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The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Commonly referred to as Rebirth) is a remake based on the original Flash game, The Binding of Isaac. It will be developed by Nicalis with Edmund McMillen in a supervising position.
Rebirth features a new non-Flash-based engine and the same designs as the original, but with brand new 16-bit pixel graphics. The game will also include additional content in the size of the Wrath of the Lamb expansion, including things that had to be cut from the original game due to the limitations of Flash.
|“||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.||”|
Edmund's Tumblr Blog:
- 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 same people who produced the Cave Story remakes and the VVVVVV port.
- Nicalis is working on the port for PS4/Vita and PC (Steam).
- The remake will feature all the content featured in TBoI+WotL but will also feature another Wrath of the Lamb-sized expansion over the top that will feature a new final chapter, ending, two new playable characters and many 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 it so that 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 two player co-op, but no online play because that will just make the development of the remake longer.
- The game will go into full time development starting on the 1st of 2013 and is set to be finished by the end of the year, but Edmund commented with "but we know how this stuff goes".
- The game will feature new music by Danny Baranowsky as well as some spicy remixes of old tunes.
- Edmund will be lead designer on the project, making sure things are as perfect as they can make them and as true to the original as possible, he will also be designing all the new content and features.
- The game will be getting a full 16-bit make over as Edmund stated "I'm doing this because I think the art is tired, and I'm sick of looking at it. I think a fresh coat of paint is needed and I think it's kinda appropriate/funny to do a demake for the remake."
- They will try to do a loyalty pre-order discount to anyone who owns the original game on PC.
- The ability to save and return to a play session as Edmund said "this is something we wanted to do in the flash version but couldn’t due to limitations, this will def. be a feature in the remake."
- The remake will feature a lot of new content that the player will see and interact with from the start to the end, which is the new final ending. The remake is being packed full of things they couldn't do with the Flash version as well as tons of secrets that will not be known for a while. The remake will feature two new characters, each with a new set of items. Each one unlocks by beating the now five final bosses.
- The remake will have much better performance compared to the original game.
- Edmund went with Nicalis because it was the only development team he's close with and the only one he trusts with his intellectual property.
- The remake will be fully retuned, balanced, and improved.
- The biggest thing to keep in mind in here is that development of the remake is just starting, so nothing is set in stone. Edmund is currently in full time development of Mew-Genics with Tommy, and they have other surprises in store for the fanbase next year; so his goal with Rebirth is simply make sure the remake is top quality and then detail out the expansion and updates once development has gotten further. The remake won't slow down any games Edmund is working on, as Nicalis is working on it with Edmund's supervision.
The people from Twinfinite asked Edmund questions that they gathered from a reddit posts. Check it out here.
- Nicalis will focus on remaking the entire game (Original + Wrath of The Lamb) with some tweaks, and then Edmund will step in to add the new content.
- The art style will remain 16bit and the old art will not be included. Ed says that the style is getting there but needs some work, and that he will approve each piece of art.
- Isaac's design especially is a WIP. His face will be bigger than it is in the original game because pixel art limits the amount of detail they can add with items, but how much bigger is still up in the air.
- Arcades will be retooled so they aren't such a time sink, although he was unclear on how this would be done. He did say that the probability of machines blowing up will be higher than it currently is.
- In general, there will be a greater incentive to spend less time on floors. Some new items will somehow be sensitive to time, which was impossible in flash. Ed's goal is that the average run time in the remake will be a little shorter than in the current game.
- Choosing between going to Sheol or the Cathedral will be more meaningful. Ed admits that in the flash version there's not much point in going to Sheol if you've unlocked the Cathedral. He hints that there will be some extra floor equivalent to the Chest after Sheol and that the choice between them will be more interesting.
- There will be plenty of new challenge runs, but no custom run option ("definitely will not happen"). Ed says he wants the challenges to actually have some reward (an unlock) and that custom runs (a la the cheat engine) are essentially about hacking the game to start with items. He feels that if this was included in vanilla Isaac it would "break the game".
- There will be some other feature that "touches" on the concept of custom challenge runs, but is "much cooler". Ed declined to elaborate, but said that it's one of the ideas he wanted to implement in the flash game, but couldn't due to technical problems. "People who want custom runs will be very happy with this feature, but in a lot of ways it can be a challenge."
