We are a team comprised of talent who have worked on titles such as Contra 4, A Boy and His Blob, Thor: God of Thunder, Mighty Milky Way, BloodRayne Betrayal, Double Dragon Neon, and many more! We’ve created a successful Kickstarter campaign for our game - an action adventure with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic - Shovel Knight! It has raised 150k so far, over twice our initial goal! We have 4 days left on our Kickstarter, and we’re still hoping to hit all of our stretch goals:


Here’s proof: http://www.shovelknight.com/kickstarter/9/YCG_Reddit_AMA.gif

We are still trying to get through Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=132072322

You can also contribute through Paypal: http://yachtclubgames.com/shovel-knight-paypal/

Follow us on our Twitter and Facebook page: https://twitter.com/YachtClubGames http://www.facebook.com/YachtClubGames

Ask us anything...who our high school sweethearts were, tales from the game dev world, what our first trip to PAX as exhibitors was like, should you add oregano to your secret pasta sauce, what is it like to start a company...anything!!!

Here's the team:
* Sean Velasco - SeanyfaceYCG
* Ian Flood - ianYCG
* Erin Pellon - ERINycg
* Nick Wozniak - nickwoz
* David D'Angelo - davidycg
* Jake Kaufman - virtjk

EDIT: Alright, it's getting late here so we're going to call it. Thank you everyone for being our Reddit ambassadors.

Comments: 447 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

beltmatt_usa29 karma

Will we see a Super Shovel Knight, or Shovel Knight 64?

SeanyfaceYCG33 karma

16-bit graphics and mode 7 sounds sweet, and we really really really want to make a 3D platformer. So... maybe! I wanna long-shovel jump up to a ledge, then shovel-kick up to a new platform. and how would boss battles work? exciting!

Sea_Of_Reposts12 karma

Please make shovel knight 64 more than 64 bit. I get that some people think it's retro but it just hasn't aged well as nes/snes titles.

SeanyfaceYCG18 karma

Yeah, if we did it we would probably smooth it out. Have nice round shapes more like a Wind Waker aesthetic. But would we keep bill-boarded trees? Decisions...

phoneau18 karma

So I've been pledged to your Kickstarter since right around the time it started, and I was so excited to hear about Manami Matsumae coming on board for Shovel Knight to write some of the songs. How did you all manage to get her on board? I know she is contributing a pair of songs to the game, so does that mean all the rest of the music/SFX are going to be done by Jake Kaufman?

I guess you can tell I love video game music. Jake, if you read this one, I listen to the Mighty Switch Force soundtrack constantly. Great work on that one.

davidycg18 karma

It's crazy right?! The folks over at Koopa Soundworks are who landed us Manami.
http://koopa.tv/manami-matsumae-is-working-on-shovel-knight/ They had worked with her previously, and they contacted us saying they really loved our game and said they'd try to get her involved. We couldn't be more honored to have her aboard. Yes, Jake will be doing the rest of the music and SFX. Hopefully, Jake will be on in a bit to reply to your comments. But I'm with you, that soundtrack is incredible!

Theinternationalist10 karma

How'd you convince her anyway? This is her first western game, so I'm wondering what her thoughts on this is.

nickwoz14 karma

She came to us!!! It was crazy, we got an email from the guys over at koopa soundworks ( koopa.tv ) asking if instead of money support, if they could just put us in touch with the legendary composer of the first Mega Man game! We immediately took him up on his offer! She's very excited about working with us and Virt to make this soundtrack really fun!

Theinternationalist6 karma

That's awesome :D! Will any of you be talking to her face to face?

For that matter, are you guys in the same city or are you all dispersed?

nickwoz11 karma

We might! I think if anyone has the best chance to work with her face-to-face it would be Virt when he's hashing out the music with her. And, to answer your other question, 4 of us are in the same room while 1 other guy is over in Chicago, but he's always on a google hangout when he's working with us.

virtjk18 karma

SUP!!!! Jake here. Today's a workday at WayForward but I usually work more of a night shift over there, so it should be okay if I chat with you guys, long as I put in my 12 hours later on. :) Though if anything urgent comes up I might have to duck out! (......pun maybe intended)

Yep, getting Matsumae-san on board was a gigantically insane bonus for the project; I already would have given it everything I have, because I love doing crazy stuff with this team.. but having her contribute (and even collaborate!) is a dream come true. I'm gonna beg so hard to do a "duet" track with her where we take turns doing leads/chords. Total fanboy gratification.

I don't know if you know, but Mighty Switch Force 2 has been announced, and hopefully it will come out soon! (nobody tells me about release dates because I'm just the piano player).. This time I had a professional do the mastering, so it sounds like a totally legit electro house album, but still with the gamey discoey stuff. So excited!

phoneau4 karma

Thanks for popping into this thread. I gotta say, when I heard you were attached to the Ducktales remaster, the first thing I thought was "man, that bitchin' moon level music is going to be remixed by Virt!" Really looking forward to both that game and Mighty Switch Force 2, not just because of you but because of the whole awesome team at WayForward.

