11.x — Chapter 11 comprehensive quiz


Inheritance allows us to model an is-a relationship between two objects. The object being inherited from is called the parent class, base class, or superclass. The object doing the inheriting is called the child class, derived class, or subclass.

When a derived class inherits from a base class, the derived class acquires all of the members of the base class.

When a derived class is constructed, the base portion of the class is constructed first, and then the derived portion is constructed. In more detail:

  1. Memory for the derived class is set aside (enough for both the base and derived portions).
  2. The appropriate derived class constructor is called.
  3. The base class object is constructed first using the appropriate base class constructor. If no base class constructor is specified, the default constructor will be used.
  4. The initialization list of the derived class initializes members of the derived class.
  5. The body of the derived class constructor executes.
  6. Control is returned to the caller.

Destruction happens in the opposite order, from most-derived to most-base class.

C++ has 3 access specifiers: public, private, and protected. The protected access specifier allows the class the member belongs to, friends, and derived classes to access the protected member, but not the public.

Classes can inherit from another class publicly, privately, or protectedly. Classes almost always inherit publically.

Here’s a table of all of the access specifier and inheritance types combinations:

Access specifier in base class Access specifier when inherited publicly Access specifier when inherited privately Access specifier when inherited protectedly
Public Public Private Protected
Private Inaccessible Inaccessible Inaccessible
Protected Protected Private Protected

Derived classes can add new functions, change the way functions that exist in the base class work in the derived class, change an inherited member’s access level, or hide functionality.

Multiple inheritance enables a derived class to inherit members from more than one parent. You should avoid multiple inheritance as much as possible.

Quiz Time

1) For each of the following programs, determine what they output, or if they would not compile, indicate why. This exercise is meant to be done by inspection, so do not compile these (otherwise the answers are trivial).


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1b) Hint: Local variables are destroyed in the opposite order of definition.

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2a) Write an Apple class and a Banana class that are derived from a common Fruit class. Fruit should have two members: a name, and a color.

The following program should run:

And produce the result:

My apple is red.
My banana is yellow.

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2b) Add a new class to the previous program called GrannySmith that inherits from Apple.

The following program should run:

And produce the result:

My apple is red.
My banana is yellow.
My granny smith apple is green.

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3) Challenge time! The following quiz question is more difficult and lengthy. We're going to write a simple game where you fight monsters. The goal of the game is to collect as much gold as you can before you die or get to level 20.

Our program is going to consist of 3 classes: A Creature class, a Player class, and a Monster class. Player and Monster both inherit from Creature.

3a) First create the Creature class. Creatures have 5 attributes: A name (std::string), a symbol (a char), an amount of health (int), the amount of damage they do per attack (int), and the amount of gold they are carrying (int). Implement these as class members. Write a full set of getters (a get function for each member). Add three other functions: void reduceHealth(int) reduces the Creature's health by an integer amount. bool isDead() returns true when the Creature's health is 0 or less. void addGold(int) adds gold to the Creature.

The following program should run:

And produce the result:

The orc has 3 health and is carrying 15 gold.

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3b) Now we're going to create the Player class. The Player class inherits from Creature. Player has one additional member, the player's level, which starts at 1. The player has a custom name (entered by the user), uses symbol '@', has 10 health, does 1 damage to start, and has no gold. Write a function called levelUp() that increases the player's level and damage by 1. Also write a getter for the level member. Finally, write a function called hasWon() that returns true if the player has reached level 20.

Write a new main() function that asks the user for their name and produces the output as follows:

Enter your name: Alex
Welcome, Alex.
You have 10 health and are carrying 0 gold.

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3c) Next up is the Monster class. Monster also inherits from Creature. Monsters have no non-inherited member variables.

First, write an empty Monster class inheriting from Creature, and then add an enum inside the Monster class named Type that contains enumerators for the 3 monsters that we'll have in this game: DRAGON, ORC, and SLIME (you'll also want a MAX_TYPES enumerator, as that will come in handy in a bit).

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3d) Each Monster type will have a different name, symbol, starting health, gold, and damage. Here is a table of stats for each monster Type:

Type Name Symbol Health Damage Gold
DRAGON dragon D 20 4 100
ORC orc o 4 2 25
SLIME slime s 1 1 10

Next step is to write a Monster constructor, so we can create monsters. The Monster constructor should take a Type enum as a parameter, and then create a Monster with the appropriate stats for that kind of monster.

There are a number of different ways to implement this (some better, some worse). However in this case, because all of our monster attributes are predefined (not random), we'll use a lookup table. A lookup table is an array that holds all of the predefined attributes. We can use the lookup table to look up the attributes for a given monster as needed.

So how do we implement this lookup table? It's not hard. We just need two things. First, we need an array that contains an element for each monster Type. Each array element will contain a struct that contains all of the predefined attribute values for that Type of Monster.

