'Super Meet Boy' Has Been Out for 8 Years, But It's Still Not Finished


#1

It’s been more than eight years since the release of Super Meat Boy. Soon, developer Team Meat intends to release a sequel, Super Meat Boy Forever. Before that happens, there’s more work to be done on the original game. Nearly a decade later, programmer and designer Tommy Refenes is still tying up some loose ends on what many, including yours truly, believe to be one of the greatest platformers of the modern era.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/mb5d7b/super-meet-boy-has-been-out-for-8-years-but-its-still-not-finished

#2

CMS doin ya dirty, but regardless this is a great article! I love these human pieces about devs


#3

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the company as-is for the last few years. You really can’t deny that both of their main works, Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac, were massive landmarks in indie development which caused surges in popularity for each of their respective genres. They’re both peak examples of extremely tight and satisfying game design.

They also haven’t aged tremendously well due to the antiquated “edgy” humor, and questionable decisions made regarding the soundtracks. The former is just plain grating, the latter is frustrating because Danny Baranowsky’s music in both games is iconic and also fitting for the sort of intense arcade-y games they are. Ridiculon’s atmospheric garage band aesthetic is…okay(?) but it’s a really poor fit for Meat Boy and Isaac’s gameplay.

It’s also hard not to contrast The End is Nigh’s deliberate focus on anxiety and repetitive “challenge for the sake of challenge” pacing, against something like Celeste which prioritizes much more uplifting themes and is far and away better about variety in level design. (A big difference being that I have very little desire to finish The End is Nigh, whereas I’m still wanting to go back and do the bonus levels in Celeste)

And god, around the time where BoI’s popularity was at its peak, McMillen was such a fucking dick. I remember him having a huge rant about political correctness on a Vinesauce guest stream, and dedicating an entire April Fool’s blog update to trashing on trans and nonbinary people. He’s thankfully shut his goddamn mouth since then, but I would not be surprised to see him pull a Notch and start spouting off alt-right talking points.

I had a lot of love for the studio’s work back in the late 00’s, but it’s hard to feel the same way at this point.


#4

Aye, I loved the games too but I can’t ignore what kind of person he is. Sadly. Maybe he has changed, who knows, I sure hope so but I do not hold my breath.


#5

You have to be either:

A) Really lazy

B) Really cocky

C) Really dumb

to let the client side handle SQL to a production server. That is stuff that is covered in intro to database courses.

I’m sorry that I’m about to play backseat developer/programmer after just joking about it in another thread but this kind of thing doesn’t require an entire rewrite… just change it so you do sanitation of the data received on the server end. These are things sophomore and junior CS students are expected to do in two weeks but put off and finish in one day. Don’t give some weak excuse about how hard it would be to rewrite the entire program to account for it. You had 8 MONTHS before someone actually took action. You couldn’t set aside a few days to actually fix the thing your fans politely told you about even though you knew the risk?

There are entire sites dedicated to this that tell you how to prevent it. Not doing it and expecting everyone to just politely ignore it is like never locking your doors and thinking everyone out there is a good person like you who would never go around checking to see if someones door is locked. You’re running one of the most popular indie games of all time, did you really think no one was going to try and mess with you?
/rant


#6

Hey I almost forgot to recommend Celeste to someone today. Everybody go play Celeste. It is maybe my favorite platformer of all time and actually wants you to succeed and feel genuine accomplishment and pride instead of just relief when you finish a tough section.


#7

McMillen regularly posts shitty stuff on his twitter, usually complaining about political correctness. It’s par-for-the-course for these offensive-for-the-sake-of-being-offensive devs. (And I say that as someone who loves SMB.)


#8

You linked a video about SQL injection, but even injection is a more complicated flaw than what was in Super Meat World. Letting the client handle SQL queries is literally giving everyone the keys to the database. Once it (inevitably) became known that the database was open, people kept logging in and messing with it which is what caused everything to be shut down (despite the existence of backups).

Since the client also probably trusted the server more than it should, there was a chance that the unsecured database could have been used to inject code into players’ computers. Regardless of whether the hackers or developers were dicks, you cannot handle a database like that.

this kind of thing doesn’t require an entire rewrite… just change it so you do sanitation of the data received on the server end

It kind of does require a rewrite if they had no server-side code at all. They’re not just sanitizing data, they need to construct an API for the client to use (and patch the game to use the interface instead of directly connecting to the database). I’d still agree that it’s the type of thing a student could get done the day before an assignment was due, but it’s not quite as simple as stripping special characters out of user input. I can understand why someone would be reluctant to make the change if they were so uncomfortable with security that they’d make a mistake like that in the first place.


#9

UPDATE excuses SET reason = ‘bullshit’ WHERE fault IS TRUE


#10

Also, I’d like to point out that, while I’m not one to give people a hard time about typos, Super Meet Boy would be an excellent name for a gay dating sim.


#11

Ah, figured, lol, but really really did not want to check.