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.