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We've Open-Sourced Everything

CodeCombat is a programming game for learning to code; a multiplayer coding challenge arena for sharpening your skills; a Y-Combinator-funded startup; and as of this weekend, the largest open source CoffeeScript project and a fantastic way to get into open source and game development. Whether you’re a novice programmer wanting to figure out this GitHub thing or an open source guru looking for something to sink your teeth into, check out our GitHub and join over two hundred CodeCombat Archmages in building the best programming game ever.

Yes, we just open-sourced the last year of our lives–all the code, art, and music for CodeCombat–under the MIT and Creative Commons licenses.

“Wait. You’re a for-profit startup, but you’re giving away all of your code? Are you crazy?”

Nope! Closed source may be the choice made by virtually every startup and every game studio, but we believe this is a convention that needs rethinking. CodeCombat is already a community project, with hundreds of players volunteering to create levels, write documentation, help beginners, playtest, and even translate the game into seventeen languages so far. Now the programmers can join the party, too.

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”.

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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