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Code Hero: a game that teaches you how to make games! Your Code Ray shoots Javascript in Unity 3D. Hack the planet: Become a code hero!
Created by

Alex Peake

7,459 backers pledged $170,954 to help bring this project to life.

Code Hero April Update: Goodbyes and Codebase Soapbox

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From the project coordinator: 

GOODBYES

Hi everyone, I'm sad to tell you that I'm leaving the project, so this will be the last update from me. I hope that I was able to provide at least a little more communication during this time, though I know a lot of questions weren't answered. I'm glad to have gotten to know some of you and I'm sorry I wasn't able to provide more of those answers. Further updates will be up to Alex to arrange. On to the update I had prepared:

CODE

Developing games for multiple OS's is a challenge under the best of circumstances and for quite a while the only computers available to develop on were Macs. That meant that a lot of functionality couldn't be tested on Windows and a lot of functionality didn't work as intended on the Windows version of the game. Now a Windows system is available to develop on, some of those disparities are being worked on.

The first priorities were the code editor hot key and the dialogue display, both key to a smoother and more accessible gaming experience.

Up till now the tilde key, used to access the code editor quickly, couldn't do its job. Now, though it needs more work, the code editor can be called up using that hot key in the Windows OS version of Code Hero. The hot key was implemented differently in several places and has been unified to work more consistently.

The dialogue text displayed along with the voiced instructions was skipping numerous lines on Windows, due to certain characters being illegal in Windows file names. With the updated file naming conventions, all the voice audio should work equally well on both platforms.

Another key area that needs to be worked on is the code itself. A big part of working with a team is building the code in such a way that other people can more easily understand and work with existing code. Inevitably in the first rush of developing a product or a feature, a lot is written - the basic skeleton, working theories, experiments, new methodology. At that time it's not productive to stop and organize everything you do. There's some structure of course, but the methodology to be used is still in flux and the underlying cohesive thrust is only in its infancy.

Once things start to settle into a pattern the excess code can be cleaned up and organized into a more readable order/structure/organization. Unfortunately, there often isn't time to do so, which can work for a while, but when teams change members, the code base becomes less maintainable and adding new features without breaking old things can become an issue. It becomes impossible to track down bugs, to fix old features, implement new ones, or to simply move forward with the project.

In between working on new code and fixing bugs, one of the things we've started working on is that process. One way to improve the situation is documenting the code - doing such things as writing comments, sometimes with special Doxygen XML-like formats, that clarify what the intention of different pieces of code are, thus the call for those interested working on code documentation. The largest script in Code Hero is NGUIMaster. It is the current focus and we're glad to say that our first foray into cleaning up its regions and documenting it is going well. It's tedious work, but hopefully it will let the team work more cohesively and more efficiently, as well as easing the entry of those who join us in the future.

Thank you everyone and, again, I’m glad to have gotten to know you.

Brian Perry, iMammal, and 5 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Keith Thomson on March 19

      They should put a clause in these things about releasing the source code a certain amount of time after the release date if they don't release it so someone else can dabble with it.

    2. Creator KingDavid73 on December 16

      sigh. This was the first kickstarter project I ever backed, too. Every time I check my list of projects to check off the ones I've received, there's always this one down at the bottom just sitting there...

    3. Creator Greg on October 9, 2014

      Website's down.

      Yeah... this is dead.

    4. Creator njt on October 2, 2014

      October now :D

    5. Creator Matt Depew on September 9, 2014

      So uh.............. about those updates....

    6. Creator Michael J on August 19, 2014

      This was the first project I ever kickstarted. I was very excited for it and thought it had tremendous potential. It seems at this stage, that it has failed. I have since backed hundreds of projects and have never had this type of mismanagement and poor communications. It has been over 2 years since the estimated delivery date for this project and it is time for Alex to take responsibility for his failure to deliver or provide a much more transparent plan for how he expects to succeed.

      Kickstarter's terms make it clear that project creators must "refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill." At this stage I believe it is more than appropriate for Alex to offer refunds to those parties interested in pulling out their investment. If he still wishes to pursue CodeHero he can start another kickstarter at that point, with a revised plan to successfully deliver on his claims.

