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How 2 Guys Built POWER in 8 Months for Less Than $500

Sounds impossible, right?  Here’s how it happened…

It all started with a design document that specified the “hooks” of the video game – the things that would make it “cool and unique”. Atomic Lollypop, the development team behind the video game POWER consisting of Kevin Bikhazi and Abel Korsmit, came up with organic-looking terrain, levels that are different every match, dream-like jumps across valleys, weapons so powerful they can destroy mountains, and fast-paced gameplay.  This focus gave the team passion, direction, and something they were excited about bringing to life.

Development Tools

They knew they couldn’t do this all on their own and needed to stand on the shoulders of giants.  By leveraging existing off-the-shelf tools like Unreal Engine and its Marketplace, they were able to quickly develop features like terrain, sound, animations, and effects that individually require decades of mastery to produce.

Using Trello, they were able to quickly and easily create a roadmap to track their progress.  It enabled them to prioritize and put all the steps into a logical order.  They made sure to do the easy stuff first so that progress was tangible.  This was important for both them and the community.

Innovation Through Inspiration

Throughout the course of their journey, they took inspiration from other games and talked to potential players.  They got ideas from other places and other people because their goal wasn’t to figure it out all on their own.  They wanted this game to be a shared effort and use any resources at their disposal.

It turns out that two people are enough to get the major components of the work done.  So long as you separate engineering and creativity you have enough to make a product that has form and function.

Startup Mentality

Adopting a startup mentality was key to mastering the timeframe and budget.  It’s all about making time (nights, weekends, and holidays), sacrifice (cutting out time with family and friends), and working with the resources you have available (2 guys and $500).  “Launch early and iterate quickly” was their mantra.

They needed a great product forged by forming an early community and relentlessly applying feedback.  Their initial testing phase produced nearly 500 individual feedback items that had to be chewed through over months of work.  Staying true to their original vision while continuously polishing the video game, based on community feedback, resulted in something that finally became “fun”.

Procedurally generated terrain in POWER

Organic Partnerships

As the game started coming together, they needed the final piece of the puzzle – partners to bring the video game to the attention of the world.  Leveraging their long-standing relationships with Mark Thimmig and Hunter Decker of Esportz Network and Alex of Pixels Gaming, it allowed them to secure a global partner with strong media coverage and a publishing partner with a large network of over 50,000 streamers.

You Can Do It Too

Times are changing.  You no longer need millions of dollars with teams of hundreds to produce and distribute a compelling video game experience.  It now only takes a couple of guys, a few dollars, off the shelf tools, hard work, community, and partnerships to make it happen.

So, what are you waiting for?  Take this story and use it as a blueprint to create your own remarkable video game.

About Atomic Lollypop

Atomic Lollypop is a developer of digital video games. The company was founded in 2018, with its headquarters in Newport Beach, California. Their portfolio includes titles such as Netblast and POWER.

More information about Atomic Lollypop and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.atomiclollypop.com.

About Esportz Network

Esportz Network is a hub for the latest global esports news, live professional statistics, amateur tournaments and everything else the modern gamer needs.  The company was founded in 2018, with its headquarters in Newport Beach, California.

More information about Esportz Network and its service can be found on the company’s website, www.esportznetwork.com.

About Pixels Gaming

Pixels Gaming is a publisher of digital video games and Twitch extensions. The company was founded in 2017, with its headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Their portfolio includes titles such as Byte Arcade, Instagram Feed, and POWER. 

More information about Pixels Gaming and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.pixelsgaming.com.

Key Features

  • Procedurally generated terrain.
  • Destructible environments.
  • Fast-paced.
  • Huge explosions.
  • Fast hoverboard with skiing.
  • Powerful jetpack.
  • Powerful weapons.
  • Survival looting.
  • Ping blast to locate your enemies.
  • Full VR support.

