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Angry Birds and Parabolic Instinct In Humans

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the gorillas-dot-bas dept.

Portables (Games) 234

Frankie70 writes "Matt Ridley writes about Angry Birds, an iPhone game (later ported to other platforms) which has sold more than 12 million copies. The spectacular trajectory of the game, from obscure Finnish iPhone app to global ubiquity — there are board games, maybe even movies in the works — is probably inexplicable. Ridley wonders if there is an evolutionary aspect to its allure. There is something much more satisfactory about an object tracing a parabolic ballistic trajectory through space towards its target than either following a straight line or propelling itself."

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Like tank wars (2)

sanchom (1681398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909730)

a rhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Wars

Re:Like tank wars (2)

sanchom (1681398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909744)

I meant Tank wars [wikipedia.org]

Re:Like tank wars (2)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910084)

Before that, there was ARTILLERY [wikipedia.org] for the Apple II. I remember also playing a variant called BERTHA that let you abort your shot (if it was too powerful) by typing "ABORT" within 1 second.

Re:Like tank wars (5, Informative)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910132)

It'll always be Scorched Earth [wikipedia.org] to me. Kids these days though, they'll probably just remember worms [wikipedia.org] or worms [wikipedia.org] or worms3D [wikipedia.org] or possibly even Scorched Earth 3D [wikipedia.org] if they're really hip.

Re:Like tank wars (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910352)

"Happy Birthday to you!"

I played 3D; it wasn't nearly as much fun as the original version.

Re:Like tank wars (1)

rubypossum (693765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910384)

I was always partial to Scorched Tanks [emuparadise.org] . Granted, it was a rip-off. But the graphics were better. I almost killed my brother a couple of times during multi-player.

Re:And Worms (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910174)

Yes, Worms! That's an incredible just-one-more-and-then-I-quite-seriouslah game!

Parabolic, wind resistance, thrust, what a physics project that was.

Btw my little brother replaced the voicesets- Imagine hearing Worf [wikipedia.org] throwing intimidations in-game.

Cafeteria-table football!! (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910602)

Parabolic, wind resistance, thrust, what a physics project that was.

The coolest version of this game was "Football" played on a cafeteria tabletop with a folded up sheet of paper. You would score by flicking the paper with your middle finger through a set of "uprights" consisting of your opponent holding up two "L's" with his thumbs and index fingers.

Had it all. Parabolic, wind resistance, thrust, what a physics game that was.

Re:Like tank wars (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910122)

Or like Kitten Cannon, something amazingly satisfying about seeing that kitten bounce in arcs.

Re:Like tank wars (3, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910304)

App Store . . . the home of people ripping off ideas that have been around for 30 years and becoming millionaires from all the suckers who think it's the greatest thing they've ever seen.

Re:Like tank wars (2)

Nialin (570647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910606)

True. So what's stopping you from raking in the dough with the same business model?

FRIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909738)

And did anyone enjoy QBASIC Gorillas?

Re:FRIST (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909766)

Yes. Loved it. My first experience with trying to manipulate code (after nibbles, of course). Good times.

Re:FRIST (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909968)

Wasn't my first experience, but I wrote some AI for it when I was on holiday once, and the only computer around was an old 386 laptop. The opponents ranged from an artificial simulation of me which played pretty well, down to one of my brother - which I rather harshly set to throw the banana completely randomly, meaning he often destroyed himself! :)

Re:FRIST (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910124)

01011001 01100101 01100001 00101100 00100000 01001001 00100000 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 00101110

Re:FRIST (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909772)

Yes! And ironically, one of Microsoft's best games was open source.

I haven't Seen This App... (2)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909782)

...but is it anything like that Cheerleader tossing game on the web?

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/games/play/80505395/

Re:FRIST (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910422)

We had a lot of fun changing the size of the explosion to envelope the whole screen. ^_^
This was done on various computers at school and people were unaware of the changes until they played.
I wonder if those computers are still being used today and if anyone has managed to revert the changes.

Cannon (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909740)

Anyone who played the ancient cannon game would resonate with this. Two cannon, placed on opposite sides of the screen, take turns firing shots where the angle and velocity is variable. Very satisfying for such a simple game.

Re:Cannon (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909860)

I played the version with nukes and other such weapons. Very satisfying, but that was because when you won, your foes' bunkers would crumple and explode. A game is much more fun when it has multi-megaton death throes. That's what "parabolic" means, right?

