electronic eXPlanations

electronic eXPlanations

Try electronic eXPlanations (this link will open the game in a modal)

electronic eXPlanations is a Java-applet version of the game eXPlanations. This version of the game may be played by 4 teams of players. We play it with large groups by projecting the applet on to a large wall and dividing the audience into 4 teams.

electronic eXPlanations is an extreme programming applet, created by Joshua Kerievsky and Somik Raha.

It was programmed specifically to allow us to play eXPlanations with large groups. The code is dead simple: it shuffles a deck of cards, deals cards and allows players to move cards on the board and remove cards from the board.

The game code does not include the rules of eXPlanations. Why go to the trouble of coding the rules into the game when the rules are easily implemented by the people who play the game?

Deciding not to code the rules was the simplest thing that could possibly work: it allowed us to finish coding the game quickly and in time for a presentation at a software development conference in August, 2001.

If you'd like to play electronic eXPlanations, please learn the rules prior to playing.

This version of the game assumes you have 4 teams. Team 1 is on the left side of the board, team 2 is on top, team 3 is on the right and team 4 is on the bottom.

After each team makes a play, press the Draw Card button to obtain new cards and advance to the next player. When a team has won some cards, press the Add To Winnings button to remove the cards from the table and when you are finished removing cards, press the Add To Winnings button again.

Problem cards are blue and have a P on them, Solution cards are yellow and have an S on them and Value cards are green and have a V on them. The cards are shuffled before the game board displays.

Source Code

If you're interested in how we coded and tested eXPlanations, you can download the source. You may enjoy studying how how we wrote test code to let us play and test this game without displaying the gui.


Everyone is free to play electronic eXPlanations, with the exception of those who conduct commercial XP classes. If you conduct a commercial XP class and would like permission to use the game, please ask us for permission. If we like you, we'll probably grant you permission.

Future Versions

A future version of this game will include a small button on every card that will give you access to stories about that card -- stories from real-world xp projects. So if you have stories to tell about these cards, send 'em our way.

We are constantly updating the eXtreme Programming Playing Cards deck to reflect our continuously evolving understanding of eXtreme Programmimg and how we communicate about it.

What else would you like to see us add to this game?