I’m sure FlappyJam needs no introduction by this stage, but in case you have somehow managed to miss it check this out and see what’s got everyone developing flaptastic fun games that are bound to have you tearing your hair out.
Now you know what we’re talking about let’s move quickly to the games. I’ve only played a handful of the 60 submissions so far and I thought I’d share some of my high (or rather low low) scores and give you an idea of some of the variety that’s come about from an idea as simple as tap to avoid pipes.
First up Maverick Bird from Terry Cavanagh, yes, the Hexagon dude!
This is briliant, nearly as hard as Super Hegaxon and just as fun and addictive. The music is also awesome, this is a real ‘I don’t want to stop playing EVER’ game but I had to try some of the other games. Soon as I get home though, this bad boy ain’t being turned off!
Flap.Txt, a Flappy Bird style text adventure! This one is very clever and probably one of my favourites for sheer ingeniousness alone, I love it. I didn’t get a very high score but I’ll be showing this one off just to see the look of realisation I’m sure I had when I worked out what this is.
Kid Dickarus - It's cool that FlappyJam wanted graphics inspired by favourite classic games and Kid Dickarus is a really nice example of that. It’s also hard, this is my second lowest score (which means yes there is a zero score coming up) but it looks good so I don’t mind it kicking my ass!
There are a few games inspired by Flappy Bird directly with some sort of twist on them.
Lillian Gish and the Pipes of Reason – the addition of throwing knives allows you to destroy the pipes!
Flappy Bird's Revenge – the point here is to destroy the ‘pipes’, took me a minute to realise I was meant to be hitting them and not avoiding them, still managed to fall into the avoid mindset a few times.
Fallopian Bird – The grossest one I’ve played, and the punishment for failing is loads of babies all at once! This one might not be to everyone’s taste but I appreciate the humour here, brilliant!
Type Type Evolution is a load of fun, I love typing games, I love music games, I love rhythm action games! The monkey evolution cycle is pretty cute here too.
Flip The Bird - This is my only zero score. I love the idea but I cannot get through a single bloody gap. I got that frustrated I started to enjoy seeing the bird hit the spikes, macabre I know but this games pushed me there!
Flappybalt - This Canabalt inspired game, from the Canabalt dude, was a more unusual take on the flap idea, contained in a single screen this tricky little game is gorgeous to look at but infuriating thanks to the spikes at the top, I’d be a master if they weren’t there!
Flapigon is a Super Hexagon type game where you flap to navigate the enclosing shapes, it’s enjoyable but immeaditely made me want to play Super Hexagon again, for hours on end until I’m crying so hard I can’t see my phone and need a cuddle. This seems to be almost as hard but I got scared and stopped playing early, I don’t need another Hexagonesque addiction.
They are the 1st 10 I played, I will eventually get a go at all of them. Hopefully as more submissions appear I’ll be able to convince the boss I need to spend a full week playing them, but what are the chances?
I’m also still working on a submission alongside my dev buddies, Zombiesaurus Games, shouldn’t take us too much longer to get it tidied up. In the meantime you can have a sneak peek at our character, I’m sure it’ll be pretty clear what classic we were inspired by!
Recently there has been a lot of chatter regarding copyright, theft, cloning and ripping off of game ideas and assets leading to a huge negative response to some individuals. As an indie game developer it’s been disheartening to see the abuse, to know one guy has to deal with unwarranted levels of hate, unnecessary barrages of personal attacks. This is not what making games should result in.
Fortunately there is a silver lining, LOADS of indie devs have hit back at the abuse, hit back at the haters and come up with the best way to show support to those in our community – making games!
There have been a few game jams that sprung up in support of indie devs facing some sort of negative backlash; CandyJam was set up to oppose trademark claims made against Stoic and more recently Flappy Jam was set up to encourage indie devs to support each other after the backlash against Flappy Bird caused the developer to remove the game.
There is much speculation about the exact reason Dong Nguyen decided to remove Flappy Bird, maybe we’ll get a comprehensive answer from the man himself someday but until then I have no intention of adding to the speculation. It’s beside the point here anyway; this post is a look at the positive things to have come about as result of Flappy Bird, namely Flappy Jam and the support of loads of indie developers.
Ivano Palmentieri, the mastermind behind Flappy Jam, wants to remind everyone that
“indie gamedevs are friendly and supportive, envy and teasing should not belong to our community, nor be a cause of suffering.”
And he seems to be right about the friendly and supportive gamedevs because there are already 12 games available from www.flappyjam.com. Every one made in the same spirit – we are here to be part of something positive. If you search #flappyjam on Twitter you can also see how many more indies are getting into the spirit of support with many more games still in development. I hope Dong Nguyen and everyone who’s ever faced such negative backlash about their games feels the support and realises that we all can pull together and move past hate.
I’d happily say that the majority of the indie dev community are supportive of each other but I have no actual stats to back it up. Still, based on my own experience this is a great industry to be in. I’ve only ever encountered a sense of friendship, of camaraderie and togetherness in my time trying to make games. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I just hope it stays that way.