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Regarding the new allegations of misconduct from NICALiS

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Sep 12, 2019 at 8:17 PM
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#1
So it seems today, news has surfaced from Kotaku that Tyrone has been... well... what some in the community honestly expected him to be.

Article

This kind of behavior, as both a game developer and progressive, makes my stomach churn, and it really puts into perspective as to why the ports of this game have been so lackluster.

The general consensus from the friends I've asked has been that NICALiS took Cave Story and milked it dry for any profits it could bring in, and I wouldn't doubt that one bit.

Edmund McMillen has already distanced himself and plans to cease collaboration once the next Isaac expansion releases, and honestly, good for him.

What are your thoughts on this all?
 
Sep 12, 2019 at 8:49 PM
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#2
Logged on for the first time in forever to say something about this. While it's merely a false rumor that Nicalis stole the Cave Story IP from Pixel, everything I read in the allegations sounds about what I expected from previous rumors floating around. There's a reason some call Nicalis the EA of indie games. I believe Pixel should split from Nicalis and take Cave Story elsewhere, much like what Edmund McMillen is doing, but it's unlikely that it'll actually happen.
 
Sep 12, 2019 at 10:48 PM
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#3
Pixel may have likely already split, considering Guxt was never released on 3DS, as well as Nicalis' plans for porting Kero Blaster onto the Wii U and 3DS never coming into fruition since all contributions have been done through Playism instead onto Steam, PS4, and Switch.
 
Sep 12, 2019 at 11:29 PM
Mint Online
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#4
I always wondered what the deal was with stuff like the unwillingness of fixing that CSSteam achievement (Didn't he once respond to this with that the switch version had no achievements?), only just listing CS3D on the eshop while never selling it or not releasing the ikachan port in Europe (Or at least here) and if it's things like that making everything a shaky case I wouldn't be too surprised.
I hope the current employees there aren't having a bad time like the ones from these reports seem to have, but who knows really.
I just wonder how the man himself will respond to this, I always wonder that when stuff like this comes out.
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 12:19 AM
Okay I give up... for now
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#5
I'm honestly not surprised to see that these reports have come out. NICALiS has reeked of bad products, bad work ethic, and bad communication since Cave Story WiiWare. These are usually symptoms of bad management, which usually follows from bad character in the leadership.
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 12:24 AM
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#6
memes aside, assuming these screenshots are actually the real deal and not just kotaku being awful gaming journalists again,
man tyrone has messed up. he promised a new dlc infastructure and instead gave us bad ports and workplace racism

im not a fan of cancel culture but i dont think nicalis deserves my respect anyway. tyrone should step down regardless lol
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 12:49 AM
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#7
We got an apology post.


Simply put: He's avoiding some of the other important issues.

I doubt he'll care enough to come here and do damage control, but I am of the opinion that Pixel sticking with Tyrone will likely hurt his reputation a ton and get him shunned due to cancel culture's nature. He's one of the most influential game developers of all time, I wouldn't want to see him hurt by this mess, and want him to move as quickly as manageable.

I was hoping with all these spinoffs that NICALiS would become a better company and treat Cave Story better, but not all of our wishes can come true.

The most we can hope for at this point is that we get an actual cohesive apology from Tyrone, because there's very little chance he'll actually step down from the company, though the employees may start leaving en masse due to this finally becoming public. Let's wait it out and see what happens, I guess.
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 12:54 AM
Soup Man
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#8
We got an apology post.

Simply put: He's avoiding some of the other important issues.

I doubt he'll care enough to come here and do damage control, but I am of the opinion that Pixel sticking with Tyrone will likely hurt his reputation a ton and get him shunned due to cancel culture's nature. He's one of the most influential game developers of all time, I wouldn't want to see him hurt by this mess, and want him to move as quickly as manageable.
I think Tyrone responding to the racism claims first is fine, since those are the easiest to try and dispel (just say its ironic lol), and for some reason cancel culture cares more about racism than actual mistreatment of game devs / your own workers.

