Pixel Press Is Pretty Much The Coolest Thing Since Gaming Itself

It's official: the future is here.

Everyone and their mother has ideas for video games. It's the actual process of building that usually defeats your average gamer, since your typical game-making experience requires hours each of art design and programming.

But what if you didn't have to bother with the mechanics, and could just get down to work, creating all sorts of neat side-scrollers?

Pixel Press is an application designed for game developers, game enthusiasts, and people who couldn't distinguish a line of Python from ancient Gallifreyan. Here's how it works.

You print out some special graph paper, draw your side-scrolling level design, and scan it with your iPad or iPhone. Pixel Press works to digitize your drawing, and creates a fully playable game level out of what you've made. It works in the same manner that digital handwriting analysis does, evaluating symbols and lines to translate into things like water traps, platforms, portals, power-ups, and hazards. 

When you're finished and scanned your drawing (the videos on their website indicate that level-drawing takes about an hour) , Pixel Press works for a few minutes, then spits out a testable version of your level. As soon as you've gone through and ensured that you can, in fact, reach the goal at the top level, you're tasked with giving the level personality and artistic design. 

Pixel Press provides you with sample music, design themes and sprites, but it also gives each creator the opportunity to customize all of those individual parts to make something genuinely unique.


Pixel Press is obviously a great tool for game designers and artists, but part of the appeal is the possibility of using the application as a teaching tool. It's a no-brainer that Pixel Press can help bolster the attention span of students in an increasingly rapid-fire media age, but also presents problem-solving issues in a way that children can not only identify with, but enjoy.  

Like most game projects these days, Pixel Press is going to start peer-funding their project through Kickstarter on May 7th. It seems, however, that Pixel Press has already finished most of the development work on the game and is solely seeking funding to start producing the app on a large scale. 

Featured Columnist

HC Billings is an excellent gamer, acceptable writer, and laughable parkourist.

Published May. 4th 2013

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