Assignment Goals

  • Gain experience with Object-Oriented Programming.
  • Use instantiable classes provided by other programmers.
  • Understand provided classes by reading their javadocs.
  • Use Java's ArrayList class.
  • Implement, in whole or in part, basic instantiable classes for which we've defined the interface.


Five semesters ago your fellow CS 302 students wrote a program that simulated traffic on a highway and displayed a portion of the highway in a window. Motivated by many a facebook game of the form "you have 60 seconds to do something," you decided to turn this traffic simulation program into a game where the player controls one of the cars on the highway and collects bonuses without crashing into other cars. See image.

The player is given 60 seconds to control a car. He or she may speed up, slow down, or switch lanes. The objective is to get a high score by collecting as many coins along the way as possible. Upon collecting a coin on the highway, the player's score is increased and the player gets some extra time. The increases in score and time depend on how quickly the coin is collected. The game ends when the player runs out of time or when he or she crashes into another car on the highway.


Provided Files: Start by creating a new project and downloading the code that we've provided as well as the code skeletons to your project directory:

  • CarGameClasses.jar Add this jar file to your project in the same manner that you've been doing in the lab exercises. You're invited to look at our part of the code, but don't change it! We will use our original files when we grade your work.
  • Unzip this file in your project directory. It contains code skeletons for all of the classes that you will be implementing. You'll find that most of the commenting is already in the files, but don't forget to fill in other comments as required by the commenting guide.

Classes You Must Implement: You must implement the methods EXACTLY as they appear in the skeletons we've provided. By this we mean:

  • Do not change method names.
  • Do not add or remove parameters.
  • Do not change method return types.

Of course, you will need to change each method's body so that it works as described. Below are the classes the you will be completing for this project. Note that we've kept the descriptions short here and put the details in the javadocs for each class. Make sure you carefully read these javadocs and implement the classes as specified. Recall that the method summaries aren't complete. For complete specifications, you'll need to see the method details by clicking on the method names in the summary section or by scrolling down the javadoc page. Note that the code we've provided will use your implementations of the unfinished classes. Our code will only work when you implement the classes as specified in their javadocs.

Before you start writing code for a class, you should look into the provided code skeleton. Sometimes there is code provided to you already and suggests what some of the instance variables should be called. You may need more instance variables than those that are already mentioned (and causing compiler errors at the moment) in the skeleton.

  • The Coin class represents coins that appear on the highway. The player collects these by driving over them.
  • The Highway class represents a highway. It stores information about all lanes and has an interface that allows the programmer to modify the lanes' cars and coins.
  • The CarGame class ties together all the classes that make up the game: Car, Driver, Lane, Highway and Coin.

Classes We've Already Implemented:

  • The Car class maintains information about a car.
  • The Driver class represents a driver sitting behind the steering wheel of some car.
  • The Lane class represents one lane of a highway. It stores information about all cars and coins in it.
  • The CarGameGUI class displays the game in a window. Your code should not call any methods from this class.
  • The CarGameController class ties together the graphical user interface in CarGameGUI and the game code in CarGame. This class runs the car game. It also processes any key presses made by the player and changes the state of the car game accordingly. Your code should not call any methods from this class.
  • The CarGameMainClass class is the main class which you should run in order to run the car game.

How To Develop This Program

There is a lot of ground to cover in this program. This means you should start early. To make your work easier, here is an outline which tells you which steps you need to take in order to get a working program. Before you move on to the next step, you should test that what you wrote so far works correctly. Your grade for correctness of execution will be proportional to how many of these steps you finish. The numbers in parentheses for each of the steps indicate how much of the 45 percent you get if you correctly complete a step and and all the steps before it.

