I discovered codecombat just today (I know where was I living?) and am thinking to use it teach coding to kids.
But I have a UX question: why the game is started in every mission even before one line of code has been written?
The game starts without the user even telling it to do so.
I think the current way things are done is not the best for many reasons.
The first contact with the site is a bit puzzling: why is the whole thing starting? Is there something expected from me ? Gosh, my hero is slayed and I can’t do anything about it !
The first impression is powerlessness which is the exact opposite of what programming does which is to give you power to make machines do your bidding.
Because the default state for the puzzle area is failure, most of the time the area is dimmed making it uncomfortable to watch.
While paradoxically it will be the part of the screen that the coder will stare at most of times (especially if they are blocked).
The first reflex to have when confronted to a problem (or new game mission) is to gather intel about the environment: I want to click on the spikes to understand what they do.
Or click the ogres (hey those guys are not friendly)
And I can’t becase the puzzle area is disabled