Note: this post is from a series on Candy Land:

  1. Overview and Data Representations
  2. The Game Engine (you are here)
  3. The Game Engine, Implemented

Last time we captured the board and the card deck into Javascript objects that look like this:

var board = [
    { color: 'Red' },
    { color: 'Orange', bridgeTo: 59 }
    // ...

var cards = [
    'Red', 'Red', 'Red', 'Red', 'Red', 'Red', 'Red', 'Red'
    // ...

four meeples from the game Candy Land that resemble ginerbread cookies, each a different color: green, blue, yellow, red

Now we need to simply draw cards and keep track of a player through the game. I guess we should come up with some simple way to track that. Players will have a name and a position on the board. We also need to know if the player is losing a turn because they stepped on a licorice space. This should do it:

var players = [
    { name: 'Michael', isLosingATurn: false, position: -1 },
    { name: 'Thing 1', isLosingATurn: false, position: -1 },

As we design the rest of the engine, we’ll add to that as necessary.

OK, now we need to create a game loop. A game loop basically covers all the actions that happen in one cycle of the game. Since Candy Land players don’t affect each other (except for a shared deck of cards), all the interesting stuff happens in the player loop, with alternating players.

Here’s a first pass of what we need:

var players = [
    { name: 'Michael', isLosingATurn: false, position: -1, isWinner: false, moves: 0 },
    { name: 'Thing 1', isLosingATurn: false, position: -1, isWinner: false, moves: 0 }

// call "DoGame" to play an entire game, passing in the players array
function DoGame(players){
    // initialize the board
    // initialize the deck

    <span class="rem">// call "DoGameLoop" (pass in the board and deck) until it returns false, 

    // which indicates the game is over</span>
    // when the game is over print out summary stats (e.g move counts) and exit
function DoGameLoop(players, board, cards){
    // if all players have finished (yes, my kids insist that the game continues
    // until everyone finishes :/) exit, the game is over (return false)
    // for each player: DoPlayerLoop
    // things went as planned, return true

function DoPlayerLoop(player, board, cards){
    // if we are lose a turn, turn off the "isLosingATurn" property and we're done (exit now)
    // draw a card and increment the "moves" counter
    // find the next space to move to based on the card
    // if your move takes you to the last square or beyond, you win 
    // set the "isWinner" property to true and exit
    // if the space we landed on is a bridge, follow the bridge
    <span class="rem">// if we are now on a lose-a-turn space, turn 

    // on the "isLosingATurn" property so we know </span>
    // to skip our turn the next time around

function DrawACard(cards){
    // if there are no cards left in the deck they must have all been played so
    // reshuffle them! Boom, now there are cards in the deck
    // remove a card and return it

function MakeDeck(){
    // return a new, shuffled deck   

function MakBoard(){
    // return a new board

That should read pretty easily from top to bottom (you may have to use your imagination a little bit). We’ll implement some of these in the next post.