Cave Story's Future

Jan 8, 2022 at 2:53 AM
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Hey, everyone, first time starting a thread, so sorry if this is a mess, but I'll do my best.

With Cave Story recently celebrating it's 17th birthday, I can't help but feel like I'm getting old and things from the early 2000s either aged incredibly well or not well at all. I fully believe Cave Story aged phenomenally and after countless playthroughs of it, I recently decided to make a series of videos on the game to help spread information, details, and overall just what I loved about the game, but in doing so, I noticed it's also the first time I've shown the game to personal friends of mine after all this time, many of which never even heard of the game or have heard of the game's title, but never looked into it. So far, my friends have all loved it, but when even the people I've grown up with just let the game kinda fly under their radar, I can't help but wonder how the game will continue after something like it's 20th Birthday. It really is quite a strange feeling I'm trying to talk about, but I'll do my best.

I overall think the community is growing and it will continuously, but I also can't help but wonder if Cave Story's charm and wonder can really stand the test of time given it's situation. I have no doubt that everyone on the CSTSFs will still celebrate this game and we'll all love it in our own ways forever, so I'm not doing anything like calling everyone here out, haha, but does anybody else wonder what the game's future is gonna be like?

I feel like that question is super weird to ask since it really can be interpreted in a ton of ways. I feel like the most common would be that this is just a weird way of me wondering about a sequel or multiple games to be made, but I don't think the game needs one. Sure, I have my list of what I'd like from a sequel, but that's an entirely different topic. I also don't want this to be something like "Well it's up to Nicalis to make it matter, not us", and while that's not entirely wrong, it's not at all what I'm trying to say, either. One way I'm trying to describe this is by thinking "Will Cave Story be a game that grows and slowly becomes a bigger deal or will the game forever just be kept to this community it has and only appeal to the fans it has?" I know that question can be kinda broad and fit into tons of other games, but I've noticed a while back that not too many people look at Cave Story the way they used to. Cave Story used to be quite the big name in the gaming space as it was the first indie game to really hit the way most indie games do now, but as time goes on, Cave Story has slowly been phased out with other massive indies like Undertale and Five Nights.

I mentioned before that things from the early 2000s are in a weird spot where they're just hit or miss and an absolute ton of things from that era in time just won't stay in the mainstream. It was a very awkward, experimental, and interesting time for everything in media, especially video games. I guess just seeing how massive indie games can be now has made me wonder how Cave Story will stand up given how it has subtly started this "mainstream indie games boom" we've been seeing.

I really don't know how else do describe this feeling as it's incredibly bizarre. I will say that this feeling is not negative and I don't want anybody to think it is, but I don't blame you if you read this as just "pessimism posting". There's lots I didn't get to say about this feeling, like I said it's very strange, but to keep this post from being too long...thoughts, anybody?

Edit: Oops, this is not my first time starting a thread, I just haven't done so in years, haha.
 
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Jan 8, 2022 at 3:49 AM
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honestly i think it's a testimony to cave story's quality (for lack of a better way to put it) that there's still an active fanbase at all, even if it's a shadow of its former self - there's still fanart being posted, the modding community's still creating things and there's a main discord server with 800+ members - all over (technically) just one game that released 17 years ago.
sure, there's the nicalis remakes and various cameos/the christmas game last year, and they're definitely a huge contributing factor to its popularity, but there's never been any kind of continuation officially announced to attract people or keep them engaged, so who knows what the future'll hold?
 
Jan 9, 2022 at 5:31 PM
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the golden age of the Cave Story fandom is over retard

Sorry, that's an inside joke that most active users probably won't get.

I think there will always be a Cave Story fandom in some form or another. This game had a huge impact and paved the way for future indie titles, and the way it captured the hearts and minds of those who formed the fandom will never be forgotten. It doesn't have anywhere near the momentum it had years ago, but there will always be people who discover this game and play it for the first time, and greatly enjoy it.

You never know when something obscure can make a huge comeback in popularity and suddenly be everywhere. I don't have the first clue how it happened, but around 2017, Bob Ross made a huge comeback in popularity over 20 years after he died, and he was everywhere for a while. Among Us came out in 2018, and wasn't very well known for a little while, but then it suddenly exploded all over the internet in the 2nd half of 2020. I don't see it as extremely likely to happen with Cave Story, but anything is possible.

I will say, the release of Undertale was a major inflection point. Not just for the indie gaming scene at large, but there was a noticeable impact on the Cave Story fandom as well. It feels like the Cave Story fandom has never quite been the same since then. Pre-2015, there was a general feeling within in the community that Cave Story was still the flagship indie game, even with titles like Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac garnering attention. But once Undertale came out, that general feel quickly evaporated, and the atmosphere in the Cave Story fandom changed forever. Most people notice this without having been there, but I feel it much more tangibly as someone who joined this community years before Undertale came out.

