Bye bye birdie: decoding the rise and fall of Flappy Bird

Bye bye birdie: decoding the rise and fall of Flappy Bird
Softtalkblog

Presented by Softtalkblog

February 19th 2014 at 12:00PM

Intel Developer Blog: Softtalkblog pays tribute to the mobile phenomena that shone so brightly for a brief moment

Game apps are funny things. You can create the most advanced and impressive game, but it may not go down so well with users. Or you can create the simplest of games, and it will go completely viral. It’s unpredictable and, in the same way that many bands stop playing their big hits at gigs, sometimes developers decide it’s time to pull their most successful apps off the app stores.

That’s exactly happened with Flappy Bird. Indie developer Dong Nguyen’s immensely popular game was the number one downloaded free app in both the Apple App Store and Google Play for nearly a month. However, despite reportedly pulling in $50,000 every day from ad revenue, Nguyen took the game out of all app stores on February 9th.

Whether or not this was all just one heck of a publicity stunt is up for debate. But what can Android developers take from the whole saga? As blogged by Wendy Boswell on the Intel Developer Zone, there are three main learnings for coming up with, and maintaining, your own Flappy Bird:

Design:
The gameplay, graphics and overall ‘feel’ of the game were all part of the game’s charm. It was clean and simple, and crucially, the controls were intuitive. No one wants to mess around with tutorials; for throwaway games to play on the bus, they want to be able to get going straight away.

Addictiveness:
‘Addictive’ is the word most commonly associated with Flappy Bird. It was difficult, you could share and compare your scores, and the gameplay was short enough for people to spend just a few seconds here and there trying to get a higher score.

Simplicity:
It’s free and it’s fast. Those are two key ingredients for tapping into new audiences, who might not have been into gaming before.

You can read more about Flappy Bird from start to finish on the Intel Developer Zone.

And of course, having the right tools at your disposal is the foundation of any app. What other rules do you follow when creating your own game apps?

This blog post is written by
 Softtalkblog, and is sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone, which helps you to develop, market and sell software and apps for prominent platforms and emerging technologies powered by Intel Architecture.