The DX-Mars Project

DX-Mars is a video game-like programming framework with a simple, object-oriented design intended for early computer science students. It is a 2-D isomorphic, tile-based environment based on the recent NASA missions to Mars. In the “game” the user controls a Mars rover who moves and teleports around the surface of Mars, collecting items and gathering data.

The DX-Mars Project Alpha The DX-Mars Project

This fall (2004), the DX-Mars framework was used in a data structures and algorithms course here at the University of Michigan to teach the basics of stacks, queues, and path-finding. In this course, the students filled out the AI module of the Mars rover, programming it to use both depth-first search and breadth-first search path-finding algorithms in order to gather objects and complete its mission. In addition, they programmed their own stack and queue classes to use in their DFS/BFS algorithms.

DX-Mars Project Requirement

  1. DirectX 9.0
  2. DirectX 9.0 SDK
  3. Microsoft Visual Studio 2002 or newer
  4. Relatively new graphics card: 32MB of VRAM or more should work fine.
  5. The DX-Mars solution, containing source code and graphics. (Available in resources section)