Yacht Club Games

Category: Design

Shovel Knight: Debug Features

Good day, programming pioneers! If you’ve ever looked into the world of game development, you’ve probably heard that making games is really tough! While that might be true, as we develop more games, we are also developing new ways to make them easier to build. Today, we’d like to discuss some of the development tools and tricks that speed our games from concept to reality. If you’re making a game, we recommend you consider supporting any version of the features we’re about to discuss. Most of them only take a day or two to implement and the payoff can be years worth of work saved!




Valuing Players’ Time

Whether you are playing a single-sitting adventure or grinding out the 80th hour of an epic, every minute you spend playing a game is precious. As game developers, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we are respectful of the time that you choose to spend playing our games. Today, we’d like to spend a little time explaining how we account for a player’s time during the development of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, and what that means in practice!


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.


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.



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.