Having said that, I've spent a couple of hours playing it since the first posts on HN showed up (yesterday) and got myself a top score of 50. I feel the appeal is in its simplicity.
I hope the creator takes some time out and gets the support he needs.
I have seen people toil for many years for absolutely no return.
In both instances, subjected to "the internet is mean" behavior.
I will trade you making very little or making nothing and getting the worst of the internet in exchange for getting $50k/day for it, until the ride ends. In fact, for $50k/day, you can have my direct phone number. In fact, you can come to my house and piss on my carpet and blow smoke in my face all day long, for as long as the $50k keeps coming in.
Unless there is some sort of mental instability involved, I can not understand any developer - no matter how random or unexpected - saying "oh, the internet is so mean, I'm taking my stuff down and you can keep your $2,200/hr".
Also, can we dispense with qualifying everything with "the internet is mean"? this has been the case for decades. We don't need to preface every comment with it and qualify everything we ever say with a comment about how the internet is going to be mean to you for what you're going to say. We all know the internet. We've been here with it for a very long time. It is getting almost as obnoxious as when people begin every sentence with "to be honest", only it makes people come across even more insecure.
(I know this was a bit of a rant, but I've been realizing in recent months that a whole percentage of every podcast or article or show I ever watch that has anything to do with the internet can be attributed to the people on it whining about the mean internet or prepending forthcoming statements with how the internet is going to be mean to them for saying something.
Are we still going to be doing this in another twenty years or are we going to be over it?
uh, you talk like a fag and your shit's all retarded...
What I'd do is just like... you know... huhuhhhuuh huhuh... like know what I mean? Like, huhuhuh huhuh...
The media story around Boyle wasn't "she has got an amazing voice", it was "wow, such a nice voice coming out of something so ugly". Even Futurama got in on the deal by literally depicting her as an ugly arse-wart. Boyle wasn't contending with the normal 'surprise fame' story.
He should make all the money he can, laugh off the haters (whatever haters there are - I have only heard people talking either about how much they like the game, how frustrating the game is, or how nuts it is that it is making so much money for what it is). He could ride it out for a few weeks (or months, if he's lucky) and retire. Especially in his part of the world.
This artsy-fartsy turtle-head-back-in-shell thing is pretty crazy.
What I suspect you're not getting is that $50K/day is NOT 350x more rewarding-feeling than $1K a week. He can't just sit around and bask in some wonderful "I win" feeling, laughing off the haters.
There's an important point where you start making the money you need, then another where you start making the money you want (to reduce your future risk, to take reasonable good care of your parents as they age, etc.).
But the number going up beyond that doesn't give you anything good; it just makes you more of a target, separates you from everyone you interact with, gives you a heavier responsibility, makes it harder for you to just live the modest, comfortable life you were hoping for.
Money is not a goal in itself; or rather, only for the profoundly short-sighted. It's an enabler. If it's making him a target, and alienating him... why should he want that?
-- Edited: somehow I had the idea he was a teenager; corrected that.
And I understand feeling resentment when faced with a shining, blinking example of how unfair such things are and how hard it is to get popular even with something very good.
Note: this is a comment about the general case
You could speculate that he is trying to make a name for himself, so that the upcoming games would make him a stable income. As an indie developer he should know the fact that Flappy Bird won't last long - for example, Rovio is making over half of its income from other physical brand items. I'm not saying you will see Flappy Bird soda next year, but the games Dong releases later will most likely gain more attention thanks to Flappy Bird and Twitter is a way to make sure that the fans will notice it.
$50k a day ... even if it only runs a couple weeks ... is beyond "stable" for Vietnam. As a reference-point, the average monthly income in that country is under $200.
Are you speculating that, or are you suggesting that others should speculate that?
WoodenChair, your request for calm is greatly appreciated.
The main thing is that they worked out that there is a human being who lives somewhere and who has a name sitting down at a computer and hacking away at this game so they can play it.
other guy: "No problem, but you hate the success of Flappy Bird?"
Dong: "Not because of them but because how people use my game. They are overusing it."