  • A window opens (5/45): This requires you to implement the Highway class constructor, its two hasNext___() iterator methods and the getNumLanes() method. You also need to code up the CarGame constructor, which includes making a player and a car for him (but there is no need to add it to the highway) and the CarGame accessors getHighway(), getPlayer(), getTimeLeft(), getScore(), getTickNumber() and isGameOver(). Nothing really happens yet when you run the program, but at least the user interface shows up. When you try to run the incomplete program, eclipse may warn you that there are still complier errors. You can ignore that warning and your program should run assuming that there are no compiler errors in the methods we outlined in this paragraph.
  • Cars are there and move (15/45): You should be able to add cars to the highway and they should move in every tick. This requires a nearly complete implementation of the Highway class (the methods dealing with coins can be completed in step 4). It also requires a complete implementation of the CarGame class addRandomCar() and setAddCarProbability() methods as well as a partial implementation of its moveEverything() method.
  • Minimal game (25/45): The player's car is on the highway and can be controlled by pressing keys. At this point the player should be able to speed up, slow down and switch lanes. If the player crashes, the game should stop (our code will stop the game assuming the isGameOver() method is correct). With what you have written so far, the player's car will crash or the player will lose after 60 seconds with a score of zero. But that's fine. At least you see that you can play the game now. You will implement the processKeysPressed(), checkForCrashes() and isGameOver() methods in this step.
  • Playable game (35/45): Coins randomly appear on the highway and the player can pick them up to improve his or her score and increase the game time. A coin is picked up if it's in the same lane as the player and overlaps with the player's car (see the section on distances later in this specification). This step requires a complete implementation of the Coin class and the methods addRandomCoin(), pickUpCoins() and removeExpiredCoins() in the CarGame class.
  • Complete game (45/45): Before this step, the computer drivers are rather boring. They probably all go at the same speed (if they move at all) and don't switch lanes. The player cannot really restart the game either. There could also be very very many cars which would slow down the game if it runs for many minutes or even hours. (i) To resolve the first issue, you need to implement the notifyDrivers() method. For each car except for the player's car, this method calls the driver's makeDecision() method. The makeDecision() method will change the car's velocity (so you don't need to) and will return an integer indicating whether to switch lanes. If this integer indicates the driver chose to switch lanes, you must update the highway accordingly. (ii) To restart the game, implement the reset() method. (iii) Finally, to avoid having excessively many cars, implement the removeDistantCars method.
  • Enjoy the game: This is not a step in the project. Completing the first five steps correctly will give you full credit for correctness of execution. You can experiment with various ways of adding cars and coins as well as change probabilities to get the most enjoyable game. We will be curious to see your settings. But remember that you probably have other things to do besides playing your game.


While time passes continuously in the real world and events such as drivers on a highway choosing to switch lanes may happen at any point in time, computer simulations of the real world require that time be partitioned into small discrete steps which we will call ticks. A tick is a certain amount of time, for example ten seconds. Each event may happen once during each tick. For example, if each tick takes 10 seconds, a driver may choose to switch lanes only once every 10 seconds and has to wait 10 seconds before he or she can choose to switch lanes again. Of course, to get computer simulations as close to the real world as possible, we want tick lengths that are much shorter than 10 seconds. In your program, a tick length will be roughly 0.025 seconds.

For the car game, the following events will happen in each tick. There is more detail in the javadocs for the CarGame class and in the code skeleton

  • Depending on what keys were pressed, the player's car accelerates, decelerates, and may switch lanes.
  • If the player switched lanes, check if the player's car crashed into another car.
  • If the player did not crash, he may have picked up some coins in its new lane. Remove those from from the highway and update the player's time and score accordingly.
  • Notify all other drivers about their surroundings by calling their makeDecision() methods. The driver may then change the driven car's velocity and switch lanes.
  • Move everything on the highway (all cars and all coins) by calling their tick() methods.
  • Everything has moved, so now we need to check again whether any crashes have occurred.
  • Check whether the player has caught any additional coins after everything has moved. It could be that faster moving coins ran into the rear of the player's car or that the player's car caught some slower moving coins.
  • Some coins may have expired, so remove expired coins from the highway.
  • To speed up the game, every car that is more than a certain distance away from the player's car should be removed from the highway.

Positions, Distances and Notifying Drivers

We now explain how positions and distances are represented in the program. You will need this to detect accidents, pick up coins, and notify drivers about their surroundings. We use the picture below in all examples in this section. See image.

If c is a reference to the blue car in the picture, we get the position of its front (point 1) by calling c.getPositionOfFront(); and the position of its rear (point 2) by subtracting the length of the car from the position of the front, i.e., by using c.getPositionOfFront() - c.LENGTH. You will need to find distances between cars when you call the makeDecision() method from your your notifyDrivers() method in the CarGame class. The distance between two cars is the difference between the position of the rear of the car that's ahead and the front of the car that's behind. Being in different lanes will have no effect on this distance between two cars in this program. This is probably confusing, so let's see some examples.

  • The distance between the blue car in lane 3 and the orange car (the one you can see in its entirety) in lane 3 is the difference between positions 3 and 1.
  • You will also need to find distances between cars in adjacent lanes. The distance between the blue car in lane 3 and the leftmost car in lane 4 is the difference between positions 2 and 5 in the picture. Being in different lanes has no effect on how distances are computed.
  • It may also happen that cars in different lanes overlap. Consider the orange car in lane 3 whose front is at position 8 and the car underneath it whose front is at position 7. The car in lane 4 is further ahead, so the distance between those two cars is the difference between positions 4 and 8. This is a negative distance, which is fine.

