Games |

February 3, 2014

Update: ’90s Arcade Racer and Wii U

Antonis and Tyrone here!

As you probably know, part of working together brought along the opportunity develop and publish ’90s Arcade Racer for Wii U (among other places). The development is moving along well and for this update we’ll share some details related to the Wii U version of the game and our plans.

Fortunately, moving the game from PC/windows environment to Wii U has been a straight forward process since the project is being built on top of Unity and the team porting Unity to Wii U have obviously been doing a great job; that alone has made our part of getting running on Wii U much easier than expected. Of course, the process hasn’t been without it’s fair share of challenges.

Without getting into minutia that we’re probably not allowed to share in great detail, some things that worked on PC couldn’t be ported exactly Wii U without having affecting how the game performs on the Nintendo console–and probably other consoles, too. However, we’re very happy with the results. Fidelity, image quality and a smooth framerate are our priorities. Detractors note, Wii U is proving very capable of running the game at 60fps at 720p with 4xMSAA and FXAA resulting in a crystal clear image. It’s simply beautiful.

On the programming side these past few weeks our lead programmer has been busy working on the AI and creating the type of competition we’ve discussed in the past–focusing on a fun arcade experience. Our goal is to be able to race against 30 cars in each race. If we hit that number we’ll be quite happy

Many of you have emailed us asking for a release date, unfortunately it’s hard to give you a solid date but mid 2014 is our goal for now.

Thank you for being patient and even more thanks for all the support and interest in the project. It’s kept us going and we love hearing from all of you!

November 7, 2013

Legend of Raven Coming to PS4 and Xbox One with GGPO!

We’re sure some of you may have heard that Legend of Raven is coming to more than just PlayStation Vita. Well, we’re super happy to confirm that Legend of Raven will indeed be releasing on PlayStation 4 AND Xbox One. It gets better, too. We’ve signed an agreement with Tony Cannon to implement GGPO netcode for the console version of Legend of Raven. Oh, and did we mention that the PlayStation 4 and Vita version will be cross-buy/cross play? Yeah, pretty cool.

Check out the new trailer below that shows some of the more interesting combos in Legend of Raven. We want to hear more of your feedback and thanks for the support!

October 2, 2013

90s Arcade Racer Update: Physics

At this point some of you may feel like we’ve been working on ‘90s Arcade Racer since the ‘90s. That’s not entirely true, while Antonis and I were indeed playing Scud Race (Super GT in the US) and Daytona USA some 20 years–that was just preparation for the game we’re developing now.

Here’s what’s been happening the last couple of months with ‘90s Arcade Racer.

Physics, physics and more physics!

In the 100+ hours I’ve spent on racetracks combined with the thousands of hours logged playing racing video games, there’s something that feels quite counterintuitive to the genre. You would think super realistic racing games would have super accurate and lifelike physics — but that doesn’t necessarily always make a better product. To really give the sensation of speed, gravity, lateral gravity, as a designer you end up removing many functions that make a vehicle simulation “real”, in the theoretical sense. A driving simulator, more often than not feels like a floaty, unresponsive boat. Part of that is because you can’t feel yourself slinking around a bucket seat, you don’t have the sensation of a vehicle’s weight shift between the four corners; there’s an entirely missing dimension in racing games.

Antonis and I are going for a fun and arcade racing feel, we’ve said that from the start. Those two descriptors are equally important to the project. Getting to the balance of an arcade feel while offering a challenging experience and still giving the car some complex real-world behaviors is where our own challenge begins.

Once you start playing a racing game, especially an arcade-style one, terminology like camber, caster, differentials, toe, torque and drivetrain are quickly forgotten. Initially I spent a lot of time trying to get an arcade feel out of a real vehicle simulation. After extensive experimentation what Antonis and I found was that it just wasn’t working.

