Early Developers

Tell a kid they can create their own video game and be prepared to get out of the way as they get to work. Bloxels gives them control of the game while combining physical play with screen time. It all begins on an actual game board. Each color-coded block represents a different function in the game—an environment, action, or character—while the board represents a room. Kids create the scene and then take a picture with the app. Based on the colors and placement, the app turns the image into a game. Founders Robin Rath and Daniel Wiseman both grew up on video games, and created Bloxels to combine their favorite aspects of digital play. Daniel liked to create his own characters and explore artwork. While Robin was interested in playing and adding new levels. Kids can start playing with their games as soon as they are done building. Or they can try out games built by other kids. They will relish being in control of their own designs, while their parents can appreciate a healthier mix of real and virtual playtime.

Bloxels

Video Game Creation Platform

Early Developers

Tell a kid they can create their own video game and be prepared to get out of the way as they get to work. Bloxels gives them control of the game while combining physical play with screen time. It all begins on an actual game board. Each color-coded block represents a different function in the game—an environment, action, or character—while the board represents a room. Kids create the scene and then take a picture with the app. Based on the colors and placement, the app turns the image into a game. Founders Robin Rath and Daniel Wiseman both grew up on video games, and created Bloxels to combine their favorite aspects of digital play. Daniel liked to create his own characters and explore artwork. While Robin was interested in playing and adding new levels. Kids can start playing with their games as soon as they are done building. Or they can try out games built by other kids. They will relish being in control of their own designs, while their parents can appreciate a healthier mix of real and virtual playtime.
Crowdfunded
Independent Maker
Tech & Innovation

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Daniel
    Daniel

    Hey all, this is Daniel, I'm a co-founder of Pixel Press, the company that makes Bloxels and like many of our players, as a kid I wanted to make video games but didn't have the tools or the skills to make it happen. Now I'm all grown up, and still play video games, and am building this awesome tool to let others build and share their own games.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 9:43 AM

    You created a video game creation game where the video game may actually be the boring part. How important was the aspect of taking kids, even adults away from the screen when creating this?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 10:02 AM

    @Mike As software makers, and parents, we are certainly aware of the growing concern parents have about "screen time". For us it was important to give children the opportunity to break away from the screen for a bit. We find this not only makes parents happy, but it also aids in collaboration. It's much easier to crowd around a Bloxels Gameboard or 2 than it is to try to all use a tablet at the same time!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 9:43 AM

    The games on here remind me of a Game Boy or Nintendo, but now, video games are becoming more realistic? Was there a concern kids might not gravitate to Bloxels because of that?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 10:08 AM

    @Mike Not too much. I think with the popularity of games like Minecraft and all the Mario titles, the "8-bit" art style is still relevant and exciting. We've done some things with the game to give it a unique and modern spin, and we have a large list of features that we are planning to add to the gameplay in the future. To us, the fun of the game isn't in the realism, but more the magic of creating something on the board and then watching it come to life on the screen...and of course sharing it all with your friends.

  • Cindi
    Cindi
    3/17/2016 11:58 AM

    @Daniel I would love more information about this game platform. I teach Computer Science to 6-8 grades and game creation is a large part of the curriculum. If I purchase now and you upgrade later will I automatically qualify for the upgrades or improvements? This looks like something that would fit well with some of my 6th graders who are struggling with how to visualize a game.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 1:52 PM

    Hi Cindi, this sounds perfect for your and your students! Yes, all updates will likely come via software so you will quality for them.

  • Donna
    Donna
    3/17/2016 10:36 AM

    What age is this suggested for?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 10:39 AM

    @Donna We recommend ages 8-12, but we've found it's great for kids of all ages...even 35 year old kids :)

  • Mandie
    Mandie
    3/17/2016 10:49 AM

    What OS is the app designed for?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 11:06 AM

    @Mandie Bloxels is available on the iOS, Android and Kindle stores, and is also available in beta for PC/Mac.

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    3/17/2016 11:07 AM

    I am thinking of this as a gift for grandchild. Can Bloxels be used with a Kindle?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 11:14 AM

    @Lisa Yes. Here's a link to a list of supported devices. Scroll down a bit to see our supported Kindle devices.

  • Biff
    Biff
    3/17/2016 12:08 PM

    Is the $49.95 accessory even necessary to use the app since the app is free and you can paint blocks directly inside the app?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 12:25 PM

    @Biff Bloxels is a hands-on building experience, and to fully enjoy it you of course need the physical toy. If you value that then you'll want to pick one up. You can build without the board, but it's not the same experience. If you are buying for kids, the toy as an important part of developing the mental framework of how it works. The physical gameboard also helps to facilitate other non-screen related learning - such as motor skills and teamwork.

