In 2014, Yacht Club Games released its very first game, Shovel Knight, a joyful 2D platformer that wears its NES influences on its sleeve. This unlikely pastiche of 8-bit inspirations manages to emulate the look, feel, and even the technical limitations of nostalgic titles like Mega Man, Zelda II, and Castlevania III—imbued with a contemporary sense of humor and self-awareness. But how is a fundamentally retro game created in the modern era? And what do the games of the past have to teach today's game designers?
Based on extensive original interviews with the Yacht Club Games team, writer David L. Craddock unearths the story of a fledgling group of game developers who worked so well together at WayForward Games that they decided to start their own studio. From the high highs of Shovel Knight's groundbreaking Kickstarter to the low lows of its unexpectedly lengthy development, Boss Fight presents a new master class in how a great game gets made. Get ready to steel your shovel and dig into this fascinating oral history. For Shovelry!
David L. Craddock lives with his wife and business partner in Ohio. He is the author of Stay Awhile and Listen, a three-part series that chronicles the history of World of WarCraft developer Blizzard Entertainment and Diablo/Diablo II developer Blizzard North; Break Out: How the Apple II Launched the PC Gaming Revolution by Schiffer Publishing; and HERITAGE, a young adult fantasy novel. Connect with David on Twitter or Facebook.