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Yacht Club Games: Shovel Knight Aims to be a "Next-Gen 8-bit Game"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"Should feel the wonderful way you remember classic games feeling"

With its Kickstarter fundraising campaign in its last week and well past its original total, Yacht Club Games' Shovel Knight is picking up stretch goals and becomingly increasingly promising as a result. So far, for example, it's added a playable boss character and a New Game+ mode.

It's a notable project in that the former WayForward Technology staffers promptly added Wii U and 3DS to the original PC pitch, stating that the team's love of Nintendo was a factor in adding the platforms. It's also a game that seems like a natural fit for the big N's platforms, especially as it's a retro throwback to the NES era. In an interview with ONM, Yacht Club Games' main man Sean Velasco reiterated that point.

We're trying to make Shovel Knight a next-gen 8-bit game. The visuals, audio, and gameplay philosophy are 8-bit inspired, but beneath those pixels lies a bleeding edge heart. The game's moment-to-moment action is like a smoother version of a classic game, and we're injecting two decades worth of design know-how. Shovel Knight should feel the wonderful way you remember classic games feeling, not how they actually felt! We're also hoping that our focus on quality over gimmicks will also help younger players into the fold; people who may have not seen the days of the NES.

Thankfully the enthusiasm for Nintendo within the studio isn't entirely rooted in past generations, with Velasco stating that the team is engaging with and enjoying the company's current systems.

Nintendo has a good environment set up for indies now; it's just a matter of getting more developers onto their platforms and singing them to the hills! As far as the eShop, we've been happy to be able to download even full-sized titles. We all just got Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate as a team, so we're definitely going to be slaying monsters on our 3DSes for a while. After that, we are really looking forward to Wonderful 101 on the Wii U. Platinum makes some of the best games out there right now, so we are really excited!

Velasco has made clear that Nintendo has been very supportive to date, and is the latest of a number of developers to praise the company's current approach towards indie developers. We're certainly looking forward to seeing how this title comes together later in the year, and don't forget to check out our own interview with Yacht Club Games if you haven't done so already.

So, how many of you like the sales pitch of "a next-gen 8-bit game"?


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User Comments (32)



Kirk said:

Well it's good to see Nintendo getting something right with the Wii U.

I hope this actually encourages more developers to put their games on the system.

Shovel Knight looks great by the way.



TheKingOfTown said:

I wish developers would drop the whole "8-bit" look. It was cool back in 2009, but kind of tiring now.



Ryno said:

@TheKingOfTown: Plenty of gamers like the 8-bit look. Not your flavor? Well there are a lot of indie games coming out that don't have the 8-bit look.



slidecage said:

i wait for a 20% codes at meijers and get it cheaper... doubt i pay 15 for another download



BossBattles said:

This is what we need. Positive...the joy of gaming...not sitting around being babies over everything. Nice.



DreamOn said:

Keep the Shovel Knight love softly a comin, Thomas! Gender swap mode is in! Let's go 4 player mode!



PanurgeJr said:

I am seriously considering upping my pledge and getting 8 bits of myself in the game. How awesome would it be to get to be one of the Order of No Quarter unmasked? I'd want to be Plague Knight.



WiiLovePeace said:

I'm greatly looking forward to picking this up on the Wii U eShop when it comes out, looks set to be tonnes awesome



LavaTwilight said:

Just checked out the video on the link for the interview there (I can't hear the music cuz I'm at work) but wow! It does look cool! Like an amalgamation of all my favourite games as a kid, Kid Chameleon, Ghosts N Goblins, Zelda 2... this looks like it's gona be awesome!



Geonjaha said:

I'm very interested in the game. But $15 for a 3DS copy on Kickstarter? It's already funded - I'd rather pick it up for $10 when it gets released.



Kirk said:


Well I like the old 8bit look but to be totally honest I wish they'd actually go for the 16bit look.

A few more colors, with everything else still being proper sprite based art etc, and I think these games would actually looking stunning as opposed to cool and retro but a bit unnecessarily limited looking in terms of the color palette.

I also think that if they REALLY went for this and made the entire game look like their high-res full color art then it could actually look absolutely stunning.

Imagine the whole game, characters, backgrounds and everything, being rendered to that level of quality and with animations to match, but with the same design sensibilities that they are going for now...

Now, as long as it were realized properly, THAT could actually blow minds imo.



Kirk said:


Well you get this "Positive...the joy of gaming" thang when companies, developers and publishers etc do it right.

When they do it wrong I don't see why we shouldn't give them crap for it.

Nintendo has done a lot of stuff wrong imo and look at all the negative press and comments that have come of it.

Yacht Club Games is so far doing a lot of stuff right imo and look at all the positive press and comments that have come of it.

So basically, if there's a lot of negativity floating around then imo Nintendo is where the blame lies as I see it and it's their job to make it otherwise and not the other way around.

Anyway, on a positive note; this game is looking great and I'm really looking forward to the final product



Nintendawg said:

I'm still waiting for a review of this before I decide. Like Kirk said, I would very much rather this was at least 16-bit looking instead.
@Thomas Just a small typographical error that I might bring to your attention: "becomingly".



lividd3ad said:

Well, with it being featured on Game Grumps yesterday, it should get the remaining $9,000 it needs in order to fulfill all the bonuses we've been promised. I'm really looking forward to this game!



ueI said:

While 8 bits is too few for my tastes, I very much like games to be how I "remember classic games feeling, not how they actually felt!"

I see that they're doing very well, and I'm glad. Although I did not back the project, I am interested in the game and would like to see them do a great job with it.



lividd3ad said:

Well, 7 hours later, and it's already smashed all those bonuses! I have seriously high hopes for this game. It's gotten a lot of recognition.

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