Over the 18 months we developed Super Meat Boy, a great deal of things changed, other things were cut all together.
One of the most common questions we get asked is, "what other unlockable characters did you guys have planned that were cut?"
Well, the following post is about just about everything that changed over the course of dev. or was removed entirely (and the reasons why).
Meat boy went through quite a few iterations before becoming the more "cute" large eyed versions you all know. deciding what the new direction the art was going to go from the flash version was a bitch, i remember being very frustrated with how he looked, nothing seemed to look correct. you can even see my attempt at a more "beefy" meat boy (#3)... just horrible.
The over world map went through a few slight revisions over time, origionaly meat boy would walk off screen to the right when you switched worlds and part of the hud would come down and smash him into the chapter tile when you entered it (this is why he smashes into the tile now). these things looked cool but simply took up too much time to play out and in the end we decided to go with a faster straight to the action overworld with slightly more info.
The level maps themselves went through many many revisions over time, with a lot of notable big changes. The 1st is the fact that there is only 15 levels and no dark world, no warp zones and only 16 bandages per chapter, this was the original plan. As we developed and saw that the game had a lot more potential then we had expected we decided to go balls to the wall and tripple the number of levels also adding tons more bonus content.
The 2nd most notable change is the locks. When we started development i thought it would be good to use the unlocking system i used in the flash version of meat boy where youd play sets of 3 levels, if you beat 2 of those 3 it would unlock the next set. I started to question this unlocking system once we started to see how people played. When they would hit the end or a locked level and exit back to the map, it would kill the games pacing also it seemed like no one would ever exit to the map or skip a level.. so we cut out the locks completely and simply made it so if you beat 17 of the 20 main levels you unlock the boss.. and most people dont even notice this is the case.
Other minor things changed visually, the levels went from stand up door type tiles to tiles on the ground, the hud and map environments became less busy and we removed info on level dificulty (those X's in the lower right) and Medal info due to the fact that we cut grade B awards, because they were basically pointless.
Levels also changed a great deal over development, especially the 1st 20. i had a handful of pics from early dev i thought id post most of them are from levels that should be pretty familiar to most players. Most notible is the fact that Meat Boy is being used in CommanderVideos warp zone. this warp zone was the 1st warp we made, a 4bit warp zone you play as 4bit meat boy. When we started out all unlockable characters would be attained through bandage collection and not warp zones, we both thought the purple 4bit warp felt like something out of the bit trip series so we decided to play around with some characters having warp zones you have to complete as them to unlock them. This worked out perfectly because it also allowed us to showcase that characters ability and instruct the player on their pros and cons helping to understand how they could be used in later levels of the game.
Not many mechanics or hazards were cut from SMB, but i did find a file with a few things that never made it into the final game. Mine carts, Bear Traps and organ/skeletal gibs.. i never added these because they just simply didnt seem to fit the theme of the game very well.
Anyone who owns the Ultra edition read about how many revisions Lil Slugger had. Originally designed to be more of a walking spider type thing the image below was a mock up we threw together for nintendo power, and the animated gif under it shows the horrible looking walk cycle the spider version had. you can also see the original designs for the floating and walking diseases found in ch2, later becoming more cute and blood based.
Now what you all came for, All the unlockable characters that never saw the light of day!
Teal Ogmo from Jumper 3
By Matt Thorson
We knew we needed Ogmo in as a playable character, but were worried too many would confuse him with retro meat boy in game. We thought using the teal Ogmo from Jumper 3 would help solve some of the confusion but in the end we said fuck it and put in the real deal red Ogmo.
Mondo Priest from the Mondo series
The Mondo Priest was a character we really wanted to add but lost sight of as development ballooned. The Priest was going to have the ability to float like CommanderVideo but also have the ability to hang in the air for a very long time, only falling after moving left or right X tiles. At the end of development we decided to cut a few characters who were basically upgraded versions of existing characters because it made early ones useless, the only upgrade character we kept was the Kid (Ogmos upgrade).
Knytt from Knytt (stories)
Knytt was another early character we felt would be awesome to have, but turned into a slightly modified Gish/Goo ball that just felt useless.. so he was cut.
Golden Knight from Bonesaw
by Kyle Pulver
The Golden Knight was a character we simply couldn't come up with a cool ability for, nothing seems to make sense to the character probably because the game he was from was essentially a brawler and fighting moves weren't that useful in a platformer.
The Goo Girl from World of Goo
By 2d Boy
The Goo girl was going to be one of a few exclusive characters for the Wii version of SMB that never happened. She was basicly going to be an upgraded Jill with the ability to slow fall by holding jump when you descend she would also have little goo balls that followed her around.
Aside from these we also had a few dream characters and Wii exclusive characters that couldnt happen or didnt have art made for them they are as follows:
Quote from Cave Story: Developer declined
Lemeza From La Mulana: Developer declined
A Beat from Bit.Trip: Wii exclusive (canceled)
Fancy Pants from Fancy Pants: (i forgot about him...)
aside from other developers characters we also had 2 more alternate meat boys that were unlockable, we cut these guys early on because we felt like they were lame rewards for bandages...
These characters were Burnt Boy, one of the many dead meat boys from hell and Dumb boy, a horribly drawn version of meat boy that Dr.Fetus made to make fun of him.
Last but not least, i leave you with the 1st character cut scene i ever animated actually drawn in an early (horrible) cartoony style. this was the cut scene for Tim from the xbla version and was cut because adding cut scenes for all 10+ characters was just too much work for me. Enjoy!
-Expect a new Steam update later this month with a few fixes to SMW and maybe an extra bonus.
-The Mac version is still in development but when it comes out we will add steam cloud support for both versions.
-We are working on fixing file issues with the Internets in the xbla version, once its fixed we will be uploading new chapters.