Monday, May 12, 2008

Do you still love your old snake game?

With the development in graphics hardware and computing power, the games developed these days are very powerful and challenging. But still there is something fascinating about the traditional computer games. Most of us have must have played snake game popular on cell phones. I am sure there are many who are very crazy about it. I am myself a fan of the game and I love the simplicity of the game. But as far as I believe, after a certain time you adapt to the game and get hold of timings and strategy which may dilute your enthusiasm after sometime. And there is really no time factor for eating the food. How about being able to limit the time within which a player must eat the food? Hmmm.. not convinced with the idea.

Ok how about adding a timing limit indirectly by making you compete for a food which your friend in network also tend to occupy. That is making it go multi-player. Ah, now that sounds interesting. Want some more challenge? How about an intelligent snake which the computer controls and which is capable of determining the shortest path to food? Scared? Ain't you excited about it? Yup, there is a game that adds these feature to the snake game-iSnake. The project has been developed in Java. And just to let you know I am one of the developers of the game.

We developed this game as a part of our academic project and with the purpose of research in AI and real time gaming. But that doesn't mean we ignored factors like smooth gaming experience. We twicked the original swing components in Java to give the GUI a game like touch. The project uses Apache Mina Framework for communication. Besides, the game uses an algorithm for shortest path finding which we developed ourselves. The biggest challenge in the project was path computation in real time. Each game cycle is of 100ms and computing path within 100ms with other threads simultaneously running is really tough. Most of the path computations are rarely done in real time. We code- named the algorithm that we are currently using in the game as Viper. The game won the first prize at 'KUCC Software Meet 2008' and we participated with the project in 'LOCUS-Technical Fest 2008' for which the results are still awaited.

The game is hosted at and has been released on 07 May. The game is registered under GPL and can be launched from web page using Java Webstart. You can find the complete documentation of the project including the path finding algorithm on the website.

So what are you waiting for? Browse the url:, download the game. And get going. Give your friends a difficult time eating food. Happy Gaming!!!

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