A few words with ‘Shovel Knight’ programmer Ian Flood

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At Pax East in Boston, Massachusetts, Sound on Sight had an opportunity to speak with gameplay programmer Ian Flood about the indie smash hit, Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight is a 2D side-scrolling action title that started as a Kickstarter project but evolved into a multiple game of the year award winner. Developer Yacht Club Games is extremely excited about the future of the title and was showing off a new gameplay expansion where players will be able to play through Shovel Knight‘s many stages with Plague Knight, one of Shovel Knight‘s enemies.

When asked about whether the team could ever imagine the success that has come from Shovel Knight, Flood responded “No, not particularly”. They have a strong love for PAX East since the title’s first gameplay debuted at the conference during their Kickstarter for the game. The success of the Kickstarter really became a snowballing effect with great word of mouth leading to pledges. It was the first time Yacht Club Games could really see their idea becoming a reality.

That reality would go on to win multiple awards and be loved by countless fans. Now Yacht Club Games are currently working on more content for Shovel Knight. The Plague Knight campaign, Plague of Shadows, will be an alternate take on the gameplay and story of Shovel Knight. Plague Knight must overthrow the Knights of No Quarter to become the ultimate chemist. Small tweaks to level design were made to accommodate Plague Knight’s new mechanics. Along with his new moves, Plague Knight also has the ability craft items using a new Alchemy system. Speed runners will also be pleased to know that Shovel Knight has the possibility of being cleared faster than ever before with Plague Knight’s new repertoire of moves.

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All of this new content will be free to players who bought into the main Shovel Knight package adding an incredible amount of value to the overall title. Not completely satisfied with the workload that comes from making new characters and content, Yacht Club Games is also planning on porting the title to Playstation platforms and the Xbox One. Flood mentioned that they always hoped that the title could be available for all platforms. Sony and Microsoft buyers are getting special encounters with God of War‘s Kratos on Sony systems and the titular Battletoads on Xbox One. Flood is particularly excited about adding the Battletoads into the mix, saying that they fit perfectly into the time period Shovel Knight is aimed at. When asked if there would be any special encounters coming for people who bought into the game for Nintendo platforms, Flood explained that “[the] game is still in development”. We will just have to wait and see what Yacht Club Games has in store.

Flood and Yacht Club Games are really floored by the success and love Shovel Knight has received. Even being named with AAA titles that are many times more than their budget has been truly exciting. They’ve been particularly overjoyed with the many fan art submissions and remixes that have come from their game. With more platforms supported and more content on the way, Yacht Club Games looks to be continually improving what many called the 2014 Game of the Year.

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