Don't turn down millions of dollars because people are doing what people do! Someone remind him of all the folks who have downloaded his game and stopped playing nearly immediately...,
Basically, you're suggesting that an equilibrium of (1 person-hour stolen by addiction : 1 person-hour of ad impressions given to charity) should be replaced with (1 person-hour stolen by addiction [just to some other game] : 0 person-hours of ad impressions given to charity). Note that there is no "0 person-hours stolen by addiction" option.
I know that people can have strangely fragile egos but the idea of being upset for being known for something, no matter how benign, is completely foreign to me.
I assure you it has nothing to do with embarrassment. It's unfortunate, but speech often has very serious consequences.
I'm talking about the potential for real life harassment (folks calling my employer, showing up at my house, swatting, etc) if I were to say something controversial. I am specifically concerned with being doxxed and criminal harassment.
There's a vast world of difference between people making comments in poor taste over a game and the level people sometimes go to if they engage in an argument and lose in an embarrassing way. I would not recommend that anyone freely engage in internet debates in a non-anonymous fashion.
Regardless of what he builds, what industry he is in, there will always be people there to criticize. Why throw away opportunity that most people wish they had due to something that will occur regardless of the revenue?
Being a martyr only works in certain circumstances. This is not one of them.
If you look at mobile game development, it's not a bad bet to guess that he won't. It's a big ol' dart board.
If he lives in Vietnam, one day would set him up for the rest of his life.
There is literally nothing coming back from it other than waiting for the hype to die out. And that's what Nguyen is trying to do. Trust me, I'm talking from experience here.
I guess I might be in the minority here, since most people on HN are trying to become the next Mark Zuckerberg with their startups. Maybe they like that kind of attention. However, I, Dong Nguyen, and many people like us do not like that kind of attention. You don't know who your real friends are, and as he put it, it "interrupts my quiet life".
Problem solved, get back to your passion.
Where is he turning his back on his passion? It doesn't sound like the way people are responding to Flappy Bird are the embodiment of his passion he wants. And his passion is in game dev, not an oddly specific passion for riding only the Flappy Bird app to success. Taking it down doesn't mean he can't build different games.
I also reject the idea that it was because of the money alone that he is taking the app down. Money wasn't the only byproduct of the success. Far be it for me to make assumptions, but it may be the "ruins my simple life" levels of baggage that came with the success of Flappy Bird.
My post was attempting to point out that he may have priorities in addition to profit, not that he is anti-money. If you meant to respond to the guy that is actually saying that the money alone could be the problem, perhaps you should move your post.
I think people here were assuming that his passion was entrepreneurship through game-dev. Because, you know, HN, entrepreneurs, etc. (But also because he did both things in order to ship this game, so it's just as probable he liked doing both of them. He could have given the game away for free, if he thought entrepreneurship was a hassle or something.)
one passion of many. he was passionate about Flappy Bird, and he is now removing it from the app store all together.
>> I also reject the idea that it was because of the money alone that he is taking the app down.
fair enough and i agree. i really just mean that generally, there are not very many good reasons to outright reject this kind of money.
Note: I'm not saying Flappy Bird is like meth, but just pointing out your logic.
It's a huge sum of money anywhere. But in Vietnam, you can hole yourself up in a nice hotel in the center of the city, eat out everyday and live lavishly for less than $2k a month.
I know it's a joke, but on the other hand, it's only funny because a lot of people identify with the sentiment.
My theory is that is has to do with the goal - in Angry Birds you do bunch of actions and then learn the result, with the aim of completing very specific objective. Sometimes in the middle of the action sequence you already know that it's no good and you have to restart. In Flappy Birds it's simple, just keep doing it, failed, not a big deal, restart, you know you'll fail again.
I was playing it and thinking about zen-like qualities of the game and realized that this game would be completely genius if pipe layout would always be the same. Then zen experience would be complete.
Ah if only I had felt compelled to remake it for iPhones.
Fucking loved that game. Android port is pretty good, but just not the same for some reason. Not as fast perhaps. Flappy Bird made me glad to see someone could do something nice with its formula still.