Let's also look at some examples of what to pass to the makeDecision() method. The table below shows all the arguments that describe distances and velocities when calling this method for drivers of two different cars: the blue car at position 1 and the car in lane 4 at position 5. Each column of the table corressponds to one set of arguments passed to the makeDecision() method. We point out a few conventions you must follow for our code to work correctly. The example also assumes that the cars in the picture above are the only cars that are currently on the highway.

  • If there is no lane to the driver's left, set information for cars in that lane as follows: velocity to any non-negative number, distance to -1. Same for the case when there's no lane to the right. We see this in the last four rows of the table in the column corresponding to the car at position 5.
  • If there is no car ahead of (or behind) the driver in his current lane (or left/right lanes), set the velocity and distance information for those cars to -1. For example, there is no car in lane 3 behind the blue car, so we set velocityOfCarBehind and distanceFromCarBehind to -1. For the same reason, we set velocityOfCarAheadLeft and distanceFromCarAheadLeft to -1 for this car. See image.


It is bad programming practice for a class containing lists (such as arrays or ArrayLists) to give the user direct access by returning references to those lists. Doing that would break the idea of encapsulation because the user could modify the structure of the lists. Therefore, classes often provide iterators which allow the user to access the data in a list without letting the user to modify the underlying list directly.

You can think of an iterator as a pointer into a list that goes through that list in some order. The user can ask for the element the iterator is currently looking at by calling the appropriate method. The user can also tell the iterator to go back to the beginning of the list or to look at the next element in the list. Thus, to go through a list, we take the following steps.

  • Tell the iterator to go to the first element. For our iterators, this can be done by calling the appropriate rewind() method.
  • As long as there are more elements to look at (this is checked by calling the appropriate hasNext___() method), we can do the following
    • See what the iterator is currently pointing at by calling the appropriate lookAtNext___() method.
    • Advance the iterator to the next element by calling the appropriate getNext___() method.

The iterators in this program traverse the list of cars (or coins) in decreasing order of the return value of the getPositionOfFront() method. This is best illustrated on an example. Let h be a reference to the highway in the picture for the section on positions and distances, and consider the follwing code fragment: See image.

After this code fragment runs, c1 and c2 are references to the red car. The method call on line (3) advances the iterator past the red car. Since there are more cars left at that point, the output of line (4) is true. Next, c3 is a reference to the car at position 7, and the references c4, c5 and c6 all refer to the car at position 5. The call on line (8) advances the iterator past the last car in the lane, so the output of line (9) is false. If you were to add the line of code Car c7 = h.lookAtNextCar(4); at the end of the code fragment above, the code fragment would crash because there are no more cars in lane 4 to look at.

Using the Graphical User Interface

Once your game is running, you can see it in our provided graphical user interface. The following controls are available.

  • UP key: Move the car one lane to the left.
  • RIGHT key: Accelerate.
  • DOWN key: Move the car one lane to the right.
  • LEFT key: Slow down.
  • R key: Restart the game.
  • P key: Pause/resume the game.
  • Q key: Quit the game. This will exit the program.
  • C key: Works only if the game is paused. Toggles showing/hiding cars.
  • T key: Works only if the game is paused. Runs one tick of the game. This will help you with debugging.
  • S key: Calls the toString() method of the game.. This will help you with debugging.

Running Your Program

You will need to do something different in order to run your program in Eclipse. The main class uses command line arguments, which you need to specify. Also, the main class will not be listed in the usual place. To run the program, you have to open the referenced libraries link. Then open CarGameClasses.jar and the default package. There, you will find CarGameMainClass.class. You should right-click that, and choose Run As -> Run Configurations. See the picture below. See image.

Clicking Run Configurations brings up a dialog that lets tell eclipse some additional details about how to run your program. In this dialog, you should go to the second tab labeled Arguments. In the program arguments text field, you must enter five pieces of information separated by spaces: The number of lanes, the tick length (0.01 is recommended), the name of the player (without spaces or in double quotes with spaces), the probability of adding a random car to the highway in any tick (a positive double less than 1) and a probability of adding a random coin in any tick (also a positive double less than 1). After that, click Run in the lower-right corner. You can see an example in the picture below. See image.


You should write driver programs as you develop your instantiable classes to ensure they work as specified.

Academic Honesty!
It is not our intention to break the school's academic policy. Projects posted are only used as a reference and should not be submitted as is. We are not held liable for any misuse of the solutions. Please see the frequently asked questions page for further questions and inquiries.
Kindly fill out the form. Please provide a valid email address and we'll get back to you in less than 24 hours. We will be sending an invoice through PayPal upon confirmation. We are a non profit organization however we need an amount to keep this organization running, and to be able to complete our research and development.