A while ago


Before the release of the amazing Pixelmator 2.0, we thought we should have some fun… And, boy, did we do the craziest thing this year…

…we created a game. Yep. A real game. A completely complete iOS game for our beloved iPhones, iPads and iPods (touch).

The game is called Flapcraft. And it is awesome. And here is what it looks like:

In Flapcraft, you play as a handsome Viking doing tricks in the air by flying on a wooden log. To perform those tricks more effectively, the Viking’s wooden log can be upgraded with techy stuff like wings, rockets, engines and more. The game looks gorgeous, features great sound, and is fully accelerometer-based. In short—well, you should try the game for yourself—it is a lot of fun.

Oh, and just to make things clear: We are not going into the game business anytime soon. If you try to get the business logic behind Flapcraft… don’t; there is none. Flapcraft was developed during beta testing of Pixelmator 2.0—well, of Pixelmator’s 2.0 painting engine, to be more precise. We found that testing Pixelmator 2.0 by creating game graphics was very effective. What’s more, we made ourselves comfortable with many of those great iOS technologies in the process. In fact, we handled everything ourselves in the building of Flapcraft—no third party was involved.

To create the game from scratch, we used Pixelmator 2.0, GarageBand, and, of course, Xcode. You’d be very surprised at how easy it is to create a game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch if you know the tools. Actually, the special Flapcraft page on our website was created using Pixelmator 2.0. We even did a short making-of Flapcraft video.

Flapcraft is available right there on the App Store for only $1.99. It is a completely universal app that will fully work on all iOS devices once downloaded, whether iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. And, yep, it does support the amazing iPhone 4 Retina display.

For more information on and screenshots of Pixelmator’s Flapcraft, please visit the Flapcraft page on our website or view the game description in iTunes.

Now go ahead and have fun. After all, the game is twice as cool when you know that it was created with your favorite image editing app. I hope you like it.

As for me, I am getting back to work on the Pixelmator 2.0 release. Still some stuff left to do there.


  • Manuel Ruiz

    It looks awesome! I’ll be sure to check it out!

  • Thomas

    It’s an awesome idea to make a side project like that to get a feel for your own product! (Besides being fun as you said)
    As someone who always wished for better painting capabilities in Pixelmator I’m really looking forward to 2.0 now.

  • Jason Nickel

    Doing a side-project that not only takes advantage of your next Pixelmator update but also gives your customers something to have fun with while waiting for the release is an awesome idea. Thank you so much!

    I almost finished the game already though. Still struggling with reaching the other bank. How far away is this thing?! It’s unbelievable 😀

  • Leonardo Avesani

    Hey guys!

    Can you share what game/physics engine (if any) you have used?

    Awesome idea. Game turned out great! Loved it.

  • Dave

    So now that you’ve “made [your]selves comfortable with many of those great iOS technologie”, does this mean we can expect an iPad version of Pixelmator? 😀

  • Mike

    Well I wouldn’t say you made a game. You made a cracker of a game. Its fun and simple to pick up. I DO expect more levels soon though. 😉

    I also think that putting pixelmator 2 to the test is a brilliant idea and gets you to understand workflow issues that could come up.

    Well done.

  • hamsta

    So you did used the game development to test 2.0 Chameleon. Sneaky! I goes that is why I didn’t get my beta this time. ?_?

  • hamsta

    Ugh! Gotta quit typing so fast!!! Ignore “did” on the prev post. 😛

  • Gamrcobe Studios

    Great job on the game, simple, fun, addicting! One question is that the entire Pixelmator team at the very end of the game? I would love to see a free wallpaper with all those great ending scenes full size!
    Oh and please at least release more levels!!! Thanks.

  • Duss

    I too really enjoy the game, and I too am stuck at trying to get to the other bank at the moment. It’s a bit on the short side, but impressively well-polished and the game mechanic really does work well – and I don’t usually enjoy accelerometer based games. Well done.

  • Mike

    I left a review for the game. One thing I added though was please more tips on how you went about doing the gfx.


