While it's entirely possible for Team Meat to offer paid downloads for its upcoming 2D platformer Super Meat Boy, it appears as if it won't be doing so. Instead, the indie studio will be giving away free downloadable levels, delivered by the same temporary file storage system that another XBLA game, Monday Night Combat, is famously using to toss out on-the-fly fixes and balance tweaks.
The creative decision is all about not following the rules, according to indie developer Team Meat. In a recent blog post, the studio explains.
"In a world where it costs $2 to unlock content in a game that you've already purchased, it is nice to have the power to say 'fuck you' to that system and go our own way," the post reads.
== TEASER ==Russ Frushtick at MTV has been credited as the first person to stumble upon the first bit of TMS-delivered content on a debug Xbox unit. The pack of content is called "Teh Internets," and that's also apparently Team Meat's name for the Xbox 360-exclusive content delivery system.
"As we upload content there are no micro-transactions to play new chapters and we can basically do whatever we want with these chapters and it costs you, our adoring fans, nothing. We love you," the post adds.
Team Meat says each TMS-delivered chapter will contain 20 levels and "can be tailored to allow all characters [in the game] to play them, or lock in a specific character allowing us (Team Meat) to create levels that only certain characters can defeat using their special abilities."
The first pack of levels, which is being called "Butcher Boy," will be available on the game's release date this October 20. It'll be an 8-bit romp with "20 retro-themed levels" that capitalizes on mechanics already in the game while expanding on them by introducing new concepts.
Continuing in the post without a filter, Team Meat also dropped some details on what to expect in the future from the TMS service. Here's the list provided in the post:
1. The Butcher Boy, 8-bit themed Meat Boy chapter (uploaded 10.20.2010)
2. The Sewers of Dross, an entire chapter specifically for Gish (Q4 2010)
3. Meat Boy, 8-bit themed Meat Boy chapter based around the flash prototype (Q4 2010)
4. Debug World, uses the editor in different ways to make insane levels (Q1 2011)
5: [Question Mark] (Q1 2011)
Team Meat made it a point in the post to explain why these levels will be Xbox 360-exclusive. As you'd expect, it has everything to do with Microsoft's rules for XBLA developers.
"Originally we wanted level sharing between platforms. We wanted PC users to be able to play their levels on Xbox, and we wanted the Xbox and Wii versions to have an editor, but this simply wasn’t in the cards," the post reads. "Platform holders have extremely strict rules over user-generated content, plus they offer no easy way to do it. In order for us to do something like this we would have to maintain and pay for our own servers."
And while this may be bad news, there is some good on the horizon for PC and Mac owners of Super Meat Boy. Team Meat will eventually package in a level editor with those versions of the game and will use some of the best user-created levels in future Teh Internets content deliveries. How's that for platform parity?