Maybe the market was just oblivious in the early 90s for not putting cute animals on top of all of these tropes sooner.
How long until we see roguelikes starring cats? RTSs where you draft little fuzzy lions and bears?
I'm an app developer and have been approached about doing deals to make it to the top where they would take a share of the revenue (and/or) charge an upfront fee.
So he could be taking it down because he doesn't want to keep paying 10-50% of his profits to some other company, when he realizes he can probably get another app to the top with his existing fame and userbase.
Would make a lot more sense than his claimed reasons.
My personal score is 102 and I appreciate the game for what it is.
"Not only is the visual language of Flappy Bird almost entirely re-appropriated from early NES games, but it seems to be engineered and designed by someone still learning how to create games. There are frequent slowdowns and animation glitches in the Android version but, more importantly, Flappy Bird has absolutely no sense of what indie game developers call "feel."
The hitboxes are ridiculously large, which is the source of much of the game’s difficulty. The flapping mechanic, while serviceable, is entirely ordinary. It looks and feels like a game design student's first project in their intro to programming class."
In other words: "Well, this product is a turd, but it look how many idiots are buying it!" If that was your pet project, how would you feel? Imagine if every news article covering your game did so by giving you backhand compliments. It would crush you very, very quickly.
You see the same backwards approach to journalism everywhere there's a scale in how much work things take to produce. Critics appreciate things with a complex process behind them. People, meanwhile, value mostly nostalgia and super-stimuli.
The wine most popular in blind taste-tests of people who haven't developed a "palate" for wine, is basically equivalent to grape juice with some vodka dumped into it. This isn't a bad thing! But critics hate it, because there's nothing to talk about there. It's grapey, and it's alcoholic, and that's all people really want. Until, that is, they're immersed into the whole culture of oaky this and tannins that, and start thinking about what went into the wine instead of just whether they want to drink a lot of it.
And because of this, critics generally don't serve the people. People want to find the best-tasting grapey alcohol. Critics, meanwhile, just want to talk about how long something aged in a barrel, and don't even have words to differentiate grapey alcohols.
It's a shame the internet had to react this way. The guy seems really humble and deserving of the success. But I think he chose happiness over the money, and I think that speaks of great integrity.
One thing I can empathize, and suspect is the root of this, is that as a young developer I'm sure he's scared out of his mind of legal repercussions. It's not easy scraping pennies one day, and then the next day checking your bank account and seeing money in there that you feel you didnt work for.
It doesnt feel legal.
At the very least, I'm sure that weighs heavy on his mind.
By announcing it, though, he's drawing an incredible amount of attention to the game which leads me to believe this was the intended effect. Heck, it made me download it as I've never played it before.
Also, I was thinking of more of a blatant rip off. I'd imagine those rip offs that are already out there are going to see a spike in downloads in the next couple days when people go to find this game and it isn't there.
However, the truth is that for discussing motivations and explaining things, such as Flappy Bird's demise, it really is not the ideal way to convey a message. Nuance and detail are gone on Twitter... and to your point, I was initially downvoted for my comment, presumably because I didn't give sufficient contribution to the converstaion.
Twitter seems best for short-form humor and food-truck locating.
People will jump in front of your moped just to extort some money from you. Everyone, including the police are crooked. In fact, I would be more worried about the police arresting the guy under some false pretense to extort some pocket money.
If you're too low ("I know I can do better than this!"), you work until you reach your temperature.
If you're too high, you self sabotage yourself until you are back to your level.
Case in point, removing your multi million dollar game from circulation.
Why did he get harassed?
Because he made money?
I have the impression the author saw it as a marker on the path to making more high quality games, and is horrified by the idea of becoming the CEO of Flappy Bird Inc., much as the creators of novelty songs that become one-hit wonders end up being permanently associated with something stupid that was done for a joke and/or a quick buck.
Also, I see a significant social stigma in Vietnam to exploiting 'that stupid game my kid is wasting all his time on.'
The commenter should have just googled it if they wanted context. You are disgusting.
(if you're not actually such an account, then sorry for falsely accusing you, but my irritation at the trend in general still stands).
That should explain it.