(As a side note, your response to this video was what led me to finding out who was responsible for all that awesome music in MSF. From there, I spiraled into WayForward fandom and now I just want to get a copy of Shantae for GBC.)

Thanks again!

virtjk17 karma

Word. Yeah, that Moon theme will be my undoing. There's so much pressure (some externally but mostly in my head) to do it perfectly, and I rarely assess my own work as even remotely competent, let alone perfect. I'm on my third rework now, I really just hope as few people as possible are actively pissed at me / send death threats / etc..

But between WF, YCG, and my various indie collaborators, I'm incredibly lucky have so many talented people to work with. It's taken over a decade (and moving literally across the country) to get there, but every day, every new level or piece of artwork I see is thrilling, just makes me want to work harder to do them (shovel) justice.

spaceographer15 karma

Nintendo has been talking about being more indy-friendly. Have their changes been helpful to your company? I'd really love for them to make a positive difference for independent studios.

Okay, I'm loving the way your game looks and I'm really anticipating it. Somewhat random, but I gotta ask: how many effing times did it take for you to beat the Grim Reaper in Castlevania? Will you have any bosses that difficult in the final version of Shovel Knight?

SeanyfaceYCG23 karma

Nintendo's changes have made it possible for us to develop for them; namely they relaxed rules on who can get dev kits, and changed how their eShop works. Both are much more indie-friendly now, and they have also been also gracious enough to answer all of our questions.

As for the Grim Reaper, just use III cross boomerang! Hopefully we will have bosses that are tough, but not just kinda BS like the Grim Reaper.

MyOnlyAlias16 karma

You can use the holy water to stun lock the Grim Reaper. Then he's a pushover.

ianYCG21 karma

"Stun lock the Grim Reaper" is now my favorite take away term from this AMA.

wrist_of_fury15 karma

Which game is better, Mega Man 2 or Mega Man 3? Please provide a passionate defense of your answer.

SeanyfaceYCG24 karma

Mega Man 2 is better. The level setups were much stronger ( Quick Man beams, Crash Man ladders, Air Man platforms are better than Gemini Man shootable blocks, Hard Man ground traps, and magnet man block puzzles. The Doc robots are a snooze compared to a DRAGON in MM2. Lastly, MM2 is a big step up from Mega Man 1 both techwise and designwise, and Mega Man 3 doesn't make the same leap. I love both, but i REALLY love Mega Man 2.

davidycg15 karma

To see how much Sean loves Mega Man 2, watch this ultimate heat man block jumping: http://www.twitch.tv/yachtclubgames/c/2110902

robbalvey14 karma

What was your biggest challenge breaking away and becoming an independent studio?

nickwoz21 karma

Taking the leap! Before the kickstarter had funded it was like we had jumped out of an airplane without knowing whether or not the backpack we had on was full of a parachute or a bunch of kitchen utensils. Now that we are funded it's going pretty ok, but it got pretty intense there for a while!

virtjk14 karma

Woo, hey Robb! As you may or may not know, I'm still doing audio at WF fulltime, and I was pretty worried that they'd see my contribution to YCG as a conflict of interest.

But I was open about my intentions from the start, and as it turns out, WF trusts my loyalty and judgment. So I feel much better about pitching in, AND I love my day job even more. This has been one of the more prudently handled "going indie" moments I've witnessed, on all sides.

destinyhero13 karma

Will Shovel Knight be the mascot for Yacht Club Games?

nickwoz11 karma

Right now the snooty boat on our logo is our loose mascot but maybe Shovel Knight will become the mascot...or maybe one of the other knights we haven't revealed yet will be our mascot....???!!!

wrist_of_fury12 karma

Will Shovel Knight have a strong story component or no? If so, is it going to be told through encounters with friendly NPCs? text boxes? cutscenes? just atmostphere and music?

nickwoz13 karma

The story in shovel Knight will be strong but limited. One of the things we want to avoid is bogging down gameplay with too much talking but you can expect a line or two (in text box form) from each boss that helps describe their personalities a bit and why they stand against Shovel Knight. We have plans for another segment to tell our story with, but that will be done through gameplay. Hopefully, the gameplay is the real star of the show here!!

hishoax12 karma

Is there a particular console you prefer developing for, one you particularly dislike developing on?

ianYCG11 karma

I tend to lean towards portable consoles the most. It might be because a good portion of my childhood gaming was on various kinds of Gameboys but there's also a lot more control when developing for exactly (or almost) the same hardware that every player is going to experience. Same tactile feel, screen size, and all. Nintendo platforms like the 3DS are also a lot of fun as they usually have a lot of extra Nintendo-y features that you have to approach differently. Setting up stereoscopic 3D is essentially free (although tuning it is not, heh) and I'm still pleasantly surprised to flip on the 3D switch after working on one particular feature for way too long.

rub3s8 karma

Wait. Will Shovel Knight be in 3D on the 3DS?!
I just assumed it would be 2D.

ianYCG18 karma

Shovel Knight 3DS will be 2D. Pixels and all!

However, we are absolutely planning to support stereoscopic 3D depth for the tile layers. I want to see parallax NES layers in 3D! Similar to NES 3D Classics, etc.

MyOnlyAlias11 karma

What will the bottom screen do on the 3DS version of the game?

SeanyfaceYCG19 karma

We aren't sure yet! We are currently looking into how to use the bottom screen, but we don't just want it to be a map or art down there. It also shouldn't be something that affects the main game too much, since we want the experience to be similar across all platforms.

rub3s10 karma

It could be a screen of detailed stats.

nickwoz29 karma

Yeah maybe we could keep track of all the dirt blocks you destroy in terms of raw tonnage. lol I like the idea of stats but since shvoel knight is more a game about the placement of enemies, those stats would have to be funny and off the wall:

  • current dirt levels: nominal (64%)
  • shovel sharpness: critical (13%)
  • Index of similitude: even
  • Elevation: 300 ft. abl
  • wipers status: active
  • horns status: shiny
  • dirt (in raw tonnage): 6.2

lol these are fun...

DarkLordSchnappi10 karma

Will Shovel Knight have any companions like Dr. Light, Roll, and Rush from the Megaman series or will he be more of a loner character like Simon Belmont?

nickwoz15 karma

Right now Shovel Knight takes on his quest alone, but who knows, 3 months from now we may get an idea for a character to aid him that either really makes the atmosphere better or just makes us laugh really hard. What started as a joke in Double Dragon, became the serious companion character known as FuzzFace.

[deleted]10 karma

Between the team, how many fedoras do you collectively own?

SeanyfaceYCG15 karma

Only one, and it's from a thrift store! However, we have a top hat, mario and luigi hat, horse mask, mega man helmet, golf hat, and several beanies.

shadowobsessed9 karma

How many pieces have you received for the art contest, and are you impressed with the results so far?

SeanyfaceYCG12 karma

Our inbox is full of art of all types, and we are laughing with glee at some of the entries. It's amazing! We have more than 25 pieces so far

Pagic8 karma

Pledged to the project! It's probably too early in development to have any concrete plans, but do you have any interesting ideas for the two screens in the 3DS and Wii U versions? A nice go-to for Wii U is an Off-TV Play feature, but I was wondering if you had any ideas for the consoles' other features, like Miiverse or StreetPass.

nickwoz13 karma

Right now we have lots of very interesting ideas but nothing really concrete. But Off-TV play is something we are really hoping to do.

Pagic5 karma

Thank you for your answer! I look forward to playing the game. I loved A Boy And His Blob, so I have great faith in you guys.

nickwoz10 karma

Thanks! I did some animation for that but Sean was the director! You should gush praise at him over the hug button lol.

moncrey8 karma

Hi Yacht Club! The game looks awesome and 8-bit kids like me are undoubtely going to be drawn to it. But it seems that music is a very important aspect to you. You've enlisted two of my favorite 8-bit composers! How did you decide on going for the best composers?

virtjk8 karma

Thanks! They inherited me, since Sean and Flood and Woz and D'Angelo were my favorite group to work with at WayForward, and I basically assured them that I'd help out with anything they do, anywhere they go, even if I was still at WF fulltime.

Matsumae-san was a complete stroke of good luck though; the team was approached with an offer of collaboration by the guy in charge at Koopa Soundworks, who is trying to get (much deserved) renewed Western exposure for the artists he represents. Sean actually checked with me first to make sure having another musician onboard wasn't going to step on my toes or anything, which of course it wouldn't -- I am a gigantic fanboy, and love to collaborate with great musicians, whether legendary or up-and-coming.

(For that matter, I hope our programmer David D'Angelo will jump in on some stuff too, he's a highly trained musician! Sean also sings! We should leverage people's multiple talents!)

wrist_of_fury7 karma

How do you guys feel about getting on Game Grumps?

nickwoz15 karma

We just watched the video and it was soooo good. jontron really seemed to like the gryphon and the rats a lot lol!

snowleave2 karma

What about two best friends?

davidycg8 karma

That was also incredible! We all laughed so so hard at it. Really good stuff!

Singed_Bot6 karma

Will Dig Dug appear as a cave painting or part of Shovel Knight's heraldry?

On a more serious note, what prompted you to leave Wayforward?

nickwoz8 karma

haha maybe! And on leaving WF; we wanted to really get out there and make our own thing completely of ourselves devoid of any 3rd party involvement. WF is great, but tends to do a lot of licensed titles so the only option we saw was to break free! The industry right now is very accommodating of that mindset with things like kickstarter, steam, and even big consoles becoming more indie friendly. We don't want to look back at this environment 10 years from now and just see the missed opportunity.

echopeus6 karma

I'm a color engineer (or so i've been called at work)

wondering on the color pallet, are their specific colors you guys went for? is there a pallet that was used for the game?

nickwoz12 karma

Well we stayed true to original NES palette as much as possible. It's about 98% the same with 1 or 2 modifications but those are very slight and hardly noticeable. The color palette really helps the game feel NES without having to be beholden to the restrictions of the NES hardware.

