Science, Maths & Technology

# OU on the BBC: The Code - Froghopper hints and tips

Updated Tuesday 5th July 2011

Improve your chances with the Froghopper game with these brilliant tips from our academics. Also check out our free learning units which will help with your understanding of shapes.

The Froghopper game

Froghopper top ten tips:

1. While you hold the mouse button down, as the lily shape grows, move the cursor away from the centre of the lily so that the lily is less sensitive to rotations. You can rotate more precisely when the cursor is far from the centre of the lily.
2. Sometimes it is better not to grow a lily to its maximum size, because it will block other lilies.
3. Never cover only a fraction of a white circle with a lily – you won’t be able to cover it completely using other lilies.
4. Decide on the angle you want your final lily shape to be before you start growing the shape. Otherwise in wildly rotating at the last second, you may hit an obstacle.
5. If your strategy fails then you can click ‘retry level’ in the bottom left hand corner immediately, without having to watch Fermat the Frog being eaten again.
6. You may wish to remember the location of a particularly well placed lily when reattempting a level. One way to do this is to stick a piece of blu-tack on the screen at the centre of the well placed lily.
7. The fewer sides a lily shape has, the harder it is to handle. This is because, for shapes with fewer sides, there is more variation in the distance from the centre of the shape to points on the boundary of the shape.
8. Triangular lilies are the most difficult shapes to handle. The vertices of a triangle stick out, so it is likely that your shape will stop growing once a vertex hits an obstacle. Plan in advance where you expect your vertices to end up.
9. Circular lilies are the simplest lilies to handle, and rotating them has no effect. The radius of the largest possible circular lily centred at any point is equal to the smallest distance to an obstacle.
10. As a last resort, press the ‘print screen’ button of your keyboard, and copy an image of your screen into a paint program such as Gimp, Inkscape, or Photoshop. You can then experiment placing shapes over the top of the image without the time pressure of Froghopper.

Now play the game!

By by PearlsofJannah via Flickr under Creative Commons licence under Creative-Commons license Example of activity using shapes

### Try a free Open University course taster

The Froghopper game is all about shapes. With this free geometry unit, you can enhance your understanding of angles, shapes, symmetry, area and volume to give you a headstart with this game.

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.