Back to my point about there always being a fandom in some form or another, communities like this rarely ever die completely. They might settle down and become less active, they may migrate to different platforms (although I hope this one sticks around for years to come), but I don't foresee the Cave Story community ever dying. Nor do I foresee it really growing, though. I don't know if I'm going to be posting much 10 years from now, but there's no doubt in my mind that there will still be a fandom talking about Cave Story 10 years from now.
 
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Jan 10, 2022 at 3:15 AM
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the golden age of the Cave Story fandom is over retard

Sorry, that's an inside joke that most active users probably won't get.

I think there will always be a Cave Story fandom in some form or another. This game had a huge impact and paved the way for future indie titles, and the way it captured the hearts and minds of those who formed the fandom will never be forgotten. It doesn't have anywhere near the momentum it had years ago, but there will always be people who discover this game and play it for the first time, and greatly enjoy it.

You never know when something obscure can make a huge comeback in popularity and suddenly be everywhere. I don't have the first clue how it happened, but around 2017, Bob Ross made a huge comeback in popularity over 20 years after he died, and he was everywhere for a while. Among Us came out in 2018, and wasn't very well known for a little while, but then it suddenly exploded all over the internet in the 2nd half of 2020. I don't see it as extremely likely to happen with Cave Story, but anything is possible.

I will say, the release of Undertale was a major inflection point. Not just for the indie gaming scene at large, but there was a noticeable impact on the Cave Story fandom as well. It feels like the Cave Story fandom has never quite been the same since then. Pre-2015, there was a general feeling within in the community that Cave Story was still the flagship indie game, even with titles like Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac garnering attention. But once Undertale came out, that general feel quickly evaporated, and the atmosphere in the Cave Story fandom changed forever. Most people notice this without having been there, but I feel it much more tangibly as someone who joined this community years before Undertale came out.

Back to my point about there always being a fandom in some form or another, communities like this rarely ever die completely. They might settle down and become less active, they may migrate to different platforms (although I hope this one sticks around for years to come), but I don't foresee the Cave Story community ever dying. Nor do I foresee it really growing, though. I don't know if I'm going to be posting much 10 years from now, but there's no doubt in my mind that there will still be a fandom talking about Cave Story 10 years from now.
Really makes me wish I was born earlier so I could experience the pre-2015 Cave Story fandom.
 
Jan 10, 2022 at 3:49 AM
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Really makes me wish I was born earlier so I could experience the pre-2015 Cave Story fandom.
Everything is relative. If it makes you feel any better, I sometimes wish I had found out about Cave Story a few years sooner than I did, so that I could have been part of the pre-2010 Cave Story Fandom (before NICALiS released any ports).
 
Jan 13, 2022 at 10:07 PM
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I think it's dead boss man lol.
Secret Santa Is the only """New""" Cave Story game we've gotten in years. It'll likely stay at the point It is now, an indie darling with a small community of passionate and artists fans. Forever displaced from its grandiose pedestal replaced by the latest quirky, anime inspired lesbian role playing game.
Maybe you can tell that I don't like recent Indie games
Regardless I don't see this as a negative, I would much rather Cave Story be what it is now instead of getting very popular again.
Fandoms these days are super lame, I like the position Cave Story is in now.
And, shit dude, in twenty more years I won't even be here, nor will anyone else. We will all most likely be parents. I'm surprised there are still a few people from the early days of these forums still banging around.
I don't know, I'm rambling at this point but I'm fine with Cave Story passing into relative obscurity, that's how most things are anyways so lets just enjoy the CS Fandom as It Is at the moment and worry about the future later lol.
 
Jan 13, 2022 at 10:30 PM
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I think it's dead boss man lol.
Secret Santa Is the only """New""" Cave Story game we've gotten in years. It'll likely stay at the point It is now, an indie darling with a small community of passionate and artists fans. Forever displaced from its grandiose pedestal replaced by the latest quirky, anime inspired lesbian role playing game.
Maybe you can tell that I don't like recent Indie games
Regardless I don't see this as a negative, I would much rather Cave Story be what it is now instead of getting very popular again.
Fandoms these days are super lame, I like the position Cave Story is in now.
And, shit dude, in twenty more years I won't even be here, nor will anyone else. We will all most likely be parents. I'm surprised there are still a few people from the early days of these forums still banging around.
I don't know, I'm rambling at this point but I'm fine with Cave Story passing into relative obscurity, that's how most things are anyways so lets just enjoy the CS Fandom as It Is at the moment and worry about the future later lol.
I agree with a lot of what you're saying.
Due to the Cave Story Fandom being relatively small, there isn't any noticeable toxicity, thus making a fandom like this ideal.
I do believe that the "golden age" of the Cave Story fandom came to an end in the mid 2010's, and I think a lot of people will see why.
"quirky, anime inspired lesbian role playing game" Are you talking about OMORI?, that game is actually really good in my opinion, but most indie games these days aren't as good as Cave Story, I will say. Games likes FNAF etc are kind of meh in my opinion. At this point, there are way too many Earthboundesque RPG's and too many horror games when it comes to indie games.
There will never be another game like Cave Story.
 
