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Life of Pixel – the BIG Update is here!

It’s ready! Life of Pixel Version 1.1 is out and available to download from Humble. If you have already bought or otherwise own the game, just log-in to your Humble account and download the latest version for PC or Mac.

Here are some of the highlights in the new version:

Current Version 1.1

(AKA The BIG Update!)

– Loads of tweaks and bug fixes
– Pixel has entered the 16-bit era! 3 new machines – SNES, Amiga and Mega Drive.
– Game pad support and control configuration
– Added full controller and keyboard mapping
– New music tracks
– Redesigned menus
– On-screen timer and 2-hit health system added (note: this only applies to hitting enemies)
– Professor Pixel added throughout the game. Use the Action button to talk to him and get useful tips
– Most machines now unlocked from the beginning
– New fruits and special gems added
– More sound fx added

Buy Life of Pixel now, directly from us, at http://www.lifeofpixel.co.uk

Vote YES to Pixel on Steam Greenlight, at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=290806030

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We Will Never Give Up – Indie Development is What We Do!

I have blogged, off-and-on, very openly about our development and self-publishing experiences over the last few years. We’re a small team, comprised of Claire (MD), Steve (Tech Director) and myself (Creative). As a team, we have self-published various titles on WiiWare, PSP, Vita & mobile. This blog post is slightly different, in that it is co-written by Claire, my fantastic partner (in business and in life). So over to Claire to cover the initial launch… Our latest release is Life of Pixel, which is the first game we have launched on PC/Mac, so everything is fairy new to us. We launched Life of Pixel Early Access on May 16th, initially via the Humble Widget off our own website, www.lifeofpixel.co.uk. This was followed by a release on Desura on June 11th. As a team we have put everything we can into Life of Pixel, dedicating not only time but what seems our whole lives to this project – being a couple with 3 kids working from home, running an indie development company kind of takes over every aspect of your life. We thought we had created something special, but it has seen a very disappointing Early Access launch.

Life Of Pixel Is Go!

We eagerly launched Life of Pixel and contacted the press to let them know about our amazing new game, asking them to have a play and hopefully cover and review it. We emailed and tweeted in the hope people would cover the game, and why would they not? To us Life of Pixel is a fantastic retro delicacy, with great game-play, fun characters, beautiful 8 & 16-bit aesthetics and a lot of heart.  It has everything a perfect platformer should have and more! As I said, this was about 2 months ago and since then we have continually been trying to gain interest in our game, get coverage, boost sales – but sales have been slow, really slow. We can barely even pay the Steam GreenLight submission fee from sales revenue so far!

Sales Figures since Early Access Launch

So let’s look at the figures… From our own site we have sold 35 units since the launch on May 16th. We have only now started analysing traffic via Google Analytics; in the last four weeks we have had over 270 visitors, but only 7 sales. Desura is even worse – since launch we have sold 4 copies, yet 1,537 people visited the Life of Pixel store page. Life of Pixel was also featured for the first week at the top of the Games page. So the question is – what is going so badly wrong, why aren’t we getting sales or coverage? Are people too busy? They don’t play Retro/platform games? The World Cup is on? Summer Holidays? They were at E3? Should we focus on YouTubers? Rich, in particular, is struggling with what to make of all this –

Feelings So Far

Thanks Claire. Life of Pixel is my baby, my concept and project. I am not saying this to score points, more to highlight how much I believed in the concept. I have been completely shaken by this, the poor sales, the terrible conversion rate, and the general lack of interest in the game. I feel personally responsible for this, as it is my concept; I am confused, and concerned that I have let everyone down. In my darker moments I worry that I have got it wrong; is Life of Pixel pointless rose-tinted nostalgia that no-one is actually interested in? Is it too British, too difficult, is it lacking content? Is there, honestly, no market for such a game? Has the Indie bubble burst on PC/Mac? What do you do if it seems that the game you made, the game you love, is the wrong game? I feel that everyone should play Life of Pixel – it is special; unique yet fun, a wealth of content and secrets to discover, a sense of adventure and plenty of gameplay twists and turns. A game with charm and a voice of its own.

We Will Never Give Up, Indie Development is What We Do!

We’ve also been doing a lot of soul searching, trying to work out why things are going so badly for Life of Pixel. We are Indie, so we have used our strengths as a small, adaptable team and over the last few weeks we have devoted a whole lot of work into various tweaks and refinements to Life of Pixel, and added a lot of new content. We’ve made all machines (bar the secret machines) unlocked from the beginning, adjusted the difficulty in places, reduced ‘cheap deaths’ where we could find them, added a camera look up/down feature and several new gameplay mechanics. We have added three all new 16-bit machines; Amiga, SNES and Megadrive, plus lots of new enemies and game features such as new traps, buzzsaws, trampolines, skateboards & minecarts to ride, planes to fly, cannons to shoot Pixel, power-up potions & bombs, switches & puzzles, and many more additions. We plan to launch Pixel ‘Gold’ by late July, with GreenLight launching at the same time.  Please check out the new screenshots, give feedback and tell us your thoughts on Life of Pixel. You can also sign up to our blog at www.supericon.co.uk where we will be posting news and updates on Pixel.

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Nostalgic Tribute to Computer & Video Gaming

Claire has put together the following blog post to give a little more insight into what Life of Pixel is all about…

I wanted to tell you a little more about Life of Pixel and explain why it is worthy of your time. Hope you enjoy reading it; I would love to hear your thoughts.

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To say Pixel was just another platform game to add to the many out there would be a huge mistake. This latest instalment is a homage, a real work of passion and fitting tribute to those old machines where gaming began. When we came up with the idea of creating a game which would do justice to the heritage of computer video gaming we embarked on a journey. Not one just about designing another game but one in which we learnt about what passion and love we have for video gaming, how far we have come in the industry. To be able to make a game that allows players of today, of all ages and gender to enjoy and discover where it all began is such a thrilling experience and a privilege.

We wanted to do justice to those eras of gaming – so that not only people who remember playing first time round can enjoy, but so younger generations of players can really experience and discover where it all began. Players will learn that – sure, back then we may not have had the graphics capabilities or the soundtracks, or even the movie like stories of the games of today, but what we had and what we have created in Life of Pixel is a journey – a story of how video games capture, challenge, at times frustrate but always leave you wanting more, so that the experience is an enjoyable one. With Life of Pixel you can pick up and play again and again almost without thinking about it, just enjoying it. This is video gaming at its rawest, at its best, from where it all started. A journey through the many different machines and types of games from the late 70s through to the 90s.

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So when you see Life of Pixel and think, oh another platformer, think again! It really isn’t – give it a try and you will discover Life of Pixel is a work of pixel art, a piece of history, where the chip tunes capture your ears, and the gameplay will leave you wanting more – all created with an affection of computer & video games from then until now.

This game is the ultimate platform adventure, pick it up and play today.

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