Shovel Knight Yacht Club Games

Always Nintendo recently got the chance to catch up with Yacht Club Games, a studio best-known for their retro-inspired platformer, Shovel Knight. In this interview, we get a closer look at the development of upcoming Shovel Knight DLC, the struggles of making the game feel right on Nintendo platforms and a wealth of other things. Without further ado, let the interview begin!

Always Nintendo (AN): Hey, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us! Mind telling us a bit about yourself?

David: I’m David D’Angelo, one of the creators of Shovel Knight!

AN: Shovel Knight is finally available in Europe and Australia! How does it feel to have finally been able to bring this game to fans in those regions, and why was it delayed?

David: It feels incredible! It was extremely anxiety producing to disappoint so many European and Australian fans by having them suffer through delay after delay. There were a lot of complications in the process of bringing Shovel Knight to Europe and Australia which you can read about here – http://yachtclubgames.com/2014/07/shovel-knight-international-status/. To sum it up, we’re just half a dozen people, so it took a lot of time and effort, along with our lack of experience in the area and coordination with overseas….there were a lot of steps in the process that we miscalculated.

Shovel Knight Gif

AN: Shovel Knight DLC has been in the works ever since the game was released if we’re not mistaken. Some of the DLC you’ve been working on include a battle mode, challenge mode, gender swap and playable boss campaign! Could you provide us with any updates on the progress/development of these modes?

Plague Knight DLC Shovel Knight

David: We are currently working on the first playable boss campaign for Plague Knight. It’s a ton of fun to revisit the old levels with a new mobility set and new story, so get ready! Besides that, we’ve started the initial discussions and setup for challenge mode and battle mode. We’re really excited about what’s to come and we hope everyone else is too!

AN: Shovel Knight is definitely home to some pretty wacky cheats codes such as gigantic mode and super bouncy mode. However, there’s one mode that’s wackier than the rest­­butt mode. Why was this added to the game (not that I’m complaining)?

David: During the Kickstarter, we kept hitting stretch goal after stretch goal, and we simply got to a point where we couldn’t add any more or we’d be making Shovel Knight for the rest of our lives. We said as much during a live stream on Twitch, and our fans pushed back for us to set a really outlandish goal. So one of our team members just shouted out, okay okay, our next big goal will be ‘Butt mode’. That was said with no thought or clue as to what a butt mode could be. Butt our fans grew attached to the legend of butt mode, so when it came time to put in cheats, the first one we figured out was butt mode!

Shovel Knight Wii U & 3DS Sales

AN: Shovel Knight had some amazing first­ month sales on Nintendo platforms. 48k copies sold on Wii U and 59k sold on the Nintendo 3DS! Were you guys surprised by these sales numbers?

David: It was a great shock to us and such an honor to have so many fans willing to buy the game in the first month. We slaved away for 16 months in a windowless office, debating over every tiny detail, and to have such a wonderful reception on release really made those painful months feel worthwhile.

Shovel Knight Wii U Review 3DS

AN: How hard were the Wii U and 3DS to develop for? Many developers say Nintendo’s Software Development Kit is in desperate need of improvement/modernization. Do you agree?

David: We were very experienced at working with Nintendo hardware in the past, so that probably wasn’t a challenge for us as much as most developers. The biggest difficulty for us was finding the ways in which to make Shovel Knight truly feel like a Nintendo game that belonged on the Wii U and 3DS. Designing Miiverse, Off-TV play, quick select relics, Streetpass, and more were all part of making the game feel exclusive and special on those consoles.

AN: What was your experience working with Nintendo compared to working with other companies such as Microsoft and Sony?

David: Nintendo was really great to work with as they were very supportive throughout Shovel Knight’s development. They helped us behind the scenes with technical requests and did their best to promote and market the game. We really owe them a great deal and were very happy with all the work they put into the game!

Shovel Knight gif

AN: What’s next in store for Yacht Club Games?

David: Right now we’re working on the upcoming free updates to Shovel Knight. This will include 3 playable boss knight campaigns, gender swap mode, challenge mode, and a 4 player battle mode. There’s a lot of exciting content to come, so keep your eyes peeled!

AN: Finally, anything you’d like to say to your fans? What can they expect to seen in months to come (after the DLC of course)?

David: All we’d like to do is thank our fans for their continued support and enthusiasm. Our fans are what push us to work hard and make the best content possible. We are very grateful for everyone’s love and encouragement, and we’ll continue to do our best to keep making great games!

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