Appearing on a recent podcast, Sean Velasco and David D’Angelo of Yacht Club Games discussed their desire to make a 3D Shovel Knight that recaptures the essence of Super Mario 64. The cast brings up Yooka-Laylee, and how it’s essentially just doing the same thing as Banjo-Kazooie once did. Yacht Club games wants to create a 3D game that “scratches that Super Mario 64 itch.” They believe that Super Mario 64 is different to every other 3D platformer, full of magic and adventure.
During a recent interview in the 8-4 Play podcast, Sean Velasco and David D’Angelo from Yacht Club Games discussed the future of the studio moving forward, including the potential for Shovel Knight to spawn a continuing franchise. According to the developers, the team is currently hard at work on additional content for Shovel Knight, but they said that after that was wrapped up, they would be “silly” not to make a sequel to the studio’s first title. They also stated that such a sequel could be anything from another NES-style game to something more in line with the SNES or Nintendo 64.
In a recent interview in the 8-4 Play podcast, Sean Velasco and David D’Angelo from Yacht Club Games discussed the decision to publish Shovel Knight using Kickstarter, as well as other topics. During the discussion, they mentioned that they were working on another project before Shovel Knight; according to the developers, this original project was intended to be a platformer for iOS. However, they ran into problems developing a game for a platform with no physical buttons, and the team wanted to work on a more traditional “Nintendo” game; this led to the development of Shovel Knight.
Although the development team eventually shelved the mobile title to work on Shovel Knight, the original project still had an impact on the studio. According to Velasco and D’Angelo, the Yacht Club Games jingle came from a song created for the mobile title; as such, even though Shovel Knight receives all of the praise, the studio has not forgotten this first effort.
In a recent interview with with Nintendo Life, Ian Flood and David D’Angelo from Yacht Club Games discussed the development process for the upcoming Shovel Knight Amiibo, including a cut idea for the figure to function more like a Smash Bros. Amiibo in-game. According to Flood and D’Angelo, the team originally considered having the Amiibo unlock a “Custom Knight”, which would have been a customizable AI character to serve as the player’s partner in co-op play, kind of like the Yarn Yoshi Amiibo’s functionality but with an added level of customization.
Eventually, the development team decided to scrap the idea because they were unsure about how well the AI could and should work; they were afraid that if the AI was too good, then the partner would outrun the player and make them feel “foolish”, and that if it wasn’t good enough, the player would grow tired of having to babysit the character. This, plus some discussion on whether the AI character could be used in addition to a second player in co-op, eventually led to the exclusion of the “Custom Knight” idea.
D’Angelo: What we pitched to Nintendo is ultimately in the game with the amiibo. One thing we did cut out was that initially we talked about having Custom Knight be a co-op AI character, like Tails or levelling up in Smash Bros.
Flood: We thought it through in terms of it gaining abilities, and we thought about whether it’d be fun to have an AI Shovel Knight also jumping around on screen. Ultimately we didn’t think that would work.
I always thought about whether you’d be impressed or disappointed in the AI, and thought most times you’d be disappointed in it. If it did all the jumps would it make the player feel foolish, or if it failed would you want to help a baby Shovel Knight that wasn’t very skilled?
D’Angelo: We also thought about how that’d work in co-op – would you both have AI partners? Four Shovel Knights? We quickly thought that’d be a dumb idea.
“Shovel Knight in smash would be incredible! We play Smash Bros. pretty much every day, and to see our character as part of the roster would be an amazing honor!” Yacht Club Games is even interested in considering their fans’ ideas for move sets and Final Smashes, as opposed to their own. “Lots of our fans have come up with really great descriptions for attacks and final smashes, I’d suggest checking them out!“
Are you hoping for Shovel Knight in Smash Bros.? Let us know in the comments below!
With the recent Xbox and PlayStation ports of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club included two secret bosses, one exclusive to each version. While the PlayStation ports got Kratos and the Xbox One port got the Battletoads, the Nintendo versions got nothing in this regard. When asked about incorporating a character cameo into the Nintendo version, the developer seemed more than eager if presented the opportunity.
“Who knows?! It’d be amazing to work with a Nintendo IP. They have so many great ones to choose from. I usually go for the weirdos, so Tingle would be right up my alley.” — David D’Angelo, Yacht Club Developer
Would you like to see Tingle appear in Shovel Knight? How about a different Nintendo character? Let us know in the comments!
Shovel Knight, last year’s indie game success, isn’t finished with the content it has to offer. During the PlayStation Experience, it was revealed that Kratos, from the God of War series, would be featured in Shovel Knight‘s PlayStation ports, but it wasn’t exactly explained how. Now the developers have shed some light on the character’s inclusion and how you’ll be able to fight him.
“Keep your eye out for secrets…and possibly even double secrets, to learn how to discover this battle.” — David D’Angelo, Yacht Club Developer
It was also revealed that once you discover the battle, it will appear on the game’s map, rather than in the level you found it on. This will at least give the player time to get ready and fight Kratos with full health. It was also said that our protagonist may “learn a trick or two from Kratos.” You can expect to fight Kratos on April 21st.
Are you excited about Kratos’ inclusion in Shovel Knight? Let us know in the comments!
