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Recent Articles: Shovel Knight
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…)
Shovel Knight will be released for the 3DS, PC, and Wii U on June 26. Hey… that’s this Thursday!
In honor of this momentous occasion, Yacht Club Games has released a brand spanking new launch trailer for the game. The trailer gives us a good look at the game’s NES-style platforming action as well as a pretty great background track.
Once again, Shovel Knight will be available on June 26. My digging implement is ready.
I’ve been digging things up all Spring to prepare myself, and now, Yacht Club Games has announced that Shovel Knight has passed certification and is finally ready for release. Their retro-styled platformer will be released as a digital download for the PC (via Steam), Wii U, and 3DS on June 26.
In anticipation of Shovel Knight’s pending release, Yacht Club has revealed the game’s official box art and given everyone a sneak peek at the NES-inspired instruction manual via their official website. In the coming weeks, some of the game’s Kickstarter backers will receive physical copies of both.
And if you’re attending next week’s E3 Expo, you might run into members of the Yacht Club team on the show floor. And if you ask nicely, they’ll hand you a 3DS with Shovel Knight on it.
There’s no joy in Shovelville, for Yacht Club Games has delayed Shovel Knight. Originally scheduled to be released on March 31, the developer has confirmed (via Kickstarter) that a slight delay has befallen the game. Don’t worry, it’s just a few weeks:
So, we hemmed and hawed, and made a Super Important Executive Decision. This update is to let everyone know that Shovel Knight will be missing March 31 by a few weeks to make sure it’s a world class experience, and can release on all platforms simultaneously. This isn’t a major delay, or a long one; it’s simply a stretch of time to get everything polished and aligned. While major development is quickly drawing to a close, there are still some external factors, like submission preparation, which need a little bit more breathing room before the game goes live.
In order to ensure a simultaneous release on the 3DS, Wii U, and PC, Yacht Club has decided to hold off on a new release date announcement until once they get a certification go-ahead from both Nintendo and Valve.