    Mike R

  • Martin (MacMacken)

    You have time to develop a game but you haven’t been able to fix serious Pixelmator bugs for months? #fail

  • PsykX

    Wow, can Pixelmator really do all of this? And now I realize how much I suck at drawing 😛

  • Wit S.

    A tip on reaching the other bank would be useful 😀

    And I’m dying to try those painting tools used in Pixelmator 2!

  • Garrett

    Awesome game guys! Love the artwork, and it appears to be a great way to test the new software.

    As for the other bank, I made it this morning, but didn’t do anything real special. I guess I just got lucky once!


  • Greg

    For those of you that have made it to the other bank, can you post tips? Did you fly as high as possible then coast? Use rockets flying level? Stay low to the ground and fly as straight as possible? What’s the best strategy?

  • Mike

    My tip is tap. 😉 Seriously. Further clues if you don’t understand.

  • Dainius

    Can’t wait for switching that big nonsense PS to Pixelmator.

  • Tipster

    Hi @ll

    For those that can’t reach the other bank i have a tip :

    You have to upgrade to maximum and just after take off press TURBO and set your Viking in 35 degrees position, hold turbo untill it will expire.

    You should be able to reach around 150 feet and then put your viking in 0 degree to fly around 30 mph and leave it like this untill the end – i have made 970 feet with this and reached FINAL.

  • BLasse

    You have time to develop a game but you haven’t been able to fix serious Pixelmator bugs for months? #fail


  • FrancescoK

    I must echo some people’s sentiments – you promised Pixelmator 2.0 “later this summer” and it doesn’t make the best impression that you developed an iOS game in the meantime when at the same time you miss the originally announced release timeframe.

    That being said, the game looks really good. looking forward to play it, and the painting engine for Pixelmator seems to be coming along great if it was used for it.

    Now, if we could have a 2.0 release… 🙂

  • Tommy

    Come on guys!!! Are you kidding!? We are waiting for 2.0 since spring due to some very big bugs and an obsolete typing tool and you prefer to develop an ios game. Congratulation – actually you have lost a client!

  • Norman

    @Tipster WOW, your tip works for me, it definitely worth trying!

  • Drew


    Do you expect them to release a graphic tool without trying it on a project?? And what better project then a cash making iOS game? that not only makes cash but shows how powerful the graphic can be?

    I am amazed that people feel that just cause they are customer they deserve to decide what’s best for the company (they do not OWN or work for).

    I am sure that they worked on bugs on pixelmator that they wouldn’t have found without trying it on a project and they are demonstrating that you can make Pro style graphic and EARN money with it… all with a sub 50$ program a free Xcode and your skill…

    I ma sure many users never tought that pixelmator was THAT good!

  • Tom

    I bought it just because you make Pixelmator, but it’s actually a nice little game. Well done! Looking forward to ditching Photoshop for my own game projects.

  • Jared

    Drew, there’s nothing wrong with making a game based on what they made while testing 2.0. It does seem odd, however, to take time out of the Pixelmator development cycle to work on a random side project. Seems like it would have been better to make the art assets as a test of 2.0, finish 2.0, and *then* make Flapcraft. Certainly it can make a nice selling point for Pixelmator if they market it right, but shouldn’t their priority–right now, at least–be to existing customers?

    You’re right, though, none of us has a “right” to complain, because it’s their company and they can do what they want. They could abandon Pixelmator and only make fart soundboard apps, and none of us could do anything about it. On the other hand, they promised 2.0 to the early buyers of the App Store, and it’s taken much longer to deliver that promise than I, for one, expected. I’m fully aware that I’ve been able to use 1.6.x in the meantime, though, so I’m trying to temper my annoyance.

    Simply a little more communication, or a clearer release window, would do much to alleviate the frustration many have. I’m pretty sure they knew they wouldn’t be releasing 2.0 until the end of August at the earliest, so why say “later in the summer”? That announcement was made June 2nd, so “later” means any time between June 3 and August 31. With there still being no announcement, I’m assuming we won’t see Pixelmator 2.0 until September. Better to be surprised if it comes out tomorrow than to be disappointed.

