CodeCombat Big Hit @TriV

TriV CodeCombat Warriors

codecombat warriors 2

 

Our ninjas jumped right in to the CodeCombat game at our monthly session last night on November 5th.  CodeCombat is a self-guided online game where kids (and adults) can learn to program while having fun battling ogres and other villans.  There are several languages to choose from: Javascript, Python, Clojure, IO, Coffeescript, and Lua, and the kids were free to choose or change among languages, but Javascript and Python were the languages of choice.  Some kids had played CodeCombat before and helped out other kids with no prior experience.  Kids were encouraged to add their names to our leader board at the front of the room under their selected language and list their levels which they updated throughout the session.  Some coders even progressed far enough to try their hand at getting a multi-player game started with the other kids in the session.  While the majority of attendees were boys, we did have girls as well who enjoyed the game.  We even had an all girl table!

Girls Can Be Warriors Too!

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Campaigns, Characters, and Collections

codecombat map

 

In CodeCombat, players can choose between a Dungeon or a Forest Campaign, each with levels that progress you through programming challenges and skills.  Players can choose a warrior avatar and collect items along the way such as armor, weapons, a book of magic, and other accessories that they can buy from the store once they have enough diamonds which represent experience points.  Clicking on the chest icon shows you what inventory your warrior has.  The trophy icon shows the player what achievements were earned so far.  CodeCombat will also have Hour of Code activities on their website during National Computer Science week in December, so be sure to check their website then.

Special Guest, CodeCombat CEO George Saines

george saines

 

We also had a special guest speaker, CodeCombat CEO, George Saines, who talked to our dojo about how he got his start, developing the game, and future plans including mobile access, new game features, tournament challenges, and avatars.  George also spent time observing game play during the session and speaking individually to kids about the game and their passion for coding. In appreciation for our youth mentors, he gave each of them a CodeCombat t-shirt!

Enthusiastic Participation From All

 

Kids questions

 

Kids were eager to ask George questions.  We thought the questions would never end!  George answered all questions honestly and enthusiastically, sharing with the kids the company’s plans, changes and bugs that they are working on.  He also encouraged girls not to get discouraged about programming and talked about his wife’s influence in ensuring female representation in the game.  Kids enjoyed having their feedback taken seriously and being invited to contribute as beta testers of the continuing improvements being made to the game.  Questions didn’t end with the session as many kids approached George after the session and discussion continued even into the parking lot with parents and kids.  We had incredible engagement at this session and George has offered to return to speak at our dojo again in the spring.  We’re looking forward to it!

 

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