Funded earlier this year on Kickstarter, Primer Labs received one-hundred seventy-one thousand US dollars towards their newest game: Code Hero. One thing I want to not before I even begin discussing is that the game finished being funded on February 24, 2012 while the project was supposed to deliver all rewards except for two within the very same month.
Since the end of March, Primer Labs’ Twitter account has kept quiet other than one tweet mentioning popular British YouTuber TotalBiscuit playing the game at PAX. A picture shows Alex Peake, founder of Primer Labs, sitting next to ‘the cynical Brit’ which was a week after the release date according to the seventeenth project update. Four days before the picture was posted, an eighteenth updated apologized stating that the alpha release would occur on the seventh of September which was a day after the picture was posted.
The alpha was released for those who could gain access to the internet-relay chat. Unfortunately, the IRC chatroom is no longer open and available as this is where Primer Labs as seemingly disconnected itself from the net outside of Alex Peake’s Twitter, as his latest tweet dealt with a conference that he spoke to young individuals during a 20 under 20 event.
On Video Game Writers a month ago, Alex commented saying that the reasoning for the game’s beta version not being released yet was in part that the project has become “ten times more ambitious”. Kickstarter clearly wants those projects to list and have the creators provide the content they promised in the timely arrangements that were set before the project goes public.
Over the last day, Dustin Deckard has lead a crusade to get a proper conclusion to this frustration. Bringing together a class action lawsuit against Alex Peake & Primer Labs, Dustin is trying to find way to get the news out and contact all the backers to bring everyone a better conclusion than just watching as $170,954 would just go into someone’s pocket with no retribution.
We’ve reached out to Kickstarter, Dustin Deckard’s class action Google email & Primer Labs, but have yet to receive a response. We’ll continue to update the story as it progresses.
Source: NeoGaf & Video Game Writers
UPDATE: Since the publication of this story, Primer Labs has updated their site with info regarding the recent concern for the project:
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.
We are testing a second alpha release of the game to release soon so you can see what we've added since the first alpha. We exhibited our first alpha release at PAX and you can download it here.
Some of our Kickstarter backers are frustrated with the lack of updates on progress, and Code Hero lead developer Alex Peake would like to make a personal apology:
Hello backer. I owe you a thanks for your support and an apology for our lack of updates on all the progress we've made with your help. I started the Code Hero project to make a game that teaches people how to make games and you backed us to help make that happen. We are going to finish this game for you and everybody else in the world who wants to learn how to code.
I believe in this mission and I'm grateful that you and so many others have believed in Code Hero too and supported us to work on this project. I worked on the idea to make a prototype for a year before asking for your help on Kickstarter, I built a team to work on it for a year since, and we are committed to finishing this game and continuing to add to it so you can make games of your own.
Game development is hard and many studios and projects fail, but I can't let you down because what we're making isimportant. It's important to me personally to give all the people in the world a way to learn to code that is actually fun. I won't let any obstacles stop the Code Hero team from completing this. It's my life purpose to make this game because I want to see you make games of your own. Software development is hard work and we're behind schedule and solving technical challenges to add player level creation much harder than the already huge creative challenge we set ourselves to begin with. But every big project faces big challenges and we're going to figure ours out and get the game out and keep updating it and expanding it to make it grow to keep challenging the skills of our players as they learn more and more game coding skills.
Many of you may not have tried the latest alpha we showed and released at PAX. I encourage you to download it and try it and see how much we've accomplished so far. The first alpha shows a world called Gamebridge Unityversity and your first mentor Ada Lovelace who guides you through the tour of the game. First you visit the Arcade you can play and post player-created games built with the world editing tools, but first you visit the Labyrinth where you learn how to edit the game's variables to beat it. Next you visit the Library where you can learn about Unityscript programming. Then you visit the Real Artist Shipyard where you're introduced to the Scenebox world editor to make and ship your first level. The tour is designed to take the player from playing an adventure game to making their own right from the outset. It isn't complete yet, but it shows what we built and we're hard at work expanding on that first release to get the new functions fully working and the new training levels fleshed out.
We're testing a new second alpha release tomorrow to show what we've added since then and we're working towards a third more feature complete alpha that will be ready for general use as a complete learning tool.
I know the level of frustration some people have is high right now and that it is my fault for not communicating about our ongoing progress, but I want to reassure everyone who has backed us not to panic: Code Hero is not dead and we will not let our supporters and Kickstarter backers down. All our backer rewards will be delievered along with the game. It is taking longer than we hoped, but the game is becoming awesomer than we planned too. I'll post a more detailed update soon with the new alpha build and answer any questions and concerns people may have.
Source: Primer Labs