    Really, though, my irritation is this: They constantly refuse to add CMYK support, an oft-requested feature (because they “don’t see the value” or some such nonsense), but they have time to make a random iOS game.

  • Jenny

    In my point of view the pixelmator team did a great job with this very nice piece of software.

    But, I ‘ve a problem with broken promises like Jared already said.

    And – in my point of view – there is another problem. These pixelmator guys became to successful and can’t handle it. They are forgetting that we (the customers) make them big and don’t care about customers needs. I hope they will remind who they are very soon.

  • Drew

    Once again I understand your frustration..but I guess you are all taking it too hard..

    Broken promises?? when did ANY company promise anything? Release date can be missed (Apple missed a couple in the last OS X versions) and as a matter of fact Pixelmator said they would release it by SUMMER…and i think we are still in summer…so they still haven’t missed the release timeframe.

    I agree they could be more specific, but then again saying a date and then missing it would be even worse….

    On a side note they could very well being working 8 hours a day on Pixelmator and on the side doing iOS development, so that would not get time away from the main development (8 hours a day is a complete day of work and what they do with the spare time is their business).

    My point is, people make assumptions no one promised anything (well they said they were gonna release PIX 2 for early adopter as free upgrade….but the last time i checked it it is still like that so it ain’t broken) when i bought from the MAS they said free update when we release version 2 …. there was no timeframe, and the timeframe they gave us (summer) later is still there.

    Even if they missed it ….well things happens big company miss release date and as for announcement? well did they ever announce a release before?? i always got the update as a sort of a surprise…. why would they announce it now???

    @Jenny…. they become successful and cannot handle it?? Wow talking about assumptions!!!! We the customer bought a software cause it was worthed and because you were promised an update… (that once again …will be released!)

    I simpatico with you … i too want it and want it now… but making a scene would not make things faster…

  • Jared

    I dunno, I don’t think I’m making a scene, I’m just trying to explain some of the frustration that people might be feeling. As for deadlines, we’re rapidly approaching the time when most people consider summer “over”. As in, September. Maybe we’ll see it tomorrow. If so, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. (I also never said anything about broken promises, but I *do* think they were a bit misleading on the timeframe.)

    I always think you should announce release dates for later than what you actually expect. That way, if you meet your real goal, you look amazing for getting it out early. And if you don’t, you have a little buffer in which to get things together.

    But then again, I didn’t gross $1 million in the App Store in 20 days, so what do I know?

  • hamsta

    Oh no Team Pixelmator, looks like the mob is after you!!! @_@

  • Drew

    Just cause a “most people” believe that summer ends August 31…doesn’t make it so 😉

  • Mike

    I will forgive the pixelmator folks if they give us some good tutorials on how they did the graphics for this game. Backgrounds movement etc. 😉 😀


  • Marcel

    +1 for tutorials with examples from the game. I bought Pixelmator (2times because of the MAS 🙁 ) and Flapcraft and I really like both. It would be great if you could show some workflows which you do to develope the game!

  • Ikir

    Awesome game, the gfx art is fantastic. I’m not a tue viking because I’m not able to finish the last level!!
    I can’t wait to try Pixelmator 2.0.

    Eh eh some users are very lame reading these comments. Ignore them. You’re doing an impressive job with Pixelmator, for my use it is enough and I’ve stopped using that crap software called Photoshop done by a giant software house and they don’t even bother update it when a new OS come out.

  • Alex

    You guys are awesome. That is all I have to say.

    Also, I second Mike – give us some tutorials, will you? 😉

  • Matt

    Only thing I need from Pixelmator to convert from Photoshop is a decent Text tool. Ability to adjust space between characters and just more flexibility in general is essential.

    Hope you provide this in 2.0.

  • Lee

    People, back off. Development isn’t easy. And working day in and out on bugs and features takes hard work. You don’t know how much time they put aside on Flapcraft. They might have an excellent OpenGL employee. Point is saying, as a user, how does it feel to use my software? Is this the best workflow? Where are things not performing optimally. You ought to appreciate what they did.