Re:Cannon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910442)

I think the game you are referring to is Scorched Earth, an extremely fun game given its extremely simple design.

Re:Cannon (2)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909892)

I always found the logical progression of that game to be much much more fun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_Earth_(computer_game) [wikipedia.org] Along with having AI players, you had wind and landscape between you and different weapons to play with. The newer 3d version is also fun but for some reason lacks the same thing that made me want to play for hours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_3D [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cannon (1)

specialguy92 (1974828) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909974)

Ah, some of my earliest computer memories were on an old 386. My dad was/is a programmer, and had that QBASIC gorillas game. Same idea, throw (explosive?) bananas, accounting for angle and trajectory as well as wind and obstacles. Wonder why it was so addicting..

Re:Cannon (1)

Musically_ut (1054312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910428)

Anyone who played the ancient cannon game would resonate with this. Two cannon, placed on opposite sides of the screen, take turns firing shots where the angle and velocity is variable. Very satisfying for such a simple game.

You mean Pocket Tanks [wikipedia.org] ?

Movie...? (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909742)

An "Angry Birds" movie? Look, I love the game, I really do. But a movie? Please no.

Re:Movie...? (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909790)

An "Angry Birds" movie? Look, I love the game, I really do. But a movie? Please no.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMltvlqEM54 [youtube.com]

It's less than three minutes, and completely hilarious. Warning: audio contains the 'F-bomb' and you may not consider it SFW.

I think it's exactly the right length for an "Angry Birds" movie.

Re:Movie...? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909992)

Okay, that was pretty good.

But for a full length movie, I'm afraid we'll end up with another monstrosity from Uwe Boll.

Re:Movie...? (4, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910192)

If there is anyone who can turn angry birds into a 90 minute movie starring Meatloaf and a room full of Ukrainian prostitutes, it is Uwe Boll. It will be a spectacular success, if only due to German tax shelter laws concerning the funding of a failed movie.

Jeez. (4, Insightful)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909748)

Can't anything just be fun anymore?

Re:Jeez. (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910082)

No, they can't. Sadly, the all the marketers did not follow Bill Hick's advice.

Gosh, I hope my hateful post does not trigger some lunatic to go out and shoot anyone!

Re:Jeez. (3, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910114)

Perhaps, but I think its a good idea that some study goes into this. I've experienced this weird effect personally. Having JUST gotten an Android phone this past month (I know, what took me so long) I asked a buddy of mine what apps he has that are handy. I figured I'd grab iTriage in case of emergencies, and that 3G Watchdog to keep an eye on my data usage. He recommended Angry Birds as a game, so I downloaded it and played it a bit.

I didn't think much of it, having played Bloons on Flash for the PC years ago, and then Worms before that, and some manner of tank game before that - I've noticed that theres always some addictive parabolic gravity based game here or there.

THEN my girlfriend got a hold of my new phone. Testing out the apps she stumbled across Angry Birds. She can't put it down. I absolutely can't understand it. She'll get her attention devoted to it. Enough to a point where I'm driving and we'll be having a conversation and she'll be playing the game at the same time, and then she'll go "Oh darn... shoot..." and then when I stop talking she goes "oh yeah... I'm still listening. Open Source, Microsoft, Yada yada. Continue" (perhaps I shouldn't BORE her with certain topics but it shows that she can't even fake an attention span while playing the game). She's killed my battery more than a few times just playing Angry Birds while driving across the city. She hasn't been a gamer like me and been exposed to this type of game before.

I wonder if its the same reason we like to throw rocks in the river and/or make them skip, or put basketball through hoops, kick balls into nets, or swing clubs at them to make them land in a tiny hole. I think there might be something deeply engrained into every human mind that enjoys this, and I'm curious to see what they find.

Re:Jeez. (3, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910156)

Umm... Do you realize what site you're on? 'Round here, trying to dissect the appeal of a game like Angry Birds IS fun!

Re:Jeez. (1)

Gen-GNU (36980) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910204)

Over analyzing the reason for mass appeal, as well as statistical distributions showing cross cultural appeal of various game genres is just how these people have fun, you insensitive clod.

Re:Jeez. (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910328)

Depends. You see knowing yourself as something fun or sad? How many things that you consider fun now know what boring things have behind (you pick, smoking, drinking, friends, wife,etc) and still have fun with them?

Re:Jeez. (4, Funny)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910434)

Can't anything just be fun anymore?

Says the dude that broke the zodiac. Thanks a lot, pal...