  • Biff
    Biff
    3/17/2016 1:10 PM

    @Daniel at that price point this is perceived as a very high premium experience for use with a 'free' app, or any app for that matter. Has this been a hurdle for your company to overcome by using the mobile platform and devaluing the software side?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 1:47 PM

    @Biff Good question. The Bloxels Kit is a catalyst for creativity and creation. The software is a medium to bring that creativity to life in the form of animations and games. The software augments the board and vice versa. We feel like that bridge between analog and digital is important for young creators. We've seen kids have fun with the board by itself, building characters and ideas in collaboration with each other and we've seen kids have fun browsing the Infinity Wall (the built-in sharing community) in the app and playing games by other creators. Both sides of the puzzle have their place and their own "core competency" but when used together is when we feel the magic happens. The software is available on mobile platforms as well as Desktop (currently in Beta) and we will continue to expand tools, platforms and capability of the software which we release roughly every 3 weeks.

  • Valerie
    Valerie
    3/17/2016 2:59 PM

    Would appreciate seeing an actual game from the planning stages on up.

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 3:09 PM

    @Valerie In the app (which is free) you can go on the Infinity Wall, our sharing mechanism and community, and view all of the assets that go into making a game, as well as play the game or use them to start building your own. We don't necessarily have an illustration of the planning all the way to a finished game, but between that and some resources on our website, you should be able to get a pretty good idea. Hope that helps!

  • Allison
    Allison
    3/17/2016 5:33 PM

    As the parent of a daughter who loves playing coding games and as a high school math/computer science teacher I am completely blown away by this. Kudos to you. I hope to get one soon. If someone was looking to have this in a classroom, how many boards would you recommend? I can see two or three kids maybe being able to work on one but beyond that would be difficult. Would y'all be willing to work with a school/teacher who was interested in this for their classroom?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 6:20 PM

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Allison! You are not alone in being blown away, I'm right there with you. I think you are right in that two, three, maybe four kids could work with one, but I'll let Daniel make a more professional recommendation. I know that our Wholesale team would be willing to work with a school and teach interested in Bloxels for their classroom. You can reach them at [email protected]

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 7:37 PM

    @Allison Sorry for the delay. Got stuck in horrendous traffic on the way home from the office. We work with a lot of educators, and of course would be willing to do whatever we can to help. Like Mike said, we can work with The Grommet to get you larger packs that are more suitable for classrooms. We'd also be happy to Skype with your classroom for a Q&A session, or just to talk to the kids about video game ideas! Thanks for the kind words!

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 7:41 PM

    @Allison I just realized I skipped right over your question about how many boards you might need. The boards are great for collaborating with 2-4 kids per board. Different groups can take charge of the different aspects of game creation...layout, hero design, enemy design and game artwork, depending on the size of the class. Sometimes with smaller classes we'll do one group and assign them each a role and a gameboard of their own.

  • Vince
    Vince
    3/17/2016 10:59 PM

    Could we use starburst instead? :)

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/18/2016 9:21 AM

    Ha! My guess would be no, Vince, but the game creation board is so easy to clean there is little harm in trying. Plus, because the squares are much smaller than a Starburst, you'll have to eat most of them to make one fit.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Bloxels

Video Game Creation Platform

Early Developers

Tell a kid they can create their own video game and be prepared to get out of the way as they get to work. Bloxels gives them control of the game while combining physical play with screen time.

It all begins on an actual game board. Each color-coded block represents a different function in the game—an environment, action, or
character—while the board represents a room. Kids create the scene and then take a picture with the app. Based on the colors and placement, the app turns the image into a game.

Founders Robin Rath and Daniel Wiseman both grew up on video games, and created Bloxels to combine their favorite aspects of digital play. Daniel liked to create his own characters and explore artwork. While Robin was interested in playing and adding new levels.

Kids can start playing with their games as soon as they are done building. Or they can try out games built by other kids. They will relish being in control of their own designs, while their parents can appreciate a healthier mix of real and virtual playtime.
Read More Read Less
A video game no one else has.

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Daniel
    Daniel

    Hey all, this is Daniel, I'm a co-founder of Pixel Press, the company that makes Bloxels and like many of our players, as a kid I wanted to make video games but didn't have the tools or the skills to make it happen. Now I'm all grown up, and still play video games, and am building this awesome tool to let others build and share their own games.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 9:43 AM

    You created a video game creation game where the video game may actually be the boring part. How important was the aspect of taking kids, even adults away from the screen when creating this?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 10:02 AM

    @Mike As software makers, and parents, we are certainly aware of the growing concern parents have about "screen time". For us it was important to give children the opportunity to break away from the screen for a bit. We find this not only makes parents happy, but it also aids in collaboration. It's much easier to crowd around a Bloxels Gameboard or 2 than it is to try to all use a tablet at the same time!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 9:43 AM

    The games on here remind me of a Game Boy or Nintendo, but now, video games are becoming more realistic? Was there a concern kids might not gravitate to Bloxels because of that?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 10:08 AM

    @Mike Not too much. I think with the popularity of games like Minecraft and all the Mario titles, the "8-bit" art style is still relevant and exciting. We've done some things with the game to give it a unique and modern spin, and we have a large list of features that we are planning to add to the gameplay in the future. To us, the fun of the game isn't in the realism, but more the magic of creating something on the board and then watching it come to life on the screen...and of course sharing it all with your friends.

