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Recent Articles: Shovel Knight
In a new update to their Kickstarter backers, Yacht Club Games has revealed that Shovel Knight will be released for the PS3, PS4, and Vita in early 2015:
Maybe you haven’t heard the exciting news, but Shovel Knight is branching out on to other platforms for adventure. Early next year, Shovel Knight will make his debut on Playstation platforms: PS3, PS4, and PSVita! Along with this extremely exciting development in the legend of Shovel Knight, a guest character that you are all familiar with will be meeting our stalwart, blue knight: Kratos from the God of War series!
Yes, that’s right. Steel will strike against steel as Shovel Knight’s Shovel Blade challenges Kratos’ Blades of Chaos in a battle for the ages. The team is also hard at work on the Plague Knight campaign, which will be available to all owners of the game as a free downloadable update:
The pedal is to the proverbial metal on Plague Knight! We are working full time on update content (Plague Knight, Body Swap Mode, and Battle Mode!), and it’s shaping up to be amazing. The Plague Knight campaign will be the first content released, and it’s feeling like a whole new adventure already! A new relic system! New characters and bosses! Remixed content! On that subject, we’re going to share a little detail. Mona, who runs the potion minigame in the village, will have a vastly expanded role…
There’s no ETA on when the Plague Knight campaign will be released, but you can head over to Kickstarter for a peek at a few design sketches featuring Mona.
Shovel Knight was one of this year’s best surprises and now the world’s weirdest knight is making the move to PlayStation platforms. At the PlayStation Experience today, Yacht Club Games announced that Shovel Knight will be released for the PS3, PS4, and Vita sometime in 2015.
With new platforms comes new features and the retro-inspired side-scrolling game will receive a variety of platform-specific features including back touchscreen implementation, Twitch TV integration, cross-save, and more. But all three PlayStation versions of the game will be home to Kratos, the God of War. Before he takes his new-generation bow in the just-announced God of War 4, Kratos will battle Shovel Knight as either the boss of his own castle or as one of the game’s Wandering Knights.
So… Shovel Knight on PlayStation platforms, can you dig it?
The inaugural Game Awards was held last night in Las Vegas. In between all the major announcements for future releases, Geoff Keighley and crew managed to hand out awards in 16 categories honoring 11 of 2014’s best games.
BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition took home “Game of the Year” honors as well as “Best Role Playing Game.” Three other games took home two awards including Mario Kart 8 (“Best Family Game” and “Best Sports/Racing Game”), Valiant Hearts: The Great War (“Best Narrative” and “Games For Change”), and Destiny (“Best Score/Soundtrack” and “Best Online Experience”).
In addition to Mario Kart 8’s two wins, Nintendo also collected the “Developer of the Year” award and “Best Fighting Game” for Super Smash Bros. For Wii U. The consolemaker’s four wins were matched by Ubisoft who matched Valiant Hearts’ two awards with wins in “Best Shooter” (Far Cry 4) and “Best Performance” (Trey Parker as Various Voices in South Park: The Stick of Truth).
Other winners include Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (“Best Action/Adventure”), Shovel Knight (“Best Independent Game”), Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (“Best Mobile/Handheld”), and Grand Theft Auto V (“Best Remaster”).
The full list of winners in a handy list format (including all the viewer-voted categories) can be found after the break. (more…)
Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.
Why do developers still love to make 2D games? In this installment, USgamer’s Tyler Ohlew examines the relationship between developers and the two-dimensional worlds they create (often by hand). Speaking to developers behind modern 2D classics such as Shovel Knight, Guacamelee!, and SteamWorld Dig, he discovered that this relationship actually comes down to a love of the style and a universality that goes beyond simple nostalgia.
3D development is easier than ever now, with tools like Unity and Unreal Engine 4 available for very little cost or even free. So, in a landscape dominated by these 3D games, what compels a developer to look back and continue the work that was forced to take a back seat? Why does any developer work in 2D anymore?
You can read the rest of the article at USgamer.
