Yacht Club Games

Category: Design

Specter Knight Mobility Design

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.

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Designing Body Swap

Shovel Knight is a game which draws on what we loved about designs from the 80s. But some of those 80s concepts can be a bit outmoded today, especially in regards to gender. After making some missteps with previous projects, we wanted to make sure that Shovel Knight was more inclusive and not so regressive. That’s one of the reasons we worked to make Shield Knight’s character an equal partner to Shovel Knight, someone he fights alongside at the end, instead of just a ‘damsel in distress’.

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Plague of Shadows: Crafting Perfect Mechanics

Gather around, fellow scientists! Let’s talk about Plague of Shadows, the free update to Shovel Knight where you play as Plague Knight on his own adventure! Making games can be a winding road and we wanted to talk about where our travels have taken us while we put together the latest campaign. If you haven’t yet read about the mobility changes that went into Plague Knight, be sure to check out our previous articles.

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Plague Knight Mobility Tips and Tricks

We talked last time about creating character mobility that featured a learning curve for the player. Now that we have the basics established, we can show you some tips and tricks to master the mobility to get the most out of it.

During development, the basics being fleshed out allowed for us to design and implement more polish and tighter control. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out part 1 to learn about the Plague Knight character’s core move set, or read the instruction manual to know more about Plague Knight’s campaign.

One thing to remember – these tricks are not required to beat the game! We designed the basic mobility so it was entirely enough to get you through the game without all the bells and whistles. But isn’t mastering mobility fun?

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