Trailer

Tutorial

To download POWER visit https://store.steampowered.com/app/1126850/Power/

Press Inquiries

For inquiries, please contact: Alex – Founder Pixels Gaming [email protected]

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COMPANYNEWS

Introducing the New Pixels Gaming

Similar to finding new loot in Borderlands 3, sometimes you just need an upgrade to keep going. Recently, we’ve felt that a brand upgrade could help keep us going. You may have noticed some major changes to our branding over the past few weeks, such as a new logo, color scheme, and font. Although these visual changes represent a shift in our brand, let’s talk about why we made these changes to begin with. 

Why the change?

First and foremost, our existing brand had a lot of inconsistencies. We had a cool face but it wasn’t very original. Our company firmly believes in self-identity and the acceptance of being different, but our existing brand wasn’t a very good representation of us and our mission.

Next, our website and social media felt scattered and disconnected. We experimented with a lot of colors and ideas but lacked a general direction. As time went on, a nagging question kept coming to our minds.

What is Pixels? Who are we as not just a brand, but as a team? As a community?

Pixels Team

We really had to sit as a team and discuss what Pixels meant to each of us. Our goal was to find a core focus and reflect on what gets us up in the morning to continue building this community. We wanted our brand to speak to all — not just a few. We wanted Pixels to mean and stand for something bigger than anything we could do individually.

Not different — just the real us.

“Branding” is not just a cool logo. It’s about our company’s values and what we want our brand to communicate. To be honest, we really think it looks cool and we hope you do too. But there is real meaning behind it now. Our branding went from being a single worldview to being a multiverse of many personalities and creatives. At Pixels, we are gamers and want that to be shown. Gamers are incredibly passionate beings who can inspire positivity in the world. We want to change the view from “Stop playing games” to “How can we help support your passion for gaming?” Our mission is to amplify positivity and change the way people view and interact with the gaming world. With our new logo, we hope to spread positive pixels. This is our level up and we are excited to have you join us on this journey.

A Pixelated future

We have made the change visually but we also want to clarify a few things, starting with we want you to know that we see you. We want to have more people connect and be excited about your passion for gaming. As we stream out more content, we want the engagement to be organic in the way that there is no pressure. It is important to us that everyone (all you Pixels out there) feel safe and invited here. You have a voice and we want it to be heard. We are a community of openness and acceptance. The real world has enough negativity, but in the gaming world, it’s an escape. All of us here at Pixels want to create more opportunities for gaming professions to help them succeed in this industry and in a positive and fun way.

The Pixel

Moving forward, there will most definitely be changes to come, but now we have more clarity in the direction we are moving. A Pixel is by definition an area of illumination, a tiny speck on a display screen. One of many that compose an image. We see every gamer as illumination, with each gamer being part of a bigger picture. We just want you to know that we have your back. Standing alone can sometimes be epic, but having a team with you is a massive game-changer. So consider this the formal invitation to bring about positivity and light onto the gaming world. We need every Pixel out there and we hope you accept because the future would be that much brighter with you included. 

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NEWS

How to Build Your Streaming Community

What do all successful streamers have in common? The answer is a strong sense of community. 

Livestreaming platforms like Twitch are built around community. If you want to be successful on these platforms, you have to build a community of loyal viewers up around your channel. Creating great content is important too, of course, but it can only get you partway there.

In this article, we’re going to be showing you exactly how to build your streaming community in seven steps. Ready? Let’s get started!

Define Your Mission & Values

The first thing to do is to ask yourself why you want to stream in the first place. Are you in it for the social factor? Are you hoping to help others or spread a particular message through your stream? Or do you just love playing games and want to monetize that hobby? 

Once you know why you’re streaming, you can use that to create your own mission statement and share it with your viewers. Having a mission and your own set of values in place gives you an identity that your viewers can get behind and harbors a sense of community.

You also need to think about what kind of values you want your stream to stand for. We’ve all heard about ‘toxic’ gaming culture; is this the kind of community values you want to promote? If not, don’t be afraid to set some community guidelines and enforce them. 

For example, you might want to make a list of rules for your stream chat, like: 

  • Respect others
  • Be kind
  • No swearing/cursing (if you want to keep it family-friendly)
  • No bullying/racism/homophobia

You get the picture. It all depends on your personal values and the kind of community you’re hoping to create. Having a set of rules in place can help to create the right kind of environment and make your stream chat feel like more of a ‘safe space’ where your viewers can interact. 