In this case it’s much easier to build something from zero and create an experience that perfectly recreates the perception and expectation we all have of a typical arcade racer. Version 2.0 of ‘90s Arcade Racer physics is built within the expressed intention of creating a real arcade racing game. What that means is that the game is really feeling like should. The car reacts in a way that is indicative of an arcade racer, it moves and accelerates properly and now we have a really fun grip and drift mechanic within the game. Although it’s been challenging having to build physics from nothing, this has allowed us to really build the vehicles exactly how we want and how they should feel.

I’m pretty confident that we’re very much in the right direction with the physics and you’ll probably agree once you have an opportunity to play it. Antonis, has been doing great work on creating the world of ‘90s Arcade Racer. More on that at a later time.

August 22, 2013


An enhanced, portable version of the high-speed 2D fighting game, created by ex-King of Fighters developers

Santa Ana, Calif., (August 21, 2013) – Nicalis, Inc., developer and publisher of independently awesome video games announces 2D fighting game, Legend of Raven, for release on the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment via the PlayStation@Network.

“We are extremely excited to launch Legend of Raven on the PS Vita,” said Victor Rodriguez, CEO and Executive Producer, Nicalis, “ Originally announced for the Nintendo 3DS, we’ve since moved development over to PSN due to the incredibly overwhelming response from the fighting gaming community. With Legend of Raven on PS Vita we can take advantage of the beautiful Vita OLED screen and spend time developing new features like parallaxing backgrounds and an original new soundtrack.”

Legend of Raven Features

■ Featuring Eight exquisitely, hand-animated characters by King of Fighters artist, Kotani Tomoyuki
Every character features their own unique set of special attacks and super moves

■ Enhanced from the original
Featuring a new soundtrack, parallaxing backgrounds, ad-hoc versus play and more!

■ Innovative parry and damage mitigation systems allows for a multitude of defensive options
Execute well-timed counter attacks to turn the tide of battle.
■ Flawless Local Play!
Battle nearby friends with lag-free ad hoc Versus mode!

The year was December 25th, 1926. Japan was on the verge of welcoming a new era…the era of “Koubun”.

Instead a revolution broke out, led by those who hoped to revive the Land of the Gods, Japan, and return her to its former glory. The Prime Minister’s cabinet, the police department, the Zaibatsu families, the mass media…the flow of information to the outside world was immediately suppressed.

Out of options, the old government resorted to creating a group of elite assassins, called the “Yatagarasu” in order to maintain order and suppress the rebellion.

These government agents have become known as the “Government’s Dogs” by the general populace. Now, they are on the move towards “Iga-sei”, which is said to still function as the government’s intelligence hub.

Legend of Raven continues Nicalis’ partnerships with ultra-talented and super-awesome independent developers. Previously Nicalis has teamed up with 8bits Fanatics (1001 Spikes), Edmund McMillen (The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth), Studio Pixel (Cave Story, Ikachan), Nicklas Nygren (NightSky), and Terry Cavanagh (VVVVVV).

More information can be found on the official website at

August 20, 2013


Edmund McMillen’s award-winning roguelike coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Steam in 2014

Santa Ana, Calif., (August 20th, 2012) – Nicalis, Inc., developer and publisher of independently awesome video games announces Edmund McMillen’s multi-million selling roguelike, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth to release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Steam in 2014.

Edmund and Nicalis have commissioned filmmaker James ID to create an ’80s-inspired teaser trailer to celebrate the platform announcements for the 2.4 million+ fans while maybe confusing, perplexing and scaring new fans.

About the Binding of Isaac Rebirth
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a remake of the The Binding of Isaac now with 100-percent less flash and expanded gameplay, playable characters, story, enemies, bosses and over 110 new items. Totally retooled and greatly expanded version of the game so many have come to love created in a NON-FLASH engine programmed/designed by Nicalis (Cave Story+, VVVVVV), Rebirth will also feature a totally new graphics overhaul rendered out in a semi 16-bit SNES style.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth features

■ COMPETITIVE LOAD OUTS: Players can do the same run for Twitch streams etc

© 2013 Nicalis, Inc
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

February 12, 2013

Nicalis Publishing The ’90s Arcade Racer

February 11th, 2013 – Nicalis, Inc., developer and publisher of independently awesome video games announces a partnership with
developer, Pelikan13. Nicalis will publish the tentatively titled The ‘90s Arcade Racer. Originally planned for Windows, OS X and Linux, The
’90s Arcade Racer will appear on additional platforms: iOS, Android and Wii U. Already a successful Kickstarter campaign, six days remain on The ‘90s Arcade Racer.

