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Microsoft Research launches Code Hunter

Microsoft Research launches Code Hunter

Microsoft Research's Code Hunt is a browser-based game which aims to teach programming in C# or Java.

Microsoft's research and development arm has launched a browser-based game which aims to encourage interested parties in taking up programming, putting the player in search of code fragments in order to progress through its levels.

Code Hunt, as the game is entitled, puts the player in the position of having to find and correct fragments of code missing from the given program. When the correct code fragments are found, the code can be completed and the level won - although most levels have multiple solutions, and additional points are awarded for more elegant ways to complete the given task.

The game concentrates on two languages, Java and C#; players have the choice of going through the game concentrating on a single language, or broadening their horizons by playing through once with each language. The interface itself emulates an integrated development environment (IDE), offering everything from syntax highlighting to keyboard shortcuts in order to make the experience as fluid as possible.

Microsoft Research claims that players running through the game will learn a variety of programming-related topics, including arithmetic operators, conditional statements, loops, strings, and search algorithms. The company goes so far as to state that even skilled programmers well-versed in the languages on offer will find something to keep them amused - and perhaps learn a thing or two new along the way. At the end of each level, an automatic grading system offers points based on correctness and quality of the code.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Code Hunt, however, is its extensibility. An Extras section allows the player to design his or her own levels, or play levels designed by others. The entire codebase is also available for licence from Microsoft, which claims it canb e used to run small- or large-scale coding competitions with either private or public visibility.

The game is available to anyone with a modern browser at the official website.

6 Comments

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RichCreedy 16th May 2014, 22:22 Quote
well I got stuck @ 1-6 so that shows how rubbish I am, lol
mi1ez 18th May 2014, 06:30 Quote
Just hit 1-06 myself. Not an easy one. I don't think I'm learning a single thing about coding though, just algebra!
mi1ez 18th May 2014, 07:29 Quote
Not sure if there even is an elegant solution to this, or if I'm supposed to just use if statements...
mi1ez 18th May 2014, 07:53 Quote
Got it! I was thinking in real rather than int!
theshadow2001 18th May 2014, 21:10 Quote
Went through section 1 which is writing single line return statements. I found some of them tricky to find the correct pattern. Definitely nothing to do with learning code there. In fact some were just infuriating .

Section two is about loops so that's where things take off a bit. Did the first one with a C style for loop, then I tried a foreach loop, I finally got it down to an array declaration a while loop with 1 line of code and a return for the array and still I only get 1 out of 3 score. :'(

Anyway its definitely not fun, but I think they are on to something on interactive coding exercises. I'm just not sure the approach they have taken is any good. Its also quite slow at times
kHAn_au 20th May 2014, 13:06 Quote
Definitely some of the best implemented coding CBT I've tried....
I agree figuring out the sequences in section 1 is annoying.
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