How a Kickstarter Project Came to Power Cartoon Network’s Next Mobile Game
When Robin Rath and Josh Stevens launched a Kickstarter campaign for their Pixel Press app, they were optimistic that people would be interested in a program that lets you create video games from paper drawings. They were right, but they never imagined how things would snowball from there.
Pixel Press was funded within a month. Ten months later they released their first iPad app. And now, they’ve got their first major partnership.
Today, Pixel Press announced that it has teamed up with Cartoon Network to power the network’s new mobile game, Adventure Time Game Wizard. The app will be available this winter for iOS, Android and Amazon devices, but attendees of the PAX Prime gaming convention in Seattle will get the first chance to play the game this weekend.
Adventure Time Game Wizard is centered on Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time” animated series and its main characters, Finn and Jake. It works similarly to the Pixel Press Floors app, which I checked out a couple of months ago.
My review goes into more detail, but basically, you sketch your ideas for different game levels using pencil, special graph paper and symbols. You can then import those drawings into Pixel Press by taking a snapshot with your mobile device’s camera, which is then transformed into a playable game.
The collaboration between the two companies came to be after Cartoon Network Digital’s partnership manager, Ryan Harwell, stumbled across the Pixel Press Kickstarter page. Cartoon Network often seeks out and works with independent developers and studios that are doing different and interesting things in the mobile gaming space.
“Our shows have a unique voice, and we want to carry that to our digital products,” said Chris Waldron, vice president of Cartoon Network Digital, in a phone interview with Re/code. “When we set out to make games, we want to do something new and novel, and the best place to find some of that is through independent developers across the world.”
Waldron added that what attracted the network to Pixel Press in particular was the fact that anyone can create video games using it, whether they know how to code or not. It also gives kids the opportunity to step away from the screen for a while.
For Pixel Press, the partnership means another avenue to get its game creation tool in front of more people, while introducing new tools and characters to current users. Both companies said they are open to collaborating on other titles together. Pixel Press is also prepping to release two additional game creation apps called Quest and Tracks in 2015.
“It’s been an exciting journey for us,” said Pixel co-founder and CEO Rath. “The joy of building a game, working with awesome characters like Jake and Finn, and then putting it out there for others to enjoy. It’s exactly the excitement we want to replicate for all our creators.”