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David D’Angelo

Yacht Club Games is committed to starting work on something entirely new this year. The studio will finally be moving on from the original Shovel Knight, which released way back in June 2014.

Shovel Knight could still be in Yacht Club Games’ future though. Yacht Club Games programmer David D’Angelo informed GamesIndustry that the team is trying to decide between creating something new within the Shovel Knight franchise and a new IP.

D’Angelo explained:

“We’ve talked about wanting to extend the Shovel Knight franchise. How about we make Shovel Knight 2, or Super Shovel Knight, or Shovel Knight 64? Maybe we could take Shovel Knight through the ages, that is something that is very appealing to us. But also, we are all very burned out on Shovel Knight for sure, so we thought: ‘What if we made a new IP? What would that look like?’

“The true reason we made Shovel Knight a 1980s-style game is because we wanted to cram as much fun gameplay into it as possible. And to us, if we could limit the burden on the art style, then we could iterate and really put in loads of enemies, objects, bosses, and everything you can imagine. I think that idea will remain pretty central to our studio, no matter what. You won’t see us making The Last of Us anytime soon.”

Also worth noting, we have an update on the performance of the Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack that Yacht Club Games published in North America. Although it apparently wasn’t as successful as the company had hoped, the firm’s distributors as well as GameStop say it exceeded expectations.

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Shovel Knight has been popping up in more and more games as of late. The character even made a cameo appearance in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 earlier this year. In 2017, Shovel Knight will be showing up in Yooka-Laylee as well.

David D’Angelo of Yacht Club Games was asked about Shovel Knight’s cameos in a recent feature on Nintendo Life. He had this to say about the character being featured in other studios’ games.

“Typically with our cameos the developers have reached out to us as they were excited about the possibilities of having Shovel Knight in their worlds. It’s really thrilling for us to see Shovel Knight in new environments, so we’re happy to be a part of the fun. Honestly, we usually don’t have to do much from our end as all the developers we’ve worked with have been top notch and very respectful of the IP. Yooka-Laylee was an especially fun one though as we created the 3D model in-house. It was enjoyable to leave the second dimension for a bit! Gunvolt was incredible – it was amazing to work with Masaya Suzuki to design the Shovel Knight sprite. What a legend!”

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Gamasutra has published an article detailing the reactions of several prominent game developers to the reveal of the Nintendo Switch.

The article on Gamasutra has some very respected names both to Nintendo fans and in the general games industry. Some of the more prominent include David D’angelo of Yacht Club Games and Thomas Happ, creator of Axiom Verge. While many of these developers make obvious their excitement for creating games on the Switch, these aren’t official confirmations as of yet. Take these with a grain of salt.

David D’angelo of Yacht Club Games had this to say about the Nintendo Switch:

At Yacht Club Games, we’re very excited for the Nintendo Switch! Nintendo continues to put fun first by focusing on delivering new, engaging ways to play, which is what we’re all about! We can’t wait to take advantage of the system’s capability to have local and online multiplayer anywhere. It will allow for some truly great game experiences. We can only imagine the pure joy we’ll have playing Nintendo’s games both on the go and at home.

All amiibo figures Nintendo have shipped thus far have a protective piece preventing consumers from using them while in the box. However, Yacht Club Games opted for a different approach with Shovel Knight. It’s actually possible to scan the character without removing him from the box.

Speaking with Polygon, Yacht Club’s David D’Angelo said the team went in this direction due to fan feedback. He explained:

“We got a lot of feedback from fans before release who wanted to be able to scan the amiibo inside the packaging so they could still use the figure [in-game] while keeping it as a collector’s item. We didn’t see much issue with their request: while you can stand with a 3DS in store and try to scan it — we didn’t think that was actually something people would do due to the nature of the content we were making.”

Nintendo was completely fine with Yacht Club’s decision, and signed off on having Shovel Knight ship without the protective piece.

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The latest episode of the 8-4 Play podcast contains an interview with Yacht Club Games’ Sean Velasco and David D’Angelo. While speaking about Shovel Knight, the two developers mentioned that they’re still developing more content for the game. Once that’s done though, the team would be “silly” not to make a sequel. It was also reiterated that a follow-up title could be another NES-style game or something more in line with the SNES or Nintendo 64.

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In the PlayStation versions of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club included a special stage featuring Sony’s Kratos character. The same was done for the Xbox One version, which has a Battletoads boss level. There’s nothing similar to speak of at present for Shovel Knight on Wii U or 3DS, but that doesn’t mean Yacht Club Games isn’t interested in the possibilities. Far from it actually!

In an interview with GamingBoulevard, Yacht Club Games’ David D’Angelo spoke about the character he’d like to see in the Nintendo versions of Shovel Knight if the opportunity presented itself:

Who knows?! It’d be amazing to work with a Nintendo IP. They have so many great ones to choose from. I usually go for the weirdos, so Tingle would be right up my alley.

Elsewhere in the interview, D’Angelo spoke about his interest in seeing Shovel Knight in Smash Bros.:

Absolutely, Shovel Knight in smash would be incredible! We play Smash Bros. pretty much every day, and to see our character as part of the roster would be an amazing honor! Lots of our fans have come up with really great descriptions for attacks and final smashes, I’d suggest checking them out!

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The Wii U GamePad is a perfectly fine controller, but it’d be tough to argue that developers have tapped into its potential. Even Nintendo has not yet produced a string of titles that truly show what it’s capable of. For the most part, titles we’ve seen thus far use the GamePad for off-TV play or as a map.

NintendoWorldReport reached out to four indie developers as part of a new article that touches on the lack of proper GamePad usage. You can find a collection of their comments below.

Renegade Kid’s Jools Watsham

“Nintendo helps promote…as much as the game helps to promote the innovative qualities of the Wii U.”

“If you’re going to dedicate your time and effort to taking advantage of the unique features of the Wii U, you need for it to pay off in sales if you’re going to be able to continue making games for a living.”

“The GamePad is clearly not the revolution that the Wii Remote was. There, I said it.”

“The Wii U never lived up to its own potential, even from its creators. You have to lead [by] example, and Nintendo are the kings of doing this, but they failed to deliver with the Wii U in terms of utilizing their own platform, which has resulted in a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“It’s not like the Wii U has failed gamers in a general sense, but in regards to how well the GamePad has been utilized, overall [it] has unfortunately been somewhat of a failure. And that is Nintendo’s burden to bear.”

GameSource recently had the opportunity to interview David D’Angelo from Yacht Club Games. The discussion isn’t in English, but we were presented with a couple of noteworthy translations.

Here’s what D’Angelo shared regarding Nintendo’s support for Shovel Knight:

Nintendo was very helpful. They provided a great deal of marketing from featuring the game on the eShop and their website, to bringing the game with them to conventions around the country. They were also helpful behind the scenes, dealing with technical questions and listening to our wildest dreams. Creating Shovel Knight for the Wii U and 3DS was a smooth process, but of course, still a ton of work. Building a game for any platform comes with its own challenges and making a game feel unique and at home on the console is an important but hard problem to tackle!

On the topic of Shovel Knight’s sales, D’Angelo stated:

The game is selling really well on Nintendo platforms, and hopefully we’ll continue to keep making games for their systems. We love Nintendo, and they have been really great to work with for Shovel Knight.

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