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Team Meat Interview - Super Meat Boy

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Team Meat's Super Meat Boy title might be very early in development for the WiiWare service, but it's never to early to dig for a little new information on the game. With the popularity of the flash version of the game already creating some anticipation for the game, we couldn't resist touching base with the developers in an effort to pry a few tidbits of information out of them.

We recently caught up with two members of Team Meat, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, and they were kind enough to take part in an interview with WiiWare World. You can read on below to see what they had to say to us about their first WiiWare title and quite a few other interesting things as well.

WiiWare World: What role do you play as far as game development goes?

Edmund McMillen: I do design and art.

Tommy Refenes: I do design and programming.

WW: Why did you choose to bring Super Meat Boy to the WiiWare service and why WiiWare over the Xbox Live Arcade or Playstation Network?

EM: Nintendo approached me about my flash work in the past and expressed an interest in having Aether and Meat Boy developed for Wiiware. At the time I had no money so Jon and I put together all the user made maps people had submitted to us for Meat Boy and released the Meat Boy map pack. I used that money to buy a development kit from Nintendo. Tommy (Refenes) jumped on board and that's where we are now.

Meat Boy is a big throw back to a lot of super hardcore NES classics like Ghosts 'n Goblins, Mega Man and the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2. It seems really appropriate to release it on a Nintendo console and I think it fills a hole in the WiiWare library. There aren't too many edgy games up there right now :) SMB should stand out a lot.

WW: What do you think of the selection of games currently available on the WiiWare service at the moment? Are there any titles that really stand out to you?

EM: The only WiiWare titles I've purchased have been World of Goo and Mega Man 9. There's a game called Bit Trip Beat coming out next month that I think will be a ton of fun as well.

WW: Is Super Meat Boy going to be a port with extras, a remake, or a totally new game?

EM: Super Meat Boy will be totally remade from the ground up, nothing from the flash version will be reused. Our goal is to keep the basic theme and feel the same. We aren't going to give Meat Boy a ton of new abilities. One of the things that made Meat Boy good is its simplistic design and we aren't going to mess around with that formula.

WW: Can you tell us about any new game play ideas we might see in the WiiWare version of the game that are not in the original flash title?

EM: We will have a lot of new things to interact with though, physical objects, cool lighting, partical effects, boss fights, side scrolling levels and a s**t load of new stuff that will kill you.

SMB will also feature VS, Co-op, 100+ levels, 10+ unlockable characters, tons of hidden extras and some really purdy music.

WW: Will Super Meat Boy feature the level creation mode?

EM: It might. It's something we are looking into.

TR: Internally we'll have a level editor, but we have yet to determine if we are going to make it in such a way that it can be used by the average player with just the Wii Remote. That's one of those things that we'll just have to test out and determine if it's realistic to do.

WW: We noticed that the original Meat Boy game featured a few references to other classic game titles, such as the short intro mimicking the intro to Ghosts 'n Goblins. Will Super Meat Boy include more of these?

EM: Yeah, we are currently looking at parody rights in video games. If all goes well, you will see A TON of parodys of old school games from the NES and SNES era. Players should also be on the look out for a few super secret warp zones that could potentially take them into a few of these games :)

WW: Just from playing your games, you've obviously been influenced by the 8-bit and 16-bit eras of gaming. What are some of your favorite old school game titles and did any of them in particular inspire or influence Meat Boy?

EM: The Mario series, Mega Man series, Ghosts and Goblins, and Zelda. I'm into all the tried and true classics and that have all had an influence on Meat Boy, and all my games for that matter.

WW: Just from playing the game, it's obvious that you guys have a rather sadistic side. What can we expect as far as difficulty goes from the WiiWare title?

EM: The difficulty will ramp up slower. SMB is 3 times longer than the flash version so we can ramp things up a little more realisticaly.

But for all the hardcore fans out there, we will be featuring an unlockable expert chapter that will probaby break a few Wii Remotes :).

