I’m a little bit vexed. In fact, stuff that – I’m downright cross.

Aside from having a rather irksome finish to my day at work (for which I can only be grateful that today is Friday), I’m once again disappointed upon checking today’s WiiWare releases.

I’m sure Dragon Master Spell Caster is entertaining enough, just as Copter Crisis may also be fun. And since I’m currently playing through Pokémon Pearl on my DS (what an admission to make!), last week’s Pokémon Rumble did actually tickle my interest a tiny bit.

But there’s a simple, hard fact. None of those games are the ones I want to see. Yep… it’s time for a rant about the continued lack of a solid release date for Wii Cave Story. And other related stuff, like Saira [link], Nifflas‘ promising new game.

I’m sure I’ll end up sounding like an impatient fanboy who’s just angry that a game he wants still isn’t out, but that’s tough luck. My spleen needs venting. :evil:

*takes deep breath*

So, Nicalis, this is how I see it.

In January you went on record to say that you were hoping to release Cave Story in time for Christmas 2008, but that it hadn’t been possible. A few months down the line, you then hinted that it’d be out “very, very soon”. Time ticked by painfully, eased by pictures of new sprites and the occasional screenshot, and you once again gave us hope by telling us you’d be releasing “a few games in ’09”. Great! But the months have kept dragging by, and barring some vague murmurs about CS‘s submission and later re-submission to Nintendo, there’s been no explanation for why we aren’t playing the game yet. Presumably it failed at one of its submission stages. Couldn’t you have told us this? Was there an NDA enforcing your silence?

I realise I’m the voice of a single person on a smalltime blog, and surely you could care less about my opinion. Nevertheless, I want to say that you’re frustrating me more and more each week.

Why bite off so much by announcing the Wii port of La-Mulana before seeing Cave Story safely out the door? I expressed my trepidation regarding this when that particular storm of hype broke out. Then, to top it off, you followed up barely weeks later with more bombshell news of Project Q, which we now know will go by the name of Saira… a game that, laughably, seems likely to be released on PC early next month before everything else you’ve announced. So… yeah. I’m thinking that’s a major WTF right there.

Where is the logic in this? Allow me to answer that for you. It’s hiding in an old, forgotten cupboard with a thick layer of dust on it.

Honestly, I think you’ve gravely underestimated the pressure people would put you under, and worse, it sometimes appears you’re not taking it as seriously as you should be. I’d have expected a little more communication about the whole release date thing by this point, along with some reasons for the delay. You’ve been walking a fine line between spreading hype and simply stringing people along, and it’s starting to backfire.

One last thing. When Cave Story is released, it absolutely must be up to scratch. The portion of the fan base (including me) that you’re so exquisitely managing to irritate right now is the same one that may also be giving you their cash for La-Mulana; if you don’t go a decent way toward meeting their expectations, you can wave goodbye to an awful lot of potential customers.

For all my frustration I really do want you guys to succeed. Please, just make it a little easier on the fans and give us something concrete


11 comments on 'Frustrated? Yes, yes I am'

  1. Posted by David - December 1st, 2009 12:59 pm

    The way I see it, Nicalis has a lot of free time.

    And by this, I mean that he has little more to do with Cave Story anymore. He has done his part to the best of his ability… and he finished. I mean, he’s working simultaneously on Cave Story, Night Game, and Saira. Although I doubt Night Game is near completion, it’s probably in its final stages and is just lagging a bit and he wanted to quickly come out with a fun game in his spare time like his old release cycles.

    This is my completely uninformed perception. But, I don’t think it’s far from the truth.

  2. Posted by zappa_777 - December 1st, 2009 1:24 pm

    I’m making an uninformed guess, but it seems like Nicalis doesn’t have enough programmers. I doubt that Nicalis has 4 experienced programmers working for them and if you don’t have a dedicated programmer per project working for you, you’re going to run into major trouble.

  3. Posted by Paul - December 1st, 2009 2:53 pm

    I’d say it’s more to do with Nintendo than Nicalis. It’s the same with XBLA, developers have to sit on finished games for months before Microsoft schedule a release…

    Even on Virtual Console a lot of developers are fuming at Nintendo for being so slow in releasing their games.

  4. Posted by Paul - December 1st, 2009 2:54 pm

    My uninformed opinion is that the game has been finished since even the end of the summer…

  5. Posted by Horatius - December 1st, 2009 3:18 pm

    I think you’re stepping a little too close to nerd-rage with this post. As Paul mentioned, this is an indie dev working with a juggernaut publisher, and generally it seems like these relationships tend to result in long delays before publishing. Also, I’d much rather have a game released late that is properly tuned, rather than rushing something with potential issues out the door.