Sea_Of_Reposts6 karma

I'm an aspiring game developer and a backer for the project. I've never really had the chance to ask this question to a real game dev before. What is different about making a game for consoles and for PC? Is any one of them easier?

davidycg5 karma

The differences depend heavily on the platform. I wouldn't say one is easier than the other. Both come with unique sets of challenges. PCs, while easy to develop for, come with the added challenge of having to make sure the game works with every kind of video card, monitor, sound card, operation system, etc. Consoles have the benefit of not having so many variables, but come with specific oddities you have to deal with (for example, 2 screens on the 3ds and WiiU). The easiest thing to do is to pick 1 platform and go with it. Focusing all your energies on one platform, whether it be PC, a console, or portable, makes development much less complicated, and easier for every member of the team to grasp.

courtneycourts6 karma

I really like The Enchantress' design. I have a question that goes along with something that was mentioned earlier regarding over-sexualized female characters. Why is it that in video games female main characters are either super busty and sexualized, ("slutty" or "skanky" even) child-like/chibi style, butch tomboys that are basically male characters? And if they don't fall into those categories, they are pretty much useless. I realize I am generalizing things, but I am hoping this trend will change.

What goes into making a female character at YCG? Do you have plans for more girl characters in Shovel Knight and future projects?

ERINycg3 karma

Females show up in many games with different roles and attributes for various purposes; I wish that sometimes their visuals would better match their roles. As for their designs specifically ... I'm not always sure what brings some designers to their conclusions. But! Many character designs are not solely one's own interpretation, rather a project that is passed through many hands, with artistic intent or not, and with different minds, ideas, and revisions. In an industry like this, you can imagine where that leads... For this awesome gender swap stretch goal, I'm hoping to add a new level of elegance and streamlined design for the new looks from their counterparts! i am excite!

Bhurak_nar_Caxki6 karma

Compared to the art seen in some of your previous games listed above - the female character (enchantress) is drawn in a significantly less sexualized manner. Is this simply the function of the game or an intentional choice/change?

ERINycg12 karma

There are pangs of guilt about overly-sexy girls in the games we have worked on in the past at YCG. We didn't want to be necessarily exploitative in her design; we want the Enchantress to stand tall as a badass, just as any of the knights are! Her design is understated; it's just as much about what you do see versus what you don't, it's hard enough being the Enchantress when you're shopping for groceries! I do imagine her dress is rather flashy/neon pink and gravity-defying when her powers get going.

virtjk10 karma

As YCG's resident queerbo / feminist / trans* ally / Semitic guilt-giver, I am wholly impressed by my friends' good taste so far, and will be dishing out disapproving glares if Gender Swap mode does stuff like "Boob Armor". Though I'm just the sound guy so they could just ignore me like everyone else does. (See? Just a taste of the impending guilt)

SeanyfaceYCG7 karma

We definitely thought about families playing Shovel Knight, the way we played games with our parents.

wrist_of_fury5 karma

Are there specific levels, enemies, or scenarios from Mega Man, Castlevania, or other games that you want to pay homage to, or is it more about the feel?

nickwoz16 karma

It's definitely more about the feel. We are trying hard to make sure that Shovel Knight isn't a parody game so you likely won't see anyone say "I am error" or "it's dangerous to go alone, take this". Parody games are fine if they really embrace it (retro city rampage is a good exmple), but instead of riffing off the nostalgia of other games, Shovel Knight is trying to create its own nostalgia. We want the game to feel like you could have played this as a kid eating cereal before school started. Shovel Knight is going to be a complete concept with its own identity and unique, yet familiar feel.

nincomshit6 karma

That's what makes this game so awesome, at least in my opinion.

nickwoz3 karma

Ours too!

OnixKnight5 karma

How many difficulty options will be available in Shovel Knight?

nickwoz10 karma

We want to make Shovel Knight feel as pure as possible and to that end we are hoping to not have difficulty options. However, new game + is guaranteed thanks to our stretch goals and that may hold an extra challenge for the player.

nincomshit5 karma

Is dirt permanent?

nickwoz13 karma

ONLY dirt is permanent...

nincomshit5 karma

This image was posted to r/gaming the other day. Did you guys get a chance to see it?


Full thread here: http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/1bw707/lets_finish_this/

ERINycg4 karma

This is amazing! Tears all around! We hope to do the industry right, thank you so much for your support T___T/

Sea_Of_Reposts5 karma

I've been wondering... Shovel knight seems to draw from a lot of retro nes game like megaman, zelda II, and castlevania. Is it possible we'll see some references to those games, easter eggs, extra levels, or anything of the sort harkening back to the good ol' golden age?

nickwoz6 karma

well, we've talked a lot about making sure that Shovel knight doesn't feel like a parody game. While a game like that can succeed (Retro City Rampage is a good example), we want Shovel Knight to feel like it's own unique yet familiar experience. The nostalgia you feel will be nostalgia for the era and feel more than a specific moment in castlelvania or something.

swapmeet855 karma

What's your decision-making process like?

nickwoz7 karma

Usually starts with idea for a gameplay object that is needed: " we need an enemy that is slow moving, aerial, and comes in swarms. We need an enemy that the player has to think about for a long time before actually dealing with; an impending doom type enemy". Then we'll usually figure out what that thing is, and this is where the fun comes in! "what should it look like?" "IDK, dude, a flying rat?" lols all around, and then erin says "look i drew it" and then Sean makes the art and Ian puts it in game.

