The Revenge of Arius
I managed to launch the game 6 years later on a different platform.

Here’s a quick timeline of how I came up with The Revenge of Arius:

  1. Over Winter Break of 2013-2014, I spent a bit of time playing tower defense games.
  2. During the spring semester, I took Intro to Programming and Analytical Chemistry. A lot of my time in Analytical was spent doodling tower defense game ideas in my notebook.
  3. By the time I graduated, I had a game in my head, the knowledge of for loops, and a decently free summer before grad school.
  4. I lived at home for a few weeks and worked on this game from 9 AM to 9 PM.

Given that this was my first project, there’s significantly more wrong with the game and the code than right with it. But here are a few things that stand out now as being kind of impressive:

  • I did all the art myself. I’m a terrible artist, but this game board looks pretty sweet.
  • I had no idea how networking worked, but the game was turn-based, so I came up with a scheme wherein I:
    • serialize the entire game state to a string,
    • email the string to a throwaway gmail account (ignore the password),
    • check for unread emails once every few seconds when it isn’t your turn,
    • and download the email and rebuild the updated game state from the string.
  • I threw away my first implementation which was entirely procedural and taught myself classes. The class for squares on the board is pretty solid.
  • There are even early signs of thinking about software engineering and maintainability. Look at this “why”-focused comment!
  • I made a full tutorial with both audio and visuals.

There are plenty of low points and doozies, too: