Released in 2004 by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya, Cave Story
was at the forefront of the indie movement -- and in a new Gamasutra feature interview
, he explains the inspiration behind the iconic platform adventure game.
When asked if the game's feeling of isolation was influenced by the fact that Amaya created all elements of the game by himself -- including all art, music, design, and programming -- he replied "It doesn't really have anything to do with that."
He went on: "I want players to project themselves onto the main character; that's why I made it a single character. If there were multiple characters, you wouldn't know which one to relate to. That's also partially why the main character has amnesia, and doesn't know anything, or remember anything. He has no idea of the world setting, either. That's how I want the player to synchronize with the actual character in the game that you control."
The player's relationship with the game world is important to Amaya. "I think it's extremely important that players guide themselves because, ultimately, it is something the player should do. Personally, I prefer, instead of going to a park to play, I would rather go to ruins to play. Because you can think, feel, and search, for yourself, your own way to play."
However, he was never concerned with creating a seamless world -- instead he was interested more in filling it with elements that interested him as a designer.
He told Gamasutra that the game's world is filled with "everything that I like; whether it fits the world or not is secondary, and comes after I decide. That's why there are so many different elements to those caves. I really like how the fans see all of those different elements and reconstruct a world for themselves."
The full feature, which explores the depths of Cave Story
with Amaya even further, including a discussion of the evolution of his attitude toward the game's audience from its freeware debut through to its late 2011 retail debut on the Nintendo 3DS, is live now on Gamasutra