Lessons from Flappy Bird

One Flappy to rule them all. In the wake of controversy and intrigues surrounding the Flappy Bird game created by indie developer Dong Nguyen, there are a couple of lessons to be learned. According to Wikipedia, there is a great deal of timely discussions around just how much developers are encouraged to borrow, allowed to reuse content and be inspired from one another. Although Flappy Bird made a success, the game it was most likely inspired by – Piou Piou vs. Cactus, did not fly. For those that remember the early days of Minecraft there was a similar discussion back then. Perhaps the key point is to be honest, open and give credit where it belongs. In all directions, since its not about creating culture in a complete void.

There are a few key insights to draw from. First of all, Flappy Bird is evil in the sense that it is a real challenge – a classical challenge even worthy some of the more difficult Nintendo NES games like e.g. Section Z. Secondly the control and graphics are aesthetically simple, it must be regarded a masterpiece in itself. Add a quick turnaround to the equation – it only takes a couple of seconds between smashing into a pipe to be up and flapping again. Thanks to Kotaku and others the continuous impact and discussion is carefully documented and the latest MMO addition is no exception. In our case we will simply learn from it, and a nice libGDX tutorial is called “ZombieBird”. While we eagerly wait for the Flappy Bird relaunch that is.

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