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 256x192 (top screen) while the 3DS has a resolution of 400x240(let's say 320x240 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 320x240 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.