Undoubtedly one of the finest retro-flavoured 2D platformers of recent years (and there has been a lot of them), Shovel Knight has appeared on most platforms and quickly risen through the ranks, from his humble beginnings in Yacht Club Games' Kickstarter which led to his hugely successful debut (and its myriad expansions) and onwards to myriad cameos in games as diverse as Yooka-Laylee, Blaster Master Zero and Runner3. He's an amiibo, of course, and his appearance as an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate arguably cemented his legend in the video game canon. With all this success, there's been much speculation as to what's next for the hero. A 16-bit style adventure? 3D, even?
Well, it seems that Yacht Club has already got the latter covered, from a certain perspective at least. A new video from Boundary Break sheds some light on the 3D engine used by the developers to create the resolutely 2D Shovel Knight.
As you can see in the video above, the player's view of the world is in fact an orthographic projection that makes the 3D world appear 2D. That's not to say the sprites or background objects are 3D models, but they are arranged in 3D space. Boundary Break talks with programmer David D'Angelo about the system and the reason for its use, and he states that it helps with debugging, in particular.
It's a fascinating look at the game, very literally offering a new perspective on the 2D classic. No doubt having all those layers separated helped a lot while making the stereoscopic 3DS version, too. It's a fascinating video and it's well worth watching the whole thing when you get the chance.
"Yeah, but it's not REALLY 3D, is it!" Ah, well many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. What would you like to see the intrepid Knight do next? A classic style 3D platformer, perhaps? Let us know below.