To give a little context to this, let’s look at some examples of how popular streamers have defined their own mission and values. 

Examples of Streaming Missions and Community Values

Here’s a great example of a mission statement from Swedish Twitch streamer Thorlar, whose all about using the platform to spread positivity and do good.  

thorlar-mission-statement

As you can see, he includes his community in his mission statement: “we’re on a journey of daily streams for 10 years, doing charity while just having fun”, making it feel like a group effort. This is a great way to strengthen that sense of community. He also has some fair, healthy rules in place to help keep things polite and respectful.

Here’s another great example from Ms-Ash-Rocks, a black female streamer who works hard to use the platform to lift up others by sharing her infectious energy and positivity. 

msashrocks-stream-mission

Did you notice how she also gave her community a name in this mission statement? This is another great tip for building your community as it helps to create a kind of collective identity amongst you and your viewers. Every successful influencer seems to have one, like PewDiePie’s ‘Bros’, for example.

Finally, let’s look at Lara6683’s mission statements. In contrast to the streamers above, Lara is quite upfront about the fact that Twitch is her job – and that’s ok.

stream-panel-example

There’s an important lesson here: authenticity is important. Don’t say that your stream is all about giving back to the community if it’s not. If you’re streaming to make money, don’t be afraid to let your community know. No one will begrudge you of that, and they’ll probably appreciate the honesty too.

Build Your Streaming Brand Identity

Once you’ve defined your mission and values, it’s time to work on your brand identity. Your brand identity is super important when it comes to both building a community and growing your channel.

In a nutshell, your brand identity refers to the particular kind of visuals or design elements associated with your streaming channel. The more you expose your viewers to your branding elements, the more it’s going to connect with them.

It all starts with your logo. If you have the budget for it, try to work with a graphic artist to create your logo as this will be the ‘centerpiece’ of your brand. 

A graphic designer will know what works and what doesn’t. If you try to do this part yourself, you run the risk of creating something that looks unprofessional that you won’t want to be associated with your brand further down the line.

It’s not just about the logo either. You also need to work on other branding elements like: 

  • Overlays
  • Animations
  • Channel banners
  • Icons
  • Social profile pictures
  • Alerts
  • Social profiles
  • And more

The keyword here is consistency. Make sure your branding is consistent across the board. The color scheme should be the same, the font should stay the same, and there should be a consistent ‘thread’ running through everything.

Examples of Excellent Branding

To help you get an idea of what good branding looks like, let’s look at some popular streamers and their brands. 

Here’s an example of a logo from streamer Dr DisRespect, known for playing battle royale games like PUBG and Apex Legends. 

drdisrespect-logo-neon

The common ‘thread’ on his channel is the mustache, which shows up in pretty much every visual related to his brand, from his logo to his alerts. This is also a great example of how you should try to incorporate elements of your own personality or identity into your branding.

Streamer Lirik also does a great job of this. Pictures of little cats are ubiquitous across his branding – they show up everywhere! 

lirik-brand

The upshot of this is that his viewers associate a big part of his brand with these cats. 

Sound Branding

A final point worth mentioning on the topic of branding is that it’s not just about visuals – it’s about sound branding too.

On Twitch, for example, you can set up alert noises that play when you receive donations, get a new subscriber, or anything similar. These elements can be a powerful branding tool that your viewers will hear again and again as they watch your stream. 

Try to create sound elements that reflect your brand identity.

Create a Streaming Content Plan

In order to build your streaming community, you need to actually start streaming first. That’s why the next step is to create your streaming content plan. This plan will tell you what you’re going to be streaming and when you’re going to be streaming it. Here’s how to create one.

Choose What to Stream 

Visibility is super important at the start. You can’t build a community of viewers if nobody sees your content. The problem is that it’s 2019, and streaming platforms tend to be pretty saturated with streamers at this point – so much so that it can be tough to stand out from the crowd and attract any viewers at all.  

