I don’t know about you guys but when I was younger a lot of my time was spent playing video games and drawing maps. I didn’t always have access to Nintendo Power and the Zelda Dungeons were pretty confusing so I had to resort to making my own maps. Piles of graph paper went into navigating Hyrule and the planet Zebes. Soon I was making my own game levels and with some sadness I realized that my creations would never be playable anytime soon and I was stuck with good old Metroid and Zelda.
If I was a kid nowadays I would have access to Pixel Press: Floors!
Floors is the new app made by Pixel Press with funding from Kickstarter. This magical app lets you sketch out your own platforming game using the Pixel Press graph paper that they provide on their site for free. After sketching out your game you simply use the camera on your iOS device to take a picture of your masterpiece.
Heres what the Pixel Press paper looks like with a sample level sketched in:
After that the Floors app scans the image and replaces your symbols with game elements like lava pits, ladders, falling blocks, spikes, monkey bars, moving platforms, coins, and even stuff like portals and keys with locked doors. You can scan any size page as long as it has their calibration markings. They even have a special 6 foot wide dry-erase level page for use in schools and game design programs.
After you get your level uploaded you can edit elements in the app or erase and re-draw your level to fix any mistakes. You can also design a level from scratch on the iPad but drawing it out with pencil has a nice nostalgic value that makes the 8 year old in me very happy. Next you choose the skins for the various elements. Green slime? Red Lava? Wood Ladders? Metal Ladders? and what character you want to use for your hero. They have several different sets of graphic styles and are working on making it possible to upload your own characters and art. Add a couple cut-scenes and you have a game!
Heres what the gameplay looks like after you get everything in there:
When you are happy with everything you can upload your game for other Pixel Press users to play. The app keeps track of coins grabbed and time taken so players can compete for the right to enter their initials on the leaderboards. I think this app is genius and its already being used in schools. Next they are working on “Quest” and “Tracks” which are going to be for Zelda style adventure games and racing games!
Want to make your own Floors game? Heres the Links!
Pixel Press Website with FREE printable level design kit!
Just want to check out the symbols used? Here ya go!
Curious on how this thing came about? Heres their (brief) story!