Code Hero

November 6 2015: Code Hero 0.5 preview

Code Hero is back. We are happy to announce that Primer Labs has moved into a new office space and Code Hero is under full-time development with the first public 0.5 build on track for release December 1.

Friday Updates

Every friday we'll share previews of what we're working on as the 0.5 features mature. We are inspired by the innovative development of one of the coolest Unity games developed to date, RustRust's weekly community spotlights and development updates are the bar we aspire to hit on the road from 0.5 to 1.0.

If you want to see what a next-gen survival sandbox MMO that happens to be made with Unity looks and plays like, we recommend picking up Rust on Steam and joining the Rustafied server. We plan to host a community event there in the future to discuss some of the impressive Unity-based tech that Rust demonstrates.

Feature Roadmap

We will be laying out the whole roadmap of what is planned for Code Hero's development. New features will find their way into the game levels of the early builds as we develop content around them but we'll provide previews of each feature from prototype to production-ready.

Mind Map learning navigation system

  • Each level is a neuron on the map and teaches a concept that opens paths to connected neurons.
  • FPS perspective walking through your own brain as you learn.
  • Graph perspective for quick traversal and review.

The mind map is your central navigation system to traverse the neural pathways to each learning level.

DataBoss data structure & algorithm challenges

DataBoss tests your ability to utilize computer science's fundamental data structures in a race against time to search, sort and optimize data to deallocate or be deallocated.

The needle in a haystack problem teaches you search algorithms in preparation for DataBoss.

LightBoss Graphics Challenges

LightBoss graphics challenges teach you to master the effects that a well-tuned Unity pipeline can achieve. 

Credit where credit is how-to: LightBoss teaches you Unity 5's rendering pipeline and the top FX stack: Candela SSRRScion & Sunshine.


Learn how to make games with the best visual fidelity Unity 5 can achieve.

  • Physically based lighting shaders that realistically reflect changing lighting conditions.
  • HDR volumetric lighting scattering through visible dust and air particles.
  • Interactive night/day cycle with realistic sun/moon/stars and day/night nature sounds.
  • Interactive dynamic weather lets you summon changes in the skies to create clear, overcast, rain, snow and wind interacting with dust.
  • Relief terrain parralax shaders make every rock and pebble appear to pop out of the ground.
  • Screen space raycast reflection extends Unity 5's reflection probes to produce accurately parralaxed reflections beside objects.
  • Cinematic temporal anti-aliasing provides offline rendering quality in real-time, blurring the visual line between film and games.


Learn the performance optimization techniques that allow Code Hero to run well on the lowest-cost devices with maximum battery life.

  • Scion Post-processing pipeline does all effects in a single pass like adaptive eye exposure, depth-of-ofield, color grading, etc.
  • LOD dynamic level-of-detail meshes and culling to support low-quality modes.
  • Streaming Sandbox asset streaming to allow you to roam through open world scenes.
  • Low-power mode conserves battery power and runs on the least expensive 8-inch Atom tablet PCs.


Learn fundamental 2D & 3D art concepts as you learn how to create and utilize art assets effectively.

  • Learn the industry-standard asset pipeline from Sketchup and ProBuilder prototyping to Maya/Blender modeling, Mudbox/Zbrush detailing and Substance Painter texturing.
  • Foliage system has dynamically growing trees and individual blades of grass so you won't get that cardboard cutout feel billboard foliage causes when you put on an HMD to do...

Virtual Reality Live Coding

Programming and modeling the reality around you is really cool through an HMD.

  • 3D holographic UI: 
    • UI was originally built on the same UnityGUI system as Unity's editor to be able to recreate the same scaleable widgets.
    • New 3D Unity UI is replacing the 2D gradually and once complete will make the VR mode fully playable.
    • 3D UI can embed in the environment connected to the content it relates to.

Visual Mission Editor

Developing Code Hero's content has been extremely complex, with every step in the game involving event triggers hooking into the editor interface and detected changes in player-written source code. To make content production more productive, we are overhauling the way we develop Code Hero levels.

  • Graph-based mission editor to accelerate content development.
    • Character dialogue lipsync integration.
    • Support for expanding the game with modular content packs.

C# Code Ray Compiler

The new C# code ray compiler replaces the original Unityscript coding system. It's time to just learn C# and let Unityscript fade away.

  • This is the biggest technical change since the original Code Hero alpha.
  • System.Reflection.Emit generates DLLs every time you run code.
  • The new system is much more complete and powerful than the old eval-based Unityscript system.

Mentor AIs

Artificial intelligence is the great frontier of computer science today, and Code Hero relies on a new kind of hybrid mentor AI to teach players game development and how to write your own AI characters. Ada Lovelace and other characters you interact with use a hybrid of 5 different AI systems that players will learn about and hack:

  • Behavior Tree AI manages navigation and interactions with the environment.
  • Finite State Machine AI handles changes in condition and player activities.
  • Chatbot AI lets characters converse with players and each other using natural language processing and speech synthesis.
  • Emotional AI models the way characters feel about players and each other. They observe what you do and word gets around.
  • Neural Network AI uses trainable networks to recognize patterns that can trigger the behaviors, states, chats and emotions.

Unity Universal Character Controller

The character controller is the central component of implementing many types of gameplay and the Unicharacter controller supports a wide variety of perspectives and interactions.

  • Customizable UMA-based avatars.
    • Tutorials on how to create your own avatar clothing using Marvelous Designer.
  • Embodied first-person and third person perspectives.
    • First-person/3rd person embodied inventory system.
    • First-person/3rd person embodied stealth system.
  • Parkour climbing, sliding and wall running.
    • Realistic athletic ability defaults that scale up to superhero-level presets with code hacks.
  • Inverse-kinematic interactions with objects and characters.
    • Pick up and carry arbitrary sized objects to solve puzzles.
    • Character interactions like shaking hands, high fiving

Download Code Hero 0.2

 While we ready 0.5, you can download 0.2. It teaches Unityscript, but most of what it teaches carries over to C#.

Download Code Hero 0.2 for Windows

Download Code Hero 0.2 for Mac