The solution is to find the right ‘niche’ and think carefully about what you’re going to stream. Try to break the mold and do something new and exciting. This will give you the best chance of standing out in a competitive platform. 

Popular games like PUBG and Fortnite are already very saturated with streamers and it can be tough to find your own space in these communities. Smaller games with more of a niche audience are a good target.

You also have to decide whether you want to be a ‘variety streamer’ (someone who streams various different things) or a single-game streamer. 

Your community will want to watch your content for either your personality or the games you play. When you’re first starting out, it’s usually a good idea to stick with one game. If you change focus before you’ve had a chance to build a strong sense of community and connect with your viewers, you’ll probably lose the majority of them.

Choose a Schedule and Stick to It 

To build a community, you need to be consistent with your live streaming so that your viewers know when to tune in. Let your audience know exactly when you’ll be streaming each week and try your best to stick to that schedule.

You’ll notice that eventually, your viewers will start turning up for your streams before you even go online.

Generally speaking, the more often you stream, the faster your channel will grow. However, it’s also easy to get burned out if you try to stream too often. Find that middle ground that works for you.

Interact With Your Streaming Community on Social Media

To help to build your community, it’s important to create lots of avenues for everyone to interact with you and with each other. Sure, you can all hang out in your Twitch chat when you’re streaming, but what about when you’re not?

One way to interact with your community when you’re not live streaming is to be active on social media. Regularly post updates on your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts to let your community know what you’re up to.

You should definitely also create places for your community to congregate even when you’re not streaming. The easiest way to do this is to create your own Discord server and Subreddit. These platforms will eventually become a ‘base’ where your community can interact 24/7.

Engage With Your Streaming Community On & Off Stream

The more you engage with your streaming community, the faster your channel will grow. Here are some more tips on practical ways to engage with your streaming community both on and off stream.

Be Responsive in Your Stream Chat

Live stream audiences aren’t passive viewers like viewers on other platforms. Watching a live stream is very much an interactive experience, which is why having a conversation with your viewers whilst streaming is so important.

Make sure you keep an eye on Twitch chat throughout your stream and respond to as many questions and comments as you can so that your audience feels as involved as possible. You should also try to react to donations and subscriptions so that your viewers know that they’re appreciated and valued.

However, it’s also important to remember that not everyone wants to chat. Some people just want to watch from the shadows – these kinds of viewers are called ‘lurkers’. Try to respect their privacy and don’t say hello to anyone who isn’t using the chat.

Host an Online Movie Night

Another great way to engage with your community is to host community events, like an online movie night. You and your viewers can watch a movie at the same time, which can really help you to bond with your viewers and foster that sense of friendship and community.

Hold Viewer Game Nights

Another great way to engage with your viewers is to schedule regular ‘viewer game nights’ where you allow your viewers to play a game with you. You can easily set this up using the Game Queue extension, which allows you to invite viewers to join the game queue from within the Twitch platform.

Network with Other Streamers

Networking with other streamers is also very important, it can be a great way to reach new potential viewers and expand your community.

The easiest way to start networking is to simply watch other streamers that make similar content to you. By that, I absolutely don’t mean to go onto their stream chat and start promoting your own channel. That’s not only considered rude, but it’s also ineffective – nobody likes a self-promotional spammer.

Instead, you should just focus on being a part of their community. Interact with others in the chat and make friends. Hopefully, other viewers will start to recognize you and might end up checking out your channel and becoming part of your community too. 

Another great way to network is through hosting. Hosting is when you share a stream from another channel with your viewers after you sign off. This both allows your chat community to continue to hang out after you’ve finished streaming and is a great promotional tool. 

By hosting another streamer on your channel, they might do the same for you, thus helping you to reach new viewers.

You can also try raiding other channels. Raiding is similar to hosting except you’ll be sending your viewers directly to another live channel at the end of your stream to help them to grow their community. 

Involve Your Streaming Community in Decisions

After you’ve built up your streaming community, try to include them in important decisions about your channel so that they continue to feel like they’re an important part of the group. 