    Fun game. ^^

  • Peter

    What’s the song used in the “making of Flapcraft” video? It sounds great.

  • Aaron Paxton

    The game is great. Well done.

    However, my impression of your organization has sunk a little. Pixelmator 2 should be released already and instead you’re offering up a video game. People are looking to your product, among others, as an alternative to Adobe software and you – like so many other Mac indie developers – doddle and delay critical releases in favour of turning out quick money-grab side-apps.

    I’m sorry, but this situation does not inspire confidence in your organization.

  • Mike

    Well the main site says coming later this month on the sneak peek page. I had hoped it would have been here already but at least there is some news from them.

  • Jared

    Lee, I think we all know development isn’t easy. We might be anxious to try the new software, but I think everyone gets that it won’t (and shouldn’t) be released until it’s good and ready. But communication? That’s easy. And not getting done.

    (They very may well have someone who is great at OpenGL. Thing is, there’s only two people on the team, unless the company page is outdated. If they were a big team, they could probably release a dozen iOS apps without cutting into Pixelmator development. Seems less likely with two, however.)

    Mike, good find (assuming it didn’t say that before; I never checked). At least now we know they might make their “later this summer” goal. A quick blog update would still be nice…

  • pao

    Hmm. Given a choice between 1.6x today, 2.beta tomorrow and 2.0 when it is ready; I for one am quite happy to wait unti 2.0 is ready. So what if the dev team have been having some fun and testing out their own software at the same time? That is up to them, it is their software, their company and they are their own bosses. If you don’t like it and want stuff now with Photoshop features then open your wallet and buy a Photoshop licence.

    Don’t forget that we are licensing their software not buying their services and so have no right to demand stuff now.

  • j.

    I think a lot of people are missing the context. When PM moved to the App Store, users were given the choice to pay $29 now (with the impression that the offer might end very soon) and, as the only benefit, get 2.0 when it’s out in summer. If they’d wait until they can actually test 2.0 hands on, they’d likely have to pay the full price, whatever that means. One can totally argue that people were nudged into preordering 2.0 that way and are now understandably waiting for it to be released.

  • k.

    j. , exactly what I did. I did not feel 1.x was worth the money for what I needed it for. When they offered the upgrade price for the full product and showed some of what it could do I jumped on it. They made it sound like it would be out sooner than this, and you had to act fast or the offer would end. Not happy with the company and the lack of communication.

  • hamsta

    Informational post:
    j – Full price means the original price of $59.
    k – It was for a limited time, the only reason it was extended was due to complainers & malcontents like….

  • JQ

    @Jared et al

    With development, it’s necessary to take time away from a project or you get burned out. Try working full-time on the same project for a few years and see how you feel.

    @Jared in particular… Don’t you have some work to do? 😉

  • Mars

    What drawing tablet was that?

  • Spiffers

    I bought Pixelmator over a year ago, then it was total utter crap. So I went back to PS. But when I read I had to buy it all over again in the app store, I said fuck it. I downloaded the latest ipdate, and it was still crap. Well, only wasted a coupleof full price licenses there. So 2.0 was announced and as a MAS app only. So in faith I got another set of licenses for Pixelmator. And what am I stuck with? A censored ant app that stinks crap all the way. My bad, I should have waited and rather pay full price for it ONCE MORE. But now I can get a refund from Apple if 2.0 is as crappy as the current one.

  • Laurent


    Since PixelMator is not really targeted at creating sprites and animation I would be interested to know how you transformed your images and layers into fully functional animations for the game.

    Did you export your sprites frame after frame from PixelMator? Did you split the viking and put its members back in place inside xcode? Used another tool?

    How painful was it? 🙂


  • tony


    can you say what game/physics engine (if any) you have used?

  • Mike


    I loved this game back in 2012 and I’d love to play it now on my iPhone 6. Can you please link me where I can buy it? As it looks like it’s unavailable in the App Store:(


  • Calvin

    Pls bring this game back 🙁