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Angry Birds: The Power of Distinct Characters in Mobile Gaming

Angry Birds, the world-renowned mobile gaming franchise, has captured the hearts of millions with its addictive gameplay and simple loops. However, its success isn't solely attributed to these features; the well-defined and instantly recognizable characters have played a crucial role in making it a multimedia phenomenon.

At a recent event, Tom Bernardes, Rovio's senior character designer, discussed the significance of character design in gaming and how it can set a product apart from the competition. He identified two types of designers: those born with innate talent and acute perception, and self-taught individuals who develop their skills through study.

In character design for games, Bernardes highlighted key differences compared to other fields, such as animation. Games follow a more chaotic creative process, while animation tends to be methodical and strict, with character design taking place later in development.

During the talk, Bernardes revealed concept art for a new Angry Birds character, exploring various designs based on different powers, each inspired by real-life birds. Ultimately, the character became Melody, a songbird, but a pelican character with a unique ability to swallow and spit up objects was also considered. This glimpse into the iteration process showcased how characters evolve from concept to screen.

Angry Birds' enduring success lies in its ability to create immediately identifiable characters, each with a distinct personality yet adhering to a consistent art style. Game makers can learn from Rovio's approach by focusing on designing unique characters in their own style rather than copying directly. Mobile gaming's strength in simpler narratives allows characters to seamlessly transition into adaptations, spin-offs, and crossovers, as seen in Angry Birds' numerous ventures into other media, its Star Wars crossover, and spin-off racing title. This flexibility is made possible by the game's recognizable art style, enabling each new title to stand out.

In conclusion, establishing a captivating art style and creating distinct characters not only ensures a game's success but also opens doors to exploring new creative territories. Angry Birds continues to thrive, proving that Rovio's basket is brimming with exciting possibilities for the future.

Source: Lewis Rees, Staff Writer at PocketGamer

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