Indie Developers Showcase 2010
Indie Developer Showcase, Day Five: Meat Boy

Jordan Deam | 29 Jan 2010 21:00
Indie Developers Showcase 2010 - RSS 2.0

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TE: What's it like as an indie working with a huge publisher like Nintendo? Do you have to censor yourself or give up much creative freedom to get SMB published on WiiWare?

EM: Honestly, Nintendo has had no feedback or input on SMB at all. They just let us do our thing, and when we are done they pop it up on WiiWare. So far we have had the same amount of freedom we would doing a PC title; I hope that doesn't change once we send it out to get approved!

TE: How is console development different than PC and browser development? Now that you're nearly finished with SMB, can you see any console versions of your other games in your future?

EM: I have a few ideas for console titles in the future, but even more when it comes to PC/Flash titles. I have no idea what I'll be doing after SMB - I'll just see where things move me and go with it.

TE: What's more satisfying for you as a designer: creating entirely new designs, or polishing older ones until they're perfect?

EM: New ideas are always more satisfying in the short term, but fine-tuning and polishing up SMB has been a very satisfying experience as well. I'm not used to working on a project for this long, but I'm starting to enjoy the process of fine dissection of existing themes and smoothing stuff out till it's perfect. But I won't really know what I like more till SMB is done.

TE: How do you decide with whom to collaborate with on your projects? Do you ever meet with your partners in meatspace, or is it all online?

EM: I meet up with Tommy [Refenes] every three months for about a month; he's been staying at my place for SMB development. I've met a few of the other people I've made games with, but the majority I've never met in real life.

TE: What does it mean to you for SMB to be nominated for the grand prize at this year's IGF?

EM: It means a lot. It's been five years since my last game, Gish, was nominated. I honestly thought it would be impossible to ever make something that would reach the heights Gish did back then. It means a lot to be there again with Super Meat Boy.

TE: You recently wrote a manifesto for aspiring indie game designers for IndieGames: The Weblog. Out of those 24 lessons, which one was the hardest for you to learn?

EM: I think "being honest" is probably the hardest one to learn. It's very hard to be honest with yourself as well as your work - everyone wants to be something they are not and don't want to admit to shortcomings. Being honest not only means making honest art but also being honest enough with yourself to realize you are a work in progress, not perfect and always learning.

I think the most common mistake people run into with game design is "biting off more than they can chew." This isn't the hardest thing to learn, but definitely the easiest to fall into and the hardest to get out of.

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