Q&A

Lead pro­gram­mer, Shovel Knight

EDGE - - THE MAKING OF... - David D’An­gelo

Shovel Knight was the first ever third­party Ami­ibo. How did that hap­pen?

We sent an email to Nin­tendo say­ing, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we had a Shovel Knight Ami­ibo?’ And, like they do with ev­ery­thing, they said, ‘Well, first we’re do­ing first­party stuff and then we’ll see how it goes’. Then a few months later they came back to us and said, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we made an Ami­ibo for Shovel Knight?’ [Laughs.] And they said it would have to be all on us, so if we could prove to them that we had the ca­pa­bil­ity to do it, then they were up for it. We did re­search and put sys­tems in place to make it hap­pen.

You must have been pleased to get Mega com­poser Mi­nami Mat­sumae on board.

The guys at Brave Wave reached out to us – they’re a music com­pany that gets old game com­posers to write music. They sent an email: ‘How about in­stead of do­nat­ing to your cam­paign, I have Mi­nami Mat­sumae write a few songs for you?’ And we were like, ‘She hasn’t writ­ten any music since UN Squadron – there’s no way she would write music for us’. But she agreed to write two songs. We sent her a book of the stages in progress with some char­ac­ter art­work, and she just dropped two tracks and they were amaz­ing.

Shovel Knight has had a few cameos in other games – is that to keep him in the pub­lic eye?

That’s part of it. But the big­ger thing for us is that we like bring­ing at­ten­tion to those games. I mean, Yooka-Laylee is prob­a­bly more pop­u­lar than Shovel Knight, but any­thing we can do to bring more eyes to that game – that’s all we want, re­ally. We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to pick up as many cool games as pos­si­ble.

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