      The alternative to Alex willingly offering refunds for backers to claim at their own discretion will be filing a class action lawsuit against Alex and PrimerLabs to recoup the lost funds.

    7. Creator ShinjiTakeyama on August 12, 2014

      I'm just surprised this "update" got likes lol

    8. Creator njt on August 5, 2014

      August now :D

    9. Creator PegasusOrgans-Graywalkers VIP on June 28, 2014

      @Alex Peake Where is the update "later this month"? It's july!!!

    10. Creator Anatoly on May 22, 2014

      um... i don't know if you guys know this, but Macs ARE PC's. ever heard of Boot camp?

    11. Creator Sean on April 23, 2014

      @JediaKyrol sorry it was a typo I meant uncommented. Yes I understand commenting individual portions of code out due to temporary issues, however descriptive comments were what I was referring to.

    12. Creator Jeremie Lariviere on April 14, 2014

      Thanks for the update; I've enjoyed using the beta, and look forward to future development & updates!

    13. Creator Scott Mahan on April 5, 2014

      HAHAHAHAHA. What a complete joke this has become. NO PC??? WHAT?? You bought ALL MACS with the Kickstarter Money for your supposed team??? I think you bought other things that made you hallucinate the entire team. And of course Alex chimes in and by now my brain just substitutes 'bullsh^&, bullsh^&, bullsh^&' for every word that appears.

    14. Creator Mitchell on April 4, 2014

      Oh I understand now. This was a kickstarter to teach the developers of code hero how to code, not for the people playing to learn. We spent 170k$ for Alex to spend 2 years learning how to learn how to comment code, learn coding standards, and write unit tests.

    15. Creator Margo Jakobi on April 4, 2014

      Hmmm, if the code could be easily envisioned as the coridors of the game. Then we could edit the code with the code.

    16. Creator Kamal S. Prasad on April 4, 2014

      "the only computers available to develop on were Macs." Seriously? PCs are a fraction of what macs cost and owned by a way larger margin than macs. You did not think to get ONE PC to make sure to be able to reach the largest share of computer users?

    17. Creator Tomimt on April 4, 2014

      I almost fell on the floor laughing when I read this update.

    18. Creator Brad Celski on April 4, 2014

      I mean, I'm only out $13, but I still have hope that this game will come out eventually. It sounds like a really cool concept that I hope is fully realized one day. I am starting to think that Open Source would be the way to go though.

    19. Creator JediaKyrol on April 4, 2014

      @mrmonkeypbbt That's exactly what one member of Palladium Books did years ago...was not funny...

      @Sean A lot of times during development old commented-out code strings are things that could be reimplemented or are something that was absolutely vital at one point, and you are not sure if/when removing it will break something down the line. The project isn't finished, so it isn't an "oversight"...it's just development. The leaving out of documentation comments from the start however was indeed bad practice...

      @Michelle Sad to see you go, wish you luck.

    20. Creator halsted larsson on April 4, 2014

      I'm sorry to hear that the project has been such an uphill battle. Kickstarting is a risk from both a supporter and supported perspective and the truth is that interactive software development is NEVER an exact science. No project is the same as past experience. New things must be learned every time which means new mistakes must be made.

      However, the documentation and cleanup step being proposed here is not going to be the silver bullet. The best documentation is legible code, and it's vital for the development team to talk about their features and even show their code to other members on a regular basis. When this doesn't happen, features get written in the dark, and in the dark people don't optimize for legibility. Instead, people become leery of other people judging their work and their code, which I can only imagine is an incredibly scary feeling on this project especially, and become even more likely to keep their work private.

      I respect you guys for doing this and for sticking with it this long. I'm fine with this being a failed experiment. At the same time, though, I would be extremely sad if I never got to see a postmortem on this project whether or not it ships.

    21. Creator mrmonkeypbbt on April 4, 2014

      The only thing that would make this more humorous would be if she emptied Alex's bank account and ran away cackling, but then again, I'm a fan of irony.

    22. Creator Sean on April 3, 2014

      wait are you saying that you people who purport to want to teach people how to code did not at very least adhere to one of the most basic and essential practices in programming while making this. it is a massive oversight to leave any code in any system, much more a highly complex one, commented.