It doesn't always happen exactly like that, but we try to approach things seriously when it comes to gameplay and light-heartedly when it comes to tone!

drewmg5 karma

Any idea which will come out first - 3DS or Wii U? Also, any idea how delayed these releases will be past the PC release?

nickwoz10 karma

The PC is our main platform and from there we will be branching to the others. As far as which one comes first? We haven't really decided, and as far as how long you'll have to wait, hopefully not very long at all! We are really only in the first 10% of the production of this game so it's hard to give any specifics but I can say that we as a team already have experience shipping titles on both of those platforms which will help to mitigate the delay considerably!

swapmeet854 karma

It seems like a lot of game developers are men. What are the women in your lives like? (This is not assuming heteronormative replies... wondering about mothers, friends, colleagues, OR significant others!)

ERINycg4 karma

Most of my female friends are not in game development, but that goes for male friends too. That said, women ARE in the industry (see: Manami Matsumae!) and I do have several girlfriends working at all parts of the production! The more the merrier in any case, I definitely invite more to join the fray! For the women in my own life? Well, I've always been a tomboy because of my mom (and dad), and my sister has always been my co-pilot for video games. I've always expected a good match out of her as with anyone on MarioKart B)

Bhurak_nar_Caxki4 karma

In the Kickstarter video the music starts with an orchestrated sound and shifts to the "8-bit" soundtrack. Do you envision the final game having that kind of license to extend what is possible (in graphics, sound, interface, etc.) or will it play more like I just put the cartridge in the NES and turned it on.

virtjk5 karma

I can speak for the sound -- The music in the game itself will be entirely 8-bit in the style of Capcom's NES games, plus some extra unconventional sound channels to thicken it up, similar to the Japanese version of Castlevania 3 (but still compiled into machine code that can be played back on the real console, given the proper expansion chips).

The soundtrack album, however, will additionally include some full-on orchestrations and guitar shredding remixes of the game's music, similar to what you might find at OCRemix or the Dwelling of Duels. I grew up in that sort of fan arrangement community, so "remixing" my own 8-bit compositions (and even those of Matsumae-san) for the soundtrack is a given. Not sure how many or which tracks specifically, but I'll do as much as time allows!

paughthead4 karma

So happy to see Shovel Knight reaching the stretch goals! Will new game + have rearranged levels?

nickwoz5 karma

It's likely that we'll be adjusting difficulty by at least changing enemy placements to create more difficult encounters than the ones you saw the first time through, but the level maps themselves will likely remain the same...maybe with some twists!

AuhsojSivart4 karma

Is the bottom screen on 3DS or the Gamepad on Wii U going to have any special functionality in Shovel Knight?

nickwoz6 karma

Yes, like I mentioned to Pagic, we want to make sure that when we bring Shovel Knight to a new platform, we don't neglect that platform. So you can count on cool ideas for each platform that really take advantage of the hardware they are on. Off-TV play is just the tip of the iceberg!

wrist_of_fury4 karma

Are there any plans to put an old Konami-style "cake level" in? See: Yume Penguin Monogatari, Wai Wai World 2. How about to switch up the feel and have one level be a side-scrolling shooter where Shovel Knight is flinging garden tools while riding his trusty steed?

SeanyfaceYCG9 karma

We have spoken at some length about having him ride the shovel like a snowboard at some point in the game

courtneycourts6 karma

Shovel air guitar. Please.

rub3s2 karma

Yes, when beating one of the bosses, this would be perfect!

nickwoz14 karma

Haha, I might just do a guitar solo animation for him and see if it goes in game!

bagheadinc3 karma

Will money contributed through PayPal count toward the stretch goals?

ianYCG7 karma

It certainly will! We received a lot of feedback from people that couldn't go through Kickstarter but wanted to contribute specifically toward the stretch goals. Although the grand total will lag behind a bit until the Kickstarter has finished.

Maedhros_3 karma

The bosses are more like Megaman than Castlevania, right?

ianYCG6 karma

Initially, yes. However there will be a few that break from that into Castlevania and maybe even some Super C.

destinyhero3 karma

Any particular reason why Shovel Knight is blue?

davidycg8 karma

It's for the same reasons Mega Man is blue! In the NES palette, there are more shades of blue than any other color. And of course because blue is awesome!

SeanyfaceYCG8 karma

Shovel Knight is blue because the NES color palette has more (and better) shades of blue, and we are adhering to NES color palette restrictions!

SeanyfaceYCG3 karma

lol mighty spank force

Sea_Of_Reposts3 karma

It might be a bit early to ask this, but are you going to be sticking to computers and Nintendo consoles? I don't really have a preference of consoles but I think it would be cool to have a new Rareware in town.

