i cant get past ten in flappy bird

Why Flappy Bird is so addictive

So, today I checked out Flappy Bird to see what all the fuss was about.

Let’s just say, I get it now.

As a game designer myself, I’m always thinking about how I could make a game similar to popular mobile games such as Angry Birds and Flappy Bird – simple, but addictive. (And probably slightly less rage inducing…)

And so, I outlined some key features and elements that I noticed this game had:

1. Frustration

If you’ve ever read the user reviews of this game or actually played it yourself, you’ll know that playing this ‘game’ makes you want to throw your phone at the wall and not care about the consequences. I’ve never been one to rage in games (I play MOBAs…) but the anger levels could’ve risen dangerously high had I continued playing Flappy Bird for longer than that 5 minute session.

2. Silly characters

“Flappy Bird” or the character you play as just looks like an oddball, frankly. He’s kinda like a weird mix between a duck, a baby chick and a small bird.

flappy bird logo

Is that supposed to be his beak!?

It’s flight animations don’t help, either.

3. Simple gameplay

All you gotta do to make the bird fly is tap the screen, similar to Tiny Wings where you have to hold your finger on the screen to dive. This means the game is ‘easy’ to play and get into for anyone of any age.

4. Difficulty

Flappy Bird is insanely hard. The controls are simple and the game seems easy enough but actually try playing it and you’ll soon find out that you did not in fact pass that pipe without hitting it.

flappy bird score 191

God knows how they got this far…

5. YOLO – You Only Live Once

You get one chance to pass each pipe and get as far as you possibly can before you lose it and then it’s game over. Combined with the insane difficulty, this makes the game very replayable – the player wants to ‘try again’ and also reduces the amount of development needed on the game.

These factors are what I consider to make up the addictive quality of Flappy Bird and possibly explain the massive success of this game (Flappy Bird makes over $50,000 per day… IKR?) That, and the familiar scenery… *cough* mario *cough*

P.S. My highscore is 5. 😛


DevBlog – Loading Bars #1, Incremental games

Sooo, I’m more or less finished with a game which I didn’t want to spend extra time blogging about, just have to add audio and it’ll be complete & ready for upload.

Anywho, I’ve been “playing” quite a bit of Cookie Clicker recently (now at 100,602,198,077,515 Cookies per second ;_;) and have been wanting to make my own lately and so I’m starting work on a incremental game.

This one’s theme will be loading bars since it seemed like a wacky thing to try and for some reason that was what I wanted it to be based on as soon as I thought about making it. At the moment I’m drafting ideas and drawing designing the UI to figure out where I want things, how the game should look and to see what stats I can fit in there.

I think I can let you see my draft 🙂 :

100 achievements
User interaction
Progress - 1:1 ratio of each percentage loaded.
Bars - Shows how many loads left till update is available.
Update - increases bar rank+loading speed.
Rank(each) = %speed increase
Prestige system:
Medals of Progress
All progress bars @rank 200 = prestige.
Level bar = increase size + player rank
Idle rewards:
Flashing bars - flash for 10 seconds, click to double load speed for 60 seconds
Easter Eggs:

I’ll be wanting this to have input from incremental players so I can craft it into something people will enjoy – even if the game doesn’t actually require input!

Random Game Design Tip #1 – Think passively

I find it’s often easier and less time consuming to use what I call “passive” methods instead of more “destructive” methods of coding.

So for example, instead of having a power where your character shoots a ball-like projectile which causes enemies to topple themselves (probably wouldn’t be too hard, if you knew how) you could have it do damage to them while passing through each of them, instead of using collision.

Don’t let this deter you from trying things out or making whatever you want, of course. However, if you’re short on time and costs are piling up, it’ll most probably be easier to code and use a lot less CPU resources too.

MonsterFest – DevBlog #1

Day 14

Hello there!

I saw another devblog somewhere and thought it seemed like a cool idea so I decided to make my own!

So I’ve been developing a monster-themed shoot-em-up with RPG elements for around 2 weeks now and I’ve gotten pretty far.

The main gameplay is done and now I’m just adding the RPG elements, making sure the HUD and everything works and working on menus in between.

It’s amazing what I have done within 2 weeks compared to my first app which took around 4 months using Lua in another 2D mobile SDK I was learning. (there were some minor setbacks).

Anyway, some screenies!

Here’s what I’ve accomplished so far(Thanks again to everyone who answered any questions I had!):

MonsterFest early development screenshot

“Dem grey orcs”

So as you can see, I’ve got my ugly grey orc placeholders spawning from each side and all my variables are running fine.

Each orc has it’s own HP bar which decreases in width when hit by the character(who currently has a pistol).

With intentions to have multiple characters available, I’m developing with that in mind and used an array for my character sheet to hold each of their values e.g. xp, mana, hp, power which can be upgraded with stat points(speaking of which, I completely forgot to add those to my array…), gained by leveling up or through other modes which will come along later.

The game is inspired by the 3D Tower Defense/RTS games, Dungeon Defenders and Orcs Must Die! 2 but will have more emphasis on character, weapons and the monsters themselves. I may even add a story.

It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that game development is indeed a lengthy and can be costly process but in the end, I can tell, it’s certainly worth it.