He's a boy! He's made of meat! He's super! He's Super Meat Boy! He's up for the Audio and Grand Prize at this year's IGF! He's made by Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (aka Team Meat)! We're talking to them! Like, right now! MEAT! MEAT!
RPS: Firstly, a brief intro to those who may not know you. Who are you? What's your background? Why get into games?
Tommy Refenes: I'm Tommy Refenes...I am the programmer. I program stuff. I got into games because it's just too hard to break into the banking industry these days. The P&L on indie games has never been higher.
RPS: And... the game. Tell us about it. What was its origins? What are you trying to do with it? What are you most pleased about it? What nags?
Edmund McMillen: The game is based on the prototype flash game Meat Boy Jon McEntee and I made for Newgrounds.com, a little game about a boy made of meat whose girlfriend is kidnapped by a fetus in a jar. The game did really well online and around that time I was contacted by Nintendo about doing a game for Wiiware and remaking Meat Boy just made sense.
All we are trying to do with Super Meat Boy is make a very fun and memorable game, something our 13 year old selves would become total fan boys for.. basically we are remaking Mario for people with ADD who have a sense of humor love a good challenge.
Tommy Refenes: I'm most pleased with the fact that the game is almost universally "pick up and play"-able. Showing the game to people is great because we don't have to explain what to do. The only thing that nags currently is Andy Schatz, I don't know if you or your readers know this, but we used to date. He was both mentally and physically abusive and after all this time I finally feel that I have the strength to confront the person that kept me down for so long face to face. At IGF this year I will look Andy in the eyes and finally say "NO...NO you cannot treat me this way".
RPS: What's your feelings on the IGF this year. Pleased to be nominated? Have particular love, bemusement or hate for any of the other entries? Is there anything you think is missing?
Tommy Refenes: I'm excited as hell to be nominated and honestly, I feel this is a really great year for the IGF. There are a ton of games I'm looking forward to playing this year... except Monaco. You can easily see from the gameplay in Monaco that Andy Schatz is a sneaky manipulative person. He made an entire game about sneaking and stealing stuff from other people... just like he stole the best years of my life. But I forgive him.
Edmund McMillen: I'm honored to be nominated for the grand prize again, it's been 5 years since Gish and I honestly thought getting into this position again would be an impossible feat for me to achieve. I personally was very pleased by the finalists this year, especially in the nouvo category, they did a great job there. I've played most of the finalists this year, but am still fuzzy on how Trauma and Joe Danger play but I'll get hands on with them in a few weeks either way.
RPS: How do you feel about the indie scene generally this year? People have been relatively downbeat about 2009, after 2008 being so obviously incendiary. What are the themes, in your eyes? What are people missing?
Edmund McMillen: I think it's going to be a pretty solid year for indie games, with indie console titles like Spelunky (xbla) Cave Story, Night Game, Bit Trip Runner, Monaco and Super Meat Boy and tons of smaller indie games from all the indie darlings I'm sure it will be a great year for indie games. (Look how positive I'm being!) I just finished Anna's next game Redder, extremely solid and fun game start to finish. Honestly anything by her Sparky, Cactus, messhof and Matt T is going to kill, I hope they all get console deals next year so we can all suck each other off in my hot tub.
RPS: And how does the future look for you? What are you working on now and the foreseeable future.
Tommy Refenes: Future looks like Super Meat Boy....after Super Meat Boy I'm going to go out and find someone to undo the years of psychological damage that Andy Schatz has done to me.
Edmund McMillen: I'm enjoying the present currently, if the future is anything like it, it's looking pretty fun. I'm currently working on the game this interview is for, after SMB I'll probably take a break and maybe work on another game with William Good or this asshole I'm doing the interview with.
RPS: Thanks for your time.
You can follow Super Meat Boy's development at its own blog. You can follow the grudge match between Schatz and Refenes via any media coverage of GDC this year.