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1st hands on footage of the current beta (IGF beta) of Super Meat Boy being played by the IGN staff.
We also posted new screens and music on our twitter.
We are working our asses off on this one, much love to Newgrounds for giving Meat Boy its start!
So its been almost 2 months since Time Fcuk was released and since then its been played over 3.5 million times 1million of those being from newgrounds.com. There have also been a startlingly huge amount of levels submitted closing in on 7k. Its been a secret for a while but Josh (goldfish) from NG had been keeping thumb nails for each level submitted in the database in hopes we could use them for something down the road. To celibate 1million plays on NG Josh has set it up so you can now view levels by category (most viewed, most fun, difficult recent and author) and choose from a visual list of levels in the database to play them.
Its a really damn cool feature and im glad that William and Josh were able to make it happen, i highly recommend you check it out, and short by "most viewed" if you want to see some of the more amazing levels submitted. Do note you need to be signed into NG to be able to see these levels.
Time Fcuk was also on display at the Eurogamer Expo last week, sadly i couldn't make it but i hear the response was good. I read this quote today about it that made my day "Time Kufc, makes Braid look like Wonder Boy." -Eurogamer.com.
Glad so many people enjoyed our game, it was really fun working with William and Justin, not many know this but Justin Karpel was actually my best friend in high school, i approached him about doing the music for Time Fcuk because the game was originally inspired by my high school reunion and i felt he would probably be the only one that could fully understand what feelings i was pulling from when it came to theme and mood. He did a fantastic job.
This post is kind of becoming a postmortem ... so im just going to go with it.
Time Fcuk Postmortem:
Time Fcuk was a game i took on as a "weekend" project while working on Super Meat Boy and No Quarter. William Good was a fan of the original Meat Boy and had been working on a platformer in flash about a "bat man" who could kinda fly around a tile based world. It was a cool prototype but the thing that really grabbed me was this weird switching layers mechanic he had added to it. I instantly saw potential in that mechanic and asked if this was something he would want to collaborate on.
I started to think more about multi dimensional themes in games, light world, dark world and perspective changes. The idea has been done a million times over but never seems to have any real subtext to the theme or message.. usually simply just a mechanic that's neato. I'd been thinking a lot about perspective recently and how important it is to be able to see things from different sides. You cant learn anything in life if you believe there's always only one solution or one right answer, if you do you will eventually find yourself stuck in a situation and break as a person.
I had recently attended my high school reunion, it was a very strange and depressing event. Lots of drinking, crying and sadness mostly from people who never seemed to progress past that high school mind set, most complaining about how they felt stuck in a situation they weren't happy with. The reunion was actually quite disturbing to me and i drew a lot from it in Time Fcuk (especially the intro animation).
I wanted to write about a man who was at war with himself over his future, one side of him wanted "enlightenment" the other wanted "comfort". and that's is essentially what Time Fcuk is all about. Every bit of text throughout the game has substance and meaning to me, even down to the description.
William and I made Time Fcuk in about 9 weeks, i kept the art very simple because i knew i didn't have much time to work on it, but i also wanted to see if i could make a compelling game without using my artistic skills as a crutch. It was a labor of love, and a very fun project to work on. If i release another flash game before SMB it will be with William :).
there were small things about development that i feel really helped the mood of the game, namely the radio frequency theme. the theme came from buying new speakers for my pc that picked up a local radio station very faintly in the background. For the 1st month of development i believe i was actually hearing voices, and i think that really added to the insanity factor of the theme. I was also able to pull from the radio theme and play around with the idea of tapping into realities that are all happening at once, different existences that are parallel but can be tapped into by changing your frequency or perspective.
What went right:
1. Mood. Im very happy with how the theme and mood came together. i wanted TF to have a major feeling of panic, claustrophobia, confusion and insanity. i think most people who play through it will leave with at least one or more of these feelings.
The feel of Time Fcuk isnt something that i can easily sum up and going into development i was a bit worried about how id be able to execute something with the weird high and low duality of self destruction and enlightenment. I wanted the game to be very bleak, but also hopeful where one minute you were smiling and the next totally creeped out. in the end i think the games ups and downs mirrored the feeling of a mans inward fight against his own thoughts, a panicked war for his future where the only thing holding him back from what he wants is himself.
2. Tech. William did an amazing job with all the online database stuff. the online level submission was seamless and the editor very user friendly. it was a breeze to make levels with and i think the customization of the editor give the player almost endless ways to be creative with their levels.
3. The End. The game ends with you having 2 options, take a pill you end your life and stay in the box forever or find a way out. The best part about this ending is seeing how people end it, there are the people who "get it" and right away attempt to find a way out of the final level not listening to your future self telling you to take the pill. but then there are the rest who simply do what they are told, take the pill like steven tells them and end the game. I thought this was a cool way to end the game and i think it went over really well.
