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Issue #37: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? – January/February 2019

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Yacht Club Games really dug themselves into a hole.

At this point five years ago, we put Shovel Knight on the cover of NF Magazine’s Issue #7. At that time, it was entering the home stretch of development – just a few months away from its launch, scheduled for March 31, 2014. It ended up slipping a bit past that date, but the delay wasn’t too severe – Shovel Knight debuted on 3DS, Wii U and PC on June 26 that year.

That year, 2014, was also supposed to see the arrival of all of the game’s promised expansion content: three extra single-player campaigns that swapped in three of the villainous Order of No Quarter knights as the playable character, plus a multiplayer battle mode that made all of those knights playable. Go back and read NF #7 if you don’t believe me! That really was the timetable half a decade ago. That was the plan.

But, as it turns out, Yacht Club Games had dug themselves in way too deep. It’s not a bad thing! Not at all. But in the process of developing all that extra add-on content – which was unlocked piece by piece as stretch goals in the game’s 2013 Kickstarter fundraising campaign, mind you – the Yacht Clubbers decided to make each and every promised piece into an event all its own. The three extra single-player campaigns became fully realized standalone games: Plague of Shadows, Specter of Torment and the upcoming King of Cards. The planned multiplayer battle mode, too, grew into a full game on its own as well: the upcoming Shovel Knight Showdown.

Yes, “upcoming.” Still. It’s five years later, the calendar on the wall is about to say 2019, and Yacht Club’s just now putting the finishing touches on 2013’s promised extras for their 2014 original game. You’re probably familiar with the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, commonly posed to young professionals at the beginning of their careers. If I had a time machine, I’d go back and ask that very question to Yacht Club for the interview we ran in NF #7, because there’s surely no way any member of the team could have predicted they’d still be working on the same game over half a decade later!

Again, it’s not a bad thing! Somehow, it’s worked. Focusing exclusively on this one game, expanding its content, expanding its audience and expanding its reach over such a long period of time, they’ve built it up into an incredible success story that’s now sold multiple millions of copies across every modern hardware platform. It’s such an unusual approach for an indie studio, but it’s been incredible to see happen! And so now, exactly five years after we first featured the Blue Burrower on our cover, we’re bringing him back. NF #37, like NF #7 before it, is brought to you by the Ace of Spades himself. Please look forward to reading it as we chronicle his last five years in even more detail within its pages, then look forward to – finally – his grand finale!

Right, Yacht Club? You’re seriously almost done this time, aren’t you?

Print copies of this issue, as always, come with a double-sided wall poster! Shovel Knight’s original promo art from 2014 appears on one side, and the reverse gets you New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe artwork!

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Yacht Club Games really dug themselves into a hole.

At this point five years ago, we put Shovel Knight on the cover of NF Magazine’s Issue #7. At that time, it was entering the home stretch of development – just a few months away from its launch, scheduled for March 31, 2014. It ended up slipping a bit past that date, but the delay wasn’t too severe – Shovel Knight debuted on 3DS, Wii U and PC on June 26 that year.

That year, 2014, was also supposed to see the arrival of all of the game’s promised expansion content: three extra single-player campaigns that swapped in three of the villainous Order of No Quarter knights as the playable character, plus a multiplayer battle mode that made all of those knights playable. Go back and read NF #7 if you don’t believe me! That really was the timetable half a decade ago. That was the plan.

But, as it turns out, Yacht Club Games had dug themselves in way too deep. It’s not a bad thing! Not at all. But in the process of developing all that extra add-on content – which was unlocked piece by piece as stretch goals in the game’s 2013 Kickstarter fundraising campaign, mind you – the Yacht Clubbers decided to make each and every promised piece into an event all its own. The three extra single-player campaigns became fully realized standalone games: Plague of Shadows, Specter of Torment and the upcoming King of Cards. The planned multiplayer battle mode, too, grew into a full game on its own as well: the upcoming Shovel Knight Showdown.

Yes, “upcoming.” Still. It’s five years later, the calendar on the wall is about to say 2019, and Yacht Club’s just now putting the finishing touches on 2013’s promised extras for their 2014 original game. You’re probably familiar with the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, commonly posed to young professionals at the beginning of their careers. If I had a time machine, I’d go back and ask that very question to Yacht Club for the interview we ran in NF #7, because there’s surely no way any member of the team could have predicted they’d still be working on the same game over half a decade later!

Again, it’s not a bad thing! Somehow, it’s worked. Focusing exclusively on this one game, expanding its content, expanding its audience and expanding its reach over such a long period of time, they’ve built it up into an incredible success story that’s now sold multiple millions of copies across every modern hardware platform. It’s such an unusual approach for an indie studio, but it’s been incredible to see happen! And so now, exactly five years after we first featured the Blue Burrower on our cover, we’re bringing him back. NF #37, like NF #7 before it, is brought to you by the Ace of Spades himself. Please look forward to reading it as we chronicle his last five years in even more detail within its pages, then look forward to – finally – his grand finale!

Right, Yacht Club? You’re seriously almost done this time, aren’t you?

Print copies of this issue, as always, come with a double-sided wall poster! Shovel Knight’s original promo art from 2014 appears on one side, and the reverse gets you New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe artwork!

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Digital; Delivered by Email, Print; Ship to USA, Print; Ship to Canada, Print; Ship to Another Country, Digital + Print Combo; Ship to USA, Digital + Print Combo; Ship to Canada, Digital + Print Combo; Ship to Another Country

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