TIME Video Games

Flappy Bird Creator Considers Relaunching the Game — He’s Working On New Games, Too

Flappy Bird
Hoang Dinh—AFP/Getty Images

Don't call it a comeback... yet. But if it happens, let's definitely call it a comeback.

Now that Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen has enjoyed a month out of the spotlight, he’s thinking about bringing back his hit game, and releasing some new ones.

Rolling Stone’s David Kushner managed to track down Nguyen in his home town of Hanoi, Vietnam, where he’s been hiding out at a friend’s house and dodging most media requests. And apparently, he’s feeling a lot better now:

Since taking Flappy Bird down, he says he’s felt “relief. I can’t go back to my life before, but I’m good now.” As for the future of his flapper, he’s still turning down offers to purchase the game. Nguyen refuses to compromise his independence. But will Flappy Bird ever fly again? “I’m considering it,” Nguyen says. He’s not working on a new version, but if he ever releases one it will come with a “warning,” he says: “Please take a break.”

Kushner also got a glimpse at a few new games Nguyen is working on, including a cowboy-themed shooter, an “action chess” game and a vertical flying game called Kitty Jetpack. He plans to release one of the games this month.

The entire story is worth a read if you’re obsessed with Flappy Bird and were baffled by its sudden disappearance from the iOS App Store and Google Play. Here’s one more snippet, which explains how Nguyen took a previous game, Shuriken Block, and stripped the idea down further so players didn’t have to look at where they tapped on the screen.

He modeled the game on one of the most masocore analog creations ever: paddleball. The toy was a simple design – just a wooden paddle with a string attached to a rubber ball. But players would be lucky to bounce the ball more than a few times in a row.

Like paddleball, he limited his game to just a couple of elements – the bird and the pipes – and resisted the usual urge to lard the action with new elements as the player progressed. He tuned the physics so that the bird was fighting gravity so strong, even the slightest wrong tap would kill it.

Nguyen didn’t just accidentally make a brilliant game. He iterated until he had something that deserved its viral success.

MORE: The History of Video Game Consoles – Full

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team