PhD Candidate
Rhetorics, Communication,
and Information Design

Clemson University

Chateau Gaillard

Chateau Gaillard was a BASIC program that I copied out of the late Tim Hartnell's book Creating Adventure Games on Your Computer, and accounts for my first experience with computer programming in the late 1980s. I came back to this in 2013 partially out of nostalgia, but more importantly because I had learned of Hartnell's death and wanted to do something to memorialize his contribution to the learning of programming procedures to countless children and teenagers. Without Hartnell's clear instruction, and his focus on making the topic entertaining, I don't think I would have learned how to code in general, and perhaps would not have even had the pre-requisite knowledge to understand something as simple as HTML.

This is a fairly faithful reproduction of the game with a few "multiplayer" additions like a chat system, high scores, and so on. It was translated from the original basic into a conglomerate of PHP, HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. If I were to do it all over again—and maybe I will!—I would focus a bit more on prettying it up, and making the interface a tad more friendly. The opening screen, as well, is a bit jumbled on some modern browsers and operating systems; if you cannot discern what it is supposed to be, it is a castle made from ASCII characters.

I really cannot overemphasize the profound effect this book had on my childhood. Please do give the game a visit by clicking the image below.