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Pixel Raiders - 2D Old School Shooter with Donkeys and Stuff!

A topic by Pixel Sword created Jan 08, 2017 Views: 2,055 Replies: 15
Viewing posts 1 to 16
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Using the last upwards facing tank, it's up to you to blast, shoot and destroy the Raider hordes, and defeat the generals leading the charge. Travel the world protecting our most treasured heroes and pets in this last-ditch attempt to save our stuff from this alien menace.

Pixel Raiders at hart is an old school arcade shooter inspired by Atari classics like Space Invaders and Centipede. It take homage from these games and twists them into a more modern interpretation of the gameplay.

Pixel Raiders will launch with:

  • 7 epic stages that will take you from the heart of the country all the way to outer space protected by the bad-ass bosses.
  • Unique devastating power ups to upgrade so you can blast, explode and annihilate the Raider hordes with glee.
  • Play the whole single player campaign and more with a friend in epic co-op action.
  • Challenge levels to test your skills with various power ups, combinations, enemies and more.


Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux. Demo version will support Web (HTML5)

Price: Unsure. Thinking of using a donation module. Idea is base game is free but the more you donate the more stuff you get. I.E OST, bonus levels or early access.

Distribution: Will look at other closer to the time.

Publishing: Self Published.

Team: Pixel Sword (me) doing art, code and design. Hadlow Audio doing sound design and testing.




Dev Up Date – 08/01/2017

At this point, Pixel Raiders is 30% complete. Currently most of the levels, enemies and bosses are complete or nearly finished. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. Core gameplay elements like the power up system are still in development and the final boss and its corresponding level are yet to be built. Co-op and challenge modes are still to be developed.

Completed so far is enough to release the first demo build (Pixel Raiders – Alpha) for HTML5 and Windows PC, and will be released in the next couple of days on Linux and Mac versions will follow soon after once they've been better tested. This will be joined with an older game of mine, Squares of Black Space that will be released here as well as a free web game.

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Game Dev Update - 10/01/2017

Last week was all about getting the Pixel Raiders demo and Squares of Black Space ready for their HTML5 release on So far, I am a bit behind but not too far that these launches will be bushed back to next week. I'm probably about a day or 2 behind schedule now.

Squares of Black Space is ready but I need sort out some of the music licensing with game but it should be out tomorrow. The build is for both web and windows with the web version also being mobile compatible.

For those that don't remember or haven't played Squares of Black Space when it was released on Windows Phone back in 2013; it's an action rhythm game that plays like a mix of Super Hexagon and Fruit Ninja. I'm re-releasing it to help fill a gap in my portfolio and when I last worked on it back in 2014 I had already made a HTML5 version in GameMaker.

The Pixel Raiders demo is in a similar position. Both HTML5 and Windows builds are ready to be deployed but the HTML5 version needs a couple of tweaks to help make it work better on mobile devices. This includes adding in a new tutorial and making the output window a bit bigger for those chubby fingers.

So, in a nut shell what's getting done this week:

Sorting out music for Squares of Black Space.

This could mean that people who donate get a copy of the songs that feature in the game, have a choice to buy them from an online store or just get them free.

Release Squares of Black Space the HTML5 and Windows version on this Wednesday (11/01/2017).

Add a tutorial for mobile controls to the Pixel Raiders HTML5 demo.

It's been a bit tricky as I'm not sure if the GameMaker can tell what device the game is running on through a browser.

Resize Pixel Raiders HTML5 demo so it's easier to control on mobile devices and those with big chubby fingers.

Pixel Raiders demo to be released this Thursday (12/01/2017) on as both as a web game playable on desktop and browsers through a browser and as a standalone Windows executable or zip file.

I'll also be looking to up my game in looking for contract work as a game developer or producer. This means that the site will be getting a bit of an update and I'll be looking at taking on work. In the meantime, you can view my LinkedIn profile to find out more about my experiences here:

Demo Release Update - 14/01/2017

Pixel Raiders - Alpha Demo has been released and the Pixel Raiders page is up and running!

