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Peg game plaything

That darn peg game

I'm an egg-no-ray-moose. At least, that's what the good folks at Cracker Barrel make me out to be, since I can never seem to leave just one peg when attempting their signature table game, the triangular grid with the jumping pegs. Makes me feel a little self-conscious, y'know?

So when I recently decided I should really learn some java programming, I chose the peg game as a good example project. Not that I needed to solve the game programmatically to satisfy my curiosity — the internet is full of nicely illustrated solutions. But the game made for a nice case study, where I could throw in some object-oriented programming, a bit of recursion, and play with graphics in applets.

And there you have it — a simple little java applet for your entertainment. Here's how it works

  • First choose a starting position: click on the pegs to toggle them on or off, until you have just the setup you want to explore.
  • Click on the "?" button to find the best solution (really, one of various possible best solutions). This can take a few seconds; when the applet has figured things out, the "?" button will change to a forward triangle
  • Click on the forward button to see the first move, and keep on clicking until the button turns gray. That's when there are no more moves left.
  • At this point (or any point along the way), you can click the rewind button to reset the pegs and start over.


You'll need to have the most recent java run-time environment installed to see this applet.

Curious how it works? It's certainly not fancy, and my java coding could undoubtedly use some improvement — but it works, and if you'd like to have a look behind the scenes, feel free to look at the source codes, which consist of a main calculation class (TriangleBoard) that figures out the best sequence of moves, and an applet class (TriangleApplet) to put up the front end and allow user interaction. Feel free to get in touch (link at bottom of page) if you have any questions, or suggestions for improvement.

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Last modified: November 28, 2014
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