Building with the Think Camp!

Thinking like Game Designers and Artists

"Alright everyone, its time to clean up!" said Ms. Panneri, the counselor at the Think Camp.

"But we're not done!" shouted one of the kids. 

"But you've been playing Bloxels for 2 hours now!" Ms. Panneri responded.

"We want 2 more!" 

On Thursday, we got to build with the kids at the Wilson School Think Camp! These super smart builders were creating some amazing characters and levels. It was great to see some collaboration in making their games! 

At the end of the session, each of the builders got to showcase their creations on the big screens. When asked who wanted to showcase their creations, all of the kids raised their hands and wanted to show off their games and characters!! Building was a blast, but being able to share their content was the highlight of their day. 

A big thanks Wilson School and Malika Panneri for having us! 

Bloxels Around the World

Anyone, anywhere can build games with Bloxels!

Kids around the world have been getting their game design on. This past month Google held Bloxels workshops in Ghana and Singapore. Over 50 kids participated and had a blast! Kris Lee, the Singapore workshop designer, said students were engaged and excited about designing game levels. They took their ideas from paper to digital and then shared them with friends and family!

Next we want workshops on every continent! We're looking at you Antarctica!!! 







Bloxels Builder v1.2.1 Released




Bloxels Builder v1.2.1 is now live!!!

Some fixes from the 1.2 update, thanks all who reported issues and helped us track these down!

  *Fixed* Black screen bug                                                                                 *Fixed* Inability to navigate to other areas from Home screen in some scenarios                                                                                                           *Fixed* Memory optimizations for lower-memory devices like iPad 2 and iPad mini 1. This will also help with crashing on devices with a lot of assets created.

Building with Bloxels at Anime STL!

Creating and Cosplaying

From Link to Samus Aran, Captain America to Naruto, cosplayers and Con-goers young and less young stopped by the Bloxels booth at Anime STL to build some games and characters! Faces lit up as they saw their creations come to life right before their eyes! Seeing what games the new game designers conjured up was incredible, especially with the new power-ups from the latest update.

We got some incredible feedback and had a blast getting to show folks how to build their own video game with Bloxels! 

 Thanks Anime STL! 

STEM Day with Bloxels!

Learning Through Making

The Clayton School Districts third annual Fifth-Grade STEM Day was celebrated last Friday, and Pixel Press had a great time building and playing games using Bloxels with everyone! The kids had a blast collaborating and working together to build their games. Some of the groups even got to mess around with the new Power-Ups coming in the latest update! 

We were amazed at how quickly the kids picked up Bloxels and started creating in-depth games with unique hero's and themes! 

A huge Thank You to Clayton School District for having us! 




Building at Holman Middle School!


After-School with Bloxels! 

Playing video games after school is a common theme among kids, but what about building video games? 

This week, we got to spend time building and playing Bloxels with Stephanie McCreary's After-School club at Holman Middle School. They were all natural builders. They even had great ideas for new features, including the most popular request for bosses! A few of the builders even got a chance to use the Shrink and Invincibility power ups coming in the new update. 

A blast was had by all! 

Keep on building, Builders! 

Interested in a Skype call for your classroom? Our Bloxels classroom 20-Pack includes two (2) 30-minute classroom Skype sessions! Click here to learn more!


Visit us at ASTRA 2016 in Denver, June 5-8


We're excited to attend ASTRA's 2016 Marketplace and Academy this coming June 5-8 in Denver, Colorado.

Visit us at Booth #1012 to learn about our show specials and get a hands on demo of Bloxels. 

Our show specials are listed below:

  • FFA on orders over $300 (12 units)
  • Free display & sample product on orders over $600 (example below)
  • Credit card payments accepted


Bloxels has been nominated as a finalist for
ASTRA's "Best Toys for Kids" 2016.


For orders placed at the show over $600 (24 units or more) we'll include this small retractable banner and one gameboard + 200 blocks for in-store demos.


Creating in the Classroom!


Skype Sessions with Pixel Press

Students from the Clayton Bradley Academy in Maryville, TN joined Pixel Press for a Skype call! They've all been having a blast learning game design and building their own games and characters with Bloxels! 

They then got a chance to ask co-founder and Community Director Josh Stevens about Pixel Press, Bloxels, and what it's like to work in the video games industry. 


Can't wait to see your creations hit the Infinity Wall

Interested in a Skype call for your classroom? Our Bloxels Classroom 20-Pack includes 2 30-Min classroom skype sessions. Learn more here!



Building with Happy Up Inc!


Bloxels Demo with Happy Up Inc 


The Pixel Press team and the folks at Happy Up Inc held a Bloxels Demo party at their store in Clayton, and it was a huge success!

Kids ranging from ages 4 to 11 came out to build with Bloxels at the demo. Some for the very first time, and others with previous experience with the platform, but nonetheless, each of them had something great to say and build.  Everyone had a blast creating their own levels and characters. We even had a builder create a full 3 Room level with a matching character! 

