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) is an open specification developed by Microsoft that describes the executable code and runtime environment that form the core of the Microsoft .NET Framework. The specification defines an environment that allows multiple high-level languages to be used on different computer platforms without being rewritten for specific architectures.

Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5
C++ 9.0
.Net 3.5
Common Language Infrastructure

Sample Code

        //  Paint Message Handler
    private: System::Void Form1_Paint(System::Object^  sender, System::Windows::Forms::PaintEventArgs^  e) 
                 e; sender; // avoid unreferenced parameter error message during compilation.
                 Rectangle windowRect = ClientRectangle;    // Get size of window.
                 Graphics ^g = e->Graphics;

                 g->FillEllipse(BalloonBrush,                   // Fill the whole balloon with color
                     BalloonCenter.X - BalloonRadius,
                     BalloonCenter.Y - BalloonRadius,
                     2 * BalloonRadius,
                     2 * BalloonRadius);
                 g->DrawEllipse(Pens::Black,                    // Draw a black line around it.
                     BalloonCenter.X - BalloonRadius,
                     BalloonCenter.Y - BalloonRadius,
                     2 * BalloonRadius,
                     2 * BalloonRadius);
                 g->DrawEllipse(Pens::White,                    // Draw a white line around it.
                     BalloonCenter.X - BalloonRadius - 1,
                     BalloonCenter.Y - BalloonRadius - 1,
                     2 * BalloonRadius + 2,
                     2 * BalloonRadius + 2);

                 Drawing::Font ^mFont = gcnew Drawing::Font("Arial", 24, Drawing::FontStyle::Bold);
                 String ^mString = gcnew String("Catch Me!");
                 Drawing::SizeF mFontSize = g->MeasureString(mString,mFont);
                 g->DrawString(mString, mFont,
                     (float)BalloonCenter.Y-(mFontSize.Height/2) );

             // Randomize the center of the balloon
             Point Form1_GetRandPoint(Rectangle rr)
                 Point pp;
                 if ((rr.Right - rr.Left) < 1 || (rr.Bottom - rr.Top) < 1)
                     pp.Y = 0; return pp;   // trap potential divide by zero
                 pp.X = rr.Left + pRand->Next(rr.Right - rr.Left);
                 pp.Y = rr.Top + pRand->Next(rr.Bottom - rr.Top);
                 return pp;

             // Randomize the color of the Balloon to descrete values.
             Color Form1_GetRandColor()
                 int arg[3]; arg[0]   = 0;    arg[1]   = 128;  arg[2]   = 192;
                 int alpha[3]; alpha[0] = 0xEF; alpha[1] = 0xF0; alpha[2] = 0xFF;
                 return Color::FromArgb(
                     alpha[2],                  // leave alpha solid.


Source Code Files

For help, email me at b a r n o l d @ i e e e . o r g
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