Re:Jeez. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910486)

Can't anything just be fun anymore?

Within limits. There's only so much real fun people can take, before it becomes unreal. After all, it doesn't take a conic genius to imagine that a circular trajectory would work just as well to project the birds, plainly speaking.

Re:Jeez. (1)

bsquizzato (413710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910594)

Surely not. The same way that love, other emotions, and creativity must surely be based upon completely quantifiable electro-chemical behavior, right?

Not just people (3, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909750)

When I was a kid, I had a dog that could follow a parabolic trajectory. By throwing the ball at an angle to roll along the angled roof of our house, its trajectory would follow the arc and drop down at a point further down the yard.

The dog learned to anticipate where the ball would fall from the roof, even though she couldn't see the ball from her vantage point on the ground.

Re:Not just people (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910182)

If I had keen hearing I could do it too.

Re:Not just people (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910512)

I'm sure this was accomplished by smelling where the ball would be

Re:Not just people (3, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910282)

When I was a kid, I had a dog that could follow a parabolic trajectory.

Anyone else think,"Kids are so cruel they even throw dogs around."?

Re:Not just people (5, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910302)

When I was a kid, I had a dog that could follow a parabolic trajectory.

My dog, too. No matter how many times I threw her up in the air, off a roof, out of a moving car, whatever.... parabolic arc. Apparently, Peanuts the poodle was not immune to gravitation and Newtonian conservation of energy.

She was a good dog. Except for resisting being picked up. I guess she figure out pretty quick you are less likely to end up flying in a perfect conic section path if no one can raise your gravitational potential above local ground state. A physics genius, Peanuts.

Re:Not just people (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910398)

+5, pedantic AND funny!

Re:Not just people (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910444)

I always considered all of this as a survival trait of all predators. The ability to calculate trajectories combined with some experience to take in the effects of gravity, and other effects are demonstrated all around us in this world every day.

For example:
I have watched a Red-tail Hawk stoop on a rabbit running across a section of freshly plowed ground. The hawk displayed an awesome degree of precision and accuracy combined with speed that almost took my breath away!

Not to disparage you dogs display of high-level skill of a predator, but it really is nothing special. :-)

On a side note[on-topic], humans are also part of 'the animal world', and should be no surprise that we share some traits with the rest of the worlds predators.
I figured this out at an early age, due to my fascination with devices that launched projectiles...of all types.

Re:Not just people (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910446)

That's just learning by repetition.

There are a couple of things suggesting that "parabolic instinct" is hogwash.

First, objects in the gravitational field of a sphere follow ellipses, not parabolas. Granted, on the scale of a human-powered throw the higher-order terms in the Taylor-series expansion are as near to nothing as makes no odd, but still, if you're talking about an instinct and getting mathematical, you need to be more precise.

Second, objects in a nonconserving gravitational field don't follow a parabola even to second order. Ballistic objects in the atmosphere are affected by lift and drag, and follow a lot of different families of curves depending on the wind, altitude, precise shape, and spin of the object. A couple of decades ago we marvelled at the ability of outfielders to do all that math in their heads within the first few feet of a batted ball's flight and head for the right spot at the right speed to catch a batted ball. There was even a formula derived to do it. But it can't be right, because, as I said, batted balls are vanishingly unlikely to follow a parabolic trajectory. Play a few thousand games in the outfield, though, and you'll have an enormous database of neural sense-memory to tell you where a ball is likely to land.

Third, I'm pretty sure I've caught Angry Birds fixing-up a few trajectories. I could be imagining it, but the accuracy of the targeting mechanism using a 2x4-inch touchscreen of dubious quality just isn't good enough to make some of those precision shots.

Fourth, and this might be surprising, most kids can't catch. Period. Good athletes are rare. Most people ain't close. Throw them a high one and they're likely to run the wrong way entirely.

Re:Not just people (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910592)

>>There are a couple of things suggesting that "parabolic instinct" is hogwash.

Have you ever been driving your car at a green light, that's been a green light for a while, and it's still kind of a ways away? You can feel the point at which it is better to stop and brake if it turns yellow, versus accelerating and making it through (assuming you're not someone who drives through reds). In other words, your brain is calculating two second order equations in real time, and measuring it against an estimate of distance that's probably more accurate than if you actually asked people how many feet away the light was.

