Happy Book Birthday! SHOVEL KNIGHT is now available; promotional coverageImage Not Found.
SHOVEL KNIGHT, my documentary-style book about the making of Yacht Club Games’ retro-inspired platformer, is available now in paperback and digital editions! You can buy it directly from publisher Boss Fight Books, or from Amazon.
(Today is an extra-special date for Boss Fight Books: They’ve released my book as well as KATAMARI DAMACY by Laura Hall! Check it out here.)
I’ve coordinated promotion from a number of gaming outlets, and several others are planning to publish reviews. I’ll be updating this blog anytime new coverage is released. Look for links below as I add them.
I’ve blogged about how my SHOVEL KNIGHT book got started, but the story bears repeating. In 2015, I started an indie mag called Episodic Content. My goal was to publish the making of an indie game in every issue. Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games was going to be the subject of my first indie-focused piece.
I was late to the party on Shovel Knight. The Kickstarter had passed me by, and Yacht Club was deep in development by the time I reached out to them for interviews. Only one of the company’s co-founders had the time to write me a quick note. That was David D’Angelo, who agreed to interviews. My original article was called “Gameplay Per Square Inch: The Making of Shovel Knight,” and it was based on 2-3 interviews with D’Angelo and research.
A year or so later, I notified Yacht Club that I would be publishing GPSI as a standalone, Kindle Single-sized book. They got back to me and explained that they had been swamped with deadlines the first time I’d reached out, but would be happy to coordinate interviews with the full team, on one condition: I agreed to postpone publishing GPSI until I could speak with all of Shovel Knight’s principal developers.
What’s more, they had dreamed of a journalist writing about their debut game’s development as a Boss Fight Books-published book. I happened to have the email address of Gabe Durham, Boss Fight’s founding editor. Gabe was interested in working with me to tell the story.
This happened during the fall of 2016. A few weeks later, I began three months of interviews with Yacht Club co-founders David D’Angelo, Ian Flood, Nick Wozniak, and Sean Velasco. (Erin Pellon was the fifth co-founder, but had left the company to pursue other ventures and was not available for interviews.) By the summer of 2017, I had submitted my SHOVEL KNIGHT manuscript. Earlier this spring, I worked with Gabe Durham and Mike Williams, BFB’s lead editor, to get the book shipshape.
That brings us to today, SHOVEL KNIGHT’s publication date. I learned so much from my collaboration with Gabe and Mike, and all three of us have been excited for the book to see the light of day.
I hope you’ll check out SHOVEL KNIGHT. If you’re interested in sneak peeks, you’ll find at least two book excerpts below, as well as a sizable portion from Chapter 1 on Amazon; just click “Look Inside” to start reading.
(Kotaku) How Shovel Knight's Developers Modernized NES Game Design
(Shacknews) Speedy Shovelry: How the Speedrunning Community Embraced Shovel Knight
(Polygon) Why Shovel Knight was the right game at the right time