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I'm developing a WinForms customized version of Pac-Man for a Software Engineering project and I reached the point where I have to implement music and sound effects. I used the MVC architectural pattern, so almost every entity in the game has: a model, a view and a controller (for example, I have a MainMenuModel, a MainMenuView and a MainMenuController).

In order to play music and sounds I decided to use the System.Windows.MediaPlayer class (because the System.Media.SoundPlayer one cannot play two sounds simultaneously). More specifically, I put in every controller the related MediaPlayer objects. So, for example, in the MainMenuController I put: the MenuBackgroundMusicPlayer, the MenuItemSelectionSoundPlayer and the MenuItemOpeningSoundPlayer.

This solution works fine, but I would like to know if it is considered bad design to have multiple instances of MediaPlayer spread all over the controllers, instead of having a single static centralized MediaPlayer instance that handles everything. The problem with having a single instance is that I don't know then how to play two or more sounds simultaneously, because a single MediaPlayer object can handle a single media at a time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're set on engineering your own solution then ignore this, but if you have the liberty of using external tools, look into FMod \$\endgroup\$ – Natalo77 May 26 at 8:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, the use of external tools is prohibited. \$\endgroup\$ – LordFenerSSJ May 26 at 8:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ MVC is an uncommon pattern in game development in general. So you are already pretty far away from the usual design choices in game development. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp May 26 at 10:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think MVC is kind of overkill anyway when not working with webapplications or clients with different operation systems. Both of these features I would not combine with Forms. \$\endgroup\$ – Gener4tor May 26 at 13:10
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The design pattern of "having a single static centralized instance" is called a "Singleton". See description here

There are some classes from microsoft who are supposed to be used as a singelton for resource and caching reasons. Like HttpClient

For System.Windows.Media.MediaPlayer there seems to be no limitation of this kind. In this case I dont see any reason to use it as a singleton. For a more detailed discussion of the pros and cons of singletons look e.g. here

Its considered bad design to use a singleton without very good reason. This is because singletons are hard to unittest and limit your design possibilities in the future.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, I considered using the Singleton pattern, but a unique instance cannot handle everything as I want. Alternatively, what about gathering all the instances into a collection (array or list) of MediaPlayers, declared in a single class shared by all the controllers? Could it be a better solution? Or is it better to declare each MediaPlayer where it is effectively used? \$\endgroup\$ – LordFenerSSJ May 26 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LordFenerSSJ: Dont create stuctures for no reason. If you dont need a collection, why putting effort into building one? This just produces extra work and adds to the complexity and the possible bugs. If you need a list in the future you can still build one (but you perhaps can already access all of them via the controls) \$\endgroup\$ – Gener4tor May 26 at 12:55

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