Alex Peake leads Primer Labs, an indie game development company that has been working on Code Hero, an innovative game that’s meant to teach students how to code software. The game was said to be in development for Mac and Windows, with an iOS version also in the works.
Code Hero was a huge success on Kickstarter earlier this year, as Peake raised $170,000 in just a couple days. The funding was supposedly going directly towards the development of Code Hero, and backers were promised physical copies of the game.
Since early in the year, Peake and Primer Labs haven’t been responding to backers, and now it’s been revealed that the educational tool will probably never see the light of day.
One of the game’s many concerned backers, Dustin Deckard, recently posted the following on Kickstarter:
You should know, right off the bat, that based on what we’ve found (and been told) – Alex Peake seems to have run out of money after spending it recklessly, and doesn’t plan on continuing with this project. There are well over 1000 backers out there who pledged for physical rewards. And, tragically, 6 backers who pledged at the $1k level who thought their money would be well spent on an educational tool for schools.
As I’ve said before – I’m sort of desperate to be proven wrong about all of this. An update on the status and future of Code Hero would be more than welcome.
An interview with Peake from November reveals the innovation and ambitious goals behind Code Hero, a game meant for schools to teach coding for just about any platform. Peake explained how Primer would make Code Hero when the Kickstarter campaign launched initially:
Most games cost millions of dollars to make. Code Hero is more ambitious than most games. Code Hero is carefully designed to be achievable for much less money by having 4 programmers and 2 artists work for six months to predict a carefully planned new kind of game that is made possible by the quality of these people, the brilliance of the Unity game engine and the release of each version so you can help us improve it continuously.
Here’s the original promo:
It’s sad to see such a promising educational tool abandoned. Since communication between Primer Labs and its 7,000+ backers has become silent, many are starting to assume the worst.
Update: Shortly after this article was published Alex Peake came out of the woodwork and put up a blog post detailing the ongoing developing of the game:
We are committed to finishing this game and although progress has slowed down and the release is taking longer than we planned, we remain dedicated to working on the project and will continue to do so because we believe in this game and we believe in making programming fun to learn.