GR: I’ve read that Daisuke is a big fan of Super Metroid. Are there any more recent games that you like to play? What other games are you a fan of, and is there anything you’ve looked at in the last five or 10 years and said, “Oh, I want to do something sort of like that,” or “that’s a good idea?” Anything you’ve drawn inspiration from?
DA: I like Silent Hill. The reasoning behind that is, I’m always afraid of playing scary, horror-type games, but now I’m able to play the game with my wife at my side. I feel like Silent Hill especially, it’s a scary horror game, but at the same time it has an artistic aspect to it, like a horror-art feel. I have another favorite game recently – in Japanese it’s called Chikyuu Boueigun…
GR: Is that Earth Defense Force?
Above: Earth Defense Force 2017
DA: Yeah, with the giant bugs. There’s a mode in the game that allows it to simplify the controls . And by using this feature, even a beginner, someone who hasn’t played an action game before, can easily pick it up and play the game. That’s one thing I thought was really neat about it. At the same time, there’s this other feature, a co-op mode, and that’s one of the highlights of it. Videogames are fun to play alone, but at the end, being able to play with other people is just so much more fun.
GR: It adds a continuously renewing feel to it; a good two-player game can kind of last forever, as opposed to a game that’s over after 60 hours…
DA: Cave Story’s a single-player game, but what helped it to spread so quickly was the internet. By using the internet, Cave Story – the art, and things like that – people started talking it over and chatting, and that multi-person aspect of it really helped Cave Story spread out so wide and quickly.
Above: More Igor concept art
GR: Cave Story’s a pretty huge game, especially for one person to create everything. How did you decide to start on a project of that scope by yourself? Was it just something that started small and became big?
DA: Because I was creating Cave Story by myself, it was a little different from how a regular game is built. What happened with the original is, I started off with this blank, black screen. And I had the character just standing there, moving around, jumping around, doing various things. The most fun part of creating a videogame is when you first create something that’s moving around, and you’re able to control it. And then once you get that, you start to visualize what to add, like “I want to add this thing here, and this here, and the background there.” They slowly built upon each other. So for the original Cave Story, I didn’t necessarily have a big plan to build on, but started from something small and added to it.
I’m both the creator and the tester of the game, so I’m playing, testing out the game, and if I don’t feel that the gamer, or the player, is going to be satisfied with the stages, I’ll go back and add even more to it. Once I realized I had this big, grand game, the story part was basically putting it together, adjusting it to make a little more sense than what I had originally. So again, it’s just adjusting at the very end, when I realized I had the whole world setting there. But you can only do this if you’re making the game by yourself. If you have a team, that’s not going to work.
Above: Concept art of Igor's ID badge
GR: Bringing it back around to Cave Story 3D, do you think there’s a lot of possibility there? Do you like what the 3D does for the game?
DA: On the 3DS, there’s a great possibility for action games, especially these jumping around, action-type games like Mario, and things like that. But because there’s that sense of depth, players will be able to visually experience the distance. Like, before, it’s a simple “hit the button to jump across,” but now you’ll be able to hold down the button for a certain length to be able to jump a certain distance with the depth. And the visual difference is probably going to be a big plus for future action games.
Above: Concept art of the Polar Star, Quote's pistol
GR: Now that Cave Story has been/is beingported to three different platforms, is there any interest in or intent to make a sequel down the road?
DA: The original Cave Story took me five years to create, and the testers that were playing the game, they wanted to have something even more difficult than the original stages. So I created the Hell stage, and put so much effort into it that I basically said, “all right, this is the grand finale for Cave Story for now.” And then I wanted to create a few other games on the side, which I was able to in the past few years. So I’m satisfied with that. It’s now been 10 years since the original Cave Story came out, so I’m now thinking that maybe it’s time to start thinking about a sequel for Cave Story. There’s a very, very good chance we’ll see a sequel.
Feb 10, 2011(opens in new tab)
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Our very first video countdown! (Includes more Cave Story)
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Why'd we ask so much about the music? Listen to some of it and find out
The father of SFIV talks 3D, AE, NGP, DLC and other exciting abbreviations