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C of I students develop Android game app

Just about everyone has wanted to be the boss at some point in their lives. Now, thanks to an application created by three College of Idaho students, Android users will have a chance to make that wish a virtual reality through the game Dunegeon Raid.

The card-based game, brought to life by C of I seniors Greg Johnson, Dharmjeet Rattan and Kushil Samarasekera, puts the user in the shoes of a disgruntled employee. By building the right deck of cards, users can fight their way to the top of the corporate ladder by systematically outsmarting the bosses. 

“Most people can relate with wanting to improve their career situation,” said Rattan, a senior computer science major from Sacramento, Calif. “The game is geared toward people probably college-aged and younger, but I think just about everyone can appreciate the humor.”

The app began in January as a project for the C of I winter term course “Special Programming Languages,” taught by Professor Frank Jones. The students kept the project going through the spring, presenting their findings on Android application development during the C of I Student Research Conference in April. The game currently is in beta phase, with the group working to iron out the bugs and improve the graphics before finalizing the app. Once finished, it will be available for free download.

“We’re not looking to sell it, we are more interested in looking into what it’s like to develop an app,” said Samarasekera, a senior math-physics major from Sri Lanka. “People might think it’s too difficult, but it’s a very doable thing. All the tools are available, they are free, and it’s not hard to learn.”

The students’ success in developing Dunegeon Raid has them thinking about creating more applications, including programs for iPhone and the new Windows Phone. Rattan said the group would like to expand its scope beyond games to more useful applications, such as a safety beacon app for joggers.

Meanwhile, Rattan and Johnson, a senior from Caldwell, look forward to graduating next summer with The College of Idaho’s newest degree – a major in mathematics-computer science. The new program was just announced this summer, and Rattan says it will be a boon for the College and its students.

“I think it’s great,” Rattan said. “I know of several students who would love to pursue it now that it’s available, and I’m sure the same holds true for incoming students. Computer science is an important field, and having these courses available at the College is going to open up a lot of opportunities not only for majors, but also for students across math-physics and other disciplines.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.