SeanyfaceYCG10 karma

And don't you mean it would be cool to have an old Rareware in town :D

ianYCG4 karma

We're interested in all platforms, really. We just want to make sure that we focus when it counts (such as our debut title). The next generation of consoles seems like it might be pretty interesting though.

delectabit3 karma

Two questions. If you hit the stretch goal for gender swap mode, would all of the characters be genderbent, or would it just be Shovel Knight? And also. When you left Wayforward, would you say they were more sad to see you go, or happy and supportive of your future endeavors?

SeanyfaceYCG9 karma

We are thinking that Shovel Knight, the Enchantress, and the Order of No Quarter would be swapped. So, all the main characters basically, but not enemies etc.

As for WayForward, it was a mixed bag when we left. They wished us the best and it was very bittersweet. Hopefully, we can have double the gaming goodness now, and we hope to have a happy (dare I say collaborative?) relationship in the future.

josephhurtgen3 karma

Kickstarter is really freeing people up to do great work these days.

nickwoz2 karma

Yeah we totally agree. we would not have been able to do this without the support of everyone!!!

ttl_anderson3 karma

How do you justify only including a female character once you hit a certain stretch goal? It seems kinda sexist.

nickwoz5 karma

Well, I'm glad you asked that, since it's come up a few times. When we are talking about the gender swap mode, or any stretch goals for that matter, we are talking about things that we really want to add but that aren't free. Developing the gender swap mode is basically creating a parallel universe of new characters and new art. It isn't free to develop new character designs, have new sprites made, animate those sprites and develop a general overhaul of all the character assets. We are all looking forward to that work, but having gender swap mode where it's at on the stretch goal list was carefully considered and placed there by our whole team after considering the resources it would take to undertake such a monumental task!

ERINycg5 karma

Alternative designs for each of the Knights sounds like an amazing idea! The stretch goals are not in a particular order as multiplayer is the largest undertaking and (ultimate victory) for our kickstarter. As with good coffee, gender swap mode requires time and effort for a full-bodied and robust venture. This one is pricey because it's art heavy, but it's my personal favorite. There have been many features we would've left on the cutting room floor without the support of fans, so I'm happy to see this feature appearing at all!

infestedandy2 karma

Which enemy knight would fare the best against Launch Octopus?

SeanyfaceYCG8 karma

We haven't revealed him yet! Also rolling shield

thedude372 karma

Are you looking for composers right now?

virtjk6 karma

Here's some advice for anyone who wants to get into composing for games: Read all you can about the project, including what their sound situation already is. If it looks like they're lacking, don't just unzip and whip your junk out in public, send the team a nice personal email introducing yourself. Carpet-bombing is unlikely to get you any decent work, it's all about making new friends and being passionate.

ghostsquad572 karma

As a Linux user, I would just like to thank all of you at Yacht Club Games for porting this game to Linux. I look forward to playing it and recording gameplay footage.

Is there any particular distro you guys are aiming to support?

nickwoz2 karma

Not really aiming at just one distro. I hope that's good news!

beltmatt_usa2 karma

Who is your favorite Knight? Any chance we will see a Night Knight?

nickwoz7 karma

My favorite knight? Mine isn't revealed yet!..seriously he's super rad but i can't talk about him!!!

Also plague knight is a close second...

ERINycg3 karma

mole knight! shovel knight is v. good too (:

wrist_of_fury2 karma

How do you make the call whether to implement features that the NES couldn't handle? Seems like it could be tricky to maintain the retro feel while adding some things that just look or feel nice. Is there any plan to add some of that old cruddiness, like sprite flickering?

SeanyfaceYCG3 karma

We've gotten into arguments a few times about what makes the game feel authentic! Our general rule has been to "omit things that make the game worse" although that's totally subjective. This meant that sprite flickering, dropping audio channels, and slowdown had to go. It's a total judgement call, though; for some games ( shmups come to mind ), we would probably keep the slowdown.

We knew we wanted to stick closely to the NES palette to give an authentic look, but add parallax layers ( we LOVE parallax ) because we figured people would appreciate it. It's still evolving!

rokkubruce2 karma

So will the game come out on all platforms at the same time? I really want the game on my Wii U, but I'd rather get it ASAP. Aside from that, good job getting me mega hyped, you've made support my first kickstarter.

ianYCG3 karma

Our goal is to release for all initial platforms at around the same time (Holiday 2013). Mac and Linux were only just recently added through stretch goals, so they will be a little longer out. We'll updates everyone if we suspect that schedule might change or if a clearer date comes into view.

Sylverstone142 karma

Glad to hear that you're doing an AMA, guys! I'm your 300th Twitter follower!

I still haven't backed as yet, but I intend to do so.

So my questions are:

  • Can I still get the game through Paypal after the Kickstarter campaign ends?
  • What is the philosophy behind Yacht Club Games?
  • What is your favorite WayForward game?
  • Of course, we can count on Off-TV Play on Wii U but are you guys thinking of a multiplayer experience as well? Maybe something with asymmetric gameplay in mind?
  • Who do you guys consider the best "Mighty" heroine: Alta (Mighty Flip Champs), Luna (Mighty Milky Way) or Patricia Wagon (Mighty Switch Force)?
  • Who'd win in a fight: Shantae or Risky Boots?

