Angry Birds Roost is the only app that gives you access to everything an Angry Birds fan could ever want – and it’s exclusive to Nokia Lumia. It brings together all the Angry Birds games you’ve already purchased and allows you to purchase new titles such as Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Space.
- Press the Search button on your Nokia Lumia and then tap Vision
- Scan the QR code
- Tap on the link when it appears on the screen
- Install the application from the Windows Phone Marketplace
We sat down with Ville Heijari, VP of Marketing and Merchandising at Rovio, the creator of this pop culture phenomenon, to talk about everything Angry Birds.
“Angry Birds Roost is really unique,” says Ville Heijari. “There is no other such app right now that brings together all the Angry Birds related content.”
Heijari, also known as The Bird Whisperer, explains that Roost not only gives you access to the original Angry Birds game but also the brand new titles; Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Space. “On top of that you get lots of exclusive content like wallpapers and ringtones, plus walkthroughs and videos.”
A beautiful mash-up
Asked how the new Angry Birds Star Wars game came to be, Heijari says it was actually really simple: “We had developers who were big fans of Star Wars, so we worked with Lucasfilm to combine the best of both worlds.”
“When the project was first announced, many people thought we were doing some sort of spoof, but we actually worked hard to be true and respectful to the source material,” he says. “We ended up with a beautiful mash-up.”
The Bird Whisper tells us that Angry Birds has been downloaded more than a billion times and has been played by hundreds of millions of people. It’s now a huge franchise that’s so much bigger than just the game itself.
“We’ve got more than 15,000 products in the market,” says Heijari. “People are interacting with the brand in various ways – it’s not just a game anymore, but a full-blown entertainment brand.”
Not many people know this, but Rovio had been developing games since 2003 before striking gold with Angry Birds in December of 2010.
“We developed 51 games before Angry Birds,” Heijari reveals. “A lot of those games were quite hardcore, like racing games or survival horror games.”
Keep it simple, birdie!
So, what made Angry Birds so special? “Simplicity,” says Heijari. “Simplicity is the key to reach the mass market and a mainstream audience.” The Bird Whisperer also acknowledges that Angry Birds was conceived in “a perfect storm when smartphones with touchscreens were really taking off.”
There’s no doubt that Angry Birds is easy to pick up and play, but actually getting to that point can be really hard. “In the beginning, we didn’t have the slingshot in the game,” says Heijari. You had to flick the birds with your finger but people didn’t immediately grasp the concept. “Then we came up with the slingshot – it’s a design element that made the game simple and really fun to use.”
Ville Heijari says that many games today aren’t focusing enough on simplicity and ease of use: “Many games use virtual keypads and joysticks; it’s just too complicated.”
Heijari also highlights other important ingredients such as original characters with a unique look and sound, and the fact that there’s very little language required to play the game. “You just use the touch interface and everything is made obvious,” he says.
When asked about developing for Windows Phone 8, Heijari had nothing but praise for the platform. “We’re developing for so many platforms that we’re becoming really good at building for any technology. Windows Phone 8 is a very good platform where we can use our own tech without too much hassle.”
“I just love using the app on the Nokia Lumia 920. It has a great display that is perfect for this kind of content-rich app,” The Bird Whisperer says.
Have you tried out Angry Birds Roost yet? What do you think? You should check out the built-in Angry Cam feature, which lets you take a photo, add your favourite Angry Birds characters to your shot and share the fun with Facebook, Twitter, MMS or email straight away. It’s good fun :)