If he doesnt actually reply to anything else in the article, thats when you know its fishy.
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 4:50 AM
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#10
That is the greatest fucking non-apology I have ever seen. Bravo. Guess I'm not buying Cave Story again.

I'll still buy Repentance though to support the other developers.
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 5:06 AM
Best elf
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#11
Guess I'm not buying Cave Story again.
Quick, whoever has the Humble Bundle non-DRM version, make the download link for it public here for stonks!
[/sarcasm]
 
Last edited:
Sep 13, 2019 at 9:07 AM
Mint Online
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#12
Yeah just admitting, genuinely or not, to your inappropriate 'jokes' because you just wanted to be funny and edgy isn't really going to go anywhere with the other issues around.
It's good that he says he doesn't want to see his employees hurt by this on the other hand the cynical side of me wonders if he just says it to win sympathy points or something.
Either way, I hope the employees won't lose their jobs over this.
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 9:23 AM
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#13
Quick, whoever has the Humble Bundle non-DRM version, make the download link for it public here for stonks!
Please don't encourage people to do this. I don't want to have to start handing out bans.
 
Sep 13, 2019 at 8:49 PM
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#15
Well this was unexpected!
 
Last edited:
Sep 13, 2019 at 10:13 PM
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#16
What are your thoughts on this all?
First impression...

On his attitude and personal interactions:
He sounds like he could be a pushy guy/tough guy mentality. But other people could just be overly sensitive / kept quiet about any misgivings until now. Not enough specific info.
And the "dozens" of "racist" messaging... that sounds like typical chatroom stuff I used to see in the '01~'09 on FPS games. While I can't comment on his intent, besides what was given, most people who typed like that were just going along with how everyone else talked to each other. Bad habits made, and didn't apparently break them. (What year were those messages btw?? '11-'17?) People might find the text unacceptable to today's standards, but intent is important too. Not to mention, rather than anyone correcting him or warning him, they instead take pictures of private messages and send it to Kotaku? A bit nasty...

But I don't personally know him, so I can't say if he actually has racist tendencies. But, the evidence is really shallow at this point.

On the business delays:
Well, this sounds more substantial. But, people DON'T have to work with him. And if he's a bad person to work with, then surely that word would get around? Instead we have this article...
This seems more like a hit piece with everyone piling on... "AHA! I KNEW IT". (Browsing the article's comments.)

When in reality, he seems far from perfect, and maybe someone you wouldn't want to work with (despite the amount of titles he has managed to publish).
(I mean he seems to jump from one project to another, as we know from CS+'s long unresolved issues.)

His "Cons" are legitimate concerns for anyone who wants to get involved with him. And yet, the article doesn't have "Pros". Do all the employees feel the same? Seems hardly balanced.
People see him as some kind of bad guy, rather than more likely just another imperfect entrepreneur/tough boss that has some published a hefty amount of indie titles without going under. Nowhere have I read his side, only an apology for his not understanding his impact on the people around him. Far as I know he could be going on binge drinking parties shouting, "I AM KING OF THE WORLD", or he could be making contacts and deals, traveling to meet people around the world to find the next project. Not enough information.

In the end, I guess I just would like to hear from all the actual people involved, Tyrone, and everyone's unfiltered viewpoints. I see too many discord dumps, old tweets, pictures from years ago used to discredit or cancel people's livelihood these days. Then media framing a pattern, and everyone jumping on to creating drama without weighing and considering all affected viewpoints, and individual events. (At least when crimes were not committed.)

...Being in the public eye is just a ticking time bomb. And you never know what you might have typed in the past or who you offended that'll come to haunt your future.

That door you decided you held open long enough for enough people? The person who was still coming REmembers
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 2:18 AM
Soup Man
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#17
First impression...

