I would like to share my feedback about CodeCombat with all of you
Learning experience is great, being able to see how your code affects the game world surely helps out those who need more visualization when they’re learning something new.
Levels are well designed, hints are actually helpful and useful (as they should be!). In my opinion someone who never had anything to do with coding surely will be able to learn a lot, if they’re patient and ready to experience something quite different from usual topics, classes.
Community is really helpful and the no-code policy seems to be working most of the time, enhancing user experience even further.
Levels and campaigns are gradually increasing in difficulty, teaching new concepts and more advanced programming topics on the way.
New players are able to skip the ‘tutorial’ campaign and jump straight into 2nd campaign level – forest. While this feature is great people who know how to code a bit will probably find forest campaign slighty too easy, so it might be a bit hard for them to stick around, as there’s no way to advance further with a skip. As far as the learning experience go – I think CodeCombat is amazing experience.
Paid content review:
More missions, more things to learn and most importantly (in my opinion) – “hunters” and “mages”!
Those classes are a blast to play and truly fun from coding perspective, as you have much more options than with a “warrior” class. You’ll be able to create really fun and interesting code for spells, so that your mage knows how to use his spells efficiently.
I think they’re quite well balanced as well, they don’t really stand out in terms of power and all levels in the game can be completed with warrior without a hassle. They provide more coding options than a raw power, which in my opinion is great.
You also get to keep all of your unlocked missions as well as heroes even if you don’t subscribe anymore – which is fantastic!
The not so good:
The only complains I have about gamification is gear progression and the ability to outright out-gear some levels in the game.
What do I mean? Some levels with appropriate items can be solved as easily as writing endless loop in which player finds nearest enemy and attacks it.
I think gear progression (armor, helmet, shield) is not really well designed for younger audience – as they usually want to spend their gems to upgrade their items regularly. This is, most of the time – waste of gems and not the best decision, as said pieces of gear won’t really be used ever again as soon as there’s one with better stats available.
The same concept applies to weapons most of the time – but there’s more variety and next tiers are not strictly better in all situations, so this time it’s slightly better.
There’s one level in the game which stands out in difficulty and in my opinion, is a huge difficulty spike for most people. I think it won’t be huge difference in upcoming weeks/months if there’ll be few more levels which will prepare better players for such an obstacle.
Ideas regarding complains and how those could be addressed:
- Armor/helmet/shield could perhaps use tiers instead of being all separate items – this would allow to upgrade them regularly, giving feeling of progression as well as not waste any gems on previously bought weaker parts. For example: if there’re 10 armors which are progressively better it could be turned into 10 tiers, each tier representing one of the 10 armors. I think this would solve the biggest issue (in my opinion) for younger audience. (You would need to upgrade your armor on tier-by-tier basis, but the overall gem cost would be slighty higher than the final armor available, for example)
- Regarding huge difficulty spike in one place – I think some levels which emphasize splitting your code into phases would help people a lot, it would surely help to divide a problem/mission into smaller pieces, which can be solved independently of one other.
PS: Sorry for my english and chaos… I’m not really a good writer