Details on Spelunky 2 have been light since it was revealed last year (opens in new tab), but creator Derek Yu talked about some of the themes of the dungeon-crawling sequel on a podcast last week (opens in new tab). The game's first trailer strongly implies that the protagonist will be the daughter of Spelunky 1's main character, and while Yu didn't confirm that, he said that fatherhood is both a "big theme and [an] inspiration" for the follow-up.
"People know I’ve talked about my family life a little bit, being a dad, and how inspirational it’s been…and that’s been a big influence. Obviously my daughter has been just a big inspiration on me creatively, and it makes so much sense in that Spelunky 2 being a sequel to Spelunky 1, and then coming after I became a dad, which was in between Spelunky 1 and Spelunky 2…that would be a big theme and inspiration to me.”
Yu didn't specify how that will impact the game beyond the connection between the protagonists of the sequel and the original.
He also talked about his desire to "extend" some of the mechanics from the first game, comparing it to making a sequel to Super Mario Brothers. "I think a game like Super Mario Bros is perfect, and you don’t want Nintendo to just keep adding to it. You don’t just want them to make Super Mario Bros 1, you want them to make Super Mario Bros 2 and 3 and all the way to Odyssey, right?
"I think it’s the same thing with Spelunky 1. I do feel like it’s perfect with all its imperfections, and with Spelunky 2, I want to extend upon the Spelunky world and upon all the mechanics in ways that I don’t think I’ve seen before, and that fit more uniquely within Spelunky.” He also talks elsewhere in the podcast about "replac[ing]" parts of the first game with new elements.
It's quite cryptic for now, but when Yu says anything about Spelunky 2, I'm all ears. Perhaps we'll find out more at E3.