Indie Games Spotlight for November 18th, 2012

By mancide, 4 years ago
Traverse first-person platform puzzles in Pixel.

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In this first person puzzle/shooter you need to manipulate the environment to get from 'A' to 'B'. Through 25 different levels, use different particles, taking different paths and be quick with a controller to perfect your skills to move on to the next level! Speed and ingenuity are key to mastering this game!

RELEASE DATE: 9/20/2012
DEVELOPER: Rob Tom Roe
GENRE: Puzzle & Trivia

FEATURES
Offline players 1
Dolby Digital
The first game that comes to mind when playing Pixel is the similar first-person shooting puzzler Portal. However, instead of using portals to solve the puzzles, you must use electrical and stasis charges to move or slow existing objects in the world.

The puzzles take some experimentation to solve, and the controls feel tight enough to allow you to feel confident in aiming your shots of electricity and stasis.

I got a chance to ask some questions to Rob from Ratchet Games Studios, the developer of Pixel.

How long have you been developing games?

For about 6 years. I started using Blender’s built in game engine, but with a lack of python knowledge, it was semi-limited at the time. It was the mix of having to learn C# for university at the same time while XNA came out that I really started to get into it.

What are some games to which you would point that are your greatest sources of inspiration? On the converse, from which games have you learned mechanics that you have chosen not to implement into your games?

Games that I draw inspiration from would have to be ones which are unique, like Portal for instance, which I pulled a lot of inspiration for this game from, as well as games which have a good soundtrack and good graphics balanced with solid controls, like the Wipeout series. On the flip side, I find I try to keep the mechanics simple in terms of controls, I find games which aren’t responsive or aren’t consistently responsive end up really frustrating gamers, Assassin’s Creed and Mirrors Edge I found were like that, don’t get me wrong, they’re fantastic and beautifully visual games, but the controls tend to be less responsive and glitchy more often (...or maybe I’m just making excuses for lack of skills on my end).

How much time do you typically spend on developing a title?

I’ve gotten quicker at it, Pixel is my first finished and released game. I’ve made a few experimental but not finished games that I never released, for instance I was working on a Wipeout clone for about 6 months a while back; I had working graphics and physics/game mechanics (they still needed some polishing) but once I got it working on an Xbox, a load of bugs and latency issues rose up, I never finished, mainly because I didn’t have the time to, but it was a solid learning experience and made developing Pixel a lot smoother.

What drove you to participate in the Indie Games Uprising promotion?

I’d been in the XNA community in the background since the first uprising and thought it’d be great if I could get a game of mine in there, Pixel got noticed during the recent dream.build.play submissions and I got contacted for it. I wanted to participate, naturally to get my game out there, but mainly also because you're working with great devs that have solid titles towards a common goal to release something of substance that gets noticed.

What is the most significant thing you took away from the development process?

Taking an Idea through development, coding and modeling through to a final product, with all the problem solving/keyboard mashing/controller throwing that goes along with it, is likely the most significant thing I’ll take away from it, I’ve worked on a number of teams on different projects, but working on a solo project and taking care of all aspects of it (minus music), instead of just focusing on one smaller portion on it, is what I really enjoyed and will take away from this.

You can add Pixel to your Indie Games collection for 80 MSP.

If you have an Xbox Live Indie Game that you feel should be featured in an edition of the Indie Games Spotlight, please PM your suggestions to mancide.
mancide
Written by mancide
When not enjoying video games, our fearless newshound enjoys an nice pint of fermented barley and hops in a variety of styles. India Pale Ales, Stouts, Porters, Witbiers, Saisons, Gose, Lambics, Barleywine, you name it. If it has water, malted barley, hops and yeast in it, I'll consume it. I also enjoy all things technological, Doctor Who, wrasslin, traveling, and spending time with my family.