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[Interview] Yacht Club Games on how the Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack came to be, European status, amiibo integration, more

Posted on October 30, 2016 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, Interviews

Yesterday, we published our interview with Inti Creates about the Azure Striker Gunvolt series as a whole. We’re following up on that today with a specific interview with Yacht Club Games about the Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack.

During our discussion, Yacht Club was kind enough to take on some questions regarding the package’s origins, its status in Europe, where the amiibo integration in Gunvolt 2 came from, and more. Head past the break for all of the company’s comments.

When did the idea of Yacht Club Games getting into publishing begin? Did it simply start off from Inti Creates’ interest in seeing Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack in the west?

Gunvolt was certainly a surprise for us, but the idea of one day publishing games was something we always had on our minds. We’re very passionate about bringing cool games to more people, and what better way to do that than to publish awesome games! We also learned a lot of the ins and outs of the publishing process while releasing Shovel Knight at retail, and we were eager to get more physical products out there. One day Inti Creates contacted us about the Striker Pack so the timing couldn’t have been better! We wanted to get more games into the real world, and Gunvolt, which was created from a love of classic 2D action platformers, was pitch-perfect.

On a similar note, where did the idea of offering the Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack come from? At what point did Yacht Club Games enter discussions about publishing?

The idea to release both Gunvolt 1 & 2 on a single cartridge came from Inti Creates themselves as they were already set to self-publish the Striker Pack in Japan. Releasing a game internationally comes with its own unique set of challenges, so Inti Creates reached out to us while developing Gunvolt 2.

Do you have any news to share about a European release for the Striker Pack? A classification for the release was recently spotted in the UK…

We want to see the Striker Pack in Europe too! That’s why we even went ahead and submitted it for classification at the same time as other regions. There are still some details outside of our control that need to be settled first, but we’re hoping it can happen.

Azure Striker Gunvolt makes use of the Shovel Knight amiibo. How was the functionality of including a special battle determined?

It was really fun to go all out developing the Shovel Knight amiibo functionality within his own game. But we always wanted to include other developers on the Shovel Knight amiibo…as one exciting aspect of amiibo is seeing the unexpected ways a character can show up in other games! We asked Inti Creates if they would be interested in featuring Shovel Knight’s amiibo in some way, and we jumped when they suggested the idea of a boss battle. Shovel Knight has tunneled his way into quite a few worlds, but this is his first formal appearance as a guest boss battle!

With his trusty shovel blade, he makes quite a ferocious foe. We had a lot of fun passing around the 3DS, all trying to defeat him. Once we mastered it, we had to relearn it all again as Copen! Shovel Knight’s Gunvolt sprite was designed by one of the legendary pixel artist at Inti Creates, Masaya Suzuki, who has created sprites for games such as Breath of Fire 3 and even designed the Mega Man Zero sprite! It was an honor to see it all come together, and we hope everyone enjoys the surprise battle against the blue burrower!

Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack marks the first time that Yacht Club Games is publishing another developer’s title. How has that experience been for the company so far?

It’s been refreshing! We’ve been entirely Shovel Knight focused since our company’s debut so it’s been exciting to change gears into an entirely new world of fun characters and gameplay. Plus we got to bury all of our shovel puns and recharge on all new electricity based jokes!

It’s also been great helping to bring Inti Creates’ own personal touch to the genre. For instance, when we bring Gunvolt to a convention, we can see that the game’s style scratches a different kind of gameplay itch. Players might be more into the futuristic story, super powered characters, want to learn all about the stages and abilities to maximize their score, or are looking for a game that features more constant, frenetic gameplay action.

What’s it like being a publisher of someone else’s game in comparison to strictly focusing on development of your own projects?

The Gunvolt series is created by the team at Inti Creates, and we’re mostly helping to bring it to more people (and a new format)! It was interesting to experience Gunvolt 2 just as a player would. Rather than see various game ideas build up slowly over time with each meticulous piece, you can jump in, play, and think “Wow! That was cool!”. If we could, we’d want the ability to do that with every game we have ever made, ha!

What’s next for Yacht Club Games in the world of publishing? Have you been talking with any other developers about potentially handling their games at retail?

That’s a good question– we’re not sure ourselves! We’re always interested in helping other developers bring their games to as big an audience as possible! What game would people like to see us publish next?

Big thanks to Yacht Club Games for taking the time to answer our questions. We also have to specifically thank David D’Angelo for assisting us in arranging the interview.

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