AdaFest is an annual weekend celebration leading up to Ada Lovelace Day in honor of first programmer Ada Lovelace. AdaFest promotes code literacy for all and is open to anyone anywhere to contribute events and be creative in finding ways to encourage coding.
AdaFest is inspired by the idea that Ada Lovelace Day is so good it deserves to be a whole festival. AdaFest 2012 is the first, and here are some of the events happening this year:
Our first post-Kickstarter Megaupdate comes with an announcement that Code Hero now has a release date: PAX Prime!
We've been very busy since Kickstarter readying Code Hero for its impending release and this is our first mega-update on what we've been up to. First of all, a huge thank you to our Kickstarter backers and supporters! You helped make our Kickstarter a success. Thank you for your patience as we develop the game to help you learn to develop yours. We will make available on our website the much-anticipated official Beta version of Code Hero, August 31st 2012.
PAX Prime 2012: Aug 31 - Sept 2
We will be showing the game at PAX Prime in Seattle August 31st – September 2nd. You will be able to find us at the Indie Mega Booth next to Alexander Bruce's Antichamber, Jonathan Blow's The Witness, Phil Fish's Fez, Strage Loop Games, and more.
We know that you have many questions. This update should answer most of them. We will give you an inside look at the new direction we are taking Code Hero in order to make it the game every soon-to-learn programmer deserves.
Finally, we want to disclose that this update is to share with you our thought process and what we aim for. Some of what you see here is subject to change as we get closer to our deadline.
What's In Store For Code Hero
Let's talk about what Code Hero is all about. Many of you have already played the first preview version we released during the Kickstarter in which you learned to shoot code to transform, find, delete and push objects around and defeat FizzBoss. This approach to learning through puzzles is being expanded to form the first piece of Code Hero. The second piece is something much more ambitious and creative. Programming isn't just a skill to test through examples and exercises like math homework.
Programming is a creative craft where you BUILD things up one line of code at a time. To build a game world is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences in all of programming, and Code Hero gives you the power to create new worlds and breathe life into them with your own code. This is a true sandbox where you not only place blocks and prefabs to build up interesting worlds quickly, you also write wholly new code and objects that do things that have never been done before. This is the power to create universes. This is programming. And this is how Code Hero STARTS.
Your initiation into Gamebridge Unityversity begins with creating and shipping your first game, because real artists ship. Code Hero isn't just a game where you learn programming through puzzles, it is a game world whose puzzles teach you how to craft your own puzzles and worlds. Most importantly, it teaches you to publish your worlds for the whole world to play so that you'll take pride and ownership over what you learn to make. You can't walk away having just "sort of" learned programming without building anything you can be proud of. You never forget your first release. You may never think your first game is ready to share with the world. Ships in harbor are safe. But that's not why ships are built. Programming is art, real artists ship, and Code Hero is a game about becoming a real artist.
Real Learning In Unity
Unlocking New Code
Hero's code ray console lets you place, move, rotate and scale objects and edit the code on them to set up a level the way you like it. In code puzzle levels, you'll only be able to edit and manipulate certain objects to master the code concepts and solve the puzzles, but in sandbox mode you'll be able to alter everything from a blank slate or build off templates. Every code puzzle level you play through will teach you more programming concepts and unlock more objects with the code you've learned. You'll get new missions and templates challenging you to place new objects and code in your own levels. And most importantly, you won't just get to share your levels with other players - you'll be able to invite them to help you!
You'll be able to share your levels with your friends and the world, and decide who can help you edit and work on your worlds as part of your team. Most importantly, you'll be be able to see each others' code and mentor one another as you explore the creativity that is real game programming. Code Hero's puzzle levels will teach you the fundamentals of programming, and you will be able to teach each other how to apply the concepts to build epic game worlds. This will be especially useful for teaching and mentoring other learners so everybody gets the mentoring they need.
Coming Soon: Alpha
The version we released before Kickstarter was a prototype compared to the full game we're building now. In the upcoming alpha of Code Hero, you'll experience some of the core gameplay:
Creating and saving games and levels of your own
Playing others' levels and unlocking their assets to use in creating your own levels
Collaborating with other coders to build and code together
The New Programming Team
We're up to 3 dedicated programmers now, with Eriks Strals, Vinnie Iannone and Aaron Davis working together as a coding machine. We're hiring more senior devs (see below) and interns will get the chance to participate in the development when Code Hero goes live.
The New Art Team & The New Ada Lovelace
Code Hero's first prototype was quite literally "programmer art", so we have a new art team to make Code Hero beautiful. We've got Gizmo from Farbrausch for art direction, David Lopez for props and environments and Nicole Greicar doing characters. Nicole has been modeling Code Hero's star mentor Ada Lovelace. Here she is in an early 3D version next to the quintessential Ada Lovelace portrait:
The New Art Director
For visuals and artistic direction, we've hired Gizmo from Farbrausch. You might remember a video of one of the Farbrausch demos we posted on one of our Kickstarter updates:
We have been developing Code Hero’s artistic direction. Gizmo has introduced a new bright matrix color palette which makes virtual reality more colorful and appealing than the dark cyber-Tron aesthetic of the prototype build.