On his attitude and personal interactions:
He sounds like he could be a pushy guy/tough guy mentality. But other people could just be overly sensitive / kept quiet about any misgivings until now. Not enough specific info.
And the "dozens" of "racist" messaging... that sounds like typical chatroom stuff I used to see in the '01~'09 on FPS games. While I can't comment on his intent, besides what was given, most people who typed like that were just going along with how everyone else talked to each other. Bad habits made, and didn't apparently break them. (What year were those messages btw?? '11-'17?) People might find the text unacceptable to today's standards, but intent is important too. Not to mention, rather than anyone correcting him or warning him, they instead take pictures of private messages and send it to Kotaku? A bit nasty...

But I don't personally know him, so I can't say if he actually has racist tendencies. But, the evidence is really shallow at this point.

On the business delays:
Well, this sounds more substantial. But, people DON'T have to work with him. And if he's a bad person to work with, then surely that word would get around? Instead we have this article...
This seems more like a hit piece with everyone piling on... "AHA! I KNEW IT". (Browsing the article's comments.)

When in reality, he seems far from perfect, and maybe someone you wouldn't want to work with (despite the amount of titles he has managed to publish).
(I mean he seems to jump from one project to another, as we know from CS+'s long unresolved issues.)

His "Cons" are legitimate concerns for anyone who wants to get involved with him. And yet, the article doesn't have "Pros". Do all the employees feel the same? Seems hardly balanced.
People see him as some kind of bad guy, rather than more likely just another imperfect entrepreneur/tough boss that has some published a hefty amount of indie titles without going under. Nowhere have I read his side, only an apology for his not understanding his impact on the people around him. Far as I know he could be going on binge drinking parties shouting, "I AM KING OF THE WORLD", or he could be making contacts and deals, traveling to meet people around the world to find the next project. Not enough information.

In the end, I guess I just would like to hear from all the actual people involved, Tyrone, and everyone's unfiltered viewpoints. I see too many discord dumps, old tweets, pictures from years ago used to discredit or cancel people's livelihood these days. Then media framing a pattern, and everyone jumping on to creating drama without weighing and considering all affected viewpoints, and individual events. (At least when crimes were not committed.)

...Being in the public eye is just a ticking time bomb. And you never know what you might have typed in the past or who you offended that'll come to haunt your future.

That door you decided you held open long enough for enough people? The person who was still coming REmembers
definitely good to see the other side of the discussion. this really reeks of the whole projared event honestly (people post some out of context screenshots that look *really* bad, news websites make articles based solely off of those screenshots, people begin to pile up on twitter, more and more people who want some good boy points start posting tales about said person that they had never told anyone before they started to get "cancelled" for whatever reason, rushed non-apology from said "cancelled" person)

I think you have some amazing points, x-calibar, and hope tyrone can post his side of the story eventually. but right now i think i'm still gonna be on the "tyrone sucks" side of things because i never really cared for nicalis and its fun to meme on.

but if tyrone makes a huge 40 minute video explaining his receipts in about 3 months then maybe thats something i can get behind
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 10:19 AM
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#18
definitely good to see the other side of the discussion. this really reeks of the whole projared event honestly (people post some out of context screenshots that look *really* bad, news websites make articles based solely off of those screenshots, people begin to pile up on twitter, more and more people who want some good boy points start posting tales about said person that they had never told anyone before they started to get "cancelled" for whatever reason, rushed non-apology from said "cancelled" person)

I think you have some amazing points, x-calibar, and hope tyrone can post his side of the story eventually. but right now i think i'm still gonna be on the "tyrone sucks" side of things because i never really cared for nicalis and its fun to meme on.

but if tyrone makes a huge 40 minute video explaining his receipts in about 3 months then maybe thats something i can get behind
Thanks cybersoup! And fair enough. Guess we'll see how things play out. So in the memetime...

Memewhile...
Doctor: Hi! I'm Tyrone Rodriguez!
Shovel Brigade: As long as you just tend to the game, you'll be safe, and you'll get to eat.

Also Shovel Brigade: There were a few developers in here as well, but I haven't seen them recently... I wonder if they escaped safely...