Unless you’ve been completely out of the gaming sphere in the past year, chances are you’ve heard something about indie platformer sensation Shovel Knight. Started as a Kickstarter project a couple of years ago, the game has since grown to garner the love of gamers all over, gathering enough critical acclaim to win over 70 Game of the Year awards in 2014 and enough fan favoritism to elevate the eponymous knight to Smash character contender status – in some fans’ minds, that is. It is set to release on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita later this year alongside the brand new free DLC pack, Plague of Shadows — among other surprises. The love for this new wave retro platformer is sure to grow over the next year.
In between working on the aforementioned expansions and debuting footage of the highly-anticipated DLC at PAX East, Yacht Club Games, the studio behind Shovel Knight, kindly took the time to answer some of our questions about what the future holds for the title, and the franchise:
Could you introduce yourself and your role to our readers here at Gamnesia?
I’m David D’Angelo, one of the creators of Shovel Knight. We all take on hundreds of roles throughout development. We’re just a few people! But my main task is handling gameplay and engine programming for the team.
How long has Plague of Shadows been in development? Plague Knight obviously won your poll, but was this the character on whom you wanted to focus first?
We’ve been working on it since before the game even released! It’s been a long process to figure out how we wanted to fit in the other character campaigns. Out of the 3 that were chosen, we definitely wanted to focus on Plague Knight first. We didn’t really think about doing the other knights!
Did the success of Shovel Knight shape the plans for this first stretch goal DLC release?
Possibly? It’s hard to know! We increased the scope of what we were creating to try to make it surprising and more than a simple character swap like you’d see in a game like Symphony of the Night. We are probably being extra careful with everything we create too. We don’t want to adversely affect people’s opinions of Shovel Knight’s campaign.
The feats in the original Shovel Knight provided plenty of challenge for players. Will these gamers be able to adapt quickly and meet the challenges of Plague of Shadows?
We’re not quite finished with the campaign yet so it’s tough to say. But we imagine the difficulty lining up similarly with Shovel Knight’s campaign. It’ll be tricky enough for players to handle the new mobility!
Shovel Knight has been an exclusive on Nintendo’s consoles up to this point, finally coming to the PlayStation family of consoles in a little under two months. Besides a clash with Kratos himself, has the adventure changed to fit the taste of PlayStation gamers?
Not significantly. We’re doing our best to add PlayStation specific features like cross-save, PS4 lightbar, etc. Beyond that, the game will have the same core experience.
Will any more crossovers, console exclusive or otherwise, be coming to Shovel Knight as more DLC comes out?
(Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted before the announcement regarding the inclusion of console-specific characters in the Xbox One version of Shovel Knight)
We’re always open to doing more crossovers, console exclusives, etc., but it’s all about finding what makes sense for the world of Shovel Knight. We want to make Shovel Knight feel at home on each platform, and we’re excited about anything that makes that possible.
Will all future playable boss packs be free like Plague of Shadows?
One of the most unexpected elements of Plague of Shadows is the addition of a brand-new story mode. How has this helped to flesh out the colorful cast of Shovel Knight? Will Shovel Knight ever become a secondary character?
Yes, it will definitely flesh out the world of Shovel Knight a tad more. For more details, you’ll have to play the game!
Shovel Knight boasts a huge number of cheat codes, originally made backer-exclusive, but now widely available to players. Will all of these be maintained in Plague of Shadows? If so, does this include the infamous “butt mode”?
All of the cheat codes will be maintained in Plague of Shadows. We may even add a few more!
While it will probably be a long while until all the planned DLC packs for Shovel Knight are released, do you have plans once they are all finished? Could we see a “Super Shovel Knight,” or some other kind of follow-up title?
Who knows! We’d love to continue the Shovel Knight series. But at that point we may need to take a break. It really comes down to everyone’s mood when the content is complete.
Many thanks to D’Angelo for taking the time to answer our questions. We’re certainly excited to play as the oddball Plague Knight, as well as fellow boss knights, King Knight and Spector Knight: the other winners of the “Dig the Vote” poll, used to select the boss knights that would be playable, back during the original campaign. For more news about Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, make sure to keep it here at Gamnesia.
Some relatively interesting information is coming from one of the main developers of Yacht Club, the creators of Shovel Knight. It was David D’Angelo, one of the creative minds and main developers of the game, that said that Shovel Knight would have never reached the Wii U or 3DS if it wasn’t for the help of ex-Nintendo Indie Moderator Dan Adelman.
His exact words were as follows:
“Without Dan, Shovel Knight wouldn’t be on the Wii U/3DS and maybe it wouldn’t exist at all. We essentially sent Dan a blind email before our Kickstarter asking if we could be approved as developers on the platforms. He put his full trust in us and the game – without that, who knows if the Kickstarter would have even funded!
He is unbelievably supportive of indies, and it’s amazing to see a person so committed to aiding smaller teams so that they can focus on creating interesting and unique experiences. Also, he’s a spicy curry champ. Champion of indies and spicy curry…what more could you want?” — David D’Angelo
We already know that Adelman was devoted to what he did, since our interview with him. All this being said, it’s a pretty humbling thing to see that maybe Shovel Knight would have never even existed if it wasn’t for Mr. Adelman.
Let us know what you think about all of this. How do you feel about this statement as a whole? Write your thoughts in the comments below!