WW: Some gamers have complained that the control in the flash release of Meat Boy is a bit on the slippery side. Are you planning to change that at all in the WiiWare release?

TR: You can only do so much in Flash. A lot of flash games have slippery controls because the input is totally digital, there's no sense of pressure or any sort of analog input so to make a game feel a little more fluid, stuff becomes slippery. We are going to spend a lot of time on the controls and make sure that it feels as good as possible. You will BECOME Meat Boy...not just control him.

WW: The music is a rather impressive aspect of Meat Boy. Can you tell us a bit more about DannyB and will he be handling the music for the WiiWare version of the game?

EM: Yeah Danny will be doing all the music for SMB. He's an awesome muscian and great person to work with. There hasn't been anything he's done for me that hasn't totally blown me away. We posted his work so far on SMB on our blog, but you can check out his other work on his site www.dbsoundworks.com.

WW: You've mentioned that you're still very early in development on Super Meat Boy. Do you have any time frame for when you'd like to have the game completed?

EM: We would like to have the PC version done by Christmas, so close to then I assume.

TR: I'm building the Wii and PC versions side by side, so hopefully around the end of the year, but we'll see! :)

WW: Are you planning on making Super Meat Boy available in regions outside of the US?

TR: I'm going to build localization systems into the game so we are going to localize it to as many regions as possible.

WW: We noticed that you now have a Meat Boy plushie available for purchase on your blog. Who came up with that idea?

EM: My wife makes plushies for a living and usually will make a version of every character I do. Meat Boy is one of the first I've put up for sale. It's pretty sweet. I have one sitting next to me right now. He's the perfect keyboard caddy.

WW: Are you planning on bringing any of your other flash titles to the WiiWare service in the future, like Gish perhaps?

EM: Aether is an option once Tyler is out of school. Tommy and I have been talking about doing an epic shooter with rpg elements that started out as a flash idea, so that's possible as well. We are also working on a flash game called Onion that would fit nicely on Wii as well.

WW: Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers in closing?

EM: Get the word out! Super Meat Boy is one of the first games I'm developing exclusively for the fans. We are doing this so you can have something awesomely edgy and nostalgic to play on Wiiware. The more you guys talk about it, the better we will make it! Support independent game development!.

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User Comments (30)

CorbsAdmin

#2

Corbs said:

I'm all over this one when it hits the WiiWare service. It has that same "Lost Vikings-like" appeal where you have to keep trying to figure out the best way through each level. :)

Chrono_Cross

#3

Chrono_Cross said:

Go Meat!! (lol)

@Corbie
I just hope this one doesn`t disappoint like other titles have on WiiWare.
Though as of right now I`m looking forward to this!

Scryble

#4

Scryble said:

I loved the flash version! The more I hear about the Wiiware release, the more I'm interested in it (co-op and versus is really cool, hope they add level editor with wi-fi sharing...)! This and Eduardo are on my radar.

Ricardo91

#5

Ricardo91 said:

I just played the flash version of this game. It was pretty cool, but also FREAKIN' HARD. And the touchy controls really got on my nerves. Thank god that they're going to fix this. Lookin' forward to the Wiiware game! :)

Chunky_Droid

#6

Chunky_Droid said:

Wow I so can't wait for this game, especially with the improved control scheme (I never use a keyboard for platforming!) And it's gotta be pretty cool to be actually approached by Nintendo themselves about your flash games being brought to WiiWare.

Time to think about taking up flash, lol.

Congratulations Team Meat!

Virus

#7

Virus said:

Holy geez, now I'm excited for this game. Too bad it won't be out for roughly another year. Gah... and despite all the great features being announced for the game, my mind still is prone to think the game might not do so well. Too many games on WiiWare just haven't lived up not only to the hype but to basic quality standards; I just hope SMB isn't one of them.

