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Life of Pixel Update: You Talked, We Listened

Richard Hill-Whittall's Avatar + Posted by Richard Hill-Whittall on Feb 27, 2013 // Creative Director, Super Icon Ltd

Life of Pixel on PS Mobile

Although I have been developing games for a lot of years, our PS Mobile-exclusive title Life of Pixel was the first time I have had the opportunity to do a big update to one of the games I have worked on after release.

It has been fantastic to get the opportunity to revisit the game to fix a few issues that were present in the initial release, and to listen to feedback from those who downloaded Pixel v1. Twitter has been invaluable to keep in touch with those players and discuss issues and ideas for the update. In fact, I had such a great time working on the update I ended up adding in a lot more stuff than I originally planned!

Life of Pixel is an old-fashioned platform game with plenty of modern twists and puzzle elements. The star of the game is Pixel, a little green pixel who is tired of being part of the crowd. Luckily, he happens to live right next door to a videogame museum, so under the cover of darkness he sneaks in to take a look…

Life of Pixel on PS MobileLife of Pixel on PS Mobile

Players were not happy with the audio experience in the original game, so we now have a unique music track for each machine — plus brand new sound FX, created either with that hardware or via emulation. This has really helped to enhance the identity of each machine (eight in total, for 64 levels in the game) and we have plenty of catchy tunes now guaranteed to stick in your head.

We had a few errors with color palettes in the first release – for example we were using a couple of extra greys in the Amstrad CPC levels, which while giving some nice metal bits were completely wrong! For this update, I made sure every machine was only using accurate color palettes, and while I was at it I redid some of the tiles and backgrounds that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the first time around.

Life of Pixel can be hard – particularly the later levels – and we didn’t want to change this. But it could also be unfair at times – a prime example being ‘Leap of Faith’ jumps which ended with you landing on top of a beastie and dying. You had no idea where said beastie was, so these leaps relied on luck rather than skill.

Life of Pixel on PS Mobile

Life of Pixel on PS MobileLife of Pixel on PS Mobile

I went through every level, playing them over and over and tweaking the layout as needed. I am confident I have eliminated every unfair ‘luck’ based potential death. So while I didn’t try to make the levels particularly easier – they are now a fair test of skill, not chance.

We also managed to fix a few bugs and slowdown issues that were present in Pixel v1. Performance is now nice and solid, and we fixed a few other niggles. Oh – and we added a Restart level button!

I really enjoyed this bit – we added a new machine into the game; the Sega Master System. It’s unlocked after you collect all 64 special gems.

I had great fun creating the graphics for the Master System levels – I didn’t realise until I started that the SMS allowed a fair few more colors in sprites and tiles than the NES. Look out for nods to classic Master System titles like Shinobi, Wonder Boy, Sonic, Penguin Land, Bubble Bobble and more.

All in all, it’s a big update with plenty to offer existing and new players. As a developer/publisher it was a fantastic experience and a great opportunity that PSM allowed us to re-visit and improve our game. We are really pleased with the update and hope you will enjoy it.

Need more information on PlayStation Mobile? Want to know more about supported tablets and phones? Head here.

//Add Your Own

57 Comments   22 Replies

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51

+ Smash_and_Crash on February 28th, 2013 at 7:54 pm said:

Every time I download it on my Playstation Certified device, I don’t get the update. I deleted it and downloaded it a few times and it never downloads the updated version. Can anyone help me with this?


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+ jonny_time on February 28th, 2013 at 8:16 pm said:

Downloaded this today. Just here to chime in and say that I am having an absolute blast with this game. It’s dirt cheap but still manages to ooze quality, production value, and attention to detail. Everyone should by this incredible little title.


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+ Aces73High on March 1st, 2013 at 2:14 am said:

Sorry to whinge, but I’m finding the complete lack of any kind of answer to the many ‘how do I get the update?’ questions really rather frustrating. Richard, are you still around? Anyone? Hello (cue hello, hello, hello echoes).


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    + Richard Hill-Whittall on March 1st, 2013 at 12:00 pm said:

    Yep – I have asked Sony and they are looking into it for us – I’ve prompted them again today as they have said they should have an answer by Monday.

    It is a real shame the PSM update process seems a little broken at the moment.


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+ mysongska on March 1st, 2013 at 1:16 pm said:

Hello Richard!
Fairly early adopter of Life of Pixel and enjoyed it quite a bit!
Any chance this update adds a counter to each level telling you how many special special gems you’ve found and are in each level. That was one thing that drove me crazy… trying to figure out where my missed gems were.
Thanks for a great game
-mysongska


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    + Richard Hill-Whittall on March 8th, 2013 at 7:38 am said:

    It sure does :)

    Sorry about the delay getting back to you BTW.


55

+ JonJonXD on March 1st, 2013 at 11:53 pm said:

How did I miss this?!

I am picking this up now!

I’ve been craving a solid platformer to play!

I hope this delivers! :)


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56

+ Richard Hill-Whittall on March 8th, 2013 at 7:39 am said:

Finally today got this feedback from SCEE:

“In terms of the application updates once a user runs a game from the live area on the PS Vita, they are prompted with a message saying a new version is available and they can update.
The users save data will remain.”


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+ MastaChaOS on March 19th, 2013 at 10:12 am said:

Thanks to an insanely poor design flaw, I cannot update this title. My only option is to redownload it from PSN, which will ERASE ALL MY PROGRESS!

Sony keeps finding new ways to punish their customers…


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