Play it now here:

After a couple of delays, you can now play the alpha demo of Pixel Raiders in browser or on Windows. It includes the complete first stage of the game, the ability to upgrade your tank and exclusive to the HTML5 demo touch controls for all you playing on mobile. It's still very early days so please remember this is still at a very early stage and your feedback is welcome!

If you can please donate to help continue the development of the Pixel Raiders. With every donation, you help support continued work on the game and my alcoholism.

Thanks everyone and happy playing

Game Dev Update – 16/01/2017

Saturday seen the release of the Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo on that can now be played in browser or downloaded for Windows. It represents the first level of the game, the basic mechanics and functionality that will make up the core gameplay. As an alpha, it also represents where the game is currently at in development and how it plays at this very early stage.

You can play it now here:

With the demo now done and released it's time to get back to work on the main branch of Pixel Raiders. This week's focus will be on the weapon and upgrade systems for the game so in other words; LASERS, ROCKETS, EXPLOSIONS AND BAD ASS STUFF WEEK!


The first thing to do will be to add the player controlled rockets and sort out the upgrade tree. I was originally thinking of doing the upgrade tree similar to Titan Attacks (awesome arcade shooter) but I'm probably going to go down the Dawn of War 2 character upgrade path instead. With this type of tree I use the tank upgrades as

I want to start working on improving the art for the game as well. I'm happy with the pallet and overall design of the enemies, levels and the tank but it needs refining. I feel I can make the game look better but just need to get some more experience and training under my belt so I'll also try to get some tutorials done. If you know any great tutorials that have helped you out, please get in touch.

Lastly, another game will be released this week on and that's Squares of Black Space. It was meant to be out last week but I needed to get something sorted out with the music first before it could go live. Squares of Black Space will be playable in browsers or downloadable as a standalone experience on Windows.

Mid Week Game Dev Update - 19/01/17


This weeks development has not gone to plan at all. The only thing I managed to get down was updating the of That Guy (Pixel Raiders' first boss) and finding out that all the art assets are corrupted in GameMaker working drive.

So, Yep. Balls!

But not is all lost. This gives me the perfect opportunity to go back through my assets one by one and make sure there updated. This does mean the rocket power up wont be developed this week but there will be shiny new assets and EXPLOSIONS! Everyone loves explosions.

So the plan now:

- Go through each asset and update it.

- Get all the assets back into the game so it runs again.

- Figure out why the backup failed.

- Create a new backup folder that backs-up the backup.

Game Dev Update - 23/01/2017

Last week it all went a bit horribly wrong after GameMaker somehow managed to rewrite all the game files and art assets with blank information after Windows crashed. This caused some delays and thus didn't quite get what I wanted done. Notably I never got anywhere near started adding in the new power up weapons or tweaking the upgrade system. However, I'll get that done this week instead.

It wasn't all bad news. The problem did mean I got to go through some of the assets and upgrade them. Most notably all the enemy assets where all upgraded including that of the first boss, That Guy. They've now got a bit more detail and pop a wee bit more from the background than they used to. At some point, I'll probably go over them again but for now I'm fairly happy.

So, what got done last week:

Main game project corrupted so had to go back to an older save to recover.

Upgraded the enemy assets to be more in line with the boss enemies done later in development.

Added new animations to That Guy, the original boss from the first level.

What's getting done this week:

Adding new power ups and pickups like the homing rockets, health backs, shield and points.

Updating the upgrade system to allow the player to upgrade their tank but also the power ups. I.e Make bigger things go boom boom.

Fix a couple of bugs that are just annoying me now.

If you haven't done so already, please go try out the alpha demo on here:

Game Dev Update – 30/01/2017

Last week focused on getting some of the new power-ups in and collectibles that will be dropping during the game. They include devastating weapons like the laser, homing rockets and shield as well as health, points and money pickups. For those that have played the demo (available here) you've already had a taste of the laser, shield and health pickups so what was done was to add the points and new homing rocket weapon into the game. The system was also tweaked a wee bit and I've made it possible for each of the weapon power ups to be upgradable (shield, laser and homing rockets)

Also, last week I managed to fix a couple of wee bugs that caused glitches in the menu system but also started looking at the enemy explosions to make them better and more flued animation wise. I'll continue this this week and start changing some of the hit and player death animations as well as the effects.

