Shovel Knight screenshot of Specter Knight from his own expansion

Shovel Knight's latest campaign "Specter of Torment" brought with it a whole bunch of new content, the most impressive of which was the ability to play as one of the previous bosses - Specter Knight! As you might imagine, the developers couldn't simply give you control over a boss and call it a day - they had to redesign him from the ground up.

It is exactly this process, from a simple idea to an actual character you can play, that the latest developer blog covers in rather enthralling detail. So if you're interested in peeking behind the curtains of game development and figuring out what exactly the developers planned, what they struggled with, and how they solved those problems, then I would highly recommend you give the article read as its quite captivating!

There is simply no way for me to summarize any of this while still doing the developers justice, so I will instead leave you with the first two pargarhaps as a little bit of an appetizer for the whole article. Enjoy!

"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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