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Posted 13 Sep 2000
Licenced CPOL

Bubbles for Pocket PC

, 13 Sep 2000
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An addictive game for PocketPCs with full source code included.

Bubbles about dialog


Bubbles is a board game designed for use on the Pocket PC. The game starts with a board full of colored balls (called bubbles). Adjacent bubbles with the same color can be removed from the board. The more bubbles you remove in a turn, the more points you score. When you clear the entire board you get bonus points.

Bubbles was my first try to create a Windows CE program for the Pocket PC. It first used MFC, but I switched to ATL pretty early during the project. The game demonstrates how ATL can be used to create Windows CE programs with a small memory footprint.

Infrared support is one of the most appealing features of Windows CE, so I wanted to enable IrDA support as well. High scores can be transferred between CE devices (or Windows 2000) using IrSockets. It's relatively easy to use and the project contains some wrapper classes to enable IrDA sockets (nonblocking to avoid lockups).

During the development of this game I noticed that the CE environment isn't as mature as the desktop Win32 environment. STL and WTL are both missing. ATL for Pocket PC isn't as stable as its Win32 counterpart. The emulator locks up when you play several wave files after each other.

Bubbles game window

The most annoying bug is in the ATL handling of WM_INITDIALOG. Due to a very trivial error in this piece of code you are forced to override this method (otherwise SHInitDialog won't be called). If you want to call SHInitDialog yourself, then you need to override the method and pretend that you never did (otherwise ATL will call it again with it's own set of arguments). Very annoying and it took me a while, before I figured out that this was wrong.

Most Pocket PC applications allow only one single instance. If the application is started again it reactivates the first instance of the application. Despite 95% of the Pocket PC programs need this functionality there is no support in the API (or ATL) to accomplish it in an easy way. You need to register your own window class and when the application starts, you need to look for that window class. If it exists, then you need to bring the window to the foreground to activate the application again. Unfortunately, this doesn't work good when your main window wasn't the active window when you deactivated the application (i.e. a dialog was on screen). In that case the main window is activated and this causes some problems. The OK button of the dialog isn't visible. The dialog's OnActivate isn't called, so the SIP (soft input panel) isn't disabled, etc...

Despite these problems this game can serve as a good starting point for your own games. Game logic is separated from UI and highscore, options and about screens can be easily reused. I started writing a Tetris clone using this template and I hope it can be useful for you as well.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Ramon de Klein
Web Developer
Netherlands Netherlands
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

Questionhow to display a raw bitstream video? Pin
sandeepp30-Mar-04 2:35
membersandeepp30-Mar-04 2:35 
QuestionWhat should I do? Pin
IxCraZee27-Aug-03 3:36
memberIxCraZee27-Aug-03 3:36 
Generalstreaming video on Pocket Pc 2002 Pin
Vittoriosi10-May-03 0:32
memberVittoriosi10-May-03 0:32 
GeneralRe: streaming video on Pocket Pc 2002 Pin
-- NA --14-Aug-03 4:46
member-- NA --14-Aug-03 4:46 
GeneralXeXo Pin
Xexo13-Oct-02 10:33
memberXexo13-Oct-02 10:33 
QuestioniPAQ & OPENGL??? Pin
Xexo11-Oct-02 4:21
memberXexo11-Oct-02 4:21 
AnswerRe: iPAQ & OPENGL??? Pin
rex_chen20-Mar-03 23:54
memberrex_chen20-Mar-03 23:54 
GeneralQ]Just sending data to device Pin
29-May-02 21:33
suss29-May-02 21:33 
GeneralDebug Version - Not working Pin
3-May-02 7:13
suss3-May-02 7:13 
Questionhow to create setup in eVC++ Application Pin
25-Feb-02 23:33
suss25-Feb-02 23:33 
AnswerRe: how to create setup in eVC++ Application Pin
emcon8-Mar-02 4:06
memberemcon8-Mar-02 4:06 
GeneralRe: how to create setup in eVC++ Application Pin
11-May-02 1:17
suss11-May-02 1:17 
GeneralRe: how to create setup in eVC++ Application Pin
rex_chen20-Mar-03 23:48
memberrex_chen20-Mar-03 23:48 
GeneralRe: how to create setup in eVC++ Application Pin
kewal shah11-Dec-03 0:51
memberkewal shah11-Dec-03 0:51 
GeneralI can not print using IrDA port Pin
4-Feb-02 0:25
suss4-Feb-02 0:25 
GeneralRe: I can not print using IrDA port Pin
18-Apr-02 23:24
suss18-Apr-02 23:24 
GeneralSH* not found when compiling Pin
18-Dec-01 12:42
suss18-Dec-01 12:42 
GeneralRe: SH* not found when compiling Pin
21-May-02 19:10
suss21-May-02 19:10 
GeneralRe: SH* not found when compiling Pin
RizKhan11-Aug-03 20:57
memberRizKhan11-Aug-03 20:57 
GeneralRe: SH* not found when compiling Pin
jensen6-Jan-04 22:04
memberjensen6-Jan-04 22:04 
QuestionCan it work on ipaq? Pin
harlem tsai5-Jun-01 16:31
memberharlem tsai5-Jun-01 16:31 
AnswerRe: Can it work on ipaq? Pin
Matt.W.7-Jun-01 20:20
memberMatt.W.7-Jun-01 20:20 
AnswerRe: Can it work on ipaq? Pin
7-Nov-01 12:17
suss7-Nov-01 12:17 
AnswerRe: It works on iPAQ, but MIPS ? Pin
chris10931-Dec-02 3:38
memberchris10931-Dec-02 3:38 
QuestionWhy don't Build setup for MIPS CPU? Pin
28-May-01 16:37
suss28-May-01 16:37 

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