Interview with Yacht Club Games

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Interview with Yacht Club Games






Today we have an interview with Nick Wozniak of Yacht Club Games!


Ninty Online Forums: To start off, what is Shovel Knight, for those that don't know?

Nick Wozniak: Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. It's a game that should be very reminiscent of great games from the past like Castlevania, Zelda 2, and Mega Man while also being relevant to gamers who have played more modern games like Dark Souls. Shovel Knight feels like a game that existed in the early 90s from some parallel universe where the NES/Famicom had slightly better graphics and an extra color or 2 in the palette!

NOF: What happened to start Shovel Knight on his epic quest?

Nick: Shovel Knight's mission is to rescue his beloved, the so called Shield Knight. She was his traveling companion of past, untold adventures and now she awaits his rescue in the tower of the Enchantress. Between him and his noble goal awaits a cadre of Knights, sworn loyal to the Enchantress, dubbed the Order of No Quarter. They will stop at nothing to prevent Shovel Knight from accomplishing his mission.

NOF: Doesn't Shovel Knight get hot in that suit of armor?

Nick: Like any true and stalwart knight, Shovel Knight sets aside all thoughts of discomfort and distress as they are mere trifles in light of his righteous mission...but seriously, how he can run as much as he does in that bulky suit is beyond me. Maybe it's just extremely well ventilated.

NOF: What sets Shovel Knight apart from other games of its genre?

Nick: Shovel Knight revels in the good feels of the past but also learns from the generations of games that have come since. Random deaths, obtuse menu flow, unclear level design and cheap, unexpected difficulties (that would earn a game the label "Nintendo-Hard") are replaced with the lessons that we've learned as gamers and as developers. More than a retro game, Shovel Knight is modern take on the action platform genre hoping to inspire a nostalgia of its own.

NOF: What games inspired Shovel Knight?

Nick: There's been many games that have a deep influence on Shovel Knight including Castlevania, Zelda 2, Mega Man, and Dark Souls (as mentioned above) but there are countless other games that lend their ideas to us as we develop Shovel Knight. Ultimately, the team loves games with challenge, unique characters, player growth, and beautiful art; we hope that you find all of these attributes true of our game as well, and, maybe, Shovel Knight will continue the cycle by inspiring others to create games of their own!

NOF: What kind of challenges have you faced while developing Shovel Knight?

Nick: Everything is a challenge and nothing is taken for granted. While the past has given us many examples of how to implement key features, filtering out the noise and making the right choices for the gameplay in Shovel Knight is something that we are taking great care to make sure we do right. Something that has come up recently was how to balance the money system and who upgrades ultimately benefit. The concern was that good players are going to be making the money to purchase upgrades by playing well, but players who would benefit most from those upgrades are the ones who won't be earning enough money to buy any! How can we help those players that need it while also rewarding those players that went out of their way to do well? Figuring this out took a lot of back and forth discussion and touched on key experiences that are core to the gameplay. Questions arose, like "Who are we making this game for?", "How does a player find value in the money they earn?" "How can we ensure that players have enough money without them feeling the need to grind?" or even, "maybe upgrades shouldn't be in a game without grinding....". Through it all we came to some balanced solutions to these questions that we hope the player will appreciate and still feel accomplished in exploiting; but who knows?!?! I guess we'll have to wait until the game comes out to find out what players truly think of the game!

NOF: Do you have a release date or window for Shovel Knight that you can share with us today?

Nick: Winter is our current release window across all platforms!! We are doing everything we can to make sure that all of our backers are able to play the game day 1!

NOF: Moving on to Yacht Club Games itself, do you have anything planned for the future at the moment?

Nick: There are a lot of plans for the future and I wish I could just lay into all of them. We'd love to try new things with Shovel Knight (Super Shovel Knight has been brought up, as well as Shovel Knight 64!) but ultimately the successful Kickstarter we had allowed us to found this company. We'll be around for a long time and the game possibilities are endless!

NOF: How has working with Nintendo on their consoles been?

Nick: Extremely easy. There's a real human element to how Nintendo is dealing with Indies like us. Dan Adelman (he's been in the news a bit recently) is our main contact and a truly stand-up guy. It's clear that Nintendo is really starting to value the input and products of us indies and I hope that it greatly pays off for them.

NOF: Finally, is there any super-secret stuff you can share with the users of Ninty Online Forums today?

Nick: Super Secret? Maybe not, but I can tell you that there ARE super secrets to be revealed and we can't wait to reveal them! Stay tuned! (Shameless plug warning!) If you want the most up-to-date news on aforementioned secrets or other, more mundane details, check out our twitter @yachtclubgames. Also check out our livestream page twitch.tv/yachtclubgames. I stream pixel art being animated and tilesets being made almost everyday, so come join the fun!!!

Thank you immensely for your time, Nick! I think I can speak for all of us when I say we can't wait for Shovel Knight to be released!

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Interview with Yacht Club Games :: Comments

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Post on Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:50 pm by Ideal Hero

Good interview, @Dash! Very Happy 
The more I read about Shovel Knight, the more I become interested in it. I wonder if I should get the 3DS or Wii U version? thinking 

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Post on Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:41 pm by KiDasharus

Ideal - Both have their pros and cons. 3DS is prtable and has stereoscopic 3D, while Wii U has a 4 player battle mode and off-screen play.

By the way, here's Yacht Club Games's site.
http://yachtclubgames.com/

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Post on Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:53 pm by Professor Clayton

Great Interview! Very Happy
I definitely will be picking up Shovel Knight on 3DS when it comes out, it looks too good to pass up.
And I can play it on the go, and even support a great young company, so yay!

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Post on Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:11 pm by Knuckles

Professor Clayton wrote:Great Interview! Very Happy
I definitely will be picking up Shovel Knight on 3DS when it comes out, it looks too good to pass up.
And I can play it on the go, and even support a great young company, so yay!

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Post on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:10 pm by NoUsernameHere

I think I'll be getting both the Wii U Version and the 3DS Version. I mean,Wynaut? :3

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Post on Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:14 pm by MiracleBlaze

I'm liking that reference to Dark Souls. :3

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