Indcidentally, I once drove an old car that had very little acceleration and braking, so there were stretches on the road where there was no solution to the problem. Made me very nervous every time I approached a long green, and eager to get rid of it. The only nice thing about this 80s Caprice Classic was that when it underwent unintended acceleration (way before Toyotas made it cool), it took it a long while to get up to speed.

first post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909752)

first post!

Re:first post! (0)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909822)

first post!

Must be the doing of a green pig. Launch the birds!

Then why... (3, Insightful)

tarsi210 (70325) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909768)

..don't they fix the parabolic action (or lack thereof) of the "bomber" birds' payload egg? I had gotten so used to the extremely satisfying physics of the game that when that one came along and didn't describe a curved trajectory upon release, it totally threw me off and still does to today.

Re:Then why... (1)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910184)

Agreed. I speculate that it somehow made the game either too easy or too difficult, at least with the style of level design they are using.

Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of others (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909774)

Angry Birds is fun and cute, but hardly anything more. It isn't even original.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909914)

Angry Birds != Scorched Earth.

If you really really oversimplify those two then they have some similarities but the way you play them is very different. It's like saying Sonic the Hedgehog is unoriginal because Super Mario Bros. preceded it.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910116)

you shoot a (bomb, bird) at an opponant. Scorched Earth uses shields and terrain, Angry Birds uses planks and helmets.

Indeed they are quite different. Not.

So I just downloaded xscorch and compiled it. Ran it, let my 6 year old play. Asked him if he payed anything like it. HIs response is that it is like Angry Birds.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910154)

you shoot a (bomb, bird) at an opponant.

You really have to oversimplify both games in order to say that. The way you aim in each of those games is very different. Also, the ways you can actually kill your opponents, are very different. I do appreciate you proving my point.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910260)

Scorched Earth is not the only other game in the world.

Crush the Castle is almost identical to Angry Birds, and there are a number of similar games.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910334)

I'll give you credit that the game is more similar to Angry Birds is than Scorched Earth is, but it is not 'almost identical'. You can't, for example, master Crush the Castle then suddenly be an expert at Angry Birds. It doesn't work the other way, either. The way the games are played is that different.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910454)

It's like saying Sonic the Hedgehog is unoriginal because Super Mario Bros. preceded it.

Actually it kinda is. Very little in that game that hadn't been done before.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910466)

You could use the same argument to say that men and women are virtually identical.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909956)

God damn, this a quadrillion times.
It isn't even that good. It is only popular because it is terribly simple, too simple even.
There are countless other better "tower knock-down" games, which aren't overly complex, but still have more depth than Angry Birds.

Friend had to review the game and i could hear the disappointment in his voice over Skype.
I guess it is a casual thing. Sadly, appeasing the casual gamers is more profitable now.
Simple concepts, simple controls, ????, millions of dollars.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910054)

The sound makes it a good game.

Also, the repetitiveness and then accomplishment of finishing a level.

It's similar to playing Ikaruga over and over again to get just a little bit further, but forgiving enough for the masses.

Re:Tank Wars, Scorched Earth, a multitude of other (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910066)

Actually there are flash games out there that did what Angry Birds did before Angry Birds. Those games you mentioned... not so much.

The frustrating part of the game (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909776)

When you drop things, they drop straight down. They should carry some forward momentum.

Re:The frustrating part of the game (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910414)

Oh, great that's what we need. Flash games that require a physics accelerator.

The crazyness (2)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909800)

For me the game seems attractive due to a mix of simple, but challenging game play, simple but cute graphics and the whole audio choice which makes it feel like some sort of crazy mad house. Maybe people like crazy?

Re:The crazyness (3, Funny)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909920)

Maybe people like crazy?

I did like crazy at one point in my life. Now I don't interact with my ex-wife anymore.

Re:The crazyness (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910572)

Huh, you also?
Man, I'm so messed up financially now that I'm NOT 'saving money' by overspending the budget buying everything that happens to be 'on sale'...
Well, as sad consolation, at least NOW I can afford a computer and internet connection to reply on /. ;-)

Re:The crazyness (1)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910234)

They must like crazy, they are taking up ipv6:)

Cave man inside? (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909808)

I kind of wonder if this is our inner caveman speaking out. Rock throwing intrigues us and was once our main weapon against prey and predator. There's something inside that just drives a man to pick up an object and throw it. It's fun.

Re:Cave man inside? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910358)

Exactly what I was thinking.

Humans have a long history of throwing things at prey and predators, which is more or less unique to humans. Its a survival skill you never find in other animals.

