Do you ever wonder who made your favorite video game when you sit down to play it? Do you ever wonder what inspired those men and women to create that virtual piece of artwork you enjoy so much? The Spring Creek Sun had the opportunity to ask Yacht Club Games, the developers of the recently released Shovel Knight, some questions about life as an independent developer, what it is like to work on a game and even how to go about making your own games.
Spring Creek Sun: Are you pleased with the reception to Shovel Knight?
Yacht Club Games: Very much! We’ve received so much love and support from everyone around the world! It’s been such an honor, and we couldn’t be more happy about the reception!
Spring Creek Sun: What motivated you to create a game with the aesthetics of an 8-bit retro game?
Yacht Club Games: We previously worked on a lot of retro remakes of well known games, retro revivals, retro sequels, etc. such as Double Dragon Neon, a boy and his blob, Contra 4 and more. One of the ideas we continually threw around was how fun it’d be to create the first game in a new franchise from the ground up, the same way they had to in the 80s! There hasn’t been a new franchise created in that NES spirit, and it felt like the perfect time to do so. Games were getting more complicated than ever; a return to a focused set of mechanics, graphics, and gameplay felt very appealing.
Spring Creek Sun: What was the inspiration behind the world of Shovel Knight?
Yacht Club Games: All the NES classics! We wanted to build a world that felt as memorable as those in our childhood. A world that provided lots of memorable, lovable characters where so much is left up to the player’s imagination!
Spring Creek Sun: As an independent company, what are some of the challenges you face as developers?
Yacht Club Games: With the creation of Shovel Knight came our first experience running a business, managing budgets, doing marketing, hiring employees, etc. Handling all of these new components outside of just designing and building the gameplay was quite a challenge!
Spring Creek Sun: What do you hope players will carry with them once they have finished playing Shovel Knight?
Yacht Club Games: I hope they will carry the game in their hearts! Hopefully the experience of Shovel Knight is something players will remember and come back to much like we continually return to Nintendo staples such as Mega Man, Mario, Zelda, Castlevania and more!
Spring Creek Sun: What other games will you be working on in the future? Will you stick to the same 8-bit genre?
Yacht Club Games: We’d love to work on every kind of game imaginable! We’d love to make more 8-bit style games and even fully 3D gorgeous HD offerings. Right now we’re focused on adding all the update content to Shovel Knight. That includes 3 playable boss campaigns, challenge mode, body swap mode, and a 4-player battle mode!
Spring Creek Sun: What advice would you give readers who aspire to make their own games?
Yacht Club Games: Start making games now! Find tutorials online for making simple games like Pac-Man, Tetris, Snake, or others. There are lots of easy to use tools like Flash, Unity, Gamemaker, etc. available for free with lots of explanations on how to start. Make something and start learning from the ground up about what goes into a game!
Spring Creek Sun : Is there anything you would like to tell our readers or want them to know?
Yacht Club Games: Thank you everyone for your wonderful support over the last 2 years! Shovel Knight wouldn’t exist without our backers and everyone who has supported the game throughout its development and beyond.
These are some of the core team members for Shovel Knight, who participated in every aspect of the game:
•David D’Angelo – Programming
•Ian Flood – Programming
•Jake Kaufmann – Sound
•Erin Pellon – Art
•Sean Velasco – Design
•Nick Wozniak – Art