Author Topic: Think Ahead X is a remake of the old Classic Mac puzzle game Think Ahead+  (Read 1777 times)

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Software Santa

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Think Ahead X is a remake of the old Classic Mac puzzle game Think Ahead+

Software Santa LOVES his Copy! A Software Santa Pick!

Think Ahead X

Hello! I don't know poop about HTML and web design and crap, so this page kinds sucks, but download my sweet game anyway!

Download Think Ahead X 0.9.5

I've got this crazy thing about old games, really old 80's Mac Plus black & white 9 inch monitor games, and I crave OSX versions of them, and despite the ISKUB project, they're not getting made! So I'm making them myself, even though I'm not what you'd call a skilled programmer.

I haven't got anything else to say, now play the game.

How to play
As you can see, the main window contains a board of 8 rows and 8 columns, where every tile has a score value. The objective is to score the highest. Both players control the same marker, the Apple-key symbol highlighted in blue. The twist is that one player may only move horizontally, and the other vertically.

Therefore, while trying to snatch all the highest score values, you must also try to stay away from a row/column where your opponent can score even higher. Hence the name Think Ahead - the more you plan ahead, the more likely you are to win.

Who goes first and who moves in what direction is randomized, whether you play the computer or a buddy. Simply click on a tile to move there. Once you've visited a tile, it will be checked and you will not be able to stand on it again. The game ends when all tiles are selected or when the current player is unable to move. (Which is essentially the same thing, I know.) When this happens, the scores are measured and the winner declared.

A twist to the game is the SCRAMBLE! function. It can be used only once per player and game, and when invoked it will randomly scramble all the tiles around! Note that the player tile and the already visited tiles, will remain where they are. SCRAMBLE! can be used at any point during the game and you do not lose your current turn when you use it.

Then there is of course the Mystery Box! Marked by an Apple, the Mystery Box contains an unknown score value which ranges from -15 to +25. Open the Mystery Box if you dare! Both the SCRAMBLE! function and the Mystery Box can be turned off in the Game menu.

Differences between Think Ahead+ and Think Ahead X
There are now mainly two differences between Keith Lambert's original game and my OS X version.

One is that the active row or column can be highlighted, to make it clearer to the player(s) what tiles may be selected. If you only find this annoying, or if you simply would prefer to follow the 1985 version as closely as possible, this function can be turned off in the Game menu. If you are color blind, or for some other reason find it very annoying that I have chosen to use the colors green and red - fear not. While it can't be changed from within the application, there is a color blind mode which you can activate, and the highlight colors will instead be yellow and brown. You can either edit the file ~/Library/Preferences/se.sippan.thinkahead.plist and change that little 0 connected to "IAmColorBlind" into a 1, or you can copy&paste this line into the Terminal:
defaults write se.sippan.thinkahead IAmColorBlind 1

Another difference is that you can't play the computer on Better or Best. This is simply because I'm not a terribly experienced programmer, and I could not manage to program an AI better than the "Good" level. (I'm not even sure I got that one right...) I would very much appreciate if anyone out there could help me. Send me some pseudocode on how to do it, explain it to me, ask me for the source code and do it all yourself, as long as it somehow gets done. I have already received some tips and help, but apparently I am at a very, very basic level when it comes to this kind of programming, so I have not yet been able to make it work.

Poking around
Since Think Ahead X does not rely heavily on player names (there is no high score list or anything) except for keeping track of whose turn it is, it's not possible to change the player names, which are Player 1 & Player 2, from within the application. If you desperately want to have it say Hinkum & Dinkum or Kålle & Ada or Svenne & Lotta or Boggy B & Spadge, however, it is possible and relatively easy to change it. Simply locate the preferences file, which is at ~/Library/Preferences/se.sippan.thinkahead.plist and edit it in TextEdit or Property List Editor or through the defaults command in the Terminal or whatever. There are some other hidden preferences you can toy around with, too. Don't worry because you can't break anything, and if you manage to screw up then you can just toss the file in the trash and the game will create a new one for you with the default preferences.

My mission!
So here's the deal. I love old Mac games. It may be a nostalgia thing, but it is my opinion that all of the greatest Mac games were created between 1984 and 1992, or something like that. Give or take a few years. Pretty much ever since Mac OS X was released, I've been nagging on everyone to make new versions of my favorites from the old days, but surprisingly enough only extremely few of them have actually been made, and many of those that were, weren't very well made. So now I'm tired of waiting and I'm going to make them all myself, one by one. If you know of an old game you want for OSX, e-mail me and let me know. If you are a programmer and you are bored, feel free to pick any game on the following list and make it yourself, thereby saving me some time and making the world a better place for all Macintosh users by giving them back one of their great old games. This is a preliminary list of games I intend to Cocoize - needless to say, this is a very ambitious list considering where my programming skill is at, so don't count on seeing most of these any time soon. Not from me anyway, but this is just as much a list of games I want someone else to Cocoize, so if you think you can, stop reading and do it!

1000 Miles
Bird Race
Crystal Quest
The New Daleks (There are a bunch of clones...)
Dubbelmoral (Don't count on it.)
NS Tower
Scarab of RA
Shufflepuck Café
Spin Doctor