PixelPress first came to my attention when I discovered its Kickstarter campaign last year. Unfortunately, I came across it after it was too late for me to back it. Then, a couple of months ago, Drew Minock (Two Guys and Some iPads) mentioned that the Floors app was available for a free download on the iPad. I immediately went to the PixelPress site and found the free Sketch Guide and Blank Sketch Sheet.
“What?” you may ask, “Why do you need a sheet of paper for an app?”
Well, my friends, that is the beauty of the PixelPress Floors app. If you have an iPad 3 or above, then you can take advantage of the drawing option. You can actually draw a video game on the piece of paper provided, scan it with the app, and then play the game. No programming necessary.
Don’t fear if you do not have the iPad 3 or above. PixelPress just released an iPhone version of Floors which, along with the earlier iPads, works with a “Draw In-App” feature.
I introduced Floors to my students a few weeks before the end of school. It became the new go-to favorite app for creating in my class. The students loved using the Sketch Guide to create their games, and were eager to play each other’s to give constructive feedback. As they wrote their games and edited them, I could hear a lot of mumbling and discussion about why things weren’t working and how to solve the problem.
PixelPress is very interested in coordinating with the Education community. They have several posts on their blog that show the use of Floors in classrooms. Teachers and parents can sign up for an education mailing list, and can also visit the Education Portal. You can view a recent interview that Drew Minock and Brad Waid from Two Guys and Some iPads did with Katie Burke from PixelPress here. One intriguing use of the game in a classroom setting is to create a graphic novel using ComicLife and screen shots of the game, as you can see on this blog post from Porchester Junior School. (You can see the comic here.
Download Floors while it’s still free (there are some in-app purchases, but there are plenty of things you can do in the free version). Playing video games can be fun – but making them is even more entertaining!