Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Exclusive! A Letter to Cave Story Designer Daisuke Amaya (From Another Universe)

By now chances are you've heard of the freeware indie game Cave Story. If you haven't you're a terrible person. Go to your kitchen, get a knife, and slit your wrists. As for the rest of you, you've doubtless heard the story. Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya created an awesome game called Cave Story. It became a hit and an updated version is scheduled to be released with Nintendo's WiiWare this year. This was a small-time programmer who made this game, released it as a free download, it became a hit, and it's now being adapted for the Nintendo. For an indie game designer that's like winning the lottery three times in a row and then an error in the lottery office's computer network causes you to accidentally be awarded double prize money which will be taken directly from the bank account of everyone who ever picked on you in high school.

And if it turned out that awesome as a project basically built completely by one guy, could you imagine how it would have come out if it had an entire studio behind it? Well now you don't have to! Using the exciting power of high technology, ancient magic, and staying in our house while it was being fumigated we managed to find an alternate dimension where Cave Story was, in fact, created by a major studio! What follows is the studio's response to the original proposal of the game, as picked up by our scouting kleptoprobes.




Daisuke,

First off, we're really liking what you sent us. I've shown it to everyone in marketing and they think that with some work we can totally come up with something worth making from this. There are a few kinks to work out but, hey, you know how these things work. I'd like to just run some stuff by you, throw around some new ideas, point out a few errors you made.

First, characters. I love the main character, she's great, but it seems that in your writeup you've accidentally switched the description of the sexy female main character Quote (needs a name change, how do you feel about Rena Gunstar?) with the description of her sidekick Curly Brace. No big deal, just get it fixed. Once we've changed that we can work on changing her outfit to something more presentable, making her pants tighter (and leather) pulling up the straps on her thong, that sort of thing. Also, let's get her a katana in addition to the guns.

Let's see here. Oh, I love Balrog, the giant killer robot. Bill thinks, and I agree, that if you took away his flight power and instead gave him a sports car transformation (flying sports car?) in addition to his normal giant robot form he'd be much more marketable. Ted suggested having Balrog kill Quote's (Rena Gunstar's) family near the beginning of the game. It would help explain her quest for revenge and help to show that Balrog is, indeed, a killer robot. (Incidentally, why did you doodle a picture of a lunchbox with eyes next to his description?)

Also, fix The Doctor's hat. It looks like a cyclops microwave is eating his brain. Seriously, Daisuke.

Now, on to the story. I'm sorry but you really kind of dropped the ball here. I notice that you've done little to explain why Quote (Rena Gunstar) is on her bloody quest for revenge. Think about my suggestion above for this. The way you have it Quote (Rena Gunstar) just sort of wakes up and stumbles upon all this stuff accidentally while trying to escape the cave. Okay, look. Escaping is for pansies, and Quote (Rena Gunstar) is no pansy. The only time trying to escape is okay is in a horror story, but this is an action story.

The thing with the red flowers was just confusing. Flowers aren't scary. Make it a virus instead. In fact, you could easily work the red flower virus side-arc into the main story and turn this into a decent action-horror game. Oh, I'm getting an inspiration here. Have Curly Brace catch the red flower virus at the beginning of the game causing him to become the giant killer robot Balrog, then have him kill Quote's (Rena Gunstar's) family while under the effect of the virus. This explains why she's on her quest for revenge and why she would come to the cave despite all the red flower virus zombies. It's the only way to stop/save her beloved boyfriend Curly Brace.

Lastly, about the mimigas. These are obviously the mascot race, like pikachus or moogles. But it seems like you've tried to do some strange thing where you make the useless but adorable mascot race basically like people. I'm not sure why. We all like the idea of this society of intelligent cats, but you just made it weird. I know you get off on that sort of thing in China or wherever you're from, but we're not trying to market our game to furries here.

Think about it and get back to me. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of our improvements and remember, we're hoping for release within two months.

With respect,
Pixel Entertainment of America Inc