- There will be no wiki-like feature, telling you what items do. Ed mentions that he doesn't like the wiki because it "kills the magic" of figuring everything out for yourself.
- There will be a new ending, but Ed hasn't figured it out quite yet.
- In a response to the wiki breaking everything down, Ed wants to add secrets that will be very hard to find and will stay buried for a while.
- The stats screen is up in the air. Ed says he hasn't thought about it, but in general he wants it to stay vague.
- There will be a Skatole-like item for spiders.
- The remake will run "perfect". Little to no drops in the frame rate are a high priority. Fun fact, Ed actually refused to release Isaac because it had such a terrible frame rate. It was only until Tommy (the other half of team meat) took a look at the build that it got up to its current state, which Ed is still embarrassed by.
- Lemon Mishap will get a buff. The creep will stay on the screen longer and it will recharge a bit faster. Overall, Ed says that there still will be bad items and powerful items, but some of the more worthless ones will be made more useful.
- Ed says that he "overdid it" with flying items in Wrath of The Lamb. Flying items will not get cut, but chances are that there will be no new flying items in the remake.
- Florian programmed much of Isaac in German. Ed will have Florian on to translate his code for the remake.
- Soul hearts going off the screen was a bug. You were supposed to only be allowed the visible number of hearts, but Ed liked the mystery of wondering how many you have left so they never fixed it.
- Ed dropped out of community college after some weird guy got the same grade as him in a 3D animation course.
- Edmund admits that he never really had a clear vision of the story (what actually is going on in Isaac) and that it's developed over time.
Edmund talked about a few possible ideas with the Let's Player LethalFrag.Check it out here
- Ed has written up an idea for a possible playable character for Rebirth that fans of Loki will like.
- There was a concept for a playable character called Mystery Man, a character with a question mark for a face that starts out with two random items. Everytime you would beat moms heart (with any character) you would get a token, which in turn would allow you to play with the Mystery Man. Killing the final bosses (Mom's heart, Satan, etc.) unlocks new special items for him.
- To quote: "This idea will definitely make it in. This will give an extra challenge to the hardcores".
- "Show off your Isaac" will definitely be included.
- As for Co-Op, Ed stressed the importance of "There is only one Isaac!"; something we should keep in mind.
- More items for the shops. More items with modifiers and items like Habit and Mom's Purse. There was for example an item that raises the damage of blue flies. Or items that increase the power of familiars. Stores items can aid in more specific combinations.
- Different item starting loadouts for all characters.
- Even Edmund does not know how the complete game works anymore, part to forgetting and part to bugs creating effects not intented.
- Being able to slip past spikes was not planned (although contradicting answers are given by Edmund on this topic).
Ed gave some interesting details in his interview with Northernlion (which you can watch by clicking here)
Nothing here is definitively confirmed. There's still a lot of development time left, and Ed doesn't like to set things into stone. But, there's probably a good chance that most of these things will be a part of Rebirth. That said, Ed didn't confirm quite as much this time, at least compared to his interview with Twinfinite last year.
- Progress Report: All of the pre-Rebirth content art has been completed, and now Nicalis is working on randomizing rooms and the new content exclusive to Rebirth.
- Ed says that he wants everyone who has played the flash version to have a reason to come back and pick up Rebirth. Rebirth will take advantage of its new engine, which means new content that was never before possible due to flash's technical limitations. Ed specifically hints at "bullet hell" and maybe even different sized rooms.
- Again, Rebirth will run much more smoothly than flash Isaac, so say goodbye to that chugging frame rate!
- Sheol will be changed to be more interesting and difficult, so it could be an actual alternative to the Cathedral.
- It's been confirmed before, but there will be some sort of Chest analogue after beating Sheol. Ultimately, Ed wants to make these two path parallel in terms of content.
- The Mystery Man: Ed has hinted at this character before, but this time we get a more explicit explanation how he works. The Mystery Man starts with random stats and two random items, and then it's your job to go from there. You might get awesome stats or you might get terrible ones, it all depends on what you roll at the start of the run. The catch is that you have to pay some sort of token to play as the Mystery Man. You receive those tokens from beating Mom, so if you try and fail as Mystery Man you may need to go back to other characters to earn more tokens. Ed says there will be some balancing mechanic preventing you from rolling a super-powerful (or super under-powered) character right from the start.
