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On March 3rd, you released Specter of Torment, the new DLC campaign for Shovel Kinght. What do you think that makes this campaign special?
Specter of Torment is a prequel to Shovel Knight with new gameplay, story, music, levels, and more. It takes everything we learned on Shovel Knight and polishes it to a mirror sheen. It’s not a tacked-on DLC, it really is like a whole new game. And it’s just so fun to be a cool grim reaper!
Along with the release of Nintendo Switch, you released both Specter of Torment and Treasure Trove on launch day. Why did you decide to release both games first on Switch?
Nintendo helped us a ton with testing and support to make the Switch launch date. We are a small team, so we can’t release everything simultaneously anyway. We are working really hard to get Shovel Knight out on all platforms, so hang in there everyone!
We have heard from other developers how easy it is to port games on Nintendo Switch. How long did it take to move Shovel Knight on Switch?
We had it up and running in just a couple of days. The Switch port process was pretty painless.
Treasure Trove includes Body Swap, a special mode which lets the players freely change the gender of the main characters. How did you come up with the idea of including this mode?
Well, it was a Kickstarter stretch goal. We really wanted to make more female designs, and we really liked the episode «Fionna and Cake» from Adventure Time! Some more inclusiveness never hurts, either!
One of Shovel Knight’s iconic features is that he uses a shovel as a weapon. We must ask this: why a shovel?
The idea for a Shovel came about from pondering the gameplay we wanted to make. We wanted to have a down thrust kind of like Zelda II, and to be able to dig through blocks and flip over enemies. A shovel just seemed like the right tool for the job! And everything else was built from that idea.
Shovel Knight will appear as a guest character in Yooka-Laylee, Playtonic’s new 3D platformer game. How did the blue heroe end up appearing in this game?
Playtonic and Yacht Club Games both did Kickstarters, and I think that’s how we met. Kickstarter campaigns are always trying to reach out to one another for help, or pay it forward if we succeed. I think they suggested the idea of a crossover, and we were delighted to oblige. We even created a 3D model for Shovel Knight for this very purpose!
Is it true that the Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Cons are based on Shovel Knight and Shield Knight?
I can confirm that is definitely 100% true.
You have already confirmed that, after Specter of Torment, your next goal is a DLC campaign based on King Knight. Can you tell us what will make this campaing different from the others? Will you make use of Nintendo Switch’s special features, as you will have more time to work with the hardware?
King Knight is still a secret! And we are also making a 4 player battle mode! We are working on all of it. Hopefully it doesn’t take as long as Specter Knight. We would love to use more Switch features, like the fancy rumble. We tried to get it working for this release, but we were not satisfied with the result.
After doing the King Knight DLC campaign, are there any possibilities of seeing «Shovel Knight 2»?
Yes, but it would also be really amazing to work on something fresh and new. For now, start thinking about what the next 8 knights could be like!
Some time ago, Yatch Club Games confirmed that, in 2017, you would work on a completely new project. Can you give us a little «preview» of what we could expect from it? Will it be completely different from Shovel Knight?
It will probably be something that is very different than Shovel Knight, but still retains our distinctive Yacht Club Flavor. Nintendo made Mario, Zelda, and Metroid, but they are all distinctly Nintendo. I’d love to make another franchise that people love even more than Shovel Knight!
Would you consider to use Kickstarter again for your new project?
It’s a lot of work and headache, but maybe! Kickstarter is a great way to communicate with your audience. But if we don’t use Kickstarter, we could keep our game a surprise for longer…