Jan 13, 2022 at 10:41 PM
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"quirky, anime inspired lesbian role playing game" Are you talking about OMORI?, that game is actually really good in my opinion,
Not really. I was just making fun of indie games in general. I haven't even played Omori.
I used to be really, really into FNAF and Undertale. I still like FNAF but I've grown distant from Undertale.
Due to the Cave Story Fandom being relatively small, there isn't any noticeable toxicity, thus making a fandom like this ideal.
I do believe that the "golden age" of the Cave Story fandom came to an end in the mid 2010's, and I think a lot of people will see why.
Exactly man, that's what I mean. Small game communities are (usually) so much better then the bigger ones. Now though Indie games are the big ones. Indie gaming has become so mainstream that It's possible for anyone to make a game and it getting popular. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing but the committees usually become shit. I won't say what I dislike about them because that'll get me in trouble and its not worth the headache lol.
 
Jan 13, 2022 at 10:52 PM
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Not really. I was just making fun of indie games in general. I haven't even played Omori.
I used to be really, really into FNAF and Undertale. I still like FNAF but I've grown distant from Undertale.

Exactly man, that's what I mean. Small game communities are (usually) so much better then the bigger ones. Now though Indie games are the big ones. Indie gaming has become so mainstream that It's possible for anyone to make a game and it getting popular. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing but the committees usually become shit. I won't say what I dislike about them because that'll get me in trouble and its not worth the headache lol.
It's kind of the other way around for me. I went through both a FNAF and an Undertale phase in my life, but I'm still quite fond of Undertale, and I don't really care for FNAF now.
I want to make a game like Cave Story, and I've had an idea since 2018, but I don't mind if it doesn't become super popular.
 
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Jan 14, 2022 at 12:53 AM
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I remember when FNAF first came out, the amount of hype was insane. But there was a huge difference between the impact that FNAF had on the indie game community and that of Undertale.

FNAF was a very different kind of game from Cave Story and most indie titles, and the fanbase of it was very different in nature from Cave Story. The culture of that fandom was so different, that it was just kind of its own thing, and so it didn't really displace Cave Story in any meaningful way. Undertale, on the other hand, is much more similar to Cave Story in many ways, and so it was much more of a candidate to displace Cave Story as the flagship indie game.

Most people in the Cave Story community had Undertale on their radar at least a year before it came out. Maybe it's just me, but I always got the feeling that just about anyone who likes Cave Story is almost definitely going to like Undertale, whereas FNAF is hit or miss. I've never actually played FNAF or any of its hype-milking sequels, and I don't really have the desire. But I absolutely adore Undertale. I'm kind of still debating in my head as to whether or not Undertale has displaced Cave Story as my favorite indie game.
 
Jan 15, 2022 at 7:48 AM
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As a member that's been around for 2-3 months, my thoughts on the subject might mean nothing, but I think Cave Story will slowly fade to obscurity, even more than it is now, only looked at by people who find the odd "indie games that started it all" youtube videos and social media posts, and the same goes for the community. Maybe not in 5 years, but maybe in 10, 20, 50. Who knows? Maybe it'll even have small resurgences, but I'm not hoping for those. I mean, did Secret Santa really make that much of a difference?

Some would say that's kinda sad, and it is, but that's just how things are, and I don't want it to be different for Cave Story. Though, it is nice to have made it to this forum 17 years after the game had been released.

The game's old and outdated in many ways compared to newer indie games that have a lot more to give, and the theory-crafting and character admiration will get tiring at some point (Especially since nearly every theory has been accounted for here :c). I bet most users who aren't here anymore would agree. The mods will keep the idea fresh, but they'll we'll never feel for them like we do for Cave Story. At least for me.

When it comes to the community surrounding it, at least here, I think it's analogous to still waters. Nothing really leads to anything, it's just people sharing their thoughts when they occur, and they occur sparsely. Perfect for me to wade in, but probably not for many others. I haven't been on the reddit or discord, so there's a good chance there's still a fair bit of commotion for the game, but my preferences are for forums.

I guess I'm pretty pessimistic about the future of Cave Story, so sorry about that. I'm not here to root for Cave Story's popularity anyway. I'm more excited to see people here leave and become their own developers than to see Cave Story become center stage, so perhaps that's what I'm optimistic for. Cave Story will continue to influence creators long after it's no longer thought about, so there's a high note to think about.
 
May 26, 2022 at 12:01 AM
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It is certain that we will never see a new Cave Story game. However, we've all been saying this over the years. And then all of a sudden Secret Santa came out, which I enjoyed pretty much mostly because of nostalgia. But come on, Secret Santa was a pretty fun ride. Fun mini-game with good art. NICALIS has not released this game for nothing, I want to say. Maybe they wanted to see how much attention this game would attract in the market. Although I still believe we will not see any Cave Story games, maybe we can have another mini-game. Eh, that's not likely either.

What I would like to see though, would be Cave Story stories through any other media. Maybe short comics? Of course, if there is gonna be something like that, most likely the fans will do it.
 
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