Up for a fun challenge? Want a sweet job? If you can beat Gridmancer, our first developer challenge level, we'll help you find a programming job in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a hard level, so if you can do it, you're probably qualified for some amazing opportunities.
In Gridmancer, you write an algorithm to cover the empty floor spaces in as few rectangles as possible. This is a real problem we had to solve in CodeCombat for both our pathfinding system and for our collision handling optimization system. Our implementation does it with 33 rectangles, but it's possible to do it with fewer--many of our playtesters actually beat our implementation, and a couple found the optimal solution of 29. (We're going to steal one of their algorithms to make CodeCombat itself faster.)
This level is a test of the CodeCombat coding challenge system. If you can beat Gridmancer in 40 rectangles or less, let us know--we'll personally talk to Silicon Valley tech companies on your behalf to try to get you hired. We're already working to place several early Gridmancer players.
Why? We want to find out whether we can make money from employers by finding jobs for our players. This would let us keep the game free to play for everyone who wants to learn to code, and it would give every player an opportunity to connect with awesome programming jobs that they can prove they can handle.
Companies are eager to find new developers, because there aren't enough programmers to meet the demand. It's a great time to be writing code, especially in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. So whether you're an elite hacker or a talented beginner, give Gridmancer a shot and let us know how you do. Or if you're just playing for fun, why not click the "Multiplayer" button and play with a friend?
Future improvements to our dev challenge levels will include a timeless debugger, even harder levels, more gameplay, more co-op and head-to-head multiplayer, and much more.
Update: wow, that's a lot of new players! Hi! if you want to be able to find your code again later, go to the CodeCombat home page and sign up for a free account! Sorry, we derped out and didn't put any signup form accessible from the Gridmancer level.
Update 2: we posted solutions and closed Gridmancer as a recruiting challenge for now, but we are still doing recruiting, so if you'd like us to help you with the job search, get in touch and we'll work with you.