For example, you could ask your viewers about what games they’d like to see you play next and start Reddit threats and social polls where your community can share their opinions. Doing so will help to keep your community strong and your viewers engaged.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Now you know the best way to build your streaming community and grow your channel. All that’s left to do now is to put that advice into practice.

Pixels Gaming has a bunch of tools and extensions that can help you to build your following too, so make sure you go check them out.

Good luck and keep streaming! 

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COMMUNITYNEWS

Positive Pixels

This past year has been such an incredible journey. We’ve seen Twitch evolve, we’ve seen streamers become more successful, and we’ve seen our community grow. The driving force behind Pixels Gaming is your passion for gaming, streaming, entertaining, and community building. Your passion inspires and motivates us to build better tools and resources.

We’ve put a lot of thought into our values and what message we want to share with the world. We recognize the unique value you provide to the world, and our goal is to help you grow your community in a unique and sustainable way. Often times, it’s a little spark of motivation and inspiration that can drive you to keep going.

We’re excited to launch our #positivepixels campaign. Through your support and our shared values, we hope to inspire others to ‘be different’ and follow their passions. This will start small, but we hope it will grow over time.

There are many ways to spread positive pixels. By having a positive, encouraging, and understanding attitude, you can spread positive pixels. By giving advice and mentorship to those who need help and support, you can spread positive pixels. By embracing diversity, inclusiveness, and being yourself, you can spread positive pixels.

We are also taking a visual approach to spreading positive pixels. We will share daily motivational quotes on our social media to help encourage and inspire others. Each photo we share has various elements of a pixel. The font is pixelated. The “game floor” is pixelated. The background is dominated by a single color. Colorful and simple.

You have an exciting journey ahead, and we can’t wait to be there along the way. Thank you for helping us spread positive pixels across the internet <3

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NEWS

10 Holiday Ideas for your Stream

It’s always a good idea to spice up your Twitch streams by adding a bit of the festivities. It’s a nice way to break the occasional monotony of things. This holiday, celebrate the season and bring in the cheer with these 10 holiday-themed ideas.

Play games with holiday or winter elements
As a gamer, playing holiday-themed games is a great way to enjoy the season. There are many retro Christmas games if you go the retro way, and MMOs often have winter or Christmas-themed outfits and places.

Dress up
A simple Christmas hat or knitted sweater can lighten up the mood of your stream. You can even get creative and design it however you want. If you want to make it fancy, there are hats and sweaters that light up and even full-blown costumes.

Add Holiday Twitch Extensions
You can also decorate your video screen with holiday cheer. The Twitch extension Christmas Presents lets you add a Christmas 3D scene to your video. It’s simple to install and lets your audience enjoy a winter wonderland view while you stream.

Decorate your room
If you want to go the extra mile and don’t mind putting some work, you can decorate your actual room, too. A couple of stockings, some fairy lights, and a tiny pine tree can do wonders to your stream set-up.

Music for the mood
The occasional jingling of some bells or instrumental Christmas music can bring some holiday mood to your stream. A jazzy Christmas tune or ringing of sleigh bells can cozy up your viewers.

Food Stream
Mukbang, a popular trend in South Korea, is a kind of video streaming where in the host prepares or eats a meal. Why not take a short break from gaming and treat your viewers to some nice holiday snacks?

Giveaways
Christmas is about giving, and your viewers would definitely appreciate a giveaway. If you have the extra cash to spare, having a giveaway this Christmas is a nice gesture to thank your viewers for sticking around with you this holiday season.

Charity
Speaking of extra cash, giving some amount to your preferred charity after doing certain milestones with your audience is a great way to celebrate the season of giving.

Advent Calendar Countdown
A daily countdown till Christmas, each with a secret activity or giveaway hidden behind each date would be a great game to have with your viewers. You can ask for suggestions or make all of it a surprise for your audience.

Play an activity or game with your viewers
If you don’t have the extra cash to spare, a simple activity with your viewers will suffice. You can ask for Christmas dedications or messages that you can occasionally read in your stream. You can also have a short karaoke of Christmas songs.

Happy holidays from Pixels Gaming! 🎄

^_^

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