Ever since we first got word of it, Super Meat Boy has remained a huge inspiration to me and Isaac. In case you're not familiar, the game is about an animated hunk of... well, meat who must run and jump his way (Mario style) through worlds crammed full of hazards. It's an insanely difficult game, and one that revolutionized the indie gaming universe when it first launched back in 2010.
Being indie game developers, Isaac and I were naturally excited for the 2012 debut of Indie Game: The Movie. The film featured (among others) Meat Boy's creators, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes. I remember vividly how wonderstruck I felt as I stepped out of the premiere showing with the realization that two humans built that. Two humans had a great, simple idea for a game that their younger selves would have loved. They worked as hard as they could to turn that idea into a reality. And even though most games are built by much larger teams, their passion for gaming and sheer determination vaulted them to success. I can only hope that Isaac and I can have the perseverance to accomplish a fraction of what they've done. We've certainly drawn a ton of influence from Super Meat Boy when building How I Roll.
So you can imagine how pleased I was to see a version of Super Meat Boy: Forever running at Microsoft's showcase at GDC. Although Edmund hasn't been a part of the sequel's development (Don't worry--he's gone on to do lots of other cool stuff.), I was thrilled with the direction Tommy and the rest of Team Meat have taken the game. To be sure, Forever is a major departure from the gameplay of the original, but it's enchanting and utterly addictive in its own right. I wish Tommy the best of luck with the launch later this year. Isaac and I hope to be first in line to buy it!
I know I said I'd have some overviews of cool projects I saw at GDC this week. And don't worry--I'll get to them soon... along with a new build of How I Roll! In the meantime, check out the ABOUT page. I added a short slideshow of me and Isaac working in our typical environment. 👨💻
Also, here's a picture of me typing frantically. That's the main thing I do most days. 😉
Sorry for the scarcity of updates last week. GDC wrapped up on Friday, and I've spent the entire weekend recovering. The expo itself was a vibrant display of all things new in gaming technology. I would have loved to spend another few days exploring all the amazing games and innovations the companies there were showing off. But for me, the real value of the conference was in the talks and roundtables I got to attend. There were some real gems of wisdom to be found.
And I made a bunch of new friends! 😁 Isaac and I are really looking forward to collaborating with some of them on projects in the near future. In addition to diving back into code for How I Roll this week, I'll be sure to post some updates about the brilliant projects (and their brilliant creators) I saw at GDC!
We're only halfway through the week here at GDC, and I'm already exhausted. Today I'll be exploring the expo, dropping in on some classes, and hopefully playing lots and lots of amazing indie games!
I spent a few hours last night demoing How I Roll to my fellow conferencegoers at one of the many GDC afterparties. Everyone had excellent feedback, and they're making me question a lot of the design decisions I've made--which is great! I've noticed, however, that the kind of feedback I'm receiving at GDC is vastly different from the kind we got from the (mostly younger) audience at Minefaire. For example, the industry veterans at GDC all seem to agree that our prototype artwork has to go--we need something that looks more professional before launch. And I certainly agree that the graphics need improvement! Isaac and I are working on that right now. But it's interesting that at Minefaire, the quality of the artwork was rarely a concern. In fact, many of attendees complimented it. They liked how bright and flashy all the levels were. It just goes to show that it's important to know your audience.
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