The Gamebridge Unityversity Campus World
The central hub of Code Hero is the Gamebridge Unityversity campus. This is where you arrive and begin your studies with the grand tour that culminates in making your first game and shipping it to enter the Humantheon for your Matriculation as a code hero.
You can see how amazing IGN' is in an episode of TechCrunch Cribs and we had a blast working there. Big thanks to Drew Curby, Todd Northcutt and everyone at IGN and Gamespy for hosting us and helping Code Hero get started. We've grown fast and we're moving on to a new office space for the final phase towards release.
The Extra Creditz Education Panel at PAX East
At PAX East, Alex was invited by James Portnow of Extra Creditz to join the conversation about Educating Through Play: The Future of American Education.
In both of these videos you can see a version of the Orientation level that intends to get you familiar with how to use the Code Ray and how to copy and cast the code.
To answer some of the frequently asked questions about the Kickstarter build coming to our Support system, our team has already worked out some the major issues that you have reported, like inverted mouse, non-US keyboard layouts, and voice audio. We found a solution to incompatibilities between Mac & Windows voice audio so you can hear Ada explain things in her charming English-accented voice. We wanted to release an intermediate version with all the fixes, but with PAX coming fast we're concentrating on putting all the improvements into the full game rather than tweaking the prototype.
Speaking of operating systems, Linux support is now possible with the upcoming release of Unity 4 and we are going to develop a Linux version as soon as possible for release with or after the PAX launch.
Kickstarter backers, we have not forgotten about you. We will deliver the rewards for each individual pledge. We will be doing it one reward at a time. We will start with the $42 or more pledge level. We sent a survey to ask for your delivery information, size and color choice on the Code The Game You Wish to C T-Shirt. The same Kickstarter funds that you donated we will be spent on the T-shirt, USB, box art, and scroll with Code Hero secrets.
We sent this survey on March 15th. We have the shipping information and choices of most of you. Some have not answered the survey yet. If for some reason you do not have access to the survey anymore or you encountered an error when you tried to complete it the first time, reply to email@example.com with the following information: Name, Shipping Address, Phone Number, Gender, Size and Choice of Color.
When it comes to choice of color we decided to add a new color as you can see on the image bellow. The colors are now Black, White and Blue.
For those who already answered the survey and would like to change the color of your shirt you can do so by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write your name and new color choice on the subject of your email by July 15th 2012.
Boxes Will Come With Release
Because we have been working on the game design, mechanics and aesthetics, we decided to hold on until we finalize the concept and art to the put it on the box cover print as well as the in the game.
It would only be fair to you if we load the USB with something different and more complete than the version currently for download. Our goal is to ship everything together in one package around PAX Prime. We really appreciate your patience.
For all other rewards we will be contacting our backers individually with information to coordinate how we will deliver the rewards.
Code Hero Internships will begin when Code Hero does
We are still working out the details of our classes and internships. Everyone who got the teaching and interning rewards will get a much better experience after lthe first game release ships as Code Hero itself will be part of the teaching platform around which to teach. Interns will be contacted as quickly as we have time to incorporate new people into our team under our tight deadlines. You won't miss the opportunity to work on Code Hero, as the game will continue to develop an expand beyond PAX.
As we stated on Kickstarter, as a founding apprentice, you will learn how to create Code Hero as an intern in our development team. The curriculum for this internship will be solidified once we have finished the design document for the final game (Golden Release).This is when your work will make it into the game or anything you make will then be featured on our website. We decided that in order to devote time and full attention to you we have to do this after this upcoming Beta release.
Code Hero is Hiring Programmers
Primer Labs is hiring experienced unity programmers. Are you a wizard in Unity3D, C# and Unityscript? We are looking for the most talented and creative Unity programmers to help build Code Hero. This is a game by programmers for programmers that become programmers by playing. World editing gameplay involves some epic tech solutions that go above and beyond most entertainment products. We need game developers with Unity experience and game programming ability. We are looking for senior programmers to fill various positions to work on Code Hero and beyond.
We have promised you an exciting game and we will deliver. We were pretty quiet since Kickstarter, and the quiet ends now. We'll be posting more updates to our fans on Kickstarter, Facebook and the newsletter showing the game's evolution on the road to release, and PAX will be just the beginning as we have a big roadmap for expansions to Code Hero after launch. Once you the players can start learning and building things, there's no end to what you can create and we're extremely excited about evolving Code Hero to expand your creative powers with it.