Wiiloveit

#8

Wiiloveit said:

Sorry LostWinds 2... but this just made it to the top of my "most wanted" list for 2009 (well... on WiiWare at least). However - if it doesn't have the possible level editor packed in as well, then I won't be quite as excited. I'll still buy it, of course, but if it did have the level editor, then it would be EPIC. Best interview in a while.

blockhead

#9

blockhead said:

i love the flash game so this just moved up on my most wanted wiiware games next to Toribash and Animales(if it comes to wiiware)

PALgamer

#10

PALgamer said:

Interesting read, specially on how they entered WW development.
You gotta love the acronym, SMB !!!

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#11

Philip_J_Reed said:

This is starting to sound really excellent. But am I alone in being mainly joyed over the news that Bit Trip comes out next month?

Adam

#13

Adam said:

The comment about the slippery controls has overcome my one concern about the game because that made the flash game unplayable to me. Definitely looking forward to this now.

MegaRockman_1990

#18

MegaRockman_1990 said:

I am gonna spread the word to all my friends about this game that has the wii.
The funny thing is that i am currently looking into to educate myself in game design, art and programming. And got all excited that you guys do your own independent game developments that its possible to do games when educated in game design, art and programming. Its an inspiration for me i am going to download this game the night it comes on wiiware you two are my new idols :).

KnucklesSonic8

#19

KnucklesSonic8 said:

This year's WiiWare schedule is awesome. I'm gonna give this a try once it hits. I've never played the flash game though. lol.

Look forward to seeing more games from them in the future!

Kaeobais

#20

Kaeobais said:

Looking nice so far. Co-op sounds like it could be awesome. End of the year though? That's too long :(

Petwoip

#21

Petwoip said:

Edmund has been making great flash games for a few years now. I'm sure this will be well-made and fun. And I'd love to see a level editor, that would be a great incentive for many people to buy the game.

CorbsAdmin

#22

Corbs said:

I agree. I played Gish, Meat Boy, and Grey Matter last night for a couple of hours and they were all great.

Vantes

#24

Vantes said:

This whole thing looks really interesting... the flash version seems cool. I'm anticipating the WiiWare release... but iCan't help but feel like the game is a clone of the Jumper series. uNEED to know what Jumper is if uConsider yourself a fan of platformers...

Check it out...

http://mattmakesgames.com/games.php

Hardcore platforming action there...

Popyman

#25

Popyman said:

Sounds awesome! That's a heck of a lot of stuff for a WiiWare title. And for you people doubting this game, have you played Gish? My God that's an amazing game.

BTW, since when has Gish been a flash game? I had to buy it (died a long with my laptop, sadly...). Is it like, a flash demo?

Wiiloveit

#26

Wiiloveit said:

This year's WiiWare schedule is awesome.
Agreed. After browsing through the "coming soon" list, I can't see many games at all that look as though they're going to turn out rubbish.

I agree. I played Gish, Meat Boy, and Grey Matter last night for a couple of hours and they were all great.
Here's a quote from Corbie in the recent news about the LIT release date: "I'm lucky to find time to pop on these comments to be honest. Between two jobs, three web sites and a family, I don't have a lot of free time. And the hour a day I can sometimes squeeze out is dedicated to my newest toy. In fact my new arcade shooter cabinet is quickly moving up my priority list as we speak. "
Make up your mind, Corbinator!

CorbsAdmin

#27

Corbs said:

Well Edmund at Team Meat recommended I try some of his other games so I went ahead and made some time for it. It was work-related you know. :P

tatemon555

#28

tatemon555 said:

I still want the game, no matter what any of you nay-sayers say, eh?

MWAH HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!;

No, seriously.

CommanderVideo

#29

CommanderVideo said:

Yo Edmund! Great interview! Thanks for the BIT.TRIP BEAT plug too! You have to know that I'm VERY excited about your SMB project. I will gift you BTB if you gift me SMB. Deal? Deal.

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