Is the game tapping into the very thing that makes us different from every other hunter in the world?

Have we something in our brains uniquely tuned to calculating the arc, the throwing speed, angles, etc which this game (and those like it) exercise?

Either that, or breaking things (2)

us7892 (655683) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909826)

The parabolic path of the birds, sure. Or maybe just breaking things. Glass, wood, rocks, pumpkins. Who doesn't like smashing a pumpkin? A simple puzzle game. That's the allure. Let's try not to over-analyze.

The snow in the Christmas version kinda didn't behave correctly. It made me angry.

Re:Either that, or breaking things (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909870)

Or maybe just breaking things. Glass, wood, rocks, pumpkins. Who doesn't like smashing a pumpkin?

Agreed. I think AB appeals to people for the same reasons bowling does.

Re:Either that, or breaking things (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910288)

Or maybe just breaking things. Glass, wood, rocks, pumpkins. Who doesn't like smashing a pumpkin?

Agreed. I think AB appeals to people for the same reasons bowling does.

I, for one, don't get it. What's the connection between bowling and Good Eats?

Re:Either that, or breaking things (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910490)

A simple puzzle game. That's the allure. Let's try not to over-analyze.

Yeah, but there are thousands of simple puzzle games. Why should this one be so much more popular?

Nothing new (1)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909846)

With no reference to other artillery games [wikipedia.org] in TFA, I'm wondering if the author has any clue that this gameplay mechanic is awesome, proven, and more than 30 years old. As it's relatively fresh, long live wikipedia btw :)

Re:Nothing new (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909938)

I'm wondering if he's ever seen a game of cricket, because if the bowler's sending it in a noticeable parabola he's doing it wrong. And is probably Australian.

Re:Nothing new (1)

howdotheydothat (1359627) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910108)

Unless viewed from above. Then the sight of a parabolic arc is the result if doing it right, and bowler is probably not Australian

Re:Nothing new (1)

John Allsup (987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910152)

I imagine leg breaks don't swing much, so would probably travel in a rough parabola, relying on their contact with the ground to make them move rather than the aerodynamics that swing bowling uses. Not totally sure on this one, so please don't crucify me if I'm wrong...

Re:Nothing new (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910502)

I'm wondering if he's ever seen a game of cricket, because if the bowler's sending it in a noticeable parabola he's doing it wrong. And is probably Australian.

So clearly he's only seen amateur Australians play cricket. Riddle solved.

Re:Nothing new (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909952)

I'm wondering if the author has any clue that this gameplay mechanic is awesome, proven, and more than 30 years old.

Possibly. Or maybe he doesn't see the mechanics of a slingshot to be all that similar to those of a tank.

Re:Nothing new (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910164)

Just like Microsoft invented the GUI and Apple invented the tablet, we Finns invented the parabolic trajectory.

Another advert? (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909948)

Is this another advert for that overhyped game?

Seriously this game is nothing new. Yes it is addictive but so are all the trajectory games made before it.

Also the music and sound effects is a bloody outrage, so extremely repetitive.

--
http://www.twilightcampaign.net/index.php?topic=19.0 [twilightcampaign.net]

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909970)

It is true it is probably the first game or even movie in decades that has used natural PHYSICS while showing you the end result. It doesn't have a fucking subway car able to accelerate without propulsion and tear through reinforced steel columns at blazing speeds and stilll continue to accelerate. It doesn't have a car which was hit by another car or monster, the only force ever acting on it, continue to accelerate and spin faster and faster and faster through the air. On and on and on...

The fact is it's the fucking game and movie producers who not only feel that fake physics is what people want to see, but decide that we need to see the same fake, bad physics in every thing after they think of it. That is where they fail.

P.S. Quit making everyone/thing go "RAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH". I bought good speakers for good sound effects not amateurish stunts. I know they are good. I don't need it to be tested every god damn movie.

OK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909980)

What's with all the talk about this Angry Birds game everywhere? It's like Minecraft, but less deserved. Did I play the wrong game or something? Wasn't anyone else underwhelmed after only 3 levels?

IIRC there were dozens of Flash versions of this exact game back in 2006. They sucked too, but at least they weren't hyped.

Re:OK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910032)

You're not alone. The game is boring as hell and nothing new.

NORP's are weird though.

Re:OK... (4, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910480)

What's with all the talk about this Angry Birds game everywhere?