- Rebalancing Soul Hearts: Soul hearts will not be able to go off the screen. Ed says "what you see is what you get." That means 12 Heart Containers max, including Soul Hearts! Ed points out that this will make the game harder for experienced players who know how to exploit soul hearts, not newbies who are still learning the ropes.
- Rebalancing Items and Trinkets: Some of the worse items will be improved, while others will be turned into trinkets. For example, Wiggle Worm is now a Trinket, being a part of a new set of 4-6 Trinkets that would change how your tears would move.
- New familiars with differentiated abilities (Meaning that they won't just be turrets). In Rebirth you will be able to have more than 6 maximum familiars at the same time.
- There will be plenty of bug fixes as well as more clarity on what items do. A lot of the bugs associated with Isaac are due to the limitations of flash and Action Script 2. With the new engine you can expect items to behave as intended. Ed also wants to make the game a bit more clear on certain things for players. By that he doesn't mean flat out telling you what items do, but he does want the short item descriptions and displayed stats to actually be helpful and reflect what is actually going on.
- The bug where negative bad luck will get you more chests than usual will be fixed.
- But there will more mystery as well. Ed wants the wiki to have to take a bit of time to catch up with all of the hidden content. The community will have to work together to find all of the extended secret areas (sort of similar to the secret areas in Spelunky).
- Rewards for completing bosses/floors/runs under certain times to incentivize speed runs. By reward Ed usually means a new item unlock.
- Rewards for ingenuity: What happens when I use the We Need To Go Deeper! item in Sheol? Nothing in the current game, but Ed wants to reward players who try! Maybe if you try using items in interesting places you'll open up new content!
- Co-op Multiplayer: Ed has already hinted at some of this before, but it's worth re-mentioning. Multiplayer will be local only and Co-op based. A second player will be able to drop in and the game will scale accordingly. Both players will be on the same screen, however Ed affirms that there is "only one isaac". That means that Player 2 may be controlling a totally different character.
- There are also plans to allow players to compete in fair races in Rebirth. Although there is no online multiplayer, you will be able to get a code for a particular isaac run. You can send that code to a friend, and when entered in into the game it will generate the same rooms, enemies, items, and floor maps for both players. This will make it possible for players to share runs and thus make it a more fair competition if you and your buddy want to race to Sheol.
- Ed is not a fan of Isaac on touch screens, so I hope you're not holding out for Isaac for iPad.
- New cutscenes and voiceovers? Only time will tell. Ed say he will not just remake the old cutscenes with 16 bit graphics. Either he will reuse the old ones and add to them, or remake them all. Ed also wants to get more of Matthias Bossi's narration in the game (he voices the intro cutscene). Since Bossi is doing the music for Mewgenics, Ed's other game in development, it's certainly a possibility.
- A hint at one of the 100+ new items!
- A new item called Tiny Planet:
- Small moon shaped object which gets embedded in your head.
- Effect: It maximizes your range stat but makes all tears revolve around Isaac's body, much like an attack fly. The idea is that there will be a ton of tears revolving around you, much like the Duke of Flies' flies. Each tear will rotate around you roughly twice and the idea is that it changes the whole dynamic of play. If you have laser it will make a ring of laser.
Northerlion and Bisnap interviewed Edmund on a Twitch.tv stream , asking him various questions suggested by reddit users.
- Edmund wants to support modders, although he has no idea how.
- The Polaroid Trinket will be no longer be needed to go to The Chest, and will probably be removed/changed.
- Edmund has designed 120 new items, although they are not actually in the game yet.
- "Breaking" the game will still be possible, especially with the large number of new items. Edmund wants to avoid "breaking" the game in terms of crashing, however.
- Edmund wants to balance unfair rooms and "ham-fisted" bosses that depend on the player's items rather than their skill. He said that he originally wanted The Binding of Isaac to be more of a bullet-hell style game, but it lagged Flash too much, resulting in the current Binding of Isaac.
