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CodeCombat Needs Your Help

It’s hard to describe how much fun building CodeCombat has been for us. We’ve been working on this since February, and seeing it come together and showing it to others and receiving all this encouragement in the past week has boosted our happiness and energy sky-high. I personally can barely sleep at this point; I have to run around Berkeley just to temper the giddiness.

There are many people and organizations to thank, but one group in particular we have to thank is the open source community. The resources available for us to build upon are truly awesome. It’s a genie with infinite wishes; if we want a library or piece of software for one purpose or another, most often it’s just there on GitHub. And then there’s Stack Overflow, practically an oracle with millions of answers to tricky programming problems at the ready. Would that all the pieces and knowledge required for any labor of love be so accessible.

We want CodeCombat to be a part of that.

With any luck, this site will become much more than just a game for people to play. We want people involved and owning it at every level, from building campaigns to personally helping teach each other concepts to playing with and against one another to building the site itself. That’s a big challenge, and we can’t and don’t want to do it alone. CodeCombat should be about the programming community itself and how much fun it is to be part of it.

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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