It is the result of the way the AppStore and basically the whole Internet works. Some stuff gets to the top and then, by being on the top it enters a feedback loop: more people see it, thus more people buy and thus more people report about it, which in turn means more people will see it and buy it. This feedback loop then turns a decent game into such a blockbuster success. All those random flash games out there never entered into such a feedback loop and thus never got that popular.

This is one of those depressing things with modern technology. You have access to basically everything, which should mean more variety, but due to the self enforcing feedback everybody gets exposed to basically the same stuff and the result is less variety.

bullshit (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910024)

clearly this "parabola" person has never seen a missile file in person.

Paper Toss (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910036)

This other popular iPhone game works this way, too. Instead of just gravity, a variable speed fan adds to the arc calculation.

Re:Paper Toss (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910492)

I bet paper toss has lots of downloads but not much actual gameplay.

Angry Birds has a sort of continuously rewarding aspect to it that locks you in. And a curiosity thing that sucks you into doing the next level instead of putting it away and getting back to work when you accomplish one. Paper Toss just lets you see your throw go down a hole or bounce away, then gives you almost the identical problem to solve. Angry Birds gives you several to solve on the same screen, and many ways to accomplish them, and layers of rewards in return.

Almost as gratifying as Gorillas.bas (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910038)

http://www.kongregate.com/games/Moly/gorillas-bas [kongregate.com]

My first exposure to source code was BASIC on the Apple II in elementary school -- computer lab.

However, it wasn't until a year later when I got an IBM with MSDOS + QBasic, that I was able spend enough time with source code to discover how to program. The books were all gibberish to me, but learning via modifying GORILLAS.BAS was a satisfying / rewarding experience.

I've seen lots of today's young programmers enlightened by open sourced games (like Doom, Quake, etc.), Perhaps Angry Birds source will be available in time as well.

Re:Almost as gratifying as Gorillas.bas (2)

phaserbanks (1977290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910360)

I remember playing with this code as a kid. I made nuclear bananas. Good times.

Finally! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910044)

Somebody has finally explained the runaway popularity of GORILLAS.BAS [wikipedia.org] !!!

Since the catapults of medieval times (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910056)

we have been fascinated by parabolic trajectories. It has evolved somewhat into the interest of aerodynamics, hence the Frisbee. When do we get a dog catching a Frisbee game?

Golf (2)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910088)

Golf isn't too far off from the same basic concept, either.

When I think parabolic curves I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910118)

BOOBIES!

The sounds are the best part :-) (2)

thaig (415462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910138)

The physics is fun but the birds have character because of the sounds and I like that most - they're not precisely cute either which is also nice because soppy cuteness can be revolting :-) Other games often lack this kind of appeal as it's harder to describe than fps and explosions. If I was going to rant it would be about how brain dead and boring multi-million dollar games seem to be *because* the money drives out the personality.

Worms (1)

Exclamation mark! (1961328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910146)

Don't forget the classic Worms! That was HOURS of fun!

Parabolic more challenging? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910346)

There is something much more satisfactory about an object tracing a parabolic ballistic trajectory through space towards its target than either following a straight line or propelling itself.

Seems obvious to me: hitting your target is more challenging, and thus it's more of an accomplishment, which is what games are all about. Imagine Scorched Earth [wikipedia.org] where there were no obstacles and you could just shoot straight at the enemy.

Truth is in marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910396)

It's a good game, but its ubiquity is entirely due to Apple. There is any number of games that Apple could have chosen to consistently feature, but Angry Birds is it. A prominent graphic "banner ad" (if you can call it that) has shown off the game for at least the last 2 years now. How could the game NOT get downloaded so much ?? This is pure marketing (of a good product). Stick a product in front of someone, and WHOA, what do you know, they know it exists. A game buried > than position 50 in a list sees much less eyeballs.

Apple features AB everywhere, even in commercials and uses the image as an icon to represent certain game categories.

Or more likely (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910452)

It's just a game that was lucky enough to become "cool" with kids and the next big thing in school fashion. Youth club leader friend says every kid who is anyone has that game. This is of course also true to a fair extent with adults. I'm sure it's not the first time this kind of thing has happened to some random lucky subject, be it a game or a pop star (Bieber?)

Or to put it more cynically and slashdotty, it is massively overhyped and managed to go viral.

Of course a parabola also describes... (1)

chameleon_skin (672881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910608)

...the sales numbers for flash-in-the-pan games. Not saying this is one, but we've seen it with just about every game on Facebook. Mobile games may not be much different.
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