So two weeks ago Tommy flew out to Santa Cruz to start working full time on meat boy, things are moving steadily for him, he currently has his engine running on the wii, but a few weeks back i hit a wall when it came to meat boys new updated look.
His new design was super important, i wanted him to look fresh and updated for console, but i also wanted him to stay familiar enough that when people saw him they instantly knew he was that little low rez cube from the flash game they loved.
Heres the basic process of design from start to finish for the past month of development.
1. The original meat boy in all his low rez glory!
2. Trying basic updates, detailing and lighting, adding expression to his eyes, still looked too close to the original.
3. Tried a new style, similar to the cartoony look of the concept images ive posted.. i hated it, and more importantly its not a style that translates well when scaled down. its super important that meat boys graphics can be scaled up and down without looking strange when super tiny or very large, every thing has to translate well visually in all sizes.. and this style was the worst for this.
4. Going 3d! well kinda. using the basic concept and adding a 3d cubist dimension to it, i thought this look would work well when meat boy would turn and run, so you could see he had depth to his shape. still looked too much like the original.
5. Adding details. at this point i was trying out an SNES approach to the retro look, i also played around with giving his arms/hands more detail.. fingers and such. it was a bad idea and the details were a bit too small to see when scaled down.
At this point i was wracking my brain trying to come up with something that would give Meat boy a new updated look.. i didn't have to look far for inspiration.
Danielles plush version was sitting next to me the whole time, there was something about the size of the eyes that was very appealing to me. I played with the eyes a bit, making them a lot larger and more child like. i was very happy with how this translated visually when scaled and it also have a more innocent look to meat boys expressions.
So using these new giant eyes, the 3d aspect of #4, the details of #6 and the mouth of the concept version Super Meat Boy was born!!!!
For the past week ive been playing with some of his core animations, without going into detail on everything ill just go ahead and post my sprite sheet so far.
So there you have it, meat boy is officially starting its 2nd month of development! woot! Ill be working on finalizing all his animations, and getting all the forest level tiles done by the end of the month.
Tommy and i will be attending GDC this year, and ill be speaking at the flash game summit on the 22nd. if you're attending either feel free to say hey! ill be the nude guy covered in meat.