4. Music. Ive mentioned above why i thought Justin was the perfect fit for TF when it comes to music, but really the music in TF was beyond perfect for the game. Justin did an amazing job at understanding the theme and totally nailing down a musical score that complemented it perfectly. i still get this weird sinking feeling in my stomach when i hear the intro music start.
5. The Unknown. Enter the known was a feature in TF that would allow a full game to be generated using only user made content arranged by difficulty. William also added a feature that would only have levels that had a "fun factor" of 2.5 or better to be chosen. The result was awesome, not only did it give players an endless game, but also made it so levels that might have been buried in the database a chance to get rated and work their way up the ranks.
What went wrong:
1. Reflex levels. My biggest complaint about TF was a few of the levels i designed. The game was a puzzle game, but i still felt compelled to add reflex based levels because i thought they would add more variety, these levels became more of a nuisance in the end and possibly took away from the puzzle/logic elements of the over all game.
2. Alt levels. Half way through development i came up with this amazing idea of having alt levels, so for each level you play there's a chance you will play one of 2-3 levels, giving the game a more dynamic feel. i came up with the idea late one night where i envisioned people playing the game and then trying to look up hints on how to beat a level only to find no one had played the level they are on, in hopes that they would feel "crazy". this of course didn't have the effect i wanted, maybe a few people had a profound OMG THE LEVEL ARE DIFFERENT FO EACH PERSON realization.. but really it was just a lot more work for me that made things 2 times more confusing for us when trying to fix the difficulty curve of level progression.
3. Awarding a medal for submitting a map. This was the dumbest idea ever, within an hour we had a few hundred maps called MEDAL GET! that consisted of a single portal. we cut this feature out asap.
4. Pixels. Looking back i wish i had made Steven out of pixles and not fake vector pixel art. everything else in the game is made out of pixels so he just feels slightly out of place, but i made him before i had a set theme and didn't have the extra time to remake all his animations in the correct pixel style.
5. Flash limitations. This wasn't a huge issue, but we did run into a few areas where flash just couldn't do what we wanted it to, at least not easily. Moving platforms, turning levels and other platforming/puzzle ideas just weren't that possible with the limitations we were working with.
The positive side of this is the fact there are quite a few major mechanics and ideas we came up with that could be used in a sequel. That said, i wouldn't want to make a "sequel" to Time Fcuk, but possibly after SMB its id like to combine it with another idea and kind of revisit it with more of a "full game" theme.
In the end im very proud of Time Fcuk, like Aether its one of very few games that i feel came out exactly how i saw them in my head and actually had some personal substance to them. Time Fcuk was a transitional game that was being written in a time where i was deciding to move on from my current work situation because i realized i felt stuck and should probably take my own advise and leave the box i put myself inside of.
As most of you know every Friday from here till the release of Super Meat Boy in Q1 of next year we will be giving away a free limited edition Meat Boy comic via our Twitter. The comic will be given out to the 1st person to reply to us with the correct answers to 3 meat boy related questions.
This weeks questions have a theme of "controversy".
Here are this weeks questions!
1.The Original ending of Meat Boy was censored on a few websites. what did the censored ending say?
2.The first Super Meat Boy ad featured a bovine meat chart. This ad was later edited, what was the original tag line for the game in that ad?
3.In the Meat Boy map pack, the final unlockable ending featured a cameo by a popular newgrounds character. His appearance had to be edited out of the game on other websites. Who was this controversial character?
Remember to reply to us on twitterwith your answers 1st person to tweet the right ones wins! (NG users can PM me with your answers) You have till Thursday the 19th.
Here are the winners from last months contest (most of them newgrounds users).
Oh this month Tom is also giving away free meat boy stickers to anyone who orders from the NG store. The are also on sale for those who want more then one, they are fucking sweet stickers i might add.
Ill also be including one with the comic for this months contest.
Good luck !
Tommy and i have been giving away a free SMB comic (the one that's sold out in the NG store) every Friday from now till release via twitter.
Basically every week we will have a contest or quiz, and the winner gets a free comic sent to them. This Friday will be an art contest, so i hope NG users will have the advantage here, something like THIS would easily be shoe in. Either way im sure they would make awesome additions to the art portal.
So yeah, Follow us on twitter if you want in on the contests. (http://twitter.com/SuperMeatBoy)
And while your at it become a fan of Meat Boy on facebook.
Looking forward to seeing what you guys make! :)
(ps: i added a cryptic image from one of the meat boy cut scenes.. who could it be?)
My niece came over to beta test super meat boy, shes 3.
We announced new features for super meat boy on IGN last week.
Check it out. http://wii.ign.com/articles/103/103508 9p1.html
Also D made a Giant limited edition Meat Boy plush this week, only a few left in the store.
On a personal note, im doing awesome thanks again for all the well wishes. im back up to 100% and working on ass off on SMB!!.
Well this has been an extremely crazy week. I'll try and recap to the best of my ability so i can cut to the part where i gush about how awesome you all are and how happy your kind words and support have really restored my faith in humanity.
