What inspired the team to create a “next-gen” 8-bit game as your first Kickstarter project in Shovel Knight?
At WayForward, as we worked on a lot of retro remakes of well known games, retro revivals, retro sequels, etc such as Double Dragon Neon, a boy and his blob, Contra 4 and more, one of the ideas we continually threw around was how fun it'd be to create the first game in a new franchise from the ground up, the same way they had to in the 80s! There hasn't been a new franchise created in that NES spirit, and it felt like the perfect time to do so. Games were getting more complicated than ever; a return to a focused set of mechanics, graphics, and gameplay felt very appealing.
Who is Shovel Knight inspired by? Are there any secret metaphors behind your now iconic character?
Shovel Knight at its core was inspired by our love of all the NES classics. Games like Mega Man, Zelda, Mario, Castlevania, and more all built the foundation we worked from to create the character. When creating Shovel Knight himself, we started by focusing in on a single gameplay mechanic. First there was the idea of a character who could defeat enemies from above with a plummeting attack. Maybe there would be some enemies you had to flip off the ground to expose their weak point and then follow up using the plummeting attack! When we thought about what kind of device could be used to scoop something up, a shovel soon came into focus! We didn’t want this new shovel wielding character to be an oddball in his own world - he should be a master of shoveling. So we crafted a world with a large variety of knights who specialized in all sorts of combat styles, weapons, and armors.