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Help making a hangman program

13 New Member
Hey, I just started programming this September and I have an assignment in which I am supposed to create a hangman game. This is my first post on this forum so forgive me for any "noob" mistakes Now I'm still learning Java so this will be a basic program running in the console window (no GUI) using strings loops, arrays, etc but hopefully nothing too complicated. I've developed somewhat of an algorithm for the program, but it's really simple so far.

Title screen
main menu (play, instructions, quit)
if they choose to select play there is a choice of difficulty (easy, med, hard)
depending on what difficulty they choose there will be different words

Now I've got all that simple stuff out of the way and I've gotten up to the part where it displays the blanks such as _ _ _ _ _ and now what I'm trying to do is figure out how to get input from the user and use it to fill in the blanks, and give them 5 "lives". What kind of process do I go through to make this happen? I'm not asking for any specific code but I might need some explanations on how I can piece everything together.

Thanks in advance!!!
Nov 26 '08 #1
25 3935
2,364 Recognized Expert Top Contributor
Greetings, yottabyte!

Welcome to bytes... Can you show us the code you referred to? Also you'll probably need to do a lot of the work as we help you figure it all out.

It's exciting though, hope you survive it, it's quite the language, good choice.

In a bit!
Nov 26 '08 #2
13,262 MVP
For console applications, use the Scanner class to get the input from the user or the Console class if you are using Java 6.
Nov 26 '08 #3
3,112 Recognized Expert Specialist
Also, I'd create a couter lives which counts (who would guess?) how many lives are left. Then you can put it all in a while loop... you should be able to figure out the rest.

Nov 26 '08 #4
11,448 Recognized Expert MVP
Also also, read about regular expression; in particular the String.replaceA ll() method is a nice start. This game is particularly fitted to be solved by regular expressions. They take away all sorts of tedious loops and checks.

kind regards,

Nov 26 '08 #5
13 New Member
Yeah i haven't exactly gotten too far yet but I want to know if I'm starting this off right

I made an array that is like this:

String[] easydifficulty = new String[51];
easydifficulty[0] = "word";
easydifficulty[1] = "another word";
easydifficulty[2] = "another word";
easydifficulty[3] = "another word";

But I just did that to have all my strings in one place...how exactly do I make one random string appear as blanks _ _ _ _ _ and get the user input? I also don't fully understand what you meant by a counter to count lives
Dec 1 '08 #6
3,112 Recognized Expert Specialist
OK, now you can do it with an array and I guess as you're a beginner, that should do. To choose a random word from the array, have a look at java.util.Rando m. Read Reply #3 about how to get user input. And the lives counter? Well, say you may get it wrong 5 times, then you can have
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  1. int lives = 5
somewhere and every time a wrong letter is entered, that variable is decremented (= reduced by one). Then it checks... etc.

Oh, and writing the blanks? Well, you can find the length of a string with
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  1. String myString = "word";
  2. System.out.println(myString + " is " + myString.length() + " characters long.");
That should get you going.

Dec 1 '08 #7
14 New Member
hi there...

Last year, I did the whole hangman game in Pascal; however it was a little bit different in structure than yours is going to be; in such a way that mine first involved the first player to enter the "Secret_wor d", and then the second player would try to guess it. With regards to the blanks, an int variable "no_of_blan ks" would read the length of the "Secret_wor d" entered by player 1, and then would dislpay the corresponding amount of blanks for player 2 to guess...

With regards to your question about how to get input from the user and use it to fill in the blanks, my approach to it was to read the character entered by the user, and then use an IF statement to check whether the character entered is correct (i.e. found in the "Secret_wor d"). If it turns out to be correct, then it should be dislpayed instead of the corresponding blank (in my case these were underscores _ ).

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Dec 2 '08 #8
13 New Member
Can you explain the secret word part a little bit more? I don't fully understand it but I think it will be important to continuing on my project.
Dec 3 '08 #9
11,448 Recognized Expert MVP
Don't go that way: you'll end up with a highly procedural and low level solution: Pascal doesn't have regular expression handling so you'll end up with lots of nasty little loops and byte fiddling. Have a look at this:

Suppose we have three Strings: word, used and correct; the word String contains the secret word, the used String contains the characters that are used by the user (whether correct or not) and the correct String contains the correctly guessed characters.

Suppose 'x' is the current guess character. So we can do:

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  1. if (used.indexOf(x) >= 0) // character already used
if the above test fails 'x' represents a new guess, so:

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  1. used+= x; // now set x as used
  2. if (word.indexOf(x) < 0) // x is not in word
If the above test fails then x is a character in the word, so:

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  1. correct+= x;
  2. String leftOver= word.replaceAll("[^"+correct+"]", "-");
The last line of this code snippet replaces all characters in the word that are not present in the String correct. They are replaced by a '-'.

If there are still '-'s left in that last String the word wasn't guessed yet:

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  1. boolean finished= leftOver.indexOf('-') < 0;
The few lines of code above represent the core of the game logic. Note that there are no silly loops, no counting, just the handling of the game logic.

kind regards,

Dec 3 '08 #10

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