I posted the 1st images of C.H.A.D. the final boss in Ch2 "The Hospital" on our twitter
the other day and i thought id make a more in depth blog post about him, and bosses in general.
So this is C.H.A.D., a giant contaminated mass of blood and tissue that simply loves Meat Boy too much to let him leave. The fight starts out how you see it in that pic, C.H.A.D. jumps around the screen splashing in and out of a lake of blood as you attempt to acquire a key which opens up the next floor. Whe you grab the key the pool of blood under you to starts to rise, and C.H.A.D. goes nuts.
There will be at least 5 bosses to take down when you play through the game.
When you start a new chapter, all 20 main levels are unlocked. The boss remains locked till you complete at least 17 of the 20 levels in that chapter, and once you defeat the boss, the next chapter is unlocked.
Originally level progression was going to be more complex, levels would come in sets of 3 and require you to beat 2 out of the 3 to unlock the next set. But after some testing we realized that locking levels really isn't needed and ends up being more frustrating when people get stuck on a level that's too hard for them at their current skill level. We also did this because 90% of everyone who's played meat boy starts from level 1 and plays through to level 20 without ever exiting to the map screen, so it just made more sense over all.
When a player starts a boss level, they are treated to a short cut scene that pulls things together, then when the boss is beaten the chapter ends with a more extended cut scene that concludes the fight and links that chapter with the next.
Heres a few shots of C.H.A.D.S. intro.
Even though im not a big fan of cut scenes, im kinda going all out on the ones in SMB. They don't ever get in the way, and can be easily skipped but one of the most important aspects of the game is the theme/humor and i felt the need to develop the stereotypically 1 dimensional characters in our small cast a bit more. Now this sounds totally retarded without having played or seen the games cut scenes but i personally think that the story (or lack there of) in SMB is compelling enough to keep the player wanting more as well as rewarding them for a job well done, so in a lot of ways the cut scenes are setup in a way to reward the player with story, and character development.
Every chapter of the game will have 4 cut scenes. One to start the chapter (video game intro parody), one to intro the Boss, one to conclude the chapter and one to start the hidden indie character warp zone of that chapter.
Tommy and i have also been talking a lot about creating mystery and "the unknown" in games. As an attempt to add these elements to SMB ive gone out of my way to add a large set of randomly chosen endings to retro warp zones, as a way to reward the player and also create an air of mystery to what other endings there are.
Ive also added a set of randomly chosen pickup animations for Dr.Fetus. The animation that plays when you complete a level usually references a popular video game attack sequence, ranging from a falcon punch to 100 hand slap (thanks for the suggestions twitter followers!).
Well back to work, we have one more day of crunch for E3, where we will be showing Super Meat Boy at the Microsoft booth. The 1st 2.5 chapters will be fully playable and feature 2 bosses, if youre there come by and say hello!