The Lion's Den

I write stuff sometimes

The Weekly Roar: Back to the grind

School has picked up again, and learning CS has never been more fun!

Over the past week I’ve modded Smash 4, worked on Reflex Arena, and have done a lot of schoolwork. I’ve still been training for club track and we’re currently preparing for nationals.

This track season is going to be really interesting for both high school and college, since there are so many elite sprinters across the nation.

Anyways, this week is pretty short since I have a lot of work to be doing. Peace out.

The Weekly Roar: Website fixes and Reflex Arena Pre-Alpha!

Yeah, I know I’ve been gone, but I have many good excuses:

  1. My blog has been acting up recently so posting has been hard
  2. I’ve been busy with school
  3. I was sick for 3 weeks

I’m finally releasing the pre (x10) alpha Reflex Arena executable, which you can find here:

Reflex Arena by trio_

A top down competitive arena shooter. As the name implies the mechanics heavily revolve around the players’ reflexes. Available for Windows

There are a few huge networking bugs right now, but I’m planning on working on that as soon as I have more time to.

In the meantime, enjoy the buggy, artless, barebones of the game!

The Weekly Roar: Competitive Programming is Awesome

Learning new stuff can be frustrating sometimes, especially if you don’t immediately understand the material. I’m currently taking a class called Competitive Programming, which holds weekly “contests” (that acts as homework) and we learn how to write fast, efficient code. There are around 4-5 questions per week per contest, and the questions are interesting and really make you think.

For example, last week’s contest included a question about balancing brackets. Here’s the solution I came up with:

static String isBalanced(String s) {
    Stack<Character> stack = new Stack<>();
    for (int i = 0; i < s.length(); i++) {
        char c = s.charAt(i);
        if (c == '{' || c == '[' || c == '(') {
        else if (c == '}') {
            if (!stack.empty() && stack.peek() == '{') {
            else {
                return "NO";
        else if (c == ']') {
            if (!stack.empty() && stack.peek() == '[') {
            else {
                return "NO";
        else if (c == ')') {
            if (!stack.empty() && stack.peek() == '(') {
            else {
                return "NO";
    if (stack.empty()) {
        return "YES";
    else {
        return "NO";

I could definitely improve this method, and that’s the best part: you’re constantly learning from the code you write. You can see different ways to solve a problem after you’ve solved it once. That’s what’s really cool about the competitive programming class.

The Weekly Roar: New Year and Updates!

We’re twelve days into the new 2018 year, and I haven’t posted content since October 2017. Yikes! I’ve been busy, of course, with finishing my first semester of college and starting my second. Indoor track season has started and practices are as unforgiving as ever. Training with the sprinters on the running club is the most fun I’ve ever had in track and field.

Winter break this year lasted 3 weeks, which is an upgrade from the 2 weeks I had in high school. I did a little work on Reflex Arena, and I’ve started on a new athletics statistics tracking web-application! (Damn there are a lot of buzzwords in that sentence.)

I vacationed in Orlando, Florida, and I had hella fun at Universal Studios and Disney World. All the rollercoasters are fucking insane and awesome! I’m glad I skipped “It’s a Small World” at Magic Kingdom, and I hit the max score on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

I hope everyone has a happy new year and has set some good new year’s resolutions! Speaking of new year’s resolutions, a couple of updates on my projects and this blog.

This year, I’m resolving to:

  1. Update this blog weekly (as long as I have time, even if it’s a short-ass update)
  2. Have a demo of Reflex-Arena working
  3. Deploy the athletics stats-tracking web-app [Very WIP Name]

That’s it for this week’s update. Keep an eye out for next week’s update and any future updates on Reflex Arena and other projects!

Reflex Arena | Dev Update 1

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  • Basic networking
  • Gameplay
  • Basic menu
  • Player movement
  • Competitive mechanics

Reflex Arena is my top down competitive arena project. It’s supposed to be fast-paced and all reaction-based. There are three different types of games: 1v1, 3v3, and 5v5. Each game lasts for a best-of-7 and every projectile/attack is a one-hit-kill. Each round lasts until one team has no player left.

I’m currently working on finishing up the menu (main menu & in-game), and transitioning the network model from the cloud (using Photon Unity Networking) to dedicated servers. Still some latency issues but prediction-based networking smooths out a lot of the lag issues so I’ll fine-tune it in the future.

I’ll add some bullet-hell-esque patterns for abilities and I’ll probably incorporate some kind of user-leveling system to gain different abilities.

I also have to learn modeling so that’ll be fun.

Some screenshots:

The Weekly Roar: Managing Multiple Projects

I’ve been working on several different personal projects lately, not to mention the class projects I have as well.

There’s Reflex Arena, and two more undisclosed (secret!) projects. I’ve been finding it hard to manage time between them, but I think I’ve come up with a system on how to delegate time for each project: work on one project until I get stuck or I get bored of it, and switch.

I’m literally basing it off of feeling and it’s been working so far, but we’ll just have to see how much actual progress I can make in a few weeks using this system.

Reflex Arena is coming along nicely, I’ve fixed up some networking issues and I’m working on a developer update which will be posted soon.

I’ll keep this post short, since I have a lot of projects to work on and a developer update to post.

The Weekly Roar: Returning Home

I went home for fall break this weekend and it was very different from what I remember. A lot has changed in the 1.5 months I’ve been gone for college. This is my first year in college and I feel like I’ve been able to adjust quickly. On campus, I’m super busy, doing some kind of activity almost everyday. When I got back home, I felt like there was nothing for me to do. At home there isn’t the same closeness/coziness that you feel on a college campus. Everything on campus is within walking distance, while I have to drive to get anywhere at home. My friends literally live in the same building as me on campus. I felt, there’s no other word to describe it, bored at home. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m so used to college life, or maybe it’s because I only had four days of break, but everything just moves so slow back home.

Anyways, I went out with friends and I went back to my high school to see some old faces. I met with some teachers, who gave me advice, who told me they missed me. I missed everyone back home, which is why I chose to come back. Everyone, my peers, my teachers, and my coaches, have all influenced me in positive ways and I’m glad to have gotten to know all of them. I’ll keep coming back home, because home may not be as “fun” or action-packed as college is, but there’s no place like home.


So The Weekly Roar is going to my weekly blog post on literally anything. I will talk about basically anything that’s on my mind when I write it. This is going to be a creative outlet for me, and it’ll (hopefully) improve my writing a bit. I will also be writing game dev pieces, although not as regularly, since they will be updates on Reflex Arena or other projects that I’m working on.

git commit -m “Initial commit lul”

This is basically gonna be the place I put all my thoughts in. So whenever I get time/feel like it I will post writings and shit.