From the outset of development on Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment we had a couple of concrete goals and ideas. We wanted to go bigger and better than our previous effort, Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, and make Specter’s campaign even more unique and varied. We wanted to tell a more serious story with some creepier overtones. Most of all, we wanted to center the game around a truly cool character. Specter Knight was always supposed to be a “tragic but awesome” kind of guy, and we wanted to drive the point home every way we could. When crafting Specter Knight’s mobility, embodying these themes was most important.
Impressions from Plague of Shadows itself was also a huge influence on Specter of Torment! Reception to the alchemist’s maniacal moves… well, they certainly got a reaction! Some people hated how Plague Knight flew all over the place (usually into a pit!), while many warmed up to the explosive trickster after some practice. At Yacht Club, we love the subtlety and possibilities found in Plague Knight’s crazy mobility set, but we saw a lot of frustration too. For Specter Knight, we resolved to create more streamlined and intuitive controls with a lower execution barrier- a playstyle that was in between steadfast Shovel Knight and frantic Plague Knight.