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Monday, June 27, 2022

GamePix and the AppCampus Highway to Windows Launch

Have you ever felt like you wanted to conquer the world? Of course you have, and so have I, but we know what a huge hassle world dominance can be, so most of us can’t be bothered to actually go for it.

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Luckily there are games where your delusions of grandeur can be taken to. For example, Italian games startup GamePix offers an entertaining game concept that uses a real satellite map of the world as an online battlefield between players from across the world.

GamePix is a peculiar combination of world conquest and games within a game. Players need to create an avatar, which will grant them access to a library of over 15,000 HTML5 games created by independent game developers. Playing these games will earn the player credits, which can then be used for two things: area conquest or character improvement.

Character improvement is quite simple and straightforward: you spend coins to increase your avatar’s skill levels in stuff like attack, speed, resistance, luck etc. Alternatively, you can spend your credits to conquer any roughly 1km2 area, or “pixel” in a real world map. But beware: you’re not the only conqueror on the quest for absolute dominance, and if you try to invade a territory which is already owned, a battle to the death will ensue. Here’s where the skills kick in, and the higher your character level, the better your chances are of defeating your opponent and claim ownership of the pixel in question.

What started as a web-based HTML5 games aggregator and distributor back in 2012, GamePix quickly made its way to the mobile games industry and had its apps launched on iOS and Android. As of today, the app has finally reached the Windows Phone after a close collaboration and investment through AppCampus by Microsoft.

GamePix, who’s also a previous AppCademy Alumni, has been under the positive Microsoft spotlight thanks to it’s intriguing combination of potentially lucrative background and the multilayer game concept it uses. Why background? Because GamePix, a Rome-based company, has good home market grounds in Italy, a country where Windows Phone is the second biggest mobile operating system with a 14% market share. Additionally Windows Phone is the only one witnessing growth with an increase of 16% in 2014 worldwide, according to GamePix.

“Microsoft has supported GamePix since its early stages, initially through the BizSpark program that provided us software, technical support and free credits on the Azure cloud platform; then through AppCampus that directly invested in the startup for the development of a Windows Phone app”. Then he adds “we are sure this collaboration will continue in the future and we are going to release GamePix’ Windows 8 app shortly, where users will be able to continue their conquest of the world playing hundreds of games cross-device”, says Edouard Wawra, CEO of GamePix, expanding on the reasons behind the close relationship the two companies have had.

But how is the app itself?

In comparison to the web version its not very impressive. Graphics are relatively poor and the game crashes every now and then, but perhaps the biggest problem is the very short list of available games. However, this is GamePix’s first baby step under the strict copyright surveillance of Microsoft, so I guess we’ll have to give it a bit more time to expand the Windows app’s game catalogue.

In other terms, the aspect of world conquest is quite interesting, and as a source of extra distribution for indie game developers, GamePix is a good channel to do so.

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Raf is a tall, lanky Finn wandering in the UK academic landscapes. With an MA in Psychology (University of Aberdeen) he's taken his penchant for brain studies a step further by embarking on a MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. Long-time lurker and contributor at AS, always hungry for fresh story leads in Tech/Espionage/the Absurd.

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