We had a great time building with the new builders. We saw some amazing art, levels, and characters being created and collaborated with. 

Thanks Happy Up Inc for having us, and to the builders who came out to build some games and characters with us!

Learn more about Happy Up Inc here


Lessons in Level Design with Professor Phil #1

Attention students! Class is in session. Get out your #2 pencils and put on your learning caps! I'm Professor Phil!

Attention students! Class is in session. Get out your #2 pencils and put on your learning caps! I'm Professor Phil!

Hey Builders! It's Phil again with a new, planned recurring series of articles for the Bloxels blog! While I am not really a professor, nor do I play one on TV, you can count on me to provide my fellow Builders with advice on how to create great designed levels in Bloxels. 

On this inaugural edition of Lessons in Level Design with Professor Phil, I am going to use a real game example of a level that is well designed, explain why the level is so well designed, and offer tips on how you can use the information provided here to build better levels in Bloxels! 

The game I will be using for this first edition is the Super Nintendo game, Donkey Kong Country, a classic Rare-developed, Nintendo-published 1994 reawakening of Nintendo's classic arcade franchise. Unlike previous games in the series, Donkey Kong Country was a side-scrolling 2D platformer, similar to Super Mario Bros. in some aspects. Though in this case, instead of needing to rescue a damsel in distress, Donkey Kong and his pal Diddy Kong were going after their stolen hoard of bananas. 

With the introduction of the game out of the way, let's get to one of Donkey Kong Country's levels, as that's really what we're all here for. The level I have selected is the first level of the penultimate world of the game, Kremkroc Industries. It's Oil Drum Alley.

So many levels in Donkey Kong Country and its various sequels take a main gameplay mechanic or gimmick, if you will, and iterate on it from the start of the level where it is introduced to the end, where the gimmick is placed in its most challenging iteration. In Oil Drum Alley's case, the main gimmick used is that of the oil drums. 

Hello, Diddy Kong and enemy Gnawty the Beaver. this is the beginning portion of Oil Drum Alley. It eases the player into the level. There are no enemies nearby where the Kongs begin this level. That is because it'd be a bit tacky to immediately throw the player into harm's way. Not to mention quite frustrating.

Here lies the first instance of the oil drum. This one has a constant stream of fire coming out from its insides, harmful to the touch as you could probably expect. This first oil drum is as simple to avoid as having a running start and leaping over it. There will be no burnt monkey fannies while I'm around! 

This oil drum looks innocent enough, but it actually houses a bonus area. Taking a TNT barrel from the start of the level and having it hit the oil drum will reveal a hole that allows the player to access a secret bonus area. Keep players engaged and encourage exploration by creating hidden areas in your levels. There is nothing quite like discovering a secret location in a level to make you feel rewarded for your exploration. It's even better if there's something really special hidden there, perhaps a secret stash of coins?

Here's the second instance of an oil drum. This time we see it on a descending set of platforms akin to a staircase,  This is also pretty simple to a void, just a jump from the top platform to the bottom platform. Safe and sound!

Here's a precarious scenario, the first real challenge involving an oil drum in this level. Here, the player will need to bounce on this tire to get enough height to launch over to the right, over the oil drum, and safely to its other side. 

Now, the level designer makes the oil drum obstacle more challenging. First, notice how each instance of oil drums that the player needs to avoid are introduced in a way that they slowly rise in difficulty. You don't get an easy jump, then a brutally difficult jump, to a normal difficulty jump, ending with an easy jump. Instead, there's a steady difficulty curve. That is, the level starts out easy enough, and its major challenges are at the end of the level. 

Here, there are a series of tires the player needs to bounce on to make it over each of these oil drums. It's like the oil drum challenge that came before it, but now there's more drums and tires to worry about.

Now, the designer of this level is getting a bit mischievous! The oil drum here is placed over a bottomless pit. Not only does it rest in a dangerous location, but the fire inside it rises and falls intermittently. It's here that now timing is needed in the player's jumps to avoid a fiery bottom.

Taking the oil-drum-over-the-bottomless-pit idea and doubling it, now there are two oil drums in a row over this precarious chasm to be considered with. Again, the fire inside each drum rises and falls, meaning that proper timing in Donkey and Diddy Kong's jumps now is doubly important.

The conclusion of the Oil Drum Alley is the most difficult portion of the level, which makes sense as it's the final part. It takes all the player has learned about oil drums, and uses that knowledge to create a final challenge worthy of the end of the level. There are a handful of oil drums that burn on and off, tires to time bounces on, and a giant bottomless pit underneath to add some pressure (as if it was needed at all). However, there is always that sigh of relief to be had when the player completes this final stretch of level and reaches the goal.

So, what does Donkey Kong Country's Oil Drum Alley have to do with building levels in Bloxels? Well, the same design ideas and principles can be used. You can start out with a level with simple jumps, maybe with the player having the ability to fall safely if he or she misses a jump by having floor underneath. Further in the level you can make it so jumps no longer have that safety net, instead replacing it with a chasm or pool of lava. Then, to finish things off you can have much more challenging jumps, perhaps with platforms that are only one block wide, over a long bottomless pit. This is just one way you can create a level with a steady difficulty curve in Bloxels.

