Game Development Reference
board will have different numbers of moves than squares in the middle of the
When we add moves to the collections, we will add the subscript for every square
that connects to a given square. We will mark each added subscript with a key
corresponding to its value converted to a string so that we can interrogate the
collection using the key to see if it contains the number of a square we are
interested in. (VB collections can hold any type of data, but their keys are always
strings.) The formula for computing neighbors changes between even- and odd-
numbered rows. We will take that into account when we compute the neighbors.
Using Figure 6.4, we can see that the square above and to the left of square 22 is
square 17, which is a difference of 5. But from square 17, the same move takes us
to square 13, a difference of 4. In both cases, the move up and to the right is one
more than the move up and left.
An important point to notice is that we can influence the effectiveness of the AI
by how we arrange the moves in the collections. We will do two things to help.
We will add upward moves first to the neighbors so that the fox tries to go up the
board before trying to go down the board. We will also change how we order
the upward or downward moves so that even and odd rows do left or right moves
in different order. This encourages the fox to zigzag upward instead of going up
The code to initialize all three arrays may appear daunting, but it beats the
alternative of 200 lines of mind-numbingly regular initializations that differ from
each other only slightly.
Public Sub InitMoves()
Dim row As Integer
Dim col As Integer
'The array subscript is computed off row and col.
Dim ss As Integer
'The final subscript is what we store in the collections.
Dim finalss As Integer
Dim offset As Integer
'Do moves up first so the fox prefers them.
For row = 0 To 7
'Offset will = 0 or 1.
offset = row Mod 2