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Nose to the Grindstone

On CodeCombat Blog

You may have noticed that we’re going through a quiet spell. No, we haven’t disappeared, we’re working a hard as ever putting together our level editor. The editor is going to allow every site user to create their own code challenges and deploy them to the community. You will be able to choose the units in your challenge, the strategy required to win, the win conditions, and the level art. Like Legos or minecraft, the rest will be up to you.

Want to teach your children some simple if/else statements? Or a struggling student about variables? Or your tutee about pathfinding algorithms? Pretty soon you’ll be able to make your own educational coding games and distribute them to the world.

In the mean time, let us know if there’s anything we can do to improve the way the game currently works. We really appreciated everyone’s feedback to the MVP and want to keep the momentum going!

CodeCombat in Y Combinator

On nickwinter.net

Originally posted on the CodeCombat blog.

What a crazy weekend! We launched our beta on Friday morning by posting to a few subreddits hoping to pick up a few more interested users who could play through our levels as we started to release new ones with the level editor we just finished. But we were not prepared for how many people would come check it out. We stayed #1 on all three subreddits for over a day, amassing 1466 points, 384 comments, and far too many players for our real-time multiplayer server to handle (forcing us to shut off the multiplayer and all server code synchronization). And that’s all before we were crushed the next day by what appeared to our beleaguered Scott as all of Brazil, or at least every Brazilian on Facebook. (Olá!)

With all the chaos trying to keep the server up and the bugs down, we slept little and prepared for the next day’s Startup School even less. We had been tapped for on-stage Y Combinator office hours with Paul Graham and Sam Altman. We watched a video of previous on-stage YC office hours and concluded that “office hours” really meant “eight minutes of two of the smartest startup guys in the world demolishing your idea in front of 1700 entrepreneurs and a live video stream”.

See the video. Fortunately for us, they liked our startup and were much nicer than we expected. In fact, as we were walking off stage thinking, “Hey, that went well—maybe we’ll get an interview!”—then Paul whispered something to Sam, who nodded, and they called us back.

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