As Bloxels gains new functionality, new things can be added to your levels to make them even more interesting. Please look forward to new additions to Bloxels, as well as future editions of Lessons in Level Design with your friend, Professor Phil! I hope this read was an interesting, informative, and entertaining one. Stay tuned to the Bloxels blog for future updates!

All screenshots were taken from YouTube user's MegamanNG's video:


Of Builders and Engineers


Robotics Engineers love building with Bloxels!

This past weekend, we attended the Vex Robotics Competition to check out some incredible Robots and showcase Bloxels! We met many Robotics engineers, from middle school to university students, with some amazing robots and game designs. 

We had a blast getting to introduce these amazing engineers to Bloxels. Congrats to all the competitors at the Vex Robotics Competition and thanks to all who stopped by the Bloxels Booth to build some games!



Attention, Fans of Bloxels: We Want to Hear from You!

Hello, Bloxels builders! Phil here! Bloxels has been available for just over a few months now, and the feedback has been mighty positive, whether it's with critics or consumers. 

We'd like to focus on the latter. No doubt many of you who own a Bloxels set have found it to be a fun and easy means to create your own characters, levels, and games. What we'd like is to hear from our fans with their positive experiences thus far with Bloxels. Whether you're a parent, an educator, a student, or anything else I've forgotten to mention, we want to hear your stories and your experiences with Bloxels. Your feedback can be in anecdotal form, multi-paragraph form, or as simple as just a sentence-long statement. It's totally up to you! Though multi-chapter novel form might be pushing it just a tad!

We will feature the best, most interesting comments/stories/experiences from our fans in upcoming posts right here on the Bloxels blog, along with many other goodies on a semi-regular basis. We very much look forward to your tales of Bloxels!

I want to read and see all about your experiences and stories with Bloxels, so feel free to contact me at phil (dot) stortzum (at) projectpixelpress (dot) com or on Twitter via @SP_Central

Getting to Know the IDEA Lab


Meeting the Next Generation of Game Designers


Last week, Josh had a Skype interview with the Girls only Coding and Game Design club at Hubbard Woods School IDEA Lab in Winnetka, IL. 

We had a great time speaking with the girls about what it's like to be a game designer and developer. We got great questions about how Pixel Press began, how the design and development process of Bloxels and video games work, and to the inspiration of the infinity wall. 

These young designers are well on their way to revolutionizing the next generation of games and interactive media. 

Coders and Game Designers interviewing Josh from Pixel Press! 

Coders and Game Designers interviewing Josh from Pixel Press! 

Josh answering questions about the creation process of Bloxels

Josh answering questions about the creation process of Bloxels

A list of questions for Josh to answer

A list of questions for Josh to answer

We were asked great questions, given awesome feedback, and had a great time all around. 

Thanks for hanging out, Coding and Video Game Design Club! Can't wait to see all your Ideas come to life!

Learn more about the IDEA Lab here.

Interested in a Skype call for your classroom? Our Bloxels Classroom 20-Pack includes 2 30-min classroom Skype sessions, learn more here.


Make the Most out of Bloxels!


Creating your own video game has never been easier with Bloxels. But thinking like a Game Designer can be a tricky task! Here are a few tips that can boost your game design skills with Bloxels! 



What's in a Level?

A level is a collection of small experiences, or challenges, that come together to create an overall grand and exciting experience. For example, jumping over a deadly pool of lava is a challenge, or encountering a dangerous monster. When building your room layouts, try to incorporate different challenges to keep the player on their toes! 


9 Rooms, 1 Level. How many challenges and obstacles do you see? 

9 Rooms, 1 Level. How many challenges and obstacles do you see? 

1 Color, Many Uses

By adding art and animations to the blocks in your game, you can fine-tune how the blocks behaves! The blue block doesn't have to be water, it could be a portal or tractor beam that helps the player move a long way up or down! Red blocks could be more that just lava or an area the player cannot touch, animating a disappearing and reappearing spike or wall can give a tough and unique challenge to the player! Experiment with different art and animations for each block to make a truly unique and exciting game!


Tavionstar15 uses the blue water blocks as a tractor beam to help the player reach places otherwise unreachable!

Tavionstar15 uses the blue water blocks as a tractor beam to help the player reach places otherwise unreachable!

Tell a Story

The story blocks can be a powerful element in your game. They give your game rich personality and depth. Story blocks can give information to your player, guide them to the next room, or add to the environment of the game!                                                            


Starcatcher503 adds some injured Space Marines in this hallway to let you know theres a dangerous alien up ahead! 

Starcatcher503 adds some injured Space Marines in this hallway to let you know theres a dangerous alien up ahead! 


Try out new ways of playing and designing your game! The possibilities are endless with Bloxels. Stay tuned for more Design tips and tricks!