When Yacht Club Games created their Kickstarter campaign for Shovel Knight last Spring, they didn’t just set out to create a retro-styled platformer. They also wanted to make the development process more transparent by regularly releasing budget figures and sales numbers.
To that end, the team revealed that their initial budget for Shovel Knight was $1.44 million. So what’s a developer to do when their Kickstarter campaign only brings in $328,000? In Yacht Club’s case, they deferred the salary of their outside composer, split off the Stretch Goals into post-release content, and forgoed paychecks for the last five months of development.
“It was a difficult period, where some of us were awkwardly standing in front of cashiers having our credit cards declined, drawing from any possible savings, and borrowing money from our friends and family,” a Yacht Club team member said.
But it appears to have paid off as the team sold more than 180,000 copies of Shovel Knight during the game’s first month of availability. Amazingly, it’s selling at exactly the same pace on each platform as the 3DS, PC, and Wii U versions all account for about a third of the sales.
With a success on their hands, Yacht Club is ready to embark on creating those promised Stretch Goals. If you’d like to read more about Shovel Knight’s wild ride from Kickstarter darling to beloved game, head over to Yacht Club’s website.
Even though we’re in the middle of a second golden age of side-scrolling platformers, very few of them attempt to recreate what was so great about the graphical look of games in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Most of them (Mega Man 9 and 10, Contra ReBirth, Gradius ReBirth) just serve as distant sequels to some NES favorites. So it’s amazing that something like Shovel Knight, a wholly original game from Yacht Club Games, was able to perfectly capture the mood of late 80s game design. It feels more like a lost cartridge rediscovered in the modern day as opposed to a modern game created with modern gamers in mind. Yacht Club’s Sean Velasco told us last year that the company’s goal is to create “really awesome retro/modern fusion games.” I’m glad they got the chance and I’m not sure I’d want it any other way. (more…)
Just like The Legend of Zelda‘s Second Quest, Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight includes a series of secret codes that activate special conditions when they’re entered as your name at the New Game screen. So far, the developers have revealed four official codes, including perhaps the greatest code to ever grace any game ever: Butt Mode.
If you use “X&BUTT” as your name, several common words in the dialogue (Shovel, Knight, Health, Magic, and others) will be replaced by the word “butt.” So, for example, Shovel Knight becomes “Butt Butt.” Well played, Yacht Club. Other officially released codes include “J&2JMP!” (Super Jump), “J&!JSMP” (Moon Jump), and “IM&SGC14″ (Iron Man of Gaming Mode, a timed version of Mole Knight’s stage created for the Iron Man of Gaming event).
But the developers also created the “Gimme the Dirt” tier for their Kickstarter campaign, so there are a lot more cheat codes out there. More than 300 backers pledged enough to receive an “exclusive” code and the Internet, naturally, is trying to brute force their way into figuring out what all of them do. A Google Doc has been created to compile every working code and a few of my favorites include:
- “ENTSSYSQ” – New Game+
- “QMPGLCRA” – Enemies Are 8 Times Stronger
- “KYRNMAPC” – Sudden Death Boss Battles
- “FCCKJOIQ” – Pogo Bounce (AKA DuckTales Mode)
Go on, try a few out yourself. With hundreds of combinations, Shovel Knight will have enough staying power to last you all Summer.
The time to dispense shovel justice is upon us. Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight is now available to download through the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U and 3DS. The ridiculously retro side-scroller has been available to Kickstarter backers since yesterday, but now everyone will get the chance to slam a shovel down upon the group of evildoers known as The Order of No Quarter.
While Yacht Club strived to make Shovel Knight as authentically 8-bit as possible, an actual 8-bit game is available to download this week via the Virtual Console. 3DS and Wii U owners are now able to purchase Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, one of the franchise’s best games.
If you’re looking for something a little newer, Nintendo also released the final two games in the Wii Sports Club collection: Baseball and Boxing. All five games can be downloaded individually from the eShop, or you can wait until July 25 to purchase the retail compilation.
More information on all of these titles (as well as many more) can be found after the break. (more…)