Shovel Knight is an upcoming homage to 8-bit games crafted by some of the people behind the excellent Contra 4, and it needs your help to enter production.
There are very few developers whose output might convince me to pick up their future projects sight unseen. Blizzard Entertainment and Platinum Games are the most notable names on that very short list, but the most surprising firm there would have to be WayForward Technologies. You may not know the name, but if you've played Contra 4, the 3DS' Shinobi or the recent Double Dragon Neon you're no doubt aware of the obvious affection the firm has for classic games.
With that in mind, we'd like to introduce you to a new Kickstarter project recently created by developer Yacht Club Games. You're even less likely to recognize that name, but the important part is that Yacht Club Games is comprised of former WayForward employees who've decided to branch out and do their own thing. In this case, "their own thing" is a modern "love letter" to classic 8-bit games -- particularly RPGs and platforming adventures. Have a look at the game's official description:
Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. It's a hot mashup of new and old that may remind you of Mega Man, Castlevania, or Dark Souls! You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest. Shovel Knight has come to this valley with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and save his lost beloved. He wields a ShovelBlade: a multipurpose weapon whose techniques have now been lost to the ages. Always honest and helpful, Shovel Knight is a shining example of the code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly!
Yacht Club Games hopes to raise a relatively paltry $75,000 for the development of Shovel Knight, and as of now the fundraising effort has attracted $11,647. With 29 days left on the Kickstarter clock, this seems a promising start, though that's no reason to rest on your laurels. If you've got the spare cash, please donate it to this project. I rarely make impassioned pleas like this, but the games these people have created in the past are such excellent examples of how to revive classic franchises that I can't wait to see what they do with this homage to the titles that defined my childhood. If you don't want to contribute to see the game get made, and aren't swayed by the excellent donor rewards -- a mere $10 will net you a copy of Shovel Knight's PC iteration on release -- then do it for me.
Then again, I'm kind of a jerk, so instead you should donate your cash to fund hypothetical console ports of Shovel Knight. As of now the game is being designed as a PC exclusive, but with enough support Yacht Club Games hopes to also release the title on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Any excess support beyond that will go toward bringing Shovel Knight to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Vita handheld. As Biggie never said, "Mo' money, mo' viable platforms for this intriguing throwback game."
If you've got a few spare moments, read over the Kickstarter page. Yacht Club Games has packed it full of interesting information, and we dare any of you to read it all and not be excited for this project.