    23. Creator Liz Henry on April 3, 2014

      Is Primer Labs actually incorporated, registered as a business, as an employer, etc?

    24. Creator Robin on April 3, 2014

      Hey I'm a backer and only recently found out that this project has been majorly botched - could I please have a refund? Thanks

    25. Creator ahhraptor on April 3, 2014

      R.I.P.
      my money
      2012-2014
      we hardly knew ye

    26. Creator Sam Thompson on April 3, 2014

      "when teams change members, the code base becomes less maintainable and adding new features without breaking old things can become an issue"

      Hopefully Code Hero will teach players how to write unit tests and documentation, and conform to style guides.

    27. Creator howard kuo on April 3, 2014

      I agree with the people who say to open source this game. it has so much potential. seriously, if this game doesn't come out soon i'm going to be too damn old to learn how to code, or it'll just become cheaper to hire someone from india.

    28. Creator Greg on April 3, 2014

      @Chad and @Alex.

      Look at the bright side. If the code base is as bad as it sounds, you didn't actually want the mentorship session in the first place.

      At least I think that's a bright side?

    29. Creator Stephen Staver on April 3, 2014

      Try not to let the hate get you down. It's been a bumpy journey, but I look forward to buying a full copy of the game when released.

    30. Creator Alex Peake on April 3, 2014

      Alex here: We will continue to make regular updates. Our project coordinator established a much more regular update schedule and we'll maintain that pace of updates in the future. Your concerns are understandable and won't be fully addressed till you see our next updates with new releases and a clear roadmap. We're working on that. We have some good news to share in our next update later this month..

    31. Creator Alex M on April 3, 2014

      I want to laugh, but $133 is a really expensive joke. Obviously that is money I will never see again. So disappointed in this project.

    32. Creator Aaron Burke on April 3, 2014

      Couldn't even keep the project coordinator happy... When the one who has been trying so valiantly to keep us hopeful gives up hope, what hope does the project have left?

    33. Creator Greg on April 3, 2014

      I'd written this off as a waste a long time ago. At this point it's just entertaining to see how much of a trainwreck it's becoming.

      The project coordinator leaves after a few months, and the final post is detailing how the development environment is an absolute disaster. That would be understandable if this update came, say, late 2012 - but as-is, it's now over two years since the project was funded. Development woes should've been resolved by the end of 2012 at the *latest*. Open source the code and just be done with this disaster.

    34. Creator Chad Keck on April 3, 2014

      @Brian - Entertaining, but wish I had done $1 as well instead of $133 =\

    35. Creator Brian Kargela on April 3, 2014

      What this reads as is as follows: "This project is a hopeless pile of crap, I'm out". I have zero faith in Alex keeping us updated, as past experience has shown us. I feel like the leadership here is incompetent. Of the 4 different software projects I have supported on Kickstarter, this is the only one that leaves me in the dark. The others provide monthly updates on deliverables and timeline progression. The fact that we have never seen any sort of objective timeline makes me think that there is no concrete path to completion. Thanks for pissing away my donation. I really feel sorry for those backers who spent more than my meager $42.

    36. Creator Brian Burnley on April 3, 2014

      This has been the most entertaining dollar I've ever spent.

    37. Creator jack on April 3, 2014

      Truly a cohesive thrust.

    38. Creator Jean-Luc on April 3, 2014

      It is hilarious to learn that this project is suffering from bad coding practices. That does not bode well for a game supposed to teach how to program... lol

    39. Creator Chad Fanguy on April 3, 2014

      I agree with many others that open sourcing would be the best decision.

    40. Creator Travis Beatty on April 3, 2014

      Open source it before you leave. That way the game might actually get worked on.

    41. Creator Anthony Gallegos on April 3, 2014

      At this point I've pretty much given up hope on ever seeing a finished product.

    42. Creator jack on April 3, 2014

      I will miss your vague updates that give no indication of the current status of the project or when it will be completed but at least I have Alex's biannual assurances that the project is not dead to look forward to. I can't wait to see what kind of site the Code Hero domains point to the next time they go down and come back up.