So, at about 12am Saturday night my back started hurting, thinking it was just muscle pains i ignored it and continued to work, at about 3 the pain was almost unbearable so i attempted to sleep it off to no avail. by 4 i was writhing in pain on the floor trying my best to put off the inevitable emergency visit, at this point i was vomiting uncontrollably but was convinced it was just food poisoning and once it was out of my system I'd be ok.
At 5:30 my wife called my mother who picked us up and took me to the emergency room. The nurse's 1st thought was that i was somehow having an aneurysm, this of course freaked out everyone to the point of tears but after an EKG it was ruled out. At about 6:30 i was given morphine and by 8 i was put through tests to find out what was wrong, right away they could see my gallbladder was very inflamed and needed to be removed, but the scans also showed an abnormality on my liver that could potentially be cancer, this of course didn't go over well with anyone and the next 15 hours waiting for results of a 2nd scan was extremely hard on everyone. results came back negative, the abnormality was nothing more then a fatty lump, who'd a thought? :).
the next day i was setup for surgery, gallbladder removed and sent home at 11pm the next day, and have been slowly recuperating at my couch and pc for the past 4 days.
At some point while i was in the hospital My wife Danielle hijacked my facebook and posted the news, it wasn't long till people started sending donations and well wishes.
Now ill do my best to say this as honestly and clear cut as i can.. I appreciate every single amount of effort you've all put into the kind words you've sent me and money you've donated. I didn't expect anything like this at all, being in a drug addled haze for the past 5 days and waking up to something like this was beyond moving and brought me to tears many times. I love all of you guys and hope to repay you all in some way eventually.
Running the risk of forgetting someone i feel the need to really mention a few names of fellow devs that i really love and respect, my Team Meat partner Tommy, Matt from flashbang, Derek, Tyler, Tom, Daniel B, the guys and gals at Kongregate, John, Jeff, Kyle, the wolf fire guys, Matt Thorson, Metanet,Anna, Dan A... the list goes on, and i know im forgetting many... Everyone at Gonintendo, Destructiod and other wii blogs, all of you guys that twittered and posted on your blogs, Everyone that sent me e-mails and well wishes... you guys have made me feel very accepted and wanted and words cant express how good all this has made me feel. Expect something special in the mail from me in the coming months :).
But of course above all i need to thank my wife, Danielle, who stuck by my side the whole way through, i cant imagine how hard this was for her to deal with, i just feel so grateful for having her.
For those of you wondering about my insurance/money situation please don't worry about me. Ill be ok, you've all done more then enough and i don't go down that easily. I'm healing up well, I'm motivated and already getting back to work on SMB.. i can only imagine what games this experience will inspire :)
You guys are awesome friends.
PS i have meat posted meat boy news on our twitter for those of you who want meaty infoz.
The coming soon page for Super Meat Boy on Steam went up today, officially announcing that SMB will be coming out on Pc and Wiiware in the 1st Quarter of 2010. The Steam page also has some new screen shots and info.
Check it out kiddies http://store.steampowered.com/app/4080 0/
Also heres the 1st gameplay footage of Meat boy on the wii.Tell your friends!
Time Fukc is out!
i made a lil trailer for it for those of you who are too lazy to click 2 more times.
Enjoy, William and i put a lot of work into it
So ive been waiting to announce this for a long time.. and im still very confused on whats going on with the announcement.... but Aether is a finalist in Indiecade 2009!
I was told that the finalists would be announced by the 1st.. not too sure whats going on but i really wanted to post about it.. i could be doing something wrong here but, such is life.
Indiecade asked its 2009 finalists for to make a "mini documentary" about our games.. an interview or something along those lines.
So i interviewed my 3 year old niece Acacia, and re-edited it in a way that i felt expressed the theme and mood of Aether.
This game was a huge personal achievement for me as a designer, its one of a few games ive made that i feel have pushed my limits and its the game i feel was by far the most personal piece ive ever done.
Aether was a game based on my child hood, i wanted to make a game that felt how i remember feeling when i was between the ages of 5 and 7. There was a great deal of though and personal expression that went into almost every aspect of the game, even thought it only took 14 days for Tyler and myself to finish.
If you haven't played Aether yet, please do. you can play it online Here.
Aether was the 3rd in a series of games id done that i felt pushed emotional and abstract aspects of game design, the first 2 being Triachnid and Coil. It was also 2nd in in a series of allegorical games based off of my personal life (Coil, Aether, Spewer and Time Fuck).
Anyway it makes me feel pretty good inside for Aether to be recognized this way, i hope to one day finish the story with a full version of it.
But right no my life is filled with Meat.
Time Fkuc is a game about perspective, growth and self reflection.
It's currently being fondled by strangers, but will be come a full fledged whore on sept. 1st.
Time Kufc is by Myself, William Good and Justin Karpel.
Power of 3.