You know you’re having an awesome Sunday afternoon at your parents’ house when you hear that chirpy little plumber exclaim, It’s me, Mario! Well, what if you could design your own Mario-esque video game, with nothing but paper and a smartphone? Thanks to the geniuses behind Pixel Press, this pipe dream might just become a reality.
Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, Pixel Press is a mobile app that lets you draw your own video game – no code required! Armed with specially designed (and printable!) graph paper, all you have to do is draw and upload to get started. Once you’ve got your design in the app, test it, add color schemes, then play and share with friends!
Here’s the basic premise: You are designing five floors of a video game level. Your hero will start at the bottom and attempt to overcome challenges you create to reach the elevator at the end of each floor. Then the hero will advance. Like most early video games, the goal is to create levels that are more challenging from top to bottom.
To draw, you can print the Sketch Kit PDF on any white paper. Create terrain, hazard pits, monkey bars, moving platforms, and the link using a shorthand system provided in the PDF. Depending on how complex you want to go, designing one level can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Now that you have your drawing, use the Pixel Press app to snap a photo of your level.
The app transforms your drawing into a playable video game!
Test your level and see if everything works. If not, you can edit your drawing and re-upload. If it does work, onto the design phase.
This is where things get really fun. You can choose skins and music to customize your game, or even upload your own to really take things to the one-of-a-kind level.
Last, share your game with friends! Anyone who has the Pixel Press app can play your game, share their games, and you can play any public games available on the app. It’s a win win win!
Currently in development for iOS, Pixel Press is hoping to raise enough funding to serve up an Android app as well. A pledge of $10 will get you the Pixel Press app, and that’s all you need to get started. If you plan on sketching a lot of games, go for the $25 option and get a fancy pre-printed sketch pad as well as the app.
All in all, it’s a really cool idea based on pretty basic game design technology. The idea that anyone can create their own collection of levels is awesome – it’s totally DIY Mario!
We can’t wait to give this a try when it comes out – we’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.
What do you think of Pixel Press? Would you design your own video game? Talk to us in the comments below.