#FlappyJam Entry and my view of the fiasco

In light of what has become 2014’s first phenomenon, I’m announcing my entry into the #FlappyJam, the games jam in tribute to Flappy Bird, and protest from the backlash it has gotten from being taken down. While it took me as long to make as the original game (less than three days), the story surrounding Flappy Bird made me unsure about whether I should put it up online or not. This game is Tappy Bird.

   

Go here to download and play.

The origin of this started on February 6th, after going out bowling with some friends and waiting to head home, one of them started talking about Flappy Bird. Most of what I knew at the time was from way too many posts and short videos of the game, most of it from people complaining that it was too hard for a game that’s very simple, so I was sick of hearing about it. Despite my attitude, I tried it out on his phone, and I thought it was OK. I’m assuming a lot of people reading this know what Flappy Bird looks and plays like, if not then here is one of the very few gameplay videos online that does not rant about it:

So my opinion from playing it is that for a game made in three days, it’s designed really well, but the gameplay is very simple and lacks variety. The difficulty was high, but the thing that did bother me was how it was lacking in any variety. It then got into a mini-debate of sorts of how good or bad the game was that I ended up saying “I could make this in a weekend”. That statement alone resulted in me setting a challenge for myself, and it stayed within my mind until I decided on Saturday evening to do it. I had a free Sunday to fully work on the game, starting off with the flying bird, then the scrolling floor, the pipes, the background, the moving wing ect. I was challenging myself to remake a game with no premade code, only using what the LibGDX framework provided and using screenshots and my memory as reference.

Then came the news even I didn’t expect, Dong Nguyen, developer of Flappy Bird, taking the game down due to pressure. Immediately I knew this news wasn’t going to go well, even if it did satisfy the haters enough to stop harassing and criticising the game, he’s now going to get loads of players now backlashing him. Unfortunately, the outcome was what I predicted.

Ever since I first heard about the huge popularity of the game, I thought the gamers were getting way to serious about something so simple, and so reading death threats from people, clearly disregarding the fact that the one man who made this game is a human being with a breaking point, it made me feel guilty just by making a clone just to prove a point. The following day I showed my friends, including the one who I was debating with about Flappy Bird, and they all thought I did a good job for a weekend’s worth. After that, I didn’t think it was worth uploading, both because of the bad press at the time and I didn’t think it was worth it. Then I saw the FlappyJam, where they happily encouraged people to make games similar to Flappy Bird to show that we as indie game developers should be supportive, and shouldn’t give into hate when someone gets successful.

I took some time to think it over, and it’s right, I shouldn’t let a simple game bother me, I make simple games too. While we are all trying to catch our big break, we should be supporting others who are also trying to catch that same goal, or celebrate those who have made it. If they aren’t hurting anyone, they shouldn’t be judged for making what other people seem to like more. So that’s why I decided to submit my Flappy Bird game, to be involved in a community. Feel free to play it, write a comment or rate it here, and thank you for reading.

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