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Ever Wondered How Rovio Creates an Angry Birds Level?

August 24, 2011 2 Comments

Angry Birds has become a must have on mobile platforms these days. People just can’t seem to resist knocking around those green pigs using different birds, ehich is why Rovio is constantly updating the game to include new content and keep players interested.

Some levels of Angry Bird seem so complex that you have to wonder, how the heck did someone even come up with that? Rovio gave Pocket Gamer the scoop on how they create a new level.

Step 1 – Choose a theme

Angry Birds is constantly created new themes for the game. They have been based on anything from a holiday to a location.

“When making a new level, new ideas are often inspired by the theme and setting for the episode,” Mäki says. “We’re always looking for new ways to bring the theme to life with levels that actually represent something.”

Step 2 – Choose the birds

Yes, you are reading this correct. The second step is choosing the birds.

“It’s important to keep the game fresh with bird selections,” Mäki says. “When
designing a new update, we want to introduce the whole flock of birds, so that
everyone gets to see their favourite one.”

“Otherwise we might end up with every level packed full of our favourite, the White Bird.”

Step 3 – Design a building

The building design is dependant on the types of birds chosen for the level.

You don’t want to end up with a rock level with a selection of Red Birds,” Mäki
explains.

At this stage, believe it or not, Rovio hands the design over to one person.

“Level design in this case is always done by one individual.”

Step 4 – Decide on the star ratings

“We spend more time developing and tweaking the ratings than building the level. It’s a very important part of the development process,” Mäki tells us. “Deciding on the ratings is the final part of level building and is actually the most taxing process.”

Makes me feel a little bit better knowing that this step takes them so long because it’s the most aggravating part of the game. You can spend a substantial amount of time on a level and when it finally all comes together and you complete it, you get one measly star!

“These star ratings are the results of extensive playtesting by the designers,” Mäki says. “It’s usually an average from a score that can be achieved with a certain skill shot or method. It’s a challenging process to nail down which specific score should earn you all three stars.”

Step 5 – Playtest, tweak, and check

According to the developer, “designers are tweaking and adjusting the level, adding star ratings, and overall making sure everything works,” every step of the way.

At this point the level is passed on to quality assurance, “These hard-working guys find even the tiniest of problems and report them back to us. In total, 5-10 different people test the level multiple times.”

Don’t think that once levels are released, Rovio is done with them. Recently Rovio went back and changed some of the older levels to make them easier.”These levels were proving to be too challenging for a number of players, so we decided to tweak some of them.”

“We’re always trying to improve the experience for everyone, and this round of level fixes is part of that process.”

Step 6 – Place the golden eggs

Some levels have a hidden gem, the golden egg. This is mostly for the more hard core Angry Bird players.

“We want to have fun with these,” Mäki says. “Sometimes they’re obvious, but in some cases they’re completely nuts and fun to figure out. The main goal is to have them placed in the levels so that you can’t get them during the normal play.”

“We always encourage people to come back to older levels and find all the hidden collectibles.”

The process sounds unorthodox to me. Choosing the birds before the level? Whatever their method, whether it makes sense to me or not it’s working and the throngs of Angry Birds fans certainly proves it.

Source: Pocket Gamer

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  • http://www.angrybirdsonlinenews.com Nikki Lowe

    My favorite angry bird is the blue one, it’s so small and cute!

  • Anonymous

    I like the black one. It’s big and powerful and blasts those cursed pigs to smithereens.

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