SeanyfaceYCG5 karma

  • Yes, but currently the PayPal is only running until the end of April, so act fast!
  • Yacht Club Games exists to blend retro and modern game sensibilities. We are a close-knit group, focused on working as a team.
  • I like BloodRayne:Betrayal the best :P
  • We have 4 player battle mode as a stretch goal! We really want to see it happen. If it doesn't happen for Shovel Knight, we definitely wanna explore more MP in the future. 4 swords style baby!
  • Luna from Mighty Milky Way is the best by far! She's the ideal woman: astronaut, green, and filled with ennui.
  • Shantae always wins! Mostly because her dad Karnov taught her everything she knows

ERINycg4 karma

I'll just pick a couple!:

I'm biased because I designed Luna, BUT Luna and T-Rex are the best duo from the Mighty series! Mostly it's just something about that T-Rex... something about that laser eyeball and robot arms, but I feel Luna's design is also very efficient and right. Their story is very much to my liking as well (:

also gogo Shantae!!

Moncole2 karma

Would you ever make a metroivania sequel?

ianYCG6 karma


nickwoz3 karma

In a heartbeat!

davidycg3 karma

Maybe! We would love to make a metroidvania game whether it's a sequel to Shovel Knight or a new IP. All of us are HUGE Super Metroid fans, and it would be a dream to get a crack at making a game in that style.

snowboard_kid2 karma

This game looks great, definitely not shovel-ware!

I've actually been following your kickstarter since day one (saw it on vg247.com) and Shovel Knight is easily my most anticipated game. If it doesn't come to psn I might have to get a wii u just for this game!

I just wanted to say thanks, I haven't been this excited about a game for years!

nickwoz2 karma

That's amazing to hear!!! I'm glad we could encourage you to branch out to a new platform, the WiiU is great!

dsigns2 karma

I really liked what I saw on the Kickstarter, but I have no interest in getting a 3ds or Wii U. What's it going to take to get a Vita version?

nickwoz2 karma

It's going to take us first supporting the consoles we've announced. We rally do want to be on all platforms, sony included!

delectabit2 karma

Out of curiosity, what made you decide on the name Yacht Club Games for your company?

ERINycg3 karma

Yacht Club Games was a good choice because it's got a touch whimsy in its straightforwardness. This name is less about how we sip fancy martinis on our classy sailboats and more about our desire for classiness in games! Our individual titles in the company (Captain, Shipwright, Artillery) also reflect the trope which helps give our company the right personality.

Fudgement_Day2 karma

I'm a backer and have a question regarding the reward tiers.

At the $15 tier are you choosing Wii U or 3DS as well as getting PC / Mac / Steam key, or are you just picking one of the three options?

If so, have you considered multiple copies of the game to another backing tier? For example at $25 ($10 + $15). I definitely want it on the 3DS but I think it'd be handy to have it on my PC as well and would rather the money go directly to you guys through kickstarter as opposed to it getting lost through fees* from a 3rd party.

*I'm aware kickstarter gets their own cut, so don't bother pointing that out.

ianYCG2 karma

Hiya, thanks for backing!

At $15 you can receive Wii U -or- 3DS -or- PC (your choice as selected through a poll). We will honor multiple copies if need be rather than a specific backing tier. Check this update for more (although note that the Steam price is now lumped in with PC and is $10 -- not $15) http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yachtclubgames/shovel-knight/posts/443058

Bhurak_nar_Caxki2 karma

Golden axe has campfire scenes - and a weird minigame that goes along with it. Is that an inspiration to Shovel Knight campfire scene?

nickwoz2 karma

Kind of, there's something very cool in there that we haven't revealed! You'll just have to seeeeee!!!!

LeiAdeline2 karma

Hey Yacht Club! I have a few questions I've been itching to ask you =3

1) How will the map system work? Are you looking to design a more "map in name only" style one like Mega Man, or will the map be something fully functional like in the Super Mario World or Donkey Kong Country?

2) How will the Gender Swap mode work? Is it going to amount to throwing something stereotypical on the characters (IE putting the characters in dresses and slapping lipstick on them) or will you be doing something a little more interesting?

3) What do you hope to do for the challenge mode? Will you be making new content for it, or will you be reusing stages and rooms in new ways? Are you looking to do something like the New Super Mario Bros. U challenge mode?

I've already backed and I can't wait for the game! =D

ianYCG2 karma

Hello! Thanks for stopping by and thank you for backing us, really.

1) The closest equivalent for the map system is a simpler version of Mario 3. You'll unlock stages in waves. To quote the update "When you beat the first level, two open up. When you beat another level, 3 more levels might open up! As you complete the game, it will eventually funnel you back into a single, final set of levels.". We also want to have some encounters move around the map. Maybe The Black Knight will encounter you and maybe a rare shopkeep will appear!

