Shovel Knight director discusses PlayStation, Kratos, and the Plague Knight DLC

Shovel Knight was announced for PlayStation platforms this past weekend and Yacht Club's Sean Velasco took a moment to talk to Shacknews about it, as well as the upcoming Plague Knight DLC that's set to hit all versions of the game.


The folks at Yacht Club Games came to this past weekend's PlayStation Experience with a cool surprise in the form of their acclaimed retro platformer, Shovel Knight. The game will be hitting PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Vita in 2015 with a few cool extras, so Shacknews made sure to ask about a couple of them, including God of War's Kratos.

"I'd say for quite a while, we've been having discussions, trying to figure out what would be the best way to roll out a Sony version, if we could include an original character," Yacht Club Games director Sean Velasco told Shacknews. "We always planned to make [Shovel Knight] on as many platforms as possible and we've been pretty transparent about that. We just haven't had anything to announce until today."

While Shovel Knight has been a finished product for PC, Wii U, and 3DS for about six months, there are elements of the PlayStation versions that are still in development. Much of that involves integration of PS-exclusive features, like trophies. But there are also a few goodies to look out for, like the aforementioned inclusion of Kratos.

"Kratos is going to be a wandering encounter," Velasco said. "You'll fight Kratos as a wandering character on the road map. On top of that, there might be a few other things that are sort of in the works. We're not ready to talk about it yet."

Velasco also notes that the team is looking to integrate as much of the PS platforms' capabilities as possible. Some of the functions will veer towards the cosmetic, such as using the Vita's back touch to make Shovel Knight stick his chest out or changing the DualShock 4's light bar color to reflect the current stage. Other ideas are still in the discussion stage and that includes Cross-Buy across the three Sony versions. This has not been confirmed and Yacht Club is still debating whether to go in this direction.

As for Shovel Knight owners across other platforms, they may also have something to look forward to. As part of the game's expected year of free content, the first DLC boss campaign is fast approaching.

"The first one we're doing right now is the Plague Knight content," Velasco explained. "You're going to be a playable Plague Knight, the story is completely different, your mobility is completely different, and instead of relics, you'll have a new sub-system. The levels have been adjusted in a few places to accomodate for the character. It's still very similar to the Shovel Knight game, but it's almost like a 'what if' for the Plague Knight story. It's not really canonical, just like the other campaigns. But it's a fully realized campaign."

Velasco wasn't sure which would arrive first: Shovel Knight on PlayStation or the Plague Knight DLC. Regardless, all of the DLC will make it on all platforms as free updates.

Finally, I asked Velasco for his feelings on Shovel Knight's win at Friday's Game Awards for Independent Game of the Year. For Velasco and the rest of Yacht Club, the win represents a huge triumph for a game that the crew never expected to make it past the Kickstarter stage.

"It's been totally overwhelming and I'm still shocked," Velasco said. "It's really the only word I can use. It's just like when our Kickstarter took off and instead of doing $75,000, we wound up doing $315,000. I don't even know how to react. It's too incredible."

Shovel Knight will hit PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Vita in 2015. The game is available now on PC, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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