On December 25th 2011 indie developer, and self proclaimed hacker mentor, Alex Peake launched the Code Hero Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $100,000 to create a game that would teach people how to code. After a 60 day campaign that featured a sketchy update schedule Alex was able to collect over $170,000, making Code Hero the most funded video game on Kickstarter up to that time.
Earlier this year we covered the sad tale of what happened to Code Hero after it was funded, with Amanda French stating in part:
The last update on Kickstarter was April 3, 2014 from the above-mentioned project coordinator, who stated that she was leaving the project and all updates from then on would be up to Alex Peake. As if it isn’t heart-sinking enough that the project coordinator couldn’t even stick around a full year, Code Hero’s updates section goes dead, and stays that way.
Nothing has changed with the Code Hero Kickstarter since then unfortunately, but there have been a couple bits of interesting news that are worth noting, especially if you were unfortunate enough to back the project.
First up is an email that I received a while back:
Sent via our Contact Us page, the email purports to be from Code Hero developer Alex Peake. Since our contact form lets you type in any address you like I can’t verify that it’s from the real Alex Peake, but at least the firstname.lastname@example.org email address checks out. I responded to the email and asked about the possibility of a Kickstarter update, but have yet to hear back.
So what’s that Sudo Room link all about? It contains meeting notes from an Oakland California based hacker space called Sudo Room. The notes are a bit confusing to read since they’re meant for record keeping rather than entertainment, but they do indicate that one of the attendees is someone named Alex Peake. During the meeting ‘Alex’ brings up a number of causes he’s interested in, describes himself as being a fan of “unity as an operating system,” and even brings up Code Hero; with the notes stating in part:
“Teaches classes about games, code hero, quit job to create game, ran out of money A game can only teach so much, cutting edge will always be human teaching,”
Does Alex telling folks at a hacker space that he ran out of money signal the end of Code Hero? While it doesn’t look good for anyone looking for a refund, another bit of news could be a silver lining in this whole disaster. Although there isn’t much to learn about Alex and Code Hero from subsequent Sudo Room meetings outside of him being officially accepted as a member, there have been some updates to the Code Hero website now that it’s back up.
You’ll notice the date on the most recent update is the same as the one we referenced in our Code Hero MIA article from earlier this year, but the content is new. What gives? For some reason Alex recently started posted updates to the Code Hero site using the same old post date, which makes it challenging to see when things are posted. Unfortunately, while the Code Hero website has been seeing regular updates over the past month (I think, the date stamps are what they are) the Kickstarter campaign continues to be ignored by Alex, even though his account shows that he’s been logging in.
Where does this leave Code Hero and the $170,954 donated by backers? Alex appears to have lost some faith in the project (“a game can only teach so much…”) but continues working on it. Unfortunately, the fact that the Kickstarter money seems to be gone and that Alex continues to ignore backers only serves to undercut any excitement over the games continued development.
Something tells me that the drama with Code Hero is far from over.