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When you started out, there weren't very many people making games like this, but now there's an indie game movement. Do you consider yourself a part of that? Do you monitor that? Do you speak to any other developers either in Japan, or outside of Japan?
DA: In Japan, I'm talking to this company called Nigoro -- that's mainly for my distribution. Yes, I do believe I am part of the indie game movement. In the past there was a lot of programming knowledge required to actually make games, but now that computers are a lot better and a lot faster, it becomes a lot easier to create these types of retro games, so I would very much like to see more of them come out. But in terms of Cave Story 3D, I don't really think that it fits the bill as one of those retro games or old-style games.
You're hooking up with a publisher and putting it on a cartridge; that's a big change, right?
DA: I'm very excited about it.
In America, a lot of indie developers talk behind the scenes for creative inspiration, show each other their games, or are just friends. Do you have that kind of relationship with them or with anyone, or do you just sort of work on your own?
DA: In terms of talking about how games are to be made, I have a very close friend called Nao Ueda, and we always talk about how games are to be made, and how they should be. We exchange a lot of ideas.
Tyrone just mentioned to me that's he's the same guy who showed you what was wrong with Cave Story, originally?
DA: Yes. (Laughs)
And he's making games now, too?
DA: He is a total programmer, not actually a game developer. I'm a game developer, and I just know the bare basics to create games. Nao Ueda, on the other hand, is actually experimenting with Kinect, and he actually uploaded a lot of videos with regard to technical aspects. I, on the other hand, like creating games as games.
What games were your influences, or what drove you to want to create this game originally, besides just wanting to see this game? Do you have any influences that you can mention?
DA: There's actually so many that I can't even name, but throughout interviews I would usually just say: Metroid.
(Laughs) That makes sense. Now that games like this are becoming more popular and more prevalent, do you actually play any of the other retro-style download games that have been released?
DA: I don't really buy many games because I don't have that much time to play them, but I do play Silent Hill and Earth Defense Force.
Are you personally working directly on this project?
Tyrone Rodriguez: We're working probably on the same level. I don't do any programming; I don't necessarily do any design or any actual art, but he oversees literally everything. Even the detail on the WiiWare version, he was going over everything. It's even moreso for this.
We'll start with concept artwork, and the concept artwork will go directly to him. He'll write down -- we have some stuff that's pretty cool because we have stuff that's scribbled in Japanese: "Change this, change this, change this." It goes back to our concept artist and then back and forth a few times before we even go into 3D.
I think, since he's used to working on his own, this is probably a different concept to him because, working on your own, you're doing everything. Now, he has a whole team that's working on stuff. I guess, if I have to answer the question for him, he's probably doing more work than I am. (laughs)
Have you given thought to what you want to work on next, or are you content to work on Cave Story and bring it to new platforms?
DA: I have a lot of ideas, but then there's nothing really definite at the moment.