This week the big focus is on audio assets and music. I'm need to dive back in and restructure the audio assets already in the game and get new ones created by Jason Hadlow (Hadlow Audio). The game has changed a lot since we first done it back in 2014 so we need to revise some of it.

Game Dev Blog - 06/05/2017

Really short one this week as not a lot of exciting things happened last week.

The big focus is right now on the audio and looking over the old stuff to see how it compares to the new stuff. This has been done for the music but I still need to do it for effects. As a result I'll be continuing on it this week.

Another thing I did last week was to look into some shader effects for Pixel Raiders to make it more 80s however I never got anything ready that I'm happy with to show off… actually didn't get anything ready in time at all to be honest. However I'm going to look at it again this week to.

Sorry for having nothing exciting this week but hopefully I'll have some cool things to show off next week.
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Game Dev Update - 13/02/2017

Work on Pixel Raiders is progressing well. Last week I focused on explosions, shaders and looked over the music with Hadlow Audio. I also managed to fix a wee bug with the games aspect ratio that was throwing things off a bit.

Added Last Week:

- Instead of hand drawn sprites I'm now using particles. It adds a bit more to the game and they look super cool.

- Shader Effects
- Added a blur to the pause menu and scene fringe to the main menu. This just adds a bit more needed polish to those screens.

- Music
- Discussed the music of Pixel Raiders with Hadlow Audio. Going to look at turning some of the tracks up to 11.

Getting Done This Week:

- The Farm Level
- Farm level needs a bit of an update so I'm going to start looking at how I improve that.

- The City Level
- This has been a pain since its conception but I love the idea. I'm going to look at finally getting this done.

- Player hit and death animation.
- The player needs to explode and I need to make it more obvious you've been hit.

- Sound Effects.
- Promised Hadlow Audio that I would get this done last week…. Sorry. :P

Remember you can play the alpha demo version of Pixel Raiders over on here:

Game Dev Update - 28/02/2017

Over the last week I've been doing a lot of work on some redesign and effects work on Pixel Raiders. We've now got new effects for explosions on all enemies, bosses and the player as well as shader effects to pretty things up a bit. I've also made a bit of a change to the farm level (stage 1) of the game as well as started on city level (stage 3).

In other news, Jason (Hadlow Audio) is looking at revisiting the tracks for the game. We recently went through them all to see what needed updating, tweaked and changed.

Done last week:

  • Farm level (Stage 1) background has had a wee face lift and now fits with the rest of the levels.
  • Started working on the City level (Stage 3). This is a total redesign for what was in the game before because it was poop.
  • EXPLOSIONS! The explosions have now been added to the bosses and the tank (player), and they look awesome.
  • The tank and any enemy that takes more than one hit will flash white.
  • SHADERS! New ones have been added when the player is hit and when they've been destroyed.

Getting done this week:

  • Will continue working on the City level (Stage 3)
  • Designing a new boss for the Mars level (Stage 6)
  • Do a bit of gameplay tweaking to the Desert level (Stage 2) so it's playable and not a big miss match of ideas.
  • Start looking at getting the rest of the special characters working probably.
  • Get the demo updated with the new assets and launch it on GameJolt.

All in all it's a pretty busy week for Pixel Raiders and if you want to check out the alpha demo head over to the page here:

You can also keep up to date with the latest news on You can also keep up to date with the latest news on twitter and facebook.

Game Dev Update - 07/03/2017

It was another week of lasers and art. This week I focused on getting the boss version of the laser into the game and did some work on the city level (Stage 3). The game was also tweaked a wee bit behind the scenes and things like enemy deaths were made a bit more simple. All in all a pretty good week.

