Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen was at the Gamelab 2014 conference that took place in Barcelona last month, and spent nearly an hour on a panel answering questions both from other guest speakers and those sitting in the audience. Several of the topics discussed have been talked about before in previous interviews, like how Nguyen’s original inspiration for Flappy Bird was the physical paddleball toy. He also discusses the game’s notorious difficulty, and how it didn’t originally start off as hard as it ended up being, but as Nguyen played his game and became better at it during development, he slowly increased the difficulty to compensate.
One of the most interesting parts of this talk is Nguyen’s feelings towards the many Flappy Bird copycats that have come out since his game surged in popularity earlier this year and was subsequently pulled from the App Store by Nguyen due to it being “an addictive product." Dong says that he doesn’t mind if people make a game using the same gameplay elements as one of his, but he’s very bothered when other developers use his own creations in their own games, specifically his iconic little bird which was originally created for another game before becoming famous in Flappy Bird.
Probably the most meaningful takeaway from this question and answer session with Dong Nguyen is his warning to other developers not to expect the same sort of runaway success that he’s seen with Flappy Bird. He stresses that it’s important to have a good job first and foremost, and make games in your spare time rather than rely on them as your source of income. He says that Flappy Bird sets “a dangerous [precedent] because what I did was like magic, it was unexpected. If a lot of people tried to do that again I think they would fail."
According to a previous interview with Nguyen in May, the developer is planning on bringing Flappy Bird back to the App Store sometime next month, and he’s also currently working on new projects, one of which he teased with a screenshot also back in May.