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article imageThe science behind our Flappy Bird addiction

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By Megan Morreale     Feb 18, 2014 in Gaming
There is a formula behind those simple and addictive games that bring us back again and again to beat our original high scores.
Whether you are a hard core gamer or think nothing about the value of video games, chances are at some point you have played Pacman, Bejeweled, Candy Crush, or the iPhone's recent fad, Flappy bird.
First is the math. There is a mathematical formula that can determine the success of a game. Game developer Tim Rogers helps to develop these formulas, and created a report that helped to discover why Flappy Bird was so addictive.
While his report centered around games with "in-app" purchases, the same principal applies. Making a player wait for something that he or she can "own," will allow them to keep coming back again and again.
In the case of Flappy Bird, that thing to be owned was your "Best" or your high score.
The feel of a game is the second part of the formula that will keep you hooked on a game. If you don't make a game that is aesthetically pleasing and fun to pick up and play, you will never reach the ranks of Angry Birds, Super Mario Bros., and the like.
"Howard Phillips was an important figure at Nintendo during their 1980's-1990's glory days, and he has pointed out that when it came to quality control, without a doubt, the most important thing is that a game feels fun to just pick up and play around with," TechNews reported. "In Super Mario Brothers, you don't just stop when you land a jump, you skid to a stop, and you can turn around in mid-skid and watch Mario slide backwards for a fraction of a second. It's fun, there's a feeling of weight to it."
Flappy Bird's answer to this is the high-speed drop. It's almost fun to watch him pick back up speed every time the player's finger hits the screen. It's satisfying.
"Without the right math,” said technology expert Jason Hope, “you won't have a game that hooks players, and without the right feel, you won't have a game that's any fun."
The Vietnamese Flappy Bird game creator, Dong Nguyen, deleted the game from the Apple store for personal reasons.
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