Sunday Read: The Origins of Angry Birds
Are you an angry bird that wants to launch itself at a bunch of smug-looking pigs? That’s the premise of the hit iPhone/iPad game, Angry Birds. With over 5 million in sales, Mikael Hed (the CEO of the Finnish studio Rivio) explains to GamePro in a short interview about how they came up with the game.
I’ve played Angry Birds on the iPhone and iPad, and it’s a fantastic game. Why? Because it’s easy to play, but challenging to master. This was the premise behind Angry Birds and it’s advice other iOS developers can learn from. Create something really great, price it aggressively for $0.99 and you could have a hit on your hands.
Here’s an excerpt of the GamePro interview:
GamePro: How did you and the team come up with the concept of Angry Birds, a game where players use a slingshot to launch unhappy birds into structures and enemy pigs?
Mikael Hed: We were doing work for hire, so our strategy was that it will take a number of titles before we could realistically make one hit. We started taking less contracts to free up our own guys for internally-created projects. Then for the actual game we had a number of proposals coming from the team, and one of them was just this screenshot. Many of the proposals that we got were really well thought out, and then we had this one screenshot of this angry bird character just trudging around on the ground. Everybody in the room really liked the bird characters.
In the first meeting we said ‘okay, we should look at this character and come up with gameplay for it.’ Prior to this meeting we had set up strict criteria to determine which game we would go with, but we threw that out for the angry bird character.
GP: Aside from the iconic angry bird characters, what inspired the gameplay itself?
MH: The inspiration probably came from other games — Angry Birds definitely has a mixture of games in it. The most important part inspiration-wise for us were the characters. We started development in March 2009. There were a lot of people in the project throughout development. Probably about 10 people all-in-all. Towards the end we had four or five people. I remember coming back from my summer holidays and thinking that this is really not where I want the game to be. We went back to the original screenshot and asked ourselves where is the spark?
If you are a fan of Angry Birds, be sure to read the rest of the interview here. This game doesn’t seem to be slowing down in popularity. Have you finished the game yet?
Click here to download Angry Birds Lite if you want to try it out for free.