Getting an insight in to the games industry over in Japan isn't easy, but our wonderful friends over at AppsJP have got a finger on the pulse of the community and recently wrapped up an interview with Cave Story creator (and Studio Pixel founder) Daisuke Amaya. Check out what the indie developer has to say about the iOS platform and Studio Pixel's plans for the future:
Could you please introduce yourself briefly to our readers?
I'm Daisuke Amaya and in 1998 I established Studio Pixel (SP) so I could disclose my self-developed game. Developing a game is way harder than you could imagine; including Cave Story (CS), I have released less than 10 games. I used to work for a small company, however my spare time was spent developing games. I finally quit my job in March 2011 after Cave Story became a hit title on WiiWare/DSiWare. Ever since then I have been focusing on developing new games as an independent developer.
SP is considered to be one of the top developers representing Japan - why did you decide to release a game app for the iOS market?
A big thank you goes to Tyrone Rodriguez of Nicalis and many other people who supported CS. Without their support and cooperation, CS wouldn't have been as successful as it is now. As far iOS games are concerned, I thought the AppStore would be quite suitable for an independent developer like myself to publish my own games. That's the major reason why I'm taking my chances at creating an iOS game.
So many other indie devs have been trying their luck on the AppStore - are you going to make iOS your main platform for your upcoming games?
For now, yes. Actually, I made this decision a year ago. The AppStore is not the only choice I have available... however you need to make a decision about which platform you'll put your effort into otherwise you'll be left on your own. It's hard to catch up considering the speed at which things change in the game industry.
Your debut iOS game Azarashi was such a casual title. Were you specifically targeting casual players?
No. Azarashi was originally developed in 1998 when SP was established... I just developed this game because it happened to pop up in my mind. It was an OK game back then and I've remade it a couple times already. As a matter of fact, Azarashi for iOS is the third remake.
II get the feeling that Azarashi was released with some kind of test marketing purpose. What's the real behind-the-scenes story here?
That is correct - it's a big test in a broader sense. I wanted to experience the whole process of publishing a game in this market and I'm happy that Azarashi for iOS is the best version I've ever made.
This is probably the question that everyone wants to hear: Is there going to be Cave Story for iOS?
I know the demand is overwhelming, but I would really like to develop something new. I know it sounds disappointing, but if I'm being honest, the priority is somewhat low.
If you were to bring over Cave Story from the Wii/DSi to iOS, what would be the technical obstacles?
A main would would be the interface. Touchscreen just don't allow for accurate up/down/left/right movements. I really would prefer it for people to play my game on a platform that has a real d-pad.
Any message to the Cave Story fans of the world?
I know there are so many people waiting for the sequel and I apologize for keeping you waiting - I'm always developing a game. I can't say when specifically, but when I do release a game I really hope you get to play and enjoy it. Thank you very much for your support.
Keep an eye out for more great interviews and news thanks to BOAT PPL and our friends at AppsJP!