CU students create virtual chess

Checkmate: Senior Computer Science major Clinton Jones works on the coding for an online chess game. Jones worked alongside fellow senior Computer Science major Michael Turner in the fall to initially create the game, and the two are now working on expansions.

Checkmate: Senior Computer Science major Clinton Jones works on the coding for an
online chess game. Jones worked alongside fellow senior Computer Science major Michael
Turner in the fall to initially create the game, and the two are now working on expansions.

Kaitlyn Stockton

Staff Writer

In the fall semester, Jones and Turner created a functioning chess game as a final project in their Network Programming course. The two Computer Science majors now have plans to expand and redesign their project to allow others to play.

Twenty-three-year-old Jones said inspiration from the project came from his younger brother. As his brother was teaching him how to play chess, Jones came up with the idea that it would be interesting to code such a game.

“I learned the basic rules of chess with my brother,” Jones said. “He gave me the idea to try to turn it all into code.”

Jones said the purpose of the project was to create a program that allowed a client and a server to communicate.

“The idea was to have at least one client communicating to a server over a TCP connection. Computers have instructions on how to send information back and forth. This is called a TCP,” Jones said. “The goal of the project was to have one computer send information to another.”

Twenty-six-year-old Turner said he was thrilled to see such a positive response for their group’s finished product. Although there were certain aspects of the game that he wished he could have changed, Turner said he was pleased with his classmates’ reactions.

“The project was received very well. The students thought it was pretty awesome,” Turner said. “I felt like we should have added more stuff to it, but all in all, I was pretty impressed with the finished project.”

As a result of their success, Turner said the duo is ready to expand their earlier work.

“We have a future man-date set up,” Turner said. “We plan on expanding it and allowing multiple users to play at the same time. Right now, only one player can access a server and one client. We would like to make a central point where everyone can connect.”

Likewise, Jones said he is ready to revisit his early days of coding. After his hobby became his team’s major project, Jones said he had less time to focus on minor details.

“I want to go back and look at how I designed it the first time and improve on it,” he said. “It started out as a hobby that I was working on, and then it became this project. I did not have as much time to go back and make it work as well as it should have.”

Turner said one of his main focuses is exploring the options of porting the game to different devices. He believes this shift would allow greater availability for audiences.

“We are looking at porting the game to androids and considering other cell phones,” Turner said. “This would allow everyone to play. If we can make it to this point, I am sure it will be on Google’s play store. This way, anyone can get the game for free.”

The group received an A for their project, and Turner said he sees the game as a benefit to the Computing and Technology Department. He sees the program as a possible tool to recruit future students.

“Dr. Zhao has asked us for a hard and soft copy of our project to use as an example for his future classes,” Turner said. “This project is something that I can see the department using for future events that involve recruiting new students to the Computer Science major.”

Jones said he hopes their creation will help inspire others to join his field and promote his department as well.

“We want to show that this is the type of stuff the Computer Science students are working on,” Jones said.

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