Step 1: Create a struct type inside Monster named MonsterData. This struct should have a member for each attribute (name, symbol, health, damage, and gold).
Step 2: Declare an array of that struct as a static member of the class named monsterData (define this like a normal array member, and then add the word static before it).
Step 3: Add the following code outside of the class. This is the definition for our lookup table:

Now we can index this array to lookup any values we need! For example, to get a Dragon's gold, we can access monsterData[DRAGON].gold.

Use this lookup table to implement your constructor:

The following program should compile:

and print:

A orc (o) was created.

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3e) Finally, add a static function to Monster named getRandomMonster(). This function should pick a random number between 0 and MAX_TYPES-1 and return a monster (by value) with that Type (you'll need to static_cast the int to a Type to pass it to the Monster constructor).

You can use the following code to pick a random number:

The following main function should run:

The results of this program should be randomized.

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3f) We're finally set to write our game logic!

Here are the rules for the game:

  • The player encounters one randomly generated monster at a time.
  • For each monster, the player has two choices: (R)un or (F)ight.
  • If the player decides to Run, they have a 50% chance of escaping.
  • If the player escapes, they move to the next encounter will no ill effects.
  • If the player does not escape, the monster gets a free attack, and the player chooses their next action.
  • If the player chooses to fight, the player attacks first. The monster's health is reduced by the player's damage.
  • If the monster dies, the player levels up, increasing their level and damage by 1.
  • If the monster does not die, the monster attacks the player back. The player's health is reduced by the player's damage.
  • The game ends when the player has died (loss) or reached level 20 (win)
  • If the player dies, the game should tell the player what level they were and how much gold they had.
  • If the player wins, the game should tell the player they won, and how much gold they had

Here's a sample game session:

Enter your name: Alex
Welcome, Alex
You have encountered a slime (s).
(R)un or (F)ight: f
You hit the slime for 1 damage.
You killed the slime.
You are now level 2.
You found 5 gold.
You have encountered a dragon (D).
(R)un or (F)ight: r
You failed to flee.
The dragon hit you for 4 damage.
(R)un or (F)ight: r
You successfully fled.
You have encountered a orc (o).
(R)un or (F)ight: f
You hit the orc for 2 damage.
The orc hit you for 2 damage.
(R)un or (F)ight: f
You hit the orc for 2 damage.
The orc hit you for 2 damage.
(R)un or (F)ight: f
You hit the orc for 2 damage.
You are now level 3.
You found 25 gold.
You have encountered a dragon (D).
(R)un or (F)ight: r
You failed to flee.
The dragon hit you for 4 damage.
You died at level 3 and with 30 gold.
Too bad you can't take it with you!

Hint: Create 4 functions:

  1. The main() function should handle game setup (creating the Player) and the main game loop.
  2. fightMonster() handles the fight between the Player and a single Monster, including asking the player what they want to do, handling the run or fight cases.
  3. attackMonster() handles the player attacking the monster, including leveling up.
  4. attackPlayer() handles the monster attacking the player.

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12.1 -- Pointers and references to the base class of derived objects
11.7 -- Multiple inheritance

9 comments to 11.x — Chapter 11 comprehensive quiz

  • Lyle

    1a solution  - last line should be
    The destructor is run before main() completes.

  • Marshall H Crenshaw

    returns an anonymous Monster instantiated in the return statement.

    seems to copy this Monster object to m.
    I just don’t see how this copy can be made with the struct and enum in the class (unless this is allowed by a shallow copy?)

    I tried to just pass a reference to the random monster created but can’t figure out how to do that.
    Would it be better to make a random monster and pass a reference back, or can’t that be done?

    • Alex

      Yes, it’s just making a shallow copy, which is fine because Monsters don’t have any pointers or dynamic memory allocations to screw up a shallow copy. The compiler will probably elide this shallow copy.

      You don’t want Monster::getRandomMonster() to pass a reference back because then you’ll be referencing a local variable that is going out of scope.

  • Nathan

    In part 3e, the main method contains the following line of code:

    while getRandomMonster is defined as

    The compiler issued me an error here because you are trying to assign a nonconst reference to an anonymous variable which will be destroyed. It worked when I changed it to a regular variable.

    • Alex

      Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.

      • Chen

        Hi Alex,

        Please correct me if I’m wrong.

        The ‘return’ statement invokes the default copy constructor, thus the getRandomMonster() returns an l-value.

        My compiler doesn’t complain about your initial code.

        btw, thanks for designing such a great quiz!

        • Chen

          Sorry, my bad. Seems like it’s a bug of MS VC++ compiler.

          Surprisingly the code below compiles with no problem with VS2015 (which won’t compile using CodeBlocks):

          • Alex

            I don’t know if I’d call it a “bug” of Visual Studio, but it’s certainly one area where Visual Studio is permissive in letting you do something that’s not officially part of the C++ spec.

            You should only be able to assign the result of getRandomMonster() to a normal variable or a const reference (not a non-const reference).

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