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Shovel Knight Developer Interview

PressA2Join recently had the chance to chat with Yacht Club Developer David D’Angelo about their soon to be released Xbox One game, Shovel Knight

Cherry: For players new to Shovel Knight, what can they expect?

David: Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. If you love games with perfect platforming, beautiful art, infectious music, crazy bosses, humor and levity, and real heart… Shovel Knight is for you!

Cherry: Has the game changed or has anything been added to the Xbox One version?

David: Most of the core content has remained the same, but we added a special encounter with Rare’s own Battletoads. It’s a ton of fun, and we hope everyone looks forward to it.

Cherry: Was it always your plan to bring it to the Xbox One and Playstation 4?

David: Yes, we always wanted to put Shovel Knight in the hands of as many players as possible. Hopefully your console of choice isn’t what stops you from experiencing the world of Shovel Knight.

“Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game”

Cherry: Shovel Knight has already won a few awards, what makes the game so special?

David: It’s hard to say what makes the game special to different people. I think people appreciate the heritage of great game design the game is built upon. Similar to NES games, Shovel Knight was built from simple pieces, which were used to craft more complex gameplay, interesting stories, beautiful art, and wonderful sound. Because of its simple beginnings, it leaves room for the player’s imagination to fill out the story, pixel art, and more.

Cherry: How long did Shovel Knight take to create and did you encounter any obstacles along the way?

David: It took 16 months to complete Shovel Knight, and of course we ran into obstacles. It was our first game as a brand new studio. We had to figure out how to do many things for the first time: business, marketing, budgeting, publishing, etc. But it was a fun ride!

Cherry: A Shovel is an unusual weapon for a Knight, how did the idea come about?

David: The shovel was a result of trying to create gameplay similar to the NES. We wanted to build a game out of a core mechanic. We thought the downthrust from Zelda 2 would be a great inspiration. Next we figured out what actions would complement a downthrust: thrusting, slashing, flipping, digging, and more. The only weapon that fit all the mechanics we wanted was a shovel!

“We thought the downthrust from Zelda 2 would be a great inspiration”

Cherry: How did the team feel when it smashed through it’s fundraising target on KickStarter with over 14,000 backers?

David: It was incredible! We couldn’t be more grateful for the support we’ve received from our backers throughout the project. It has been an amazing experience to have so many wonderful fans.

Cherry: Did any games inspire the making of Shovel Knight?

David: Thousands of games! Everything from old NES classics like Mario, Zelda, Castlevania, and Mega Man to less known NES games like Faxanadu and Wai Wai World to modern games like Dark Souls and much, much more!

Cherry: Is there any new content coming in the form of DLC?

David: Yes there is a ton! We’re adding a body swap mode, 3 playable boss campaigns, challenge mode, and a 4 player battle mode! A lot more Shovel Knight content is coming this year!

“It has been an amazing experience to have so many wonderful fans”

Cherry: Can players expect a challenge?

David: There’s definitely a healthy dose of challenge, but it isn’t anything that should make you break your controller. For a bigger challenge, be sure to try out new game +!

Cherry: Is there anything else you would like to say about the game?

David: Nope! Thanks to everyone for supporting us along the way. Without our fans, Shovel Knight wouldn’t exist!

Cherry: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us David

Shovel Knight is currently out on the Playstation 4 and P.C and will be available for the Xbox One from the 29th of April.

Check out Shovel Knights amazing trailer!


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Paula has been a passionate gamer since she spent hours playing Crash Bandicoot and Spyro during her childhood. She is a huge fan of RPGs and loses hundreds of hours searching for every sidequest. Not one for missing out, she games on both XB1 & PS4.


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