“There was a simple reason why I started this project, ‘What if a racing game with old school principles was built using today’s technology’. I know we can achieve that goal,” said Antonis. “Working with Nicalis, we can release on more platforms, including Wii U. Nicalis will also support with Unity programming, physics, tuning and general design and production of the game.”

About Nicalis, Inc.
Based in Southern California, Nicalis, Inc. is an independent developer and digital publisher with a proven track record for developing and publishing well-polished games. Founded in 2007, Nicalis continually seeks to enhance, and improve the quality of video games throughout the game industry. Nicalis, Inc. is committed to developing wildly creative and endlessly awesome. The ‘90s Arcade Racer continues Nicalis’ partnerships with ultra-talented and super-awesome independent developers. Previously Nicalis has teamed up with Edmund McMillen, (The Binding of Isaac), Studio Pixel (Cave Story, Ikachan, ), Nicklas Nygren (NightSky), Terry Cavanagh (VVVVVV) and 8bits Fanatics (1001 Spikes).

About Pelikan13
Internet fans might know Antonis Pelekanos as Pelikan13, the developer partly responsible for the Sonic Fan Remix. A professional 3D artist by trade, Antonis was accepted into the University of Fine Arts in Greece, he postponed his graduate studies to enter the game industry and has since worked with Acclaim Studios, Team 17 and more recently Relentless Software and Sumo Digital.
Follow the Kickstarter campaign:

© 2013 Nicalis, Inc
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

November 30, 2012

Binding of Isaac retro remake poll! PLEASE HELP US OUT!

Ok first of dont get too excited about the images here (or upset!) THESE ARE MOCKUP IMAGES, they aren’t real in the slightest. none of the thing shows in these images have any validity to the content you will find in the remake of the binding of isaac, these were just made to test and see how the fans feel about isaac being remade in a retro pixelated style.

So check out the images and the fill out our little poll so we can gauge how fans feel about this remake look. your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Please take the Poll here

thanks a bunch!

November 30, 2012

Binding of Isaac console remake details!

Reposted from

After receiving 80+ questions via formspring and many via email, i have amassed what i believe to be a definitive check list that should clear up most-all confusion on what the binding of isaac remake (Binding of isaac: Rebirth) is/will be.
-Rebirth is a totally remade game based on the flash version of the binding of isaac + wrath of the lamb.

-The game is being produced and developed by Nicalis, the guys who did all the cave story remakes and the VVVVVV port.

-Nicalis is working on the port for Ps3/Vita and PC (steam) and is also currently talking to MS and Nintendo about releasing on their platforms. we are also looking into an iOS version if its not garbage.

-The remake will feature all the content featured in BOI+Wrath but will also feature another Wrath sized expansion over the top that will feature a new final chapter, ending, 2 new playable characters and tons more items, rooms, enemies, bosses and the like. the goal will be to make replaying the whole game not only worth it but also make i so it feels very fresh and new.

-The remake will feature content that was removed from the flash version of the game due to limitations (secret stuff!)

-The remake will feature LOCAL 2 player co-op… no online play because that will just extend the release by another forever.

-The game will go into full time development the 1st of the year and is set to be finished by the end of the year (but we know how this stuff goes)

-The game will feature new music by Danny B as well as some spicy remixes of old tunes.

-I will be lead designer on the project, making sure things are as perfect as we can make them and as true to the original as possible, i will also be designing all the new content and features.

-The game will be getting a full 16bit make over, im doing this because i think the art is tired and im sick of looking at it. i think a fresh coat of paint is needed and i think its kinda appropriate/funny to do a damake for the remake.

-We will try to do a loyalty pre-order discount to anyone who owns the game on pc.


