Bloxels and Other Ways to Create Video Games

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Floors

Recently, I hosted a Classic Video Game Extravaganza for our middle and high school students (we spent the majority of our time on Free80sArcade, Atari, and TankTrouble). While looking around for other video games to play, I was reminded of Floors, which a colleague on SPLAT had mentioned to me. Basically, you draw a video game level on graph paper, take a picture of your graph paper on the Floors app, and it transfers your drawing into a 2D video game you can play.

Excited about the prospect of having Floors as one of the stations at my Video Game night, I looked it up, only to find that it will be unsupported and not available for download after December 31, 2016 (if you already have a device with Floors downloaded, or you download it before December 31, it will still work on your device, but there will be no further updates or bug fixes). Pixel Press, the company that launched Floors, is shifting their focus to some new projects, that in and of themselves are super cool, albeit, not free like Floors.

Adventure Time Game Wizard

First of all, Pixel Press took their concept of drawing a video game on graph paper, and pitched it to Cartoon Network. Together, they developed the $4.99 game, Adventure Time Game Wizard. After downloading the app, students can draw levels on graph paper, on a free printable guide, or build levels on the app itself. For your students who love Adventure Time, or really like the concept of transferring a physical object to a digital space, it might be worth the investment.

Bloxels

Pursuing novelty in video game creation, Pixel Press has also developed Bloxels, and it looks pretty legit as well. Capitalizing on the success of open-world building games like Minecraft, Roblox, and Terraria, and combining their own brand of transferring the physical to digital, Bloxels let’s you build an image using color-coded cubes, and let’s you scan that into a free to download app. Whether it’s the hero, the landscape, coins, or the baddies, you can create each piece on the gameboard, and then transfer it to the digital world. Floors was free to use, and although Bloxels is $49.95 for the basic starter kit, it looks interesting enough to purchase as well. Once Bloxels has been purchased, students can share their game online, which will be available to play for free.

After some quick searches online, I wasn’t able to find an app that had that combination of transferring a physical object to a digital game. But, if you haven’t looked at them before Scratch, Stencyl, and Unity are powerful coding and video game creation tools that are definitely worth investigating, and each are free, or have free versions available.

In other news, if you know of an awesome augmented reality, virtual reality, or physical to digital game, let us know.