This update also includes a lot of additions that don’t directly affect gameplay. However, these changes add a tremendous amount of value to the game by increasing replayability and enjoyment for players. They were also a ton of fun for me to think up and implement.
Awardments are my attempt at mimicking the addictive nature of Achievements. Unfortunately, as with all Xbox Indie Games, these aren’t real Xbox Achievements. They won’t add points to your gamer score and they won’t show up on your profile. However, they do provide an in-game acknowledgement of the things you accomplish and help to guide the players who want to accomplish everything the game has to offer. If my game were an Xbox Arcade game, these would be the Achievements I’d have. They’re for the overachievers 🙂
For the players for whom a simple acknowledgement of an awardment simply isn’t enough, I’ve also added tangible rewards players can strive for. These range from different sky backgrounds, new player skins and unique modes, such as having only unusual flying objects in the sky. They’re a lot of fun and add a nice visual change to the game.
One of my favourite additions in this update is the backgrounds. I received a lot of positive feedback when I initially drew two different backgrounds. As a consequence, it really encouraged me to explore my artistic side and to step outside of my comfort zone. I experimented with different styles, studied other pixel art, and developed a new skill that I now feel more competent in. In total, there are 31 different backgrounds. While some backgrounds are personal, others are imbued with my sense of humour, and then there are a few in particular which were drawn for plain fun. They add a nice visual incentive for players to keep playing. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.
With the addition of Awardments, Unlockables and Backgrounds, it really feels like it levitates Pixel Blocked! to a new level of production values. When I look at Pixel Blocked!, it seems much more complete now: something comparable to a product of a small studio, and not just the work of one person.