    Nifflas is an established name in the indie scene, but he’s still pretty new to game publishing in total. Give him more slack. He hasn’t mislead his audience yet, I see no reason to believe he will screw up in the future.

  6. Posted by Chris - December 1st, 2009 5:28 pm

    Nicalis is not composed solely of Nicklas Nygren (Nifflas). Personally, I wonder how much of the publishing side of things he is actually handling. I get the distinct impression that it’s Tyrone Rodriguez who is doing most of the work in that regard.

    I also don’t believe Nifflas is at all involved with the Cave Story port; again, it’s Tyrone’s baby, judging by the interviews he’s done in various places.

    Truthfully, I don’t mind waiting for a game through delays (especially if it’ll make the game better in the end). If it were me in Nicalis’ position, I’d have at least said something plain, like “Sorry folks, it’s completely in Nintendo’s hands now. We’re biting our fingernails as much as you!”

    Is that really so much to ask for? :)

  7. Posted by Horatius - December 2nd, 2009 4:13 pm

    Have you tried emailing him?

  8. Posted by Chris - December 2nd, 2009 5:59 pm

    No, I haven’t emailed them, although I certainly will be soon :)

    Now, at this point I can imagine you may think it’s quite unfair for me to make any criticism before contacting them. Everyone’s welcome to their opinion – mine is that I shouldn’t really have to email a publisher to get this sort of information (since that’s what Nicalis is – a publisher as well as a developer).

  9. Posted by fearian - December 3rd, 2009 5:29 pm

    Maybe you shouldn’t, but Nicalis shouldn’t *have* be obliged to give out information either! Man up and email out a question before you launch the nukes! :lol:

  10. Posted by Charlotte Winroth - December 9th, 2009 3:14 am

    Nicalis is Tyrone, Nicklas and I think one more person.
    Might be two more persons…

    Well, the thing is,
    if you’re talking Saira and Night Game,
    then you are talking Nicklas Nygren.

    Please ease up on him,
    this is one of the most humble persons I know.
    He would be the first to agree that he could work harder,
    even though he can’t,
    if you confronted him with such accusations.

    It is regretable that you find yourself so provoked by the lack of adequate information,
    I wish you wasn’t, I wish there was more info avaliable.
    I want Nicklas to have a youTube channel where he simply lets his fans get uptodate with how it’s going and his predictions…

    But I think he is just too humble to do that.
    Everytime he makes his voice heard on the internet
    it is something I believe he has thought through more than you can guess,
    and it’s something he dislikes to do.
    It’s about our swedish culture which is sadly ruled by “don’t think you’re anything special” and his integrity.
    I do think the ought to set dates more firmly,
    but one reason he is not is propably becuase he just like me are so desperate to please everyone that “very soon” slips out when “I can’t say for sure” would have been appropriate.

    And since I am not much of a gamer myself these days,
    my addictions have shifted to reading and drawing,
    I can’t claim that I know how frustrated you are…
    But I try to sympathize with you,
    and I hope you will believe me when I say that Nifflas is not at all
    trying to tease the crowd. He is not that manipulative.
    I don’t know that much about Nicalis,
    but I have the feeling that the company Nicalis is a very different story from the person Nicklas Nygren who has created Saira entirely by himself. For one thing, it is only becuase of Nicklas that
    Saira has a heroine instead of a hero,
    which is amazingly rare.
    And it’s the kind of heroine about whom the question what bust size she has will never be answered, and hopefully, never even asked.

    Take care, and on saturday, you have your demo,
    or even the entire game!

  11. Posted by Chris - December 9th, 2009 5:15 pm

    I mentioned Saira not as an accusation of anyone’s laziness, but purely to make the make the point that I think it’s strange how Saira, the most recently announced Nicalis title, will end up being released before Cave Story, the first. It appears I’m the only one to find this odd :)

    Please understand that I too have a huge respect for Nifflas as a developer and I believe he has done a tremendous amount of work with both of his titles; I’ll be buying Saira on the day of release to show my support. He has shown he’s more than willing to engage with his fans through the his own website and message board (http://nifflas.ni2.se/). And since he is not involved with the Cave Story port, none of my frustration is anything he can (or should) fix.

    What irks me is the rather sparse news about Cave Story over the past six months when prior to that, we were getting rather more regular information.

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