- There will definitely be more Challenges in the game, such as an All-Champion run.
- Edmund likes The Candle how it is, but he plans to move it into the higher-priced Shop item tier. It could also be balanced by increasing the cooldown time.
- Edmund considers Lemon Mishap to be the joke item of the game, so he doesn't want it to be over-buffed. Still, its range and duration will be increased.
- Brimstone will not be changed, but the "Brimsnapping" glitch will be fixed.
- The Kamikaze! glitch will be fixed, but the item itself will be buffed, probably by reducing self-damage.
- Dr. Fetus and Epic Fetus will remain the same, but will simply be harder to find. Epic Fetus could be unlocked in a harder challenge, too.
- The "Faith" stat will actually be in Rebirth, probably increasing the chance of an Angel Room appearing.
- The Stats in the pause screen will not be any more detailed than they are currently, because Edmund does not want players to see the exact stat numbers. The bars themselves will be less confusing, though.
- Edmund says that he does want to balance the characters, but not in terms of their stats. Certain characters being harder to play is supposed to be a part of the game.
- The Mystery Man is confirmed, and at least one more character will be added.
- There will be no items referencing famous people in the Binding of Isaac community, because Edmund doesn't want people to feel left out for not getting the reference. He also says that it feel like breaking the fourth wall, and is unnatural.
- According to Edmund, there is virtually no chance for Rebirth to release for the Nintendo 3DS.
- Online co-op will never be added in a future update, because it will extend the development time.
- Some item pick-up quotes will get a rework so they are more understandable.
- Ed considers a kind of option for 100% players that could enable so called "challenge runs"
- A quick-save function.
- 20 cent items for Shops!
- It might be possible for players to mod Rebirth, allowing them to get custom skins for items.
- Rebirth will have a bit of an overarching theme.
- There will be another page of Challenges in Rebirth.
- Old content will get polished.
- DannyB's soundtrack might be unlockable in Rebirth (High possibility).
- A lot of changes to the effect of the "Everything's Terrible" Secret/Achievement.
- There will be 2 new characters in Rebirth. Both of them will have Biblical names, but that's as far as it goes.
- More Curses and graphical reworks for already existing ones.
- An item that causes Bombs to explode in a cardinal cross pattern. (Similar to the Bomberman franchise)
- Different starting item loadouts for all characters will also affect their sprites (small visual changes, so you know which loadout was chosen)
- Bosses will get retooled, especially Scolex.
- About +50% content is added to the existing game.
- More special rooms!
- Some graphical updates to make stacked items look better.
- There's the possibility for an Angelic counterpart of Krampus in Angel Rooms
- Edmund might "do a bestiary like spelunky did", but he will continue refuse to add detailed item descriptions.
- The item Max's Head's name will be changed to Cricket's Head (One of Edmund's cats). The item's appearance will also be changed accordingly.
- There will be a new key consumable that gives multiple Keys.
- The new item tally in Rebirth is currently at about 112, and with 6 new pickups!
- 125-150 new items will be the maximum.
- Possibly another Candle item.
- A few elements that fans suggested made it into the game.
- The double wave spawning bug in Challenge Rooms will be fixed
- "No leveling system, though I might try one out if I ever do another Isaac down the road."
- Consoles and Vita probably feature multiple save files
- Ed only had 2 boss sketches for the expansion beyond wrath back then, and they both will be making it into rebirth, so there will be over 10 bosses designed exclusively for Rebirth.
- "You can expect there to be more stuff in Shops and more stuff to do with Shops, but there will be the same number of shops per level"
- As of July, the game is expected to come out in early 2014.
- Edmund has said that Sacrifice Rooms will be more interesting in Rebirth.
- Edmund has said that there is no chance of Rebirth coming out on the Xbox One, because he no longer wants to develop for Microsoft. He does not want to port rebirth to the Wii U, either, calling it a "waste of time".
- When asked about promotional items for Team Fortress 2, Edmund said that he will try and see how Valve responds.
- 25 enemies and 16 bosses have been completed as of 17 October 2013.
Edmund presented four different possible styles for the remake.
VideosThe Binding of Isaac Rebirth Teaser(01:18)