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  • Writer's pictureRedCloud Consulting

A Power App as a Slide Puzzle!?

Updated: Mar 18

A couple of months ago, a few members of our Data & AI Team went down to the Microsoft Power Platform Conference where they proudly hosted a booth in the expo area. It’s always a competition at expos to best design a booth that draws positive attention. Being Power Platform fanatics, we decided to engage with the conference attendees with live demos!

We had a number of business-related demos, but we also wanted to provide some fun with a little competition. After watching too much Survivor, the idea of a digital slide puzzle popped into our heads and quickly came to fruition.

Cool features

  1. Image manipulation: SVG images were used so that new images could be easily added. When a game starts, the selected SVG image is segmented into the required number of puzzle pieces.

  2. Users Profiles: When players first play, they set up a gamertag and profile so that they can participate in the leaderboard and come back to improve their time.

  3. Data: Every game and move is recorded and tracked so that leaderboards can be segmented by the image, puzzle size, moves, time, and gamer.

  4. Helper controls: Users can choose to view the final image or turn on puzzle piece images to help solve the puzzle.

  5. Progress: Players can see their progress on the fly with how many pieces they have put into the right place

  6. Galleries, galleries, galleries: The puzzle board is made up of two nested galleries that dynamically adjusts to the slide puzzle dimensions.

Something you may not have know

Did you know that not all randomly distributed slide puzzles are not solvable? In fact, if pieces are randomly distributed, half of all puzzles are not solvable. Therefore, we needed to randomize the puzzle, check solvability, and then adjust the randomized order to make it solvable. (Read this if you really want to nerd out on math)

How building games helps

It goes without saying that the Slide Puzzle’d Power App is not going to be sold to a customer. However, that does not mean that these do not provide value. First off, as a Power Platform developer, building games exposes you to new challenges that require you to discover or create new methods in development that you wouldn’t have normally thought of when you’re in a strict business environment. For example, time was a critical component of this app, which stretched the developers to master the use of Timer controls, which then translates to business-related projects. And at the end of the day, games can be fun!


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