:orangebell: too soon?

This actually got me searching on youtube and I ran into interviews I hadn't seen before:
Interesting seeing him speaking spanish in a Cave Story interview. (You can show subtitles and configure it to auto translate to english, though it's not perfect)

*no subs
*no subs

Oh! Here's a stream from a few days ago...
Ah... yeah there's that crude humor lol. Awkward moments here and there.
Seems playful, but yeah I can see how he could push people's buttons. (Though, again, when it gets awkward, they just go silent or change the subject rather than address it...)

lol. This is kinda fun. Also... upside down D:

This one is an older interview from 2016.

A short 2016 interview.

Oh! Here's an interview with a programmer for Binding of Isaac while working with Nicalis.

And a less comfortable interview from 2014 on 1001 spikes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYlLNrJv7mg

... and I can't watch any more interviews ... unless someone finds more staff interviews.
My surface impression of Tyrone is fairly positive, it seems like he believes in the games, though he does have that crude/awkward humor. Meh!

Well unless I find interviews with more staff, guess we just have to wait to see what happens, and if other co-workers will defend him... (would Kotaku even highlight that if it exists...?)

... And how did I end up staying late watching Tyrone videos
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 1:48 PM
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#19
Can't say I find this overly shocking in any particular way either. Nicalis always struck me as around mid-level incompetent, especially after they got over the teething phase and cleaned up their release quality to at least a generally reasonable level. Not to make light of any of this but even the interviewees basically agree that he only started getting pushy when inconvenienced rather than running an unrelenting nightmare factory. It feels very routine once you've been through a few records of personal accounts like the reader-submitted stories from The Trenches. Hopefully this will free up some of those titles as well, 90's Super GP has been on my watch list for a good while.

In the meantime I actually think this thread has done a decent job so far of avoiding being another "DAE Tyrone dumb lol??"-fest all things considered, so let's keep it that way.
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 3:04 PM
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#20
NICALiS as a company has done a great job at bringing some indies to the forefront... that and a Veggie Tales game... Jokes aside, I don't want to see the company itself go, but some rearrangement in management is probably due by now. Cancel culture has basically set it down a path that would be hellish to escape, even simply demoting Tyrone would likely make things for the company itself smooth again.

The Cave Story re-releases seem to have been very mistreated for how important of a game it is, and honestly, 3D was probably the largest step up, but that's probably because they had an entire seperate company working with them. It seems the passion just isn't there amongst those in NICALiS, and honestly with CSE2 we're slowly outdoing them one step at a time. Who knows, maybe it's not NICALiS holding CS back, but Pixel, wouldn't that be a plot twist for all of the memesters in CSMC.

I personally am not okay with the racism, and even if Tyrone himself is in a minority, that doesn't give him any more moral high ground to use racial slurs, I was taught this much by my family, a weird mix of White, Mexican, Armenian, and Native American, but yet I use no racial slurs even according to my own ethnicity. I don't want game developers to be allowed to use this kind of language, it's been seen in the past to a lesser extent with Brutal Doom, but I never knew it actually went up to the heads of companies.

Miscommunication between developers does bother me a ton, my most recent project had to be delayed recently due to me waiting on the tertiary musician to make the music for New Game +, but at least that gave me time to implement a few new features. For the few of us on the website that are looking into game development seriously, this is a good learning experience about the inevitability of cancel culture, I know for someone like myself, the moment I become popular someone's gonna leak a conversation I had when I was like 12 and the internet will make a huge fuss about it.

I wonder what will happen with Cave Story in the event Pixel distances himself from NICALiS, how will modding be treated? Will the engine become open source and be allowed to use for actual commercial products like how DOOM's was? I have a feeling this situation will encourage Pixel himself to take SOME action, he's been rather silent on Twitter it seems, his most recent posts only really relating to Zelda II, so we'll have to wait and see on his front.

Who knows, NICALiS isn't that far from where I live last I checked
 
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