Accountant turns spreadsheet into video game

Accountant turns spreadsheet into video game
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

March 27th 2013 at 10:06AM

Fantasy role-playing title works directly in MS Excel

A Canadian accountant has cobbled together a relatively advanced game using only spreadsheet software.

Arena.Xlsm is a turn-based fantasy game where players fight monsters and gather loot to strength their character.

It was created using macros in Microsoft Office Excel, the basic programs and shortcuts that users create to speed up use of the program.

The game was built in about four months by chartered accountant Cary Walkin during the spare time he had while studying for an MBA in Toronto.

Players encounter a series of increasingly tough enemies in an arena, mapped using just the basic characters and punctuation marks available in Excel.

The game is programmed to regenerated every time it is played to give it a variety of ways to be completed. A story is told to the player through a series of letters.

According to its creator, there are approximately 2,000 possible enemies, eight bosses encounters and many different items players can gather to boost their combat or defensive skills.

Arena.Xlsm has been designed to work with Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013. Currently, it does not work on Mac versions of the spreadsheet program.

You can find out more about Cary Walkin and his game on his personal blog.