-the remake will run perfect/fast finally!
-we went with nicalis because they were the only dev team im close to and that i trust with my IP.
-the remake will be fully retuned, balanced and improved.

the biggest thing to keep in mind here is that development is just starting with the remake, nothing is totally set in stone and a lot will change over time. Im currently in full time development of Mew-Genics with tommy and we have a few other little tricks in store for you next year so my goal with Rebirth is to simply make sure the remake is top quality and then detail out the expansion and updates once development is much farther along… this remake wont slow down any games im currently working (and thats reason why someone else is doing it!).

more updates will be posted as i get them :)

hope that clears things up.

October 31, 2012

Cave Story+ Steam Halloween Update


Hopefully you’ve seen us mention our Cave Story+ Halloween Update, only available on Steam. So what’s the big deal? First, the update is entirely free. If you already own Cave Story+ on Steam or buy it, the update will be packed in with the latest version of Cave Story.

If you remember our Christmas Story update, then you’ll probably have an idea of what our Halloween update entails. We’ve literally redrawn just about every character and sprite in Halloween-themed attire and colors. We’ve also thrown in a few fun references that you’ll maybe catch.

Aside from the neato Halloween theme, we’ve also added a few more features to the game:
- Steam Online Leaderboards
- Machine Gun Challenge
- Story Mode Japanese Language Support

What the heck does a game like Cave Story+ need Leaderboards for? Well, for all the cool Challenge modes like Nemesis and Wind Fortress. We’ve been working on leaderboards for quite some time now. You’ll be able to post your time on Steam and see how you’ve done against other players. Since all the challenges have been locked until now, Machine Gun Challenge is an all-new mode designed to allow anyone to instantly post a time to the Leaderboards.

And Japanese language support should be self-explanatory. Until now, Japanese players haven’t had an opportunity to play Cave Story on Steam in Japanese. Now they can. If we get enough interest from the Japanese community, we’ll probably translate Curly Story into Japanese, too.

BTW, here’s a little preview of some of the art you’ll see during the Halloween update.

October 12, 2012

Warez Ikachan? On 3DS!

If you follow this blog at all, you may recall that we’ve been working on Ikachan in between projects. What originally started out as a DSiWare game has now also grown to be a Nintendo 3DS eShop game, too.

Wait, is it a different game? Why two versions? No, it’s no a different game and not really two versions.

I need to rewind a bit and given some background. When the eShop was launched, players could (and still can) purchase DSiWare games on their 3DS. This is pretty cool, but there’s a big issue for me, personally. The DSi has a resolution of 256×192 (top screen) while the 3DS has a resolution of 400×240(let’s say 320×240 for this discussion). If you divide 320 by 256, you get 1.25–basically, the length is about 25-percent more on the 3DS (talking QVGA resolution here). What that means is that if we want DSi games to run full-screen on a 3DS, they need to be stretched by an additional 25-percent over the maximum.

Look at the Cave Story image below, you’ll (hopefully) notice slight differences between the three images. On the left, you have the original resolution, in all its beauty. In the middle, I’ve up-res’d the image in Photoshop using “nearest neighbor”; you can see a lot of jaggedness–this just isn’t very elegant. On the right, is the same image using bilinear filter. It’s still not perfect, but most players would probably say its less intrusive than the middle.

For me, however, it seems like a damn shame to play a 2D pixel-art game with a blurry screen. Sure, you can hold the Start button or whatever the method is to boot in native resolution, but then you end up with a tiny screen on the 3DS and particularly on the 3DS XL.

This is literally the only reason I decided to port Cave Story to the 3DS. Mainly, I wanted to play it in the proper resolution; remember Cave Story’s original resolution is 320×240 and we had to crop the field of view for the DSi. So after seeing how Cave Story turned out with pixel-perfect art AND the 3D stereo effect, I thought we should do the same for Ikachan. That way, both DSi player and 3DS players can both enjoy a native experience.

At least for now, I think we’re the only developers doing this and it’s probably because it’s a lot more work, but definitely worth it.