Shovel Knight Interview with Yacht Club Games

Yacht Club Games is one of the most talented development teams around right now. After an overwhelming flood of Kickstarter support, the six-man crew wasted no time in creating one of 2014’s most beloved games: Shovel Knight. Appearing on 3DS, Wii U and PC, Shovel Knight was a love letter to classic retro gaming. Praised by reviewers and adorned by gamers, the indie title unsurprisingly cleaned up on the game of the year awards front. Accordingly, Shovel Knight smashed right through Yacht Club’s upper sales estimates.

Sony have been keen to get in on all this action. During their inaugural PlayStation Experience conference in December, it was announced that Shovel Knight would be hitting PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. What’s more is that the game’s latest iteration will feature none other than Mr Tantrum himself, Kratos. The God of War poster boy will be appearing as a new boss for Shovel Knight to tackle.

With all these new developments, we here at Power Up Gaming decided to sit down with Yacht Club’s David D’Angelo to get the dig (sorry) on one of 2015’s most promising projects.

Harry Bowers: Shovel Knight recently surpassed 300,000 sales. That’s a phenomenal performance for an indie game. First of all, congratulations. And, second of all, did you ever expect the game to be such a hit?

David D’Angelo: No, it has definitely blown our wildest expectations away! We couldn’t be more grateful to our fans who have supported us every step of the way, from the first day of our Kickstarter, to create a game people really love!

HB: That success has definitely been reflected by game of the year season. What do you think it is about Shovel Knight that’s really struck a chord with players and reviewers?

DD: It’s hard to speak for players and reviewers, but we created the game because we felt like there were a lot of wonderful things in ’80s video games that were being overlooked in today’s games. Things like games built off simple mechanics, sweet stories pulling at heartstrings, lovable characters, levity, true challenge, exploration, pure fun… lots of feelings and experiences of NES games have been lost or dulled over time. When’s the last time you played a new character mascot platformer!

HB: Now on to some more current happenings. What can we expect from Shovel Knight on PlayStation? What’s going to be different and what’s going to be the same?

DD: We haven’t solidified everything 100% yet, but what’s going to for sure remain the same is the core experience. Players can expect the same gameplay across all platforms. We’d like to add features that are special to the PlayStation brand though. Things like cross-save, Twitch integration, back touch, and more are all cool PlayStation-specific items we’re investigating.

HB: Kratos is obviously the biggest change we’ve seen so far. What about Kratos do you feel makes him a right fit for what you’ve created with Shovel Knight?

DD: God of War is one of the truly special brands Sony has created, and it is such an honour for us to be a part of it and bring Kratos into the Shovel Knight universe. We’re so excited to explore the possibilities of Kratos in 8-bit, and we think it’s going to be a ton of fun!

HB: How are these changes going to fit in with the original Shovel Knight?

DD: Any changes we make because of the PlayStation versions will just be icing on the cake. We see any additions similarly to the Nintendo specific features we added like Miiverse, StreetPass, 3D Stereroscopic display, and more. The core game across all platforms will remain the same, and hopefully they’ll be something a little more enticing for your platform of choice.

HB: And, finally, could you give us a heads up on when we might expect to see Shovel Knight on PlayStation this year?

DD: We are aiming for early this year, but we don’t have a target date quite yet. Stay tuned!

HB: We’d like to pass on a big thank you to David and wish the Yacht Club team all the best for 2015. If you simply can’t wait to experience 2014’s best agricultural simulator, it is available for PC via Steam.

Are you pumped to experience Yacht Club’s whimsical world all over again on PlayStation? Or are you just keen to see what the fuss is about? Angry I didn’t make enough shovel related puns? Enlighten us as to your life story in the comments below.

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