Well Suffered

At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2011, independent game developers Edmund McMullen and Tommy Refenes, collectively known as Team Meat, presented a post mortem of their extremely successful 2D platformer Super Meat Boy. This post mortem was somewhat out of the ordinary for three reasons. First only Edmund was physically present with Tommy calling in via video-conference. Second, rather than calling the session a post mortem, the two chose to give it the slightly enigmatic title “Super Meat Boy: A Team Meat Meatmortem.” Third, and most relevant for our consideration of the game, instead of following the common post mortem formula of discussing both what went right and what went wrong in the development process, the session focused almost exclusively on the incredibly difficult challenges Team Meat experienced in completing Super Meat Boy and bringing it to market. These challenges were in fact so brutal that in reporting on the conference session, the video game blog Joystiq subtitled their report “The almost death of Team Meat” (Hinkle, 2011). While this might be mistaken for a piece of journalistic hyperbole, it actually directly reflects statements made by Tommy Refenes both during the Meatmortum and since that it would have killed him if they’d tried to release the game on more than one platform at once (McMullen & Refenes, 2011).

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