Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Indie Queue: Cave Story Lives Again

Nathan Meunier | 11 Mar 2009 21:00
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Getting the artwork just right and doubling the resolution has been a very diligent and time-consuming process, adds Rodriguez. Cave Story has a surprisingly large amount of art; it eats up most of the file size space on the Wii version. Updating the music in the game has also been a bit of a beast, he admits. Pixel's proprietary audio format has an awesome sound, he says, but it's been particularly challenging to nail down. Nevertheless, Pixel is pleased with the professional sound of the music remade by Nicalis. Perhaps to appease purists, the final version of the game will allow players to switch back and forth between the old school graphics and audio and the new, upgraded presentation.

The biggest new feature being added into the game is support for future downloadable content. Players will be getting a quality gaming experience from the core game itself when it launches, but future updates will extend and expand on Cave Story in unique ways. Rodriguez says much of the planned DLC hasn't actually been physically created yet. "Right now we're laying down the structure to ensure the game supports future DLC updates," he says. "That will allow us to do all sorts of fun stuff like Boss Rush Mode or other fan-requested modes." There's a lot of potential for DLC content, depending on the interest from players, he adds.

So when will players finally be able to delve into Cave Story on the Wii? The team at Nicalis are pushing hard to complete finishing touches on the game and have it wrapped up around Easter, according to Rodriguez. "Our internal battle has been trying to walk the fine line of getting everything the way it needs to be, while trying to do it as fast as possible," he says. "We're aware that the game has a large fan base and that's why we're putting forth so much effort to get it right. It's a big undertaking and a huge responsibility, but we're fans, too - we're keeping ourselves in check in many ways."

With less than two months to go, the anticipation over the game's Wii debut continues to grow among fans and the development team alike. Seeing his indie project taking shape on a major gaming console, and the huge amount of support Cave Story has gained among the gaming community over the years, is tremendously uplifting for Pixel. "It's really exciting, and I do my best to keep it all in. But I'm a little bit anxious with all the expectation behind the game," he admits. "I'm really grateful to be able to bring it to a console. And I'm really happy that Tyrone found the game when he did and decided to put the effort to make it come to WiiWare."

Nathan Meunier is a freelance writer, a regular contributor at The Escapist, and a die-hard indie gaming enthusiast.

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