  • Cindi
    Cindi
    3/17/2016 11:58 AM

    @Daniel I would love more information about this game platform. I teach Computer Science to 6-8 grades and game creation is a large part of the curriculum. If I purchase now and you upgrade later will I automatically qualify for the upgrades or improvements? This looks like something that would fit well with some of my 6th graders who are struggling with how to visualize a game.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 1:52 PM

    Hi Cindi, this sounds perfect for your and your students! Yes, all updates will likely come via software so you will quality for them.

  • Donna
    Donna
    3/17/2016 10:36 AM

    What age is this suggested for?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 10:39 AM

    @Donna We recommend ages 8-12, but we've found it's great for kids of all ages...even 35 year old kids :)

  • Mandie
    Mandie
    3/17/2016 10:49 AM

    What OS is the app designed for?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 11:06 AM

    @Mandie Bloxels is available on the iOS, Android and Kindle stores, and is also available in beta for PC/Mac.

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    3/17/2016 11:07 AM

    I am thinking of this as a gift for grandchild. Can Bloxels be used with a Kindle?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 11:14 AM

    @Lisa Yes. Here's a link to a list of supported devices. Scroll down a bit to see our supported Kindle devices.

  • Biff
    Biff
    3/17/2016 12:08 PM

    Is the $49.95 accessory even necessary to use the app since the app is free and you can paint blocks directly inside the app?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 12:25 PM

    @Biff Bloxels is a hands-on building experience, and to fully enjoy it you of course need the physical toy. If you value that then you'll want to pick one up. You can build without the board, but it's not the same experience. If you are buying for kids, the toy as an important part of developing the mental framework of how it works. The physical gameboard also helps to facilitate other non-screen related learning - such as motor skills and teamwork.

  • Biff
    Biff
    3/17/2016 1:10 PM

    @Daniel at that price point this is perceived as a very high premium experience for use with a 'free' app, or any app for that matter. Has this been a hurdle for your company to overcome by using the mobile platform and devaluing the software side?

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 1:47 PM

    @Biff Good question. The Bloxels Kit is a catalyst for creativity and creation. The software is a medium to bring that creativity to life in the form of animations and games. The software augments the board and vice versa. We feel like that bridge between analog and digital is important for young creators. We've seen kids have fun with the board by itself, building characters and ideas in collaboration with each other and we've seen kids have fun browsing the Infinity Wall (the built-in sharing community) in the app and playing games by other creators. Both sides of the puzzle have their place and their own "core competency" but when used together is when we feel the magic happens. The software is available on mobile platforms as well as Desktop (currently in Beta) and we will continue to expand tools, platforms and capability of the software which we release roughly every 3 weeks.

  • Valerie
    Valerie
    3/17/2016 2:59 PM

    Would appreciate seeing an actual game from the planning stages on up.

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 3:09 PM

    @Valerie In the app (which is free) you can go on the Infinity Wall, our sharing mechanism and community, and view all of the assets that go into making a game, as well as play the game or use them to start building your own. We don't necessarily have an illustration of the planning all the way to a finished game, but between that and some resources on our website, you should be able to get a pretty good idea. Hope that helps!

  • Allison
    Allison
    3/17/2016 5:33 PM

    As the parent of a daughter who loves playing coding games and as a high school math/computer science teacher I am completely blown away by this. Kudos to you. I hope to get one soon. If someone was looking to have this in a classroom, how many boards would you recommend? I can see two or three kids maybe being able to work on one but beyond that would be difficult. Would y'all be willing to work with a school/teacher who was interested in this for their classroom?

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/17/2016 6:20 PM

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Allison! You are not alone in being blown away, I'm right there with you. I think you are right in that two, three, maybe four kids could work with one, but I'll let Daniel make a more professional recommendation. I know that our Wholesale team would be willing to work with a school and teach interested in Bloxels for their classroom. You can reach them at [email protected]

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 7:37 PM

    @Allison Sorry for the delay. Got stuck in horrendous traffic on the way home from the office. We work with a lot of educators, and of course would be willing to do whatever we can to help. Like Mike said, we can work with The Grommet to get you larger packs that are more suitable for classrooms. We'd also be happy to Skype with your classroom for a Q&A session, or just to talk to the kids about video game ideas! Thanks for the kind words!

  • Daniel
    Daniel – Special Guest
    3/17/2016 7:41 PM

    @Allison I just realized I skipped right over your question about how many boards you might need. The boards are great for collaborating with 2-4 kids per board. Different groups can take charge of the different aspects of game creation...layout, hero design, enemy design and game artwork, depending on the size of the class. Sometimes with smaller classes we'll do one group and assign them each a role and a gameboard of their own.

  • Vince
    Vince
    3/17/2016 10:59 PM

    Could we use starburst instead? :)

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    3/18/2016 9:21 AM

    Ha! My guess would be no, Vince, but the game creation board is so easy to clean there is little harm in trying. Plus, because the squares are much smaller than a Starburst, you'll have to eat most of them to make one fit.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.