Laser Table Game

 

Welcome to laser table game

This is a simple puzzle game where you take turns moving mirrors on a Laser Table, playing against an A.I. opponent.

This application works on iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch. The OS on the device must be at least iOS 5.

This web site also contains update status about the current version of software.

Update September 16, 2013
Version 1.4 was submitted to the App Store this evening. It is ready for iOS 7. There are also a few new features. When it shows up in the App Store you can see a screen shot showing how with this version you can now customize the game colors: board, mirrors, pillars, even the laser beams. I'm also working on another new feature and hope to get it rolled out within the next month.

Update May 7, 2013
Good news! I submitted version 1.3 to the App Store this evening. I tested it with iOS 5.0, iOS 5.1, iOS 6.0 and iOS 6.1 for iPhones and iPads including Retina versions of the same. I figured out what was getting in the way with making it handle orientation (landscape or portrait) for the iPads with BOTH iOS 5 and iOS 6. Evidently Apple made some significant changes to how rotation is managed with iOS 6 and I had that working fairly quickly. But then I couldn't get the same code to behave properly on an iPad running iOS 5. But it is good now, and the code is actually tighter and smaller too.

Update September 25, 2012
I'm back. Haven't touched this application in a while. I'm going to publish an update that will bring the application up to a minimum of requiring IOS 6. Obviously the iPhone 5 running IOS 6 will be checked as well. Right now I believe there are problems with IOS 6 on the iPad, so this update is needed. The next update will be Laser Table Game Version 1.3.

After I bring the Laser Table game application "up to date", I intend to add some features that need IOS 6. Stay tuned.

Update October 23, 2011
I've decided to set aside the 2-player network development work for now. There are too many other projects and other personal activities that need to take priority. I'll probably do a major upgrade to the Laser Table application to utilize the iOS 5 advanced Game Center and networking capabilities in a future update.

Update July 22, 2011
I've been working on version 1.3. The next big feature is networked 2-player support. Currently I have the initial local network connectivity stuff up and running and I am now working on getting the initial 2-player networked game setup running. After I get local network support completed I'll be moving on to add Game Center networked internet player support. None of this is ready to show yet but I wanted to report the progress being made.

Update July 13, 2011
Apple has approved version 1.2 for sale in the App Store. I expect it will show up some time this evening.

Update July 6, 2011
The App was still in a "waiting for review" state this afternoon. But then this evening I noticed a bug with the Game Center support code in the Statistics screen. So I fixed it, made a new package and re-submitted it to Apple in place of the one from a few days ago. Since they had not begun the review process yet, this should not have introduced any delays.

Update July 4, 2011
Version 1.2 has been submitted to Apple for approval. Here are some screenshots of the final version running on the iPhone and iPad.

Update July 2, 2011
I've created a web page showing screenshots of the progress on the Version 1.2 update that is coming. Check it out here.

I think you will agree this is a pretty good update coming.

Update June 26, 2011
Posted a new screenshot of work in process showing the new landscape game board for iPad.

Update June 20, 2011
Apple approved the update and it became available this morning.

Update June 19, 2011
Apple rejected this update because it has Game Center enabled but does not include any Game Center code. They are correct. I am planning to include Game Center as part of a future development update and began the process of adding support during the work on this update. This update does not include nor need Game Center code. I will remedy the situation soon so that Apple can resume the approval process.

I am actually impressed that Apple checks this stuff.

Update June 14, 2011
The submission made to Apple last night was built for iOS v4.3. I realized today that the Verizon iPhone is still running version 4.2.8. That means the update would not be compatible with Verizon devices. So I changed the build settings for the project and rebuilt the update for this App to use iOS version 4.2.

There are no features from iOS version 4.3 that this App currently needs. The App was re-submitted for review this evening. I expect Apple will review and approve the update in the next couple of days.

Update June 13, 2011
Version 1.1 is ready. This version incorporates new Randomize Start Player setting. When this option is set, the game will randomly pick either the Human or the A.I. to take the first turn. Also added a new Statistics screen showing consecutive wins and best record of consecutive wins. The overall screen transitions code was reworked and the the screens have a nicer polished flow to them now.

This update was submitted to Apple on Monday evening, 13-Jun-2011.

Update June 6, 2011
The App has been approved.

Update May 29, 2011
The Application Laser Game has been submitted to the App Store. This is the first attempt and I'm expecting I'll find out I've left out some detail. But we'll see.

A number of internal code changes are part of this latest version. With the refactoring I've just completed it will be simpler to make unique interface additions for the iPad. The extra screen space allows for some interesting ideas.

Update May 22, 2011
I've been working on the Laser Table Game app these past few weekends. Most recently I've completely improved the algorithm the AI uses when trying to choose a move. Now, if the opportunity presents itself where the AI can cause the human player to destroy his own target with the next move, it takes it.

Getting the app ready for submission to the App Store has been challenging. I am in the process of re-creating the provisioning profiles and App-Sign (internal development stuff) so that in the future I can add in things like Apple's Game Center support. My goal is to get the certification documentation updated and have the application ready for submission to the App Store by the end of this month (May 2011).

A Discussion About the A.I.

The current implementation of this game provides an A.I. to play against. The A.I. algorithm can be described by the following algorithm.

When the A.I. is about to take its turn, it examines every mirror that lies along the current path from its firing point. It also includes any adjacent mirrors in it's evaluation. The A.I. then makes a ranking for every possible move of each mirror. Movement considerations include, doing nothing, rotation, or moving along any valid orthogonal position. After the potential mirror action, the A.I. "ranks" the result of the potential action by observing how close the laser beam path gets to the intended target.

Once evaluation and ranking of each possible mirror action is considered, including the possibility of doing nothing, the best ranked choice is used. There is one other consideration, however. If the A.I. discovers that the best ranked potential action does not hit the intended target it checks to see if the action would result in the opponent hitting their own target. In that case this choice is favored.

Lastly, if the result of the A.I. choice ends up being identical to that made in the last round, instead it chooses one of the mirrors in it's path randomly and rotates it. This was done to avoid the A.I. getting stuck into and unending repeat of moves.

The Future
Future software updates will include the following features:

  • Game Center support for consecutive wins - Done
  • Improvements to opponent AI - Done
  • Add some interface goodies to the iPad version - Done for both iPhone and iPad
  • 2-Player networked play

General Comments
This game was programmed by the developer over weekends and evenings. Please rate the game on iTunes.

For questions and comments send e-mail to Laser Table Game Support.