Super Meat Boy the use of Flow and Low Entry Barriers

Flow as described by (Csikzentmihalyi, 1990) is the idea of a state where nothing else but the current goal or game is important or noticed and could be considered a golden state for the player in games design.

A Low Entry Barrier (L.E.B) is a term used in games design that allows for players from a wide range of experiences to be able to easily pick up and play a game without having to go through a large expansive tutorial or have prior knowledge before being able to play the game in question.

Aesthetics (Schell, 2008) are often used to support Flow within a game to easily draw player’s into the world as well as to help give support to the Mechanics and rules within the game world.

This Analysis Will Cover the application of Flow (Schell, 2008, Csikzentmihalyi, 1990 ) and Low Entry barriers and how these are combined within Super Meat Boy to create a fun and entertaining experience for a wide audience of players varying from introductory level to veteran level.

Super Meat Boy is to be considered immensely successful amongst its peers and it can be assumed that it has been largely because of its relatively simplistic mechanics and rules, As well as providing the player with a basic objective that follows through in every level “finish the level by getting to the girl”, the games core controls are very basic as you’re only given control of the character by use of W,A,S,D, shift for sprint and spacebar for jump allowing the player to navigate each level’s gamespace in a seemingly fast and stylized manner, all of this is used to perpetuate the feeling of Flow.

For Super Meat boy to be able to successfully immerse the player into the gameworld to the point of achieving Flow it uses a mixture of Aesthetics and Mechanics, Aesthetically the game has been designed using a grid system for level design (as well as graphical design) which in turn then allows the player to visually break the game apart into smaller more manageable chunks, which can make the game more mechanically easy to play for Low Entry players, while still keeping a high level of entertainment.

Aesthetically speaking the game has three main characters the Protagonist Super Meat Boy, the Antagonist Dr. Fetus and Bandage Girl, the story revolves around Super Meat boy attempting to save his girlfriend Bandage Girl while Dr. Fetus continues to kidnap Bandage Girl, although a very simple story this can be considered adequate as the game is centered mainly around Flow and uses the story as a simple progression method between level’s and chapters..

To Conclude Super Meat boy has successfully used it’s Mechanics, Rules and Aesthetics with the aid of Flow and Low entry barriers to create to a massively popular game which is accessible by a wide audience.

McMillen, E. Refenes, T. (2010). Super Meat Boy [Computer Game].Asheville: Team Meat.

Schell, J. (2008).Jesse Schell The Art of Game Design. Burlington: Morgan Kaufman Publishers.


Fullerton, T. & Swain, S. & Hoffman, S.S.H (2008) Tracy Fullerton Game Design 2nd Edition. Burlington: Morgan Kaufman Publishers.


Insert apology about how i don’t regularly update my blog here

Hey all, so I’ve got a few things to talk about, number 1 being I’m in trimester 2 of Qantm! which is pretty good knowing that my prior learned skills have helped me pay of, i’m also going to in a separate post add in an analysis of the game super meat boy that i had to do for one of my classes which i think is pretty decent.

One of the other reasons that I’m posting this is because I’ve now for one of my classes got to post a regular blog again which was why i started this blog in the first place, but anyway onto some of the things I’ve got to do. For the same class I’ve also got to create three separate games over the course of 12 week’s however the way the brief’s for each game have been written they allow me to just modify my previous work and shape it into the next brief which will hopefully save me a lot of time and eventually end up buy giving me something that i can use to show of in my portfolio and maybe one day make into a fully fledged game.

For another class i have to in a group of two create an App for iOS or Android device that is either related to a band or a movie, the project I’m working on is based on the fictional re-release of the 1978 film predator in HD, the idea behind this class i assume is to figure out how to work in a group really and learn about pitching, presenting and creating design documentation, however we will be creating a prototype App with the use of an App called PoP (Pen on Paper) which allows us to create a dummy App within it for showing during the class.

Yet again for a different class i have to create blog posts on the campus forums which are related to videos shown during lecture time, nothing much to say about this however we will also be working on things like how to improve our portfolio’s and creating an internet presence within the industry with use of websites like LinkedIN and The Loop, Most of this I’ve already got however i would like to improve on some of it as i’m sure there are areas that are lacking.

And finally here are copies of both games i made last trimester, the Card game made for my intro to programming class in its finished form (still a little weird to play but works well enough) and the endless runner that i was working on for my Rational Design class which i think is a little more polished than the card game i created (but still a little weird), anyway I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and i will be updating weekly now as its required for part of my class curriculum, HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING THIS MIKE!

Card Quest

Endless Runner