Yacht Club Games

Category: Design

Creating a Shovel Knight Character Sprite

A lot of thought goes into creating all of the characters you interact with during the course of a Shovel Knight adventure! You may have asked yourself: How does Yacht Club decide on a character design? Do they sketch out ideas first or go right to making sprites? Why are there so many horse people?

Some questions don’t have easy answers, but today we can at least shine some light on our process of creating and animating an NPC (non-player character ) for Shovel Knight: King of Cards⁠—The Hengineer.

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King Knight’s Mobility

Howdy athletic aficionados! Creating King Knight’s mobility set was one of the most scrapped and reworked designs we’ve ever done! He went through a lot of stages to get to his glorious landing, and we thought it’d be fun to discuss his royal journey- similar to how we did with Plague Knight and Specter Knight! Be sure to check out those past articles, as there are lots of tiny decisions we won’t be discussing that might be covered in our previous writing.

 

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Specter of Torment Level Design Deep Dive (5/5)

We’ve gone over our level design process from macro to micro – but what’s the final process to make a level feel polished and frictionless?  Well, it’s not just one thing, sometimes it feels like a thousand tiny things constantly buzzing around in our brains! But polishing levels isn’t done by “feel”, it’s done by establishing and adhering to a set of guidelines. Each level is once more analyzed as each element is adjusted into place using our Secret Techniques!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should provide some insight into the more nuanced areas of our polish process.

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Specter of Torment Level Design Deep Dive (4/5)

Finalizing a level requires that it be considered in every way. To make sure that we didn’t forget anything, we’ll take “passes” at the whole level, and then the whole game, with a specific element in mind. Pickups like Health, Gems, Darkness, and Red Skulls all got thorough passes to make sure they were balanced, but there are some less obvious considerations too!

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Specter of Torment Level Design Deep Dive (3/5)

Once a level’s rooms are all in place, the game really starts coming together. Perhaps the level is playable from start to finish, and maybe it’s fun too! But we’re not done yet. It’s at this point that the team really starts scrutinizing the level as an organic unit, then revisit everything one sequence at a time as we block in more final placements and smooth out rough parts. The result should be a ‘done’ level where only final touches remain! For Specter of Torment, that process took about 4 intensive months.

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