2) For gender swap, we're hoping to bring all of the knights back to the visual design table and put them under a new lens. Everything else is pretty much going to play the same. Female Shovel Knight doesn't jump higher than Male Shovel Knight, etc

3) We were thinking of Contra 4 when we mentioned the challenges but New Super Mario U fits the bill too. One of the benefits of a tile based game is that we can quickly create new levels for specific gameplay purposes. If there are some areas of the game that can be cut up for Challenges then we might toss a few of those in too.

Jeff1pnt32 karma

How is Shovel Knight able to sit next to a fire without his armor melding onto his skin? (padding?) also was his design inspired by something, or is he a completely original character? Finally, which games are better in your opinion, MegaMan, or MegaMan X?

SeanyfaceYCG2 karma

  • Shovel Knight wears underarmor so he stays at an even temperature
  • Shovel Knight's design was based off of a shovel, mixed with classic knight armor. His breastplate is a shovel, if you look closely!
  • I think that Mega Man X is a better game than Mega Man, because of its attention to detail, huge explorable levels, and brilliant game design / control. But man, it's close. Mega Man was revolutionary in so many ways. And that Manami Matsumae soundtrack :D

syxtfour2 karma

I just backed your game on Kickstarter. Can I have a high five?

SeanyfaceYCG6 karma


Hylian2 karma

Any chance this could be made to work on the GCW Zero?

nickwoz3 karma

We are trying to focus on the platforms we've already announced and taking on another before we've fully supported those would be pretty foolish of us. That said we'd like to be on as many platforms as will support us!

InvincibleAlex2 karma

Metal Man is the best robot master. True or false?

SeanyfaceYCG4 karma

False! Magnet Man is

ERINycg3 karma

Snake Man!

ianYCG3 karma

False! Galaxy Man is. He has a better example of a powerful but balanced weapon. Also he's a UFO space man or something!

nickwoz2 karma

False! Tomahawk Man!....nah I'm just kidding he's terrible.

TheRealZebulon2 karma

Hi Yacht Club Games?

Are there different story paths and endings?

Hope you're day is going well.

nickwoz3 karma

Hello? It's under discussion right now but nothing is set in stone. My day is going very nicely!

rub3s2 karma

Does the game have infinite lives or is it like an old school Nintendo game where you start with 3 lives or 3 continues?

ianYCG7 karma

The PAX showfloor demo had gem and diamond currency pickups and a simple high score table for your end total. Rather than use a life/credit system it instead gave the player infinite retries and halved the player's money on death. In the future I'd like to iterate more on this idea of alternate penalties for death. I want there to be more built up tension and risk involved than just your time.

jonbones1 karma

i love this idea - bits of the Dark Soul influence peeking through. will the game be grind-friendly? like can i replay levels to get more gems, to level up my knight so i'm better prepared for the rest of the game?

ianYCG2 karma

Heh, there's still some discussion over whether we want the game to be "grind-able" or not. We want it to be a game that you perfect in multiple runs rather than by returning to levels (gotta go back to Stage 1 for for sub tanks, etc). Maybe the Mario 3 style map encounters can be repeatable for points though?

abebly5 karma

If you don't want people to grind, you might try keeping players from gaining gems unless they've surpassed the previous level high. So, if I get 500 the first run, I keep all that. On a second run, if I get 600, I keep 100. Or you could restrict certain upgrades to game progression. For instance, you might keep a certain shovel upgrade out of reach until Mole Knight is defeated.

ianYCG3 karma

Hm, that is a unique take on it! It would be a good way to approach a currency driven Metroidvania/stage hybrid. It still presents a different pacing to the game's progress though. We wanted a game where you clear it in runs, making improvements, making mistakes, and finding surprises each time as opposed to one where you thoroughly scrub through the content.

jonbones2 karma

I think a lot of player's like the idea of being able to "build up" a character vs. starting over every run but that doesn't sound like it fits your design philosophy. I think NG+ will scratch the itch though!

ianYCG2 karma

Yeah, I hear you and I enjoy the character building process too. I plan to always keep a NG+ save file to get 100% save file and try everything out. Perhaps in our next title?

rub3s2 karma

Are there going to be any vertical digging levels like Super Mario Bros 2? Like this.
I like the mechanic of the bad guys staying on their plane until you dig through it.

ianYCG3 karma

Yes, digging through lot's of blocks while on an endless descent is a natural fit for Shovel Knight. You would probably see this mechanic used a lot in Mole Knight's stage. It would also be a great Challenge Mode objective. "Dig X number blocks without stopping"!

Scriptbr2 karma

How challenging will Shovel Knight be? Maybe you can answer with a comparison to one of the Mega Man games.

SeanyfaceYCG6 karma

Let me see.... easier than Mega Man 2 on Hard, but harder than Mega Man 2 on normal?

But there will be nothing as ridiculous as that block section in Heat Man! Ok, maybe in challenge mode ;)

Bhurak_nar_Caxki4 karma

Item-2. I haven't actually attempted the blocks in years! :)

SeanyfaceYCG6 karma

check this out, lol. I just did the Heat Man section last week! My reaction is pretty silly.