Pixel Hell (no longer available)

Pixel Hell

Pixel Hell for iOS is a simple action game where you must prevent pixel characters from falling to their fiery doom.

The game features a mix of “good” and “bad” power ups.

Good power ups including slowing down gameplay to make things easier, or extra points.

Bad power ups include dropping 100 characters at once to overwhelm the player, engulfing half the screen in flames, or throwing a spinning dinosaur into the mix.

It sounded good in theory.

The idea was to make the player think twice before grabbing an item. Unfortunately, the bad items are so bad they often result in instant game over.

Ultimately, it’s just not worth the risk, so players instinctively avoid all power-ups which is obviously pretty shit game design.

By the time I figured this out (read: accepted it), it was too late to totally rework the gameplay. So, I decided to keep it and try to tone the harshness down, but it still didn’t really work.

Pixel Hell magazien review screenshot

UK’s Tap! Magazine (issue 3, print), being far too generous

During that phase of my development journey, my mantra was “real artists ship!!”

Not because I had any sort of affinity towards Steve Jobs, but because I was spooked: I saw so many developers – many much more talented than myself – with a ton of side projects who never actually completed anything. I made it my mission to finish my projects no matter what.

In retrospect, I should have listened to Nintendo’s Miyamoto instead: ‘A delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever.’


Technologies used

Made in Shanghai, China in 2010.