Also, I've started to look at GameJolt as another home for Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo and development blogs; and I've got to say I'm pretty impressed. The features on offer are pretty cool and the fact that it monetises through visits to the game is really nice. It's got some other nifty things to like a radio player, great development blog system and a lot of awesome games. If you haven't go check it out here:

So what am I doing this week? My main focus will be getting the Alpha Demo up and running on GameJolt. This will mean I'll have to create new marketing assets, descriptions and screenshots. I'm also going to continue on the city level and if I get time I've got a wee thing I want to add to the farm level.

Done last week:

  • LASERS! The boss laser has now been changed to be more like the super weapon the player uses. All red, flashy and super destructive.
  • Started work on the new design of the city level to make it less noisy and more in keeping with the other levels.
  • Did some research into GameJolt and started looking at how to get Pixel Raiders uploaded to it.

This week's tasks:

  • Update the Alpha Demo with the new art assets for the farm level and enemies.
  • Create the marketing assets for the Pixel Raiders' GameJolt page.
  • Upload the game and create a GameJolt page and release it to the public.
  • Continue to work on the city level.
  • Add the crops to the farm level to give it that little extra touch.

As usual you can still play the Alpha Demo on here:

You can also keep up to date with the latest news on You can also keep up to date with the latest news on twitter and facebook.

Game Dev Update - 14/03/2017

The new version of the Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo is finished and ready for release this Thursday (16th of March 2017). This cut down version of the main build in it's alpha stage will come out on and for the first time on GameJolt. Both sites will have the main HTML5 build that can be played straight from your browser as well as downloadable Windows and Mac versions.

With the new demo release taking up most of the my time this week the big focus will be on supporting that. This means I'll be focusing on testing the build, creating screenshots, making builds and supporting the release. With this in mind I'm probably not going to get much done on the main build and will probably only be able to add some fixes I made for the demo. Next week focus will return back on the main branch of Pixel Raiders… promise.

Done last week:

  • Finished Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo II for it's release this Thursday on GameJolt and
  • Taken screenshots and created gifs for both versions of the game for the new pages GameJolt and
  • Updated and created new marketing assets to promote Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo II release.
  • Worked on a short Game Dev Blog video to be released at the same time as the new demo.

This week's tasks:

  • Finish testing Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo II on Mac and Windows PCs.
  • Create the final demo builds for Mac and Windows.
  • Write release blog post and update the TigForums, GameMaker community forums and developer forums first post with new links and screens.
  • Create a couple of game play videos for both versions of Pixel Raiders.
  • Review core mechanics of the main build.

As usual you can still play the first version of the Alpha Demo on here:

You can also keep up to date with the latest news on You can also keep up to date with the latest news on twitter and facebook.

RELEASE UPDATE - 19/03/2017

Good new everyone! Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo 2 has now been released on with new assets, new farm level design, better explosions and lasers! You can play it now on in your browser just like the last alpha demo or download it for Windows and for the first time Mac as well.

Pixel Raiders Alpha Demo 2 got it's first Let's Play. :D

Watch Phyzik Gaming blast his way through the latest version of the demo for Pixel Raiders as he tries to save the donkey from the Raider menace.

You can find more of his awesome stuff here:

Also if you wan't to play the game yourself just head over to the Pixel Raiders page here:

Hello everyone and sorry for the time it's taken me to write this update. I do apologies but a lot has changed over the last month.

Let's start with the big one. I have a new job working as a Project Manager for a company over in Edinburgh that I started on the 10th of April. As you could expect this has taken a lot of my time recently and as a result haven't had the time to focus on Pixel Raiders as much as I would like.

Now, development has not stopped and Pixel Raiders has not been canned but it has slowed a bit. I'm pretty much now reliant at scrapping up time here and their to do some work. Not the most ideal however this will not always be the case. I'm pretty much waiting to get my first full pay check through to purchase a laptop. This will hopefully let me work on the game during my commutes between Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as any other trips I make.

The aim is still to have Pixel Raiders finished this year and I am hoping to have some awesome new gamedev updates very soon.

Thank everyone for the support so far.


Quality dev blog and I enjoy the art style and especially the fact you put it in the daytime for a few rounds. It looks like it has more depth than the typical Invaders clone that's out there. Keep going! I like the tank's stop and go animation too :-)