The Making Of Cave Story 3D

By Spencer . February 15, 2011 . 2:42pm

Mimiga_Village Nicalis and publisher NIS America are taking Cave Story into the third dimension. Yes, this is another remake of Cave Story, but Cave Story 3D is built from the ground up. With PC, WiiWare, and DSiWare versions of Cave Story available I asked Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya why he wanted to make a 3D version.


"I learned a lot after releasing Cave Story for DSiWare and WiiWare," Amaya replied with a humble tone. "There were a lot of positive comments, but there were other people who didn’t like the graphic style. I thought [Cave Story 3D] was a chance to go from 2D to 3D for new players."


All of the 2D art, environments, and characters are being transformed into 3D. While Amaya did the sprite work for Cave Story, Nicalis is handling the 3D conversation. The Orange County studio has artists draft ortographic models and environmental concept art. All of the designs are sent to Amaya for comments and approval before they are used. "Everything I imagined was created," Amaya said glancing at a monitor with 3D art. Members of Nicalis’ staff later flipped through Cave Story 3D concept art on Mac, which included pictures you may have seen.


Since the WiiWare release included new content, I asked Amaya if Cave Story 3D would have any additions. "Yes, there are a couple of new elements," Amaya replied. "Despite having the title Cave Story, a lot of the game didn’t feel like you’re in a cave. The atmosphere for the 3DS has the feel of a cave." It seemed like Amaya was afraid of revealing too much. He stressed how important it was for players to discover these things for themselves before saying, "there will be new and old music for the game."


"Have you heard of the Cave Story beta," Tyrone Rodriguez, Producer, asked me. "You might have seen screenshots on the Internet, but nobody has ever played it. There’s a lot of areas in the game developed and designed he had made and music that nobody ever got to hear. We’re revisiting some of those things from the beta and seeing how much of that we can recreate and let people see. For instance, you might find an area you might find familiar from the WiiWare or DSiWare version, but there might be a new area within that area or a different version of that music."


Although, Cave Story 3D may not have the original music from the PC version all of the tunes were composed by Amaya. "There are a couple instances where he had written the same music three or four times, we’re revisiting that to give people some things they haven’t seen before," Rodriguez explained.


Nicalis has been working on Cave Story 3D quietly for some time. The Nintendo 3DS game is a "launch window" title, which means we’ll see it in stores between the launch of the Nintendo 3DS in North America and E3.

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  • Ha, the creator must have somehow heard my comments about the art style, it is nice when developers take comments to heart and develop awesome ideas based on them.

    • MisterFoxInc

      Yeah. Sometimes.

  • Code

    rar, really loving the environment concept artwork so inspiring >w<; But recently saw a video of 3D models for Balrog/Quote in motion, and I find Quote's character model absolutely terrible, I wish they'd simplify it a little more, and not make his head so damn fat opo;;

    It really feels like there's a huge mis-match in art styles when you look at the difference between Balrog's model and Quotes and especially against the old artwork for Cave Story T_T; I hope they consider working out Quote's model more, I absolutely love Cave Story too, this is so disheartening…

  • BelmontHeir

    Finally, a “launch title” for 3DS that I’m interested in spending money on!

  • Apache_Chief

    I really need to start Cave Story again. I loved it but I got nowhere in it.

  • This is a 3DS title I’m more excited for than any of the others so far, but I’m really pessimistic about how concrete that release period is. I’d absolutely love it to be available by the summer, but after waiting ~ a year and a half for the WiiWare version of Cave Story (which seems like a lot less work than a complete 3D makeover), I won’t be holding my breath. Would love to be proved wrong though.

    • justmemark

      Yeah me too, I’m just not sure whether the guys over at Nicalis can keep their promise. Anyway, according to them, it should be out within the launch window, which is the day the 3DS comes out and June 7th.

  • PrinceHeir

    would love to see metroid use the same style but Other M was good enough :)

    • Gio32k

      somewhat unrelated..personally I would love to see a metroid game done in the super paper mario art style. It’ll never happen, but a man can dream…a man can dream…

  • alundra311

    This game is gonna be awesome. I can’t wait to play this. I hope they also add the original cave story but with 3d as a bonus.

  • As long as the music in Grasstown is the same I’ll definitely be buying this.
    I absolutely loved the PC game, I’m not sure about the new visual style but it does look more like a cave now.

  • No matter what, some gamers will always complain when you start changing graphic styles. Best example is Zelda fans complaining of each game’s new graphical style (beginning with Wind Waker).

    Personally I’m loving the new Cave Story art direction and since I never played the Wiiware or DSiWare version, I will be buying this :D

    Now I would love to see La Mulana come to the 3DS (another indie darling game that is indeed awesome).

  • LastFootnote

    New art style looks great! Also, I’m really glad to see that Nicalis has learned their lesson from the WiiWare release of CaveStory and is no longer revealing games until they’re nearing completion. Way to go, Nicalis!

  • Joanna

    I’ve been hearing so many good things about Cave Story. I’m going to have to try it myself and if I end up enjoying the 8-bit version, I’ll pick this one up too. :)

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