As we draw closer to the release of the Angry Birds Sync — aka, “Bird Brains” (yes, we made that up) or ABSS — I thought it might be worth putting together my wishlist of what I hope we might see. But first, a little history:
In the beginning Angry Birds didn’t really have to worry a whole lot about users needing to move their game data around. Users pretty much just played on whatever device they had, which for us early adopters, was an iPhone or iPod Touch. That meant if you bought a new iPhone all you had to do was set it up and sync it with an old iTunes backup and you were good-to-go. Life was simple!
Fast-forward a few months and Angry Birds started popping up EVERYWHERE — first on Nokia, then iPad, Android, Palm, Symbian, Mac, PC, and then the consoles! And users aren’t just switching devices now, they are switching full platforms and many are actually playing on MULTIPLE devices. It’s not unreasonable for a player to have a phone, tablet, computer and game console. I know I do!
Even though I have Angry Birds on all these devices I don’t play regularly on all of them because my games’ data doesn’t match up. That’s a huge problem because 3-starring every single level of Angry Birds and it’s offspring is a huge investment — not to mention — a challenge (and that doesn’t even factor in the Golden Eggs, Hidden Fruit, Total Destruction, etc.). This pretty much forces any serious player to play on a single device — that is — unless you feel like playing around with some files in the background.
Fortunately, Rovio realized a long time ago that this is a problem and a purported Angry Birds Sync System (please call it Bird Brains) is on the way. As of writing the last update about this was via Twitter on April 10th when someone asked Rovio when they might see it. Their response? “We are working hard on that, before summer is the plan.” Well, the arrival of summer is drawing near and I’ve got some high hopes.
Okay, that was a little longer than I expected. Without further ado, my wishlist:
ANGRY BIRDS ACCOUNT
I think this is pretty accepted as what we will most likely see. Your Bird Brains account would be in the cloud and hold all your scores, progress and stats. Open up Angry Birds on any device and it would first ask you for your username and password, not unlike Game Center on iOS devices. At this point the Angry Birds Sync would compare your current game with the game save on the server. If the one on the server is newer it would download those newer files. Obviously, it would work in the background and be more elegant than I described, but that is the gist of what I’d imagine we’ll see.
I think it’s safe to assume that Angry Birds Sync would not require you to always be online, as it would be pretty worthless otherwise. While offline the game would keep track of your progress on your device as it always has, then sync up next time you had a connection. During this sync process the hope would be that your progress would sync up seamlessly. In other words, your scores would be checked against each other and the highest would move to the top, whether that high was on your device or the server.
BACKUPS / REVISION HISTORY
As many of you probably know no sync system is perfect. There are going to be collisions and if the software doesn’t know how to handle them that could mean problems. I think a safeguard against this would be the ability to restore previous revisions (i.e. older data). They wouldn’t have to store a ton of revisions to make this worthwhile, as most of the time you’ll know a problem exists fairly quickly. To me, the ability to restore from an older backup would give me some additional peace of mind when syncing my data on the cloud.
This may be the biggest, most useful feature to most people. The ability to play on whatever type of device you choose. Apple, Android, Nokia, Symbian, Palm, Computers, Web, you name it. It would be great not to be stuck with one brand or device-type simply because you have a horribly unhealthy Angry Birds Addiction. You know who you are! The ability to be able to play whenever and on whatever is one that will do nothing but increase that addiction, but if this happens, I know I won’t be complaining. Note, this includes syncing between different flavors of the same edition (e.g. Angry Birds to Angry Birds HD).
ACHIEVEMENTS FOR ALL
I doubt this will be included at launch and it may be wrapped into a future update, but I thought it was worth including nonetheless. As most of you know, achievements are currently only available on iOS devices, which means a large percentage of the Angry Birds community is left out. I know Rovio realizes this and I’m sure they’ll do something about it…eventually (I’d love to be proven wrong).
IN-DEPTH STATS & API
Are any of you familiar with Smash Bros for the Nintendo Gaming Systems dating all the way back to the Nintendo 64? Well since at LEAST the GameCube version, Smash Bros has had an absolutely fantastic Stat Section in the game. It could tell you how long you’ve played, what character you’ve played most, how many kills you had, weapon usage, and so on. Today, a lot of games do this, but Smash Bros is always the one that sticks out in my mind. My friends and I would frequently cruise this section and compare each others stats. How cool would it be to have this info at your finger tips in Angry Birds?! Birds Flown, Pigs Popped, Blocks Smashed, Time Spent, Most played level, and so on.
On a personal note, not only would I like to see this data in-game, but it would be even better if the were accessible via an API! I know most of you aren’t programmers so I won’t bore you with the details of this, but it would take community sites like AngryBirdsNest to a whole new level.
So there you have it, that is my wish list as it pertains to Angry Birds Sync. I feel I must stress, I have NO inside information, so take it for what it’s worth. Here’s to the future of Angry Birds!