An Apple developer has made a working clone of the immensely popular Flappy Bird, pulled from app stores earlier this year but confirmed to be returning, in Apple's new Swift programming language within four hours of release.
The app, made by Apple developer Nate Murray, is designed to demonstrate how easy it is to code a product that other people would want to use. He said he was able to build a working version of the game within four hours of Swift being introduced; he had no previous experience of Swift before Apple's WWDC announcement regarding the new language.
The game, named FlappySwift in homage to both the language it is made in and the game it is based on, is a port from an Objective-C version of Flappy Bird made by another developer, Matthias Gall, according to Murray in comments on Hacker News. Objective-C is Apple's de-facto standard programming language for iOS and OS X development; Swift is launching as an easy-to-use alternative to this.
FlappySwift's code is available freely on Murray's GitHub and can be used by people considering developing with Swift to gain a quick overview of how it works and the process of creating games using it. Murray intends to publish a full course on developing games in Swift on his website FullStack.io, co-founded with fellow developer Ari Lerner, in the future.
The fact that he finished the product within four hours of the language being introduced shows just how easy Swift is to pickup and learn. Murray is of course already an experienced developer in the Obejctive-C language that Swift is based on and there is no suggestion that new developers will be able to create a working game quite as quickly as this. It does show that Swift would appear to be accessible to all though.
Flappy Bird went viral earlier this year when it was downloaded millions of times. It was quickly pulled from the app stores by creator Dong Nguyen though as he claimed he "couldn't cope" with the game's popularity and success. It has spawned multiple clones hoping to gain a